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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I have been goin through menopause. My mother just had brain

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I have been goin through menopause. My mother just had brain surgery and my son in law just got diagnosed with cancer. I have been staying at the hospital and trying to prepare for work as I am a teacher. My husband has cheated and moved in with another woman months ago. We are back together. When I cry over stress he makes fun of me and says mean things. Like he doesnt comfort me, he says I am numb to it. When I try to talk about what is bothering me he threatens to leave me again saying I cant give you what you need. Then a few hours later after he breaks me down he comes in and tells me he loves me. We have been back together for four months. Both of us have been home for the summer, but he ignores me. We havent even so much of taken a swim in our pool together or been intimate in three months. When I try to talk to him about it he says I will do better and nothing changes except he threatens to leave.

NormanM :

Hello, I'm Norman. Are you ready to chat?

NormanM :

I see that you are still offline, so I'm going to switch to Question and Answer mode and leave a reply ready for you there.

I'm sorry to hear what you are going through. I think ther are c couple of issues here that need to be addressed.

First of all, your husband's attitude.

From what you say, it is crystal clear that he does not love you – because actions speak louder than words. He puts you down, hurts you and demeans you. Are his actions those of a loving partner?

This is so, so wrong. You need to stand up to this man, seriously so. It is critically important that you understand this concept.

We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do. Like a child, your husband is going to have to learn to accept boundaries, and you have to give him reason to change.

He needs to know that if he does not change his ways, there will be consequences.

The important point is that this is NOT blackmail – it is giving him a chance to change and grow emotionally, to the benefit of both of you. He needs incentive to change his ways, or he will not – why should he, he gets his own way right now and is rewarded with cuddles and kisses. If you want your life to continue like this, do what you are doing. If not, you are going to need the strength and maturity to give him some tough love and allow him to grow.

Up until now, he has just been exploitative and abusive, and he has done that, and kept doing it, simply because he has been allowed to.

There is an old saying that "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got", so if he will not change, your future with him is going to be just like your past.

Secondly, I’m going to suggest that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

You need to be able to see your situation more objectively and rationally, so that you can make good, balanced decisions about your future.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted, the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Best wishes,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Norman. He always turns it around to it being my fault. If i try to talk about the nonintimacy he gets mad and then is hurtful which in turns makes me mad. I am not allowed to talk of the past where Ican see what happened. He threatens to leave. He has told me that he didn't know if he would be here with me if they hadn't broke up. He doesnt understand why that hurts. Everytime I try to talk to him he says he doesnt want to argue and walks away I dont know how to communicate about how I feel without getting penalized.

It really is time for some tough love here. I hope you have the courage to do it.
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