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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I really appreciated your quick response and your advice. My

Customer Question

I really appreciated your quick response and your advice. My relationship with my partner has since dissolved and we are no longer together. I do need some further advice on the situation.

The following day, my ex partner and I were discussing our day at his place when he blurted out I want to break up with you. I was completely stunned since we had patched up our relationship a few weeks before. All he was able to say was that he didn't have the same feelings for me as he did before. The problem was that up until three days prior, everything was functioning as a regular couple, talking and spending time together.

It has been three weeks since and I am still unable to come to terms with his discussions. That night, I tried to discuss things over with him but he not willing to do so saying that we will talk about it at another time, we will get together later and he would get his things at a later date. Of course, I was emotional and tried reasoning with him but he isn't the emotional type.

With all the stress of our divorces, his custody battles, his unemployment and his continous broken promises, his only stressor he could get rid of was me. Later stating to mutal friends that he was in a happy place at the moment and liking it (minus me in his life).

Over the course of a few weeks, I tried to have him pick up his stuff from my place so we can both move on. He was unwilling to do it. For me, I needed everything of his removed from my place, so it would be easier for me to heal. At this point, I haven't.

We have spoken briefly over the phone (I calling) wanting to talk. He has answered all the phone calls and the conversations have been light, cracking jokes and typical for us. Our latest conversation detailed many personal events and things that we going on over the past few weeks, both us communicating prior to our split up. We both admitted we missed each other, he was willing to hang (his word for spending time together) and he was still doing the same things I always had him do for me (get certain items, tape my favorite shows,) tell me what he is doing every day.

Of course, I brought up the reason we split up and he became defensive (typical response to anything emotional) and I suggested it might not be a good idea to talk or hang for a while. He didn't come out and say directly leave me alone. He said sort ta maybe.

Now, I am completely confused because of the mixed messages I am getting. I know he is having a hard time with this because I can tell from his voice and knowing who he is. The problem is that I know he is the one. I just know. I am not saying at this point right now I want to get back together but in the future once things have settle down.

He has alot of issues and problems to work on as a result of his divorce ("forced into a marriage, continued battle over the children and finanical obligications). He knows that when I was around, I provided that safe haven for him to retreat to when his children were kept from him. His own family says that he is a better man and father with me in the picture. I provide stability and a sense of happiness (in their words).

What should I do? I am moving on at the moment but the pain isn't and it can become crippling. I am seeking counseling and therapy but it doesn't seem to be giving me the answer I am looking for.

The day of the break up I was going to approach him about seeking counseling.

Please help
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cathy replied 5 years ago.

Cathy :

Hi and thanks for writing JA

Cathy :

are you there?

Cathy :


Cathy :

are you there?

Cathy :

okay let us know when you are back online and it is convenient for you chat about this?

Customer :


Customer :

I am here

Customer :

I can chat in about twenty minutes.

Customer :


Customer :

I am online to chat

Customer :

I can chat

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 5 years ago.

It might sound unkind, but even without knowing what was discussed in your first answer, I'd point out that when a divorce with children and custody involved is still fresh, presumably less than 2 years old, the emotional upheavals emanating from that epicenter are bound to dominate over any other emotional bonding. So at present you really don't have the power to pull him away from the quagmire he's in to live in the safe haven you want to have together with him. I get the impression that your own divorce is either further away in time or devoid of unresolved struggles & children, or both. He has needed you as a healer for him, perhaps you've gotten some of the same healing from him.


But in a healing relationship relief from loss and compassion as well as rescued-passion are so thoroughly mixed, that what seemed the hottest ever just last week can be cold and somehow embarrassing today. For the original tragic losses have taken over again and the new love scene that you want him to nestle in with you seems a distraction that he now doesn't need or want, even tho before he did as much as you still do.


I can't see straight. 2 hour talk with my brother in LA from midnight on, very much needed financial relief.


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