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Fighting and making up

When you and your partner or spouse have a fight about something, there is no greater relief than that moment when the coldness thaws, doors stop slamming and you can go back to talking about your plans for the weekend rather than whatever it was that started the argument. However, reconciliation after an argument is not like a switch that can be turned on. There is a lot of difference between top-quality and long-lasting reconciliation and the cheaper and unrelaible brand of just sweeping your anger under the rug and offering a conciliatory hug to move on for the sake of peace.

The best way to achieve a healthy, effective reconciliation is to prepare for it. When you’re both so angry you can barely speak, don’t. Why say something you are sure to regret later? It may like things are bever going to change but experience has probably taught you that most arguments do come to an end.

It’s good to think and list in your head the things you will achieve after the reconciliation and hence it can be tempting to say whatever it takes in order to make peace. However, if that means offering an insincere apology, or saying you were wrong to be angry about something that in truth still troubles you, nothing has really been resolved. And the problem will rear its ugly head all over again before you know it. Instead, before you attempt reconciliation, use this cooling-off period–even if you’re still seething–to find some quiet time to consider what you need to feel better about what has happened. What do you wish he or she had done differently–and might do differently in the future? If a particular issue is a frequent sticking point between you - such as the division of responsibilities of household chores or the amount of money the other spends on self-indulgence, whatever it might be - ask yourself if you are going to offer a clear solution to him/her.

Are there things you want your better half to assist you with or there are issues that you want to completely put in their responsibility?

Be honest with yourself.

Look for misunderstandings, bad communication or the lack of it. Get issues out into the open. Having thought about them ahead of time will prepare you for a more rational discussion when the time comes. Without talking the issue to death, a proper reconciliation does need to include both parties feeling that they’ve been heard, that misunderstandings have been cleared, compromises made and hurt feelings soothed.

You still might have to take it slow - especially if the argument was a big one. Light physical contact, which can naturally reduce stress and help you feel connected, is a good start. Humour helps, too. And then there are the small kindnesses that are so important even when there hasn’t been a fight, like complimenting his/her new outfit, picking up flowers on the way home or just listening closely to how your partner or spouse’s day went. Remember, when done well, post-fight intimacy will feel, and be, real. You can trust it. It can even bring you closer together. Before long, it might not only make reconciliation easier the next time but avoid the next argument before it starts.

Parenting After IVF: Different Or Normal

By Ravi Sharma

Infertility is considered as one of the most challenging events in the life of a person and this can happen to anyone. However, there are effective fertility treatments that work. One such treatment option is in vitro fertilization which is a technological revolution. It’s the process wherein the man’s sperm and woman’s egg is joined in a laboratory dish. Hence, in vitro is referred to outside the body.

IVF or in vitro fertilization is one of the major treatments to infertility. Now the question that arises is that whether parenting after IVF would be a different experience or a normal one, especially for those people whose baby has been conceived with assisted reproduction like In Vitro fertilization than for those whose baby was naturally conceived.

A fast search on the web does not reveal a great deal of information on the subject matter till date. However, there are articles and reports on parenting after IVF. One such report published in the year 2001 indicated to the fact that the parenting stress and the parenting behavior did not differ considerably between the naturally conceiving mothers and the IVF conceiving mothers; neither did it between the control fathers and IVF fathers.

The study report on parenting and the psychosocial development of the IVF children concluded with no significant difference. There were no significant difference between the naturally conceiving mothers and the IVF mothers for the parenting objectives adjustment, personal achievement and autonomy.

Compared with the women who gave birth after the spontaneous conception, the IVF parents are more likely to feel anxious about the baby care. This has been highlighted in different studies. If you’re considering undergoing IVF treatments then you can also get assistance from the IVF centers about parenting after IVF. In fact, whether you have already welcomed the little one, or you’re newly pregnant, you can find several parents for couples following assisted conception.

Parenting after IVF is no different. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about. With different support programs available, you can find child rearing assistance in parenting after vitro fertilization. You can find information and resources related to maternal self esteem after the successful infertility treatment, parental attitudes towards the disclosure of the conception mode to their child conceived in vitro fertilization, emotion responses, maternal adjustment, psychological development of the IVF children, family functioning, child psychological adjustment, mother and child relationship at different ages as well.


Despite court strictures and a distinct social stigma, live in relationships are a growing phenomenon in big cities. Do such unions succeed....? Asks Neerja Bahadur.

