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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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Hi I have a question Ia, 33yrs old the oldest of my siblings.

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Hi I have a question I'a, 33yrs old the oldest of my siblings. I have a really close relationship with my mom we have always been reaa close we stood by each other through thick and thin. We are a really tight family. She been divorced for 11yrs know. Dated 3 guys but didn't work out. I never like the men she choose cause there too controlling and she's so good hearted and always taken advantage of. But recentlly she met a guy on facebook it someone she knew when she was younger her sweethert 25 yrs ago. And found each other. He lives in th uk and my lives in san diego. everythig has happrned so fast he says he's still in love with her. makes a great talker.He has convensed her to go and see him him there. she paid for her ticket 1 wk ago and is leaving today for 1 month. My mother is not the kind of person to travel like that. She never been over seas and shes always afraid to go to place evn 2hrs away. Shes going by herself I'am very worried I tried to talk to her but she thinks Iam crazy.Iam so worried mom never understood me in anything in life or even gave me credit in anything. I'am were Iam know due to I did it all by meself. I can't even say my opion about things with out being yealled at.anyways by feeling have been so hurt for a long time and with this happening I don't know what to do please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 5 years ago.

nphbrown :

If I read you right, you've been taking care of mom for 25 years or so & she doesn't follow your advice, and even yells at you for your troubles! It sounds to me like she accepted the role reversal two decades ago, in which she's the child and you're the mom. And now she wants to leave you and go to England to some guy you haven't had a chance to give the 3rd degree grilling to find out it she'll be safe with him or not. He might be able to control her about as well as you have been able to control her at first. But then she'll REBEL against him just as she's been rebelling against you for many many years, as she tries to grow up and make her own mistakes without your interference.

nphbrown :

If she stays over there long enough, you might have to let go of being her keeper. And as a result you'd be pretty likely to find a real same-generation relationship for yourself. You might find LOVE. Loving successfully requires a balance of power and surrender, assertiveness and empathy. As the child vis-a-vis you, mom is the more empathic one, and you're the more controlling one.

nphbrown :

I've seen it many times before: as soon as the child breaks out of the mother's overprotective embrace, the mother remarries. And no boyfriend is ever good enough for her daughter, in the mother's unconsciously possessive evaluation. And you've reversed the roles to being the mother yourself. I've no doubt that it's very painful for you to be yelled at (ie rebelled against) for so long. That even love-traps you into trying harder and harder to get mom to love you for all of the good things and advice you've given her over all these years. YOU'RE the all-suffering mom plagued by her bratty child's rebellious ungratefulness.

nphbrown :

LET HER GO! Don't take away her credit card! Get a crash course in counseling NOW so you can make use of this first vacation ever to reorient yourself toward leaving home TOO and finding yourself the sorts of relationships that a grown woman can thrive on. YOU DESERVE EMANCIPATION TOO, AND YOU HAVE HER TO THANK FOR YOUR CHANCE.

nphbrown :


nphbrown :

Norman Brown, PhD, LMFT

JACUSTOMER-nyj4cu81- :

I'am a married and a mother of two little ones. So i know what it is like to be a mom. So its more painful. Everything i do or say its never right. All my life with my mother shes the type you cant tell her anything because she seems she;s always right and never wrong in life.She cant even see were we are coming from. When i have been there always in life through thick and thin and still standing. I have always put her first in life before my self and my family. I would do things for her before i can with my family.When i would be in a suition i cant. But know i have learned i have to take care of myself and my family comes first. It just hurt and its going to take me time heal. WE have always been close. And know she went to the uk for this guy we dont even know if shes going to even be safe. And by herself. Shes the type of mom that she panics and gets scared if shes going to go to the store near by. Its not her nature to do that. she has never been out of the states besideds even going across the world for a guy. And then today she didn't even call to let me know she arrived. Iam so worried. And my mom always call when she gets anywhere she goes. she would always worry for me If i took to long going grocery shhopping. Iam sorry but thats how she is worries alot to. so Iam finding very odd. And Iam wondering if it could be the man what has he got to her head. Thank you for understanding. I hope everything goes well Just keep prayers strong know. Well Apperciated I hope you can help me to give me a pieace of mind thank you

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