Sunita (name changed) is known to me for years now, I saw her first when she was in 10th std, I still can't forget her cute face, long hair that she had left open and that appealing smile she carried on her face. We had gone to congratulate her for securing 88% in 10th std as her mother was known to me as a friend for a while. We instantly got friendly with each other as if we knew each other from ages. I completely agree to what Dr Brian Weiss says in his book - "many masters many lives" we keep meeting people from our earlier lives and with few we have that unknown revulsion and for few we have instant connection of love. Sunita fell in the latter category. Thereon she started feeling comfortable to share her problems with me and I never felt it could have been the other way. Sunita got married last year with a boy chosen by her parents, Aashish was software Engg. Working for a well reputed company currently put up in Mumbai. The pair looked just "made for each other" couple and I was completely assured after meeting Aashish that he was a right partner for Sunita. I spoke to her couple of times after her marriage and knew she was happy in her life. He took care of her well; their honeymoon was a great surprise and so on... I knew now its going to be like "and they lived happily thereafter" And that day when I got a call from Sunita I thought its for inviting me for celebrations as they were about to complete one year, but Sunita sounded disturbed and she asked me if I had time to see her immediately, I wondered what must have gone wrong as Sunita and Aashish were staying on their own so "In laws" angle was out of picture. I took a cab and reached her home immediately, it was a nice 3 bedroom apartment decorated aesthetically, it said a lot about Sunita's artistic choice and I could see lot of things which told me both of them were having great time, for e.g. coffee mugs with messages for each other, candles placed for special fragrance and so on… I was just praying in my mind as I didn't want to hear anything which was heartbreaking. Besides my chair there was a photograph of Sunita and Aashish smiling, both of them looked so happy, naturally it brought a smile on my face and Sunita said her first words - "No aunty, he is not as cute as he looks" I knew I had to hear her story first as it had piled up in her mind, I made myself comfortable in my chair and sat attentively to hear her story. Both of us are working and Aashish is reasonably a supportive husband. But he never ever helped me in my daily chores, he is used to getting ready and going off to office, he does not expect me to do things for him though, there are a lot of things to be done and I am left with no choice but to complete and go. I had lot of romantic dreams but Aashish never ever got any gift for me, I raised my eye brows - I was confused and I just pointed out to the pink teddy bear lying out. Sunita continued - I had to tell him all the stories about my other friends who were receiving lovely gifts from their spouses, and almost maneuver him to get that teddy bear for me on my Birthday. Initially it did work but now he looks almost immune to my comments and even when I stopped completely admiring him, he didn't bother. I criticized him as he was too dry and not those romantic types as I thought my husband would be. He also has started behaving very rudely with me. He comes back home early and generally sits in the bedroom with his laptop, the other day when I came back home I asked him" how are you? How was the day baby" and wrapped my arms around his neck. He sat almost motionless continuing to complete the code he was writing on his laptop and in-between updating the excel sheet he had opened up, with just a little "hmm..." from his side, I was all exited to tell him what happened to me that day " Aashish, you know my boss was so happy with me today.." and he just interrupted saying" just a minute, Ok" and he continued tapping on his keyboard. I walked out of the room feeling terribly dejected and I thought he just doesn't care for me anymore. I would stop anything I was doing if he greeted me that way. When he came to the dining table after completing his work he thought I was overreacting, and told me he had to complete that program and submit it. But sometimes he is very good to me and I am confused how should I understand his weird behavior. I feel we are drifting away from each other and I needed your counseling for sure. I heaved as I knew it was just a small misunderstanding and very normal for a young girl who was new to marriage and the life thereafter. I just had to tell her that Aashish was a man and men behave differently than women. A man measures his worth through his achievements and needs them to be recognized. When a woman needs appreciation she wants to be understood, to be validated. There is a basic difference in how both of them seek admiration, men derive their appreciation from what they do and women want their appreciation for who they are. Both of them react differently when not appreciated, when a woman does not receive admiration she is motivated to earn it but man looses motivation to even try. Without a feeling of being admired he feels drained and feels incapable or inadequate of giving support, they just lose their will to give. I just reminded Sunita about the famous book written by John Gray "Men are from Mars and woman are from Venus" Gray says that when men are stressed they become increasingly focused and withdrawn and on the other hand woman becomes increasingly overwhelmed and emotionally high. Men feel better by solving problems and women feel better by talking about the problems. So I told Sunita, she must understand that when Aashish is in stress he needs some space, he may become absent minded, unresponsive but just be little patient with him at that time and he will come back to you for sure once he is out of his problem. He may become incapable of giving the attention you seek, so it is best to ask him if you could interrupt him and he may say -"15 min more", don't bother, he needs you more than you need him. It is very common to see women comparing their husbands to their friends' husbands. I think this is a gross mistake as no wife will ever entertain her own husband comparing her with someone else. Comparing in this manner upsets a man in a huge way as his ego is hurt deeply, if you keep on and on about how much your friend's husband loves her and values her, it will only make your husband feel he cannot make you happy no matter how much he tries hard from his side, and you will see him just giving up on the issue altogether. Also one more important lesson I thought I need to give her was there is also a difference between our notions of intimacy. Women like sharing secrets, talking things over, cuddling but men connect by doing things together. So working in the kitchen together, going for a movie together or going for a game of Table tennis together gives them a feeling of closeness. Don't look at only becoming husband and wife, be best friends and that's the key to successful marriage. Sunita looked convinced; I have not received another call from her so I guess all is well so far.