When Prerna relocated from Allahabad to Gurgaon as a call centre executive she found the going tough. Coming from a joint family where all her needs were taken care of, everything was a chore in her new life. From dusting and cleaning her rented studio apartment to buying groceries and cooking food, she had hardly any time for herself
Anant too was having similar adjustment issues. A software engineer who recently joined a private bank in Delhi, he was finding it difficult to live away from the comfort of his home and parents in Jaipur. He was completely dysfunctional in the kitchen and too preoccupied with his job to devote time to cleaning and other household chores.

When the two were introduced at a common friend’s place it was a meeting of kindred souls. Soon enough they began seeing each other and within a year Prerna moved in with Anant as his live-in partner.

Though the Delhi High Court recently called such relationships of convenience as ‘immoral’ and an ‘infamous product of western culture’ for Prerna and Anant it is a perfectly natural way to live. "It’s a great match," says Anant. "She is a fantastic cook and takes care of the house, I do the shopping, banking and everything that requires running around."

Marriage, says Prerna, may come if things go well. But it may not happen at all. After all, we are just experimenting. And if we feel things are not working we’ll simply go our own ways once again. No grudges. We’ll always be good friends."

Defying Social Norms

Like Prerna and Anant, a growing number of young people are defying social norms and opting for live in relationships rather than binding themselves to marriage and permanency.

The rationale for this could be rebellion against the system or just the pleasure of being together without social bonds. Or both. It could result from the need for emotional security and to face big city pressures together as in the case of Prerna and Anant.

Social scientists have a different view about such arrangements. Says sociologist, Dr. Nidhi Pratap, "An important difference between marriage and a live in relationship is that while marriage involves a highly defined set of rights and obligations, an unmarried arrangement does not. While some might say this is exactly the reason they want to avoid marriage, the lack of built in protections can result in unpleasant surprises. "

Strong Bonds

But couples who stay together scoff at such advice. Most develop such strong bonds that they usually find it impossible to stay without each other. Take the case of Sonali and Subrato. The two journalists have been staying together for a couple of years.

Sonali works as a producer for a TV channel and is sometimes expected to be on her job at late hours. Subrato is a freelancer and has to be on the move chasing stories. "Living together means that we at least see each other whenever we are both at home," says Sonali.

The common strain in all such relationships is that there is an underlying respect for each other’s individuality. The relationship may not be clearly defined but it gives the partners space to survive and grow.

"We may not have a legal binding but we care for each other’s needs," says Subrato and adds, "Till we remain friends everything will be fine. Trouble will crop up if we start making each other accountable."

There are problems as well. Says Supreme Court advocate, Harish Dayal, "If two people of the opposite sex decide to stay together they must go in for a written agreement. For example, if a man provides financial support for his live in companion, a court could someday find that the two had an understanding that he would always support her even if the relationship broke up. A court has the right to force a man to live up to such an understanding. If you don’t want a judge interpreting what your understanding was, protect yourself before entering such an alliance."

Written Agreement

Having a written agreement helps insure that you and not a future court determines exactly what the terms of your agreement are. They also provide you and your partner an opportunity to communicate your expectations of each other.
But most couples hardly ever heed to such advice. Sonali and Subrato’s decision to live together was a well contemplated move. "For us it became a necessity. Though we have been seeing each other since our college days, we decided to move in together as it would help us understand each other better before we get married," says Sonali.
But in most cases couples are careful to draw that subtle line between friendship and intimacy. Says Prerna, "Me and Anant started living together on the understanding that the experiment may or may not work. Today we love each other but we are not sure whether it will result in marriage." Anant on the other hand is more circumspect. "My feeling for her will remain the same whether we marry or continue like this."

Grudging Acceptance

Prerna didn’t hide her live in relationship from her family. Her parents who visit Delhi often knew about it. "My mother only said, ’don’t ever come to me crying that you are pregnant.’ I said I wouldn’t. That was the end of the discussion. My parents have accepted it grudgingly but my mom keeps telling me to marry and live like normal people."

But the families of Sonali and Subrato have not been that understanding. And the two have overcome the trauma of their respective parents to accept the relationship. Says Sonali, "From both sides everyone has socially ostracised us. Now it doesn’t matter whether we marry or continue as live in partners. One day both sides of the family will have to accept our relationship good or bad."

Yes. Good or bad, most young couples who start living together know they are experimenting with a social idea. As in Bollywood films like Salaam Namaste and Wake Up Sid these young people are testing their chances of success by building a world of their own without social barriers bound only by their own self defined parameters.