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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 847
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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Lied to my girlfriend about having my ex mother of my child

Customer Question

Lied to my girlfriend about having my ex mother of my child living with me while she got her feet back together. Lied to her multiple occasions when she knew otherwise I finally confessed. Finally was able to get a two hour conversation where she expresses all her feelings taking the love out the picture to get a clear picture of what happened. Now she says shes ready to put back the love back into it. After a two hour conversation She told me that I should be over at her house last night but because of my actions I'm not. She wants me over but does not want to give into physical wants she doesn't want to only be half in. On her down time she would always spend it with me in the past I want it to get to that point again walk before I run I always say I'm not the forcer but yet we both played around with the whole should I invite him/her to an event with the children building up to the full on family meet ups feeling like this is happening all over again. I told her if I had to start everything from day one again I would not hesitate if it meant the relationship would be saved or the beginning of a friendship again since all of our moments through out have started for us in moments of self individual reflection and have grown to relationship and unspoken potential marriage in the future for both of us. She mentioned to me last night that someone came up to her and told her that if your married your husband is a lucky man and he should always love you and know what he has. I believe shes hinting at what she sees as well for our future. The only piece that has me thinking is that she said that why if I knew this I would lie to her and risk us not sure how to respond to that comment. Its like if you knew we are great and we could handle anything why would you risk everything with that lie if you loved me so much why risk our love. She is commenting that for love would she compromise where she stands as far as no lying in a relationship making her feel lesser. I told her that Ive been feeling everything shes feeling and that I would not take it as her being less but understand her feelings and respect them. She told me that how do you rebuild a snow ball of our relationship once its been tainted with the lie does she really want to re-build or continue on where we left off she wants to not hold anything in her back pocket to use against me and wants to be fully in either way sharing her thoughts during her self expressive state is a huge accomplishment I feel. I know she loves me and wants to make things better just a matter of time shes graduating moving to another city I was part of her plan through out painting the picture of family with one lie that tainted us for this moment right now.
Her comments: its amazing what each day brings. The beauty in the ugly, the ugly in the beauty...what does that mean interpretation ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Norman Brown :

People lie when they're scared of the consequences of telling the truth. You were scared she wouldn't trust you if you were living with your ex (and how long were you together--and having a child together--before you split? and how long is it since you split? What were the circumstances and timing around having her move back in?)

Dr. Norman Brown :

If you had gotten away with the lie it would have hurt your relationship less than it you told her at first. Since she found out the truth AND that you lied, that's ended up worse than case #1 for her trust. You might have somje explaining to do about how you could have chosen a woman to have a child with whose life was so likely to fall apart. How well do you have your own situation in control? Job, dwelling, financial stability, custody and care of the child?

Dr. Norman Brown :

REMORSE means you feeling the feelings she's had, more than just listening, but putting yourself into her heart & expressing how it would make you feel if you were her. And knowing you can never make her feelings evaporate from her memory: That's a helpless feeling, and it could help heal her distrust if she heard and saw you feeling that helplessness.

Customer :

Her comments: "Losing my head...trying to focus and find it. Fighting the feelings of being overwhelmed. pushing through, strength lies on the other side!!..time to get right"!

Customer :

Her comments: "I dont know why I'm texting you that"

Customer :

what does this mean so vague?

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Pretend she's lied to you for weeks but has had HER ex-husband living with her while he gets back on his feet, and he's the father of HER child. She assured you that they never had sex, but she's got a very small apartment. What happens after he gets back on his feet? And she's loved him for a lot longer than she's loved you? And he's her first great love, even though she realizes now that he was a really bad choice, but it really was good at first! (She won't tell you about the good parts, but you can sense that there must have been some, because she's not that stupid that she'd fall in love with a guy who's ALL BAD. Or maybe he just turned from really good to really bad when his soul got sucked away by powerful drugs like coke or meth. What if he gets clean and becomes a better man than he ever was before?

 

I'm suggesting that you get inside of her experience--with her wild-'n-crazy emotions completely turning her head around in a whirlpool like a toilet going down the drain--and how can she trust your hand to lift her out when you've been lying to her all this time, to her face?

 

I'm not saying YOU DID ANYTHING WRONG, since you must have thought you'd get away with it and save both of you the great pain that telling her could have catalyzed. I'm saying that HER EXPERIENCE WAS AND IS NOT AT ALL LIKE YOURS, AND THAT'S WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO FEEL if you want to reach out to her in a way that shows you care about what your actions have done to her. THAT'S THE PREREQUISITE OF REMORSE, and remorse is the best way of starting to make amends, and of guaranteeing that you'll never do that again. DON'T MINIMIZE WHAT YOU'VE DONE as you've imagined it for your own convenience, BECAUSE THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE'S GONE THROUGH AND IS STILL FEELING. [That's why I wrote up the reversal of her experience in more dramatic terms than you'll insist was actually the case in your mistake. But EMOTIONS ARE DRAMATIC, especially when the person who's having them is in the dark about the situation, and feels therefore HELPLESS.

 

You won't want to do this with your heart in it, because IT FEELS AWFUL. I've been there--though not for the same hurtful actions. IT FEELS HELPLESS AND ASHAMED. But that's what you need to show her that you're feeling, because you're really feeling it.

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