How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 842
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr. Norman Brown is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My ex and I were great friends for a long time before we started

Resolved Question:

My ex and I were great friends for a long time before we started dating, In november I ended a relationship and Kayley was the one that i leaned on for guidance and someone to talk to. We staterd talking everyday and texting back and forth. At this point we were living in two diffrent cities. she invited me to come and stay with her for my birthday. I accepeted and we both were very excited about it. from that point on we talked every day and I went to vist her again in Feb. the entire time we were together she kept telling me about her emotional baggage, she told me that when it came time for her to move home she would push me away. In March she came out to spend the weekend with me and my family at my cabin. This weekend things did not go that great, she became bitchy and irratable. We did not spend that much time just hanging out and the weekend was not great. She flew home and things were strained. We barely talked on the phone after this and when we did it was not like it used to be. The plan was for me to help her move home and a week before I was going to help her we decided to break up.

She has been back for about 2 months now, we have been talking alot and spending time together. I did a charity bike ride and she follwed the tour to make sure she got some good photos of me. About 3 weeks ago we were hanging out and she told me she still has feeligns for me. She said she is scared of being in a relationship with me(or in general) she comes from a broken home. this past weekend she came out to my cabin again and we had a great time, laughing and playing all weekend. When i tried to hold her hand she would pull away. We slept in the same bed. I feel like i am getting mixed signals. she has called me three times since and sent me a buch of texts today.

I am not sure how to proceed with this. I know that i like her, and want to be with her.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 3 years ago.

nphbrown :

She's warning you that she can't get thru her "baggage" to commit to anybody. I wrote my doctoral dissertation for psychology on children of divorce. Broken home: Who's at home? Is it mom and other kids? Just mom? Mom and a problematic boyfriend or stepdad? Or just dad?

nphbrown :

It's important for me to know who she's dealing with at home. Is she in her early 20s? or older?

nphbrown :

How old are you? Have you ever had a long term relationship before?

nphbrown :

If she is the oldest or the only child, then she knows that she has to be responsible for quite a bit in that family, even more than meets the eye. And that's what I can sleuth out if you can tell me what you know about the family members and their relationships, including also the absent one (presumably dad) who's gone because of the divorce.

nphbrown :

I'll await your reply.

Customer:

nph,

Customer:

Nph, She currently lives with her dad. Her mother was never there for her when she was growing up. Both her parents are in her life currently but there seems to be a battle between the two over the kids affection. Both Parents have had significant others in their lives.

Customer:

Her sister lives with her mom and seems to be very competitive with her. The rift seems to be that Kayley is the dads favourtie and her sister is the moms.

Customer:

we are both in our mid twenties, she has spent the last 5 years living in Vancouver, but has moved back to Calgary this April.

Customer:

We have both been in long term relationships before, she dated a guy for 5 years off and on. Again she was not able to commit to him, and he just stopped talking to her. (I played hockey with this other guy).

Customer:

I think that it should be known she suffers from depression and tried to commit suicide when she was 15.

Customer:

thanks,

nphbrown :

OOooey GOOooey. If she bails on dad, HE loses Kayley as confidante, surrogate spouse (both K and her sister are spousified, it's not sexual) and proof that he's as loveable as mom is, so he also loses his competition with mom. :Kayley loses her competition with her sister and becomes an orphan and an ingrate. If she stays loyal she can never give anybody else higher priority.

nphbrown :

When will she be ready to fight to escape the dragon's lair? You have no power until she wants you bad enough to brave all those emotional teeth and firebreaths. But "never say die" is my natural kneejerk reaction to that bleak prognosis.

nphbrown :

What else does she want for herself besides a good looking hockeyplayer that she could have in a heartbeat whenever she's finally ready? Does she care about a career? or a social or political cause? or an academic knowledge or artistic project? It's a pretty unfair fight! You'll need allies, meaning other more compelling reasons than just a stalwart young hockey player. She's a princess living in a palace on a glass mountain. It's good manhood exercise for a guy like you to take on such a heroic rescue, more serious than a video game but when you lose this one you're not dead for real, and you can fight again, just like in a videogame. It's also the foolish youngest brother who rushes in in spite of the odds who's most likely to get the luck or divine aid that gets him thru the dangers.

nphbrown :

I do think that showing her that you're going to put yourself out to pull her away from the parental trap she's in will put a little fire in her belly--she'll get nervous, because she'll wonder if she'll want something out of her control to change the power/love dynamics she lives within. Meanwhile we're going to need to cook up some strategy to start loosening the ropes that tie her. I can't think any further now, since I'm getting ready to do therapy in person in my office nearby.

nphbrown :

Getting dad married off would be the easiest solution (have you got a gorgeous maiden aunt you could spare?) But he's much more likely to marry himself off when he gets the memo that he's losing Kayley whether he likes it or not. "Think outside the box" This is a fairy tale.

Customer:

Nph,

Customer:

She is passionate about a few things, She started a community garden a few years back, she spends a good portion of her time there. She is going to do a masters in landscape archtecture. She is also into water conservation, In the summers she has worked for the city in water works and now in the recycling department. She is into physical excercise also, this summer she ran her first marathon and last summer she completed her first Triathalon. Her undergrad degree was in health sciences. Lastly she loves her dog, abby is her companion for everything.

Customer:

Both mom and dad now seem to want to be with her, her mom got involved in the community garden and dad seems to be taking her away. Dad has had little success when it comes to dating himself. After his marriage he was engaged and she left him a few weeks before the wedding. The mom latched on to me when kayley and I started to date, she wanted to be involved in her life and subsequently in mine.

nphbrown :

They both don't want to be alone with their own challenges to grow up as an adult instead of pretending to be a loving parent. Dad might have plunged into his second relationship way too quickly after the divorce, so the woman came to her senses and realized that it wasn't her that he loved, it was being married.

nphbrown :

I guess that you might succeed if you become the son that both parents would like to have. Find something dad likes to do and do it with him, if it's something you might enjoy doing and being his tagalong. Or if he likes hockey or mtn climbing (example, I do) and you're good at it, then he can be your student, and that'll make him younger again.

Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 842
Experience: Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
Dr. Norman Brown and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency