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Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 873
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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My wife and I have been married for almost 8 years and have

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My wife and I have been married for almost 8 years and have a 3-year-old son. For the last 5 years, our relationship has struggled for various reasons that I'm more than willing to get into as we correspond. We've tried counseling, reading books together or listening to audio programs. But counseling didn't seem to help, and we never finish the books or audio. Please respond if you think you can help us, but please don't open a chat. I prefer normal inline discussion that is not live. Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I believe that I can help you.

I understand that you want to make this relationship work and must properly address the underlying issues. You BOTH must be willing to work on this wholeheartedly.

Please describe the best aspects of your relationship and then tell me about the difficult ones, be they emotional, intellectual, financial or matters of intimacy. I look forward to hearing back from you. If I am open I will respond immediately. If someone else is with me I shall respond as soon as I am done.

Warm regards,

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

I will add only this to what Elliott has written: If marriage counseling didn't help, then the marriage counselor didn't find the right approach(es), one of which is to open you both up sufficiently into what you feel with each other with the other listening and learning to empathize, since what makes a marriage solid are the emotional connections you make regularly. Elliott has mentioned 4 types of issues in couples work, so I'm confident he'll be able to help you. But if you can't work satisfactorily with him, then I'd advise you to find another well-trained couples therapist to work with in person. If you both really want to recover the good marriage you once had and you persist in your efforts, you WILL succeed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks to both of you for responding. Sorry for the delay. I apologize if what follows is more of a brain dump than structured thought. But it's getting late, and I'm getting tired. My guess is you're used to it. :-)

 

Before I address the good and bad aspects of our relationship, I'll provide a little more background info. We are both in our early/mid 40s. My wife used to work in a high-end customer service role but now is a stay-at-home mom. I have a research/strategy position on the fiduciary side of wealth management. We both graduated from college, and I have a master's degree and other professional designations. About 6 years ago we moved from a condo to a much larger house on several acres of land. We had a son 3 years ago. We both have 3 siblings. I'm the youngest child (1 brother & 2 sisters) and she is the oldest (3 brothers). We come from different religious, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds (her family is much more affluent than mine but my family wasn't poor). I'm best known for my intellect, sense of humor and generosity (time and otherwise). She's known for her beauty, kindness and cooking. We met through a mutual friend, dated for about 14 months before getting engaged but did not live together prior to marriage about 5 months later.

 

In a nutshell, our relationship suffers each month as we deal with her bad PMS. (She hates when I blame our issues on her menstrual cycle, but it's a big part of our problems.) Assuming 4 weeks in a month and her period is the last week, we have 1 good week (ovulation), 2 bad ones (PMS) and 1 week that's mixed (her period week-she's better but I'm still resentful from 2 weeks of hell dealing with her PMS). She's tried different birth control pills to help her mood swings, but it doesn't do much good. Also, she's tried to seek professional help. She has not tried any type of anxiety medication because she hates taking pills in general. She's made an exception for her birth-control pills.

 

The good aspects of our relationship are as follows: we're both very loyal and willing to work things out; at certain times of the month she finds my jokes funny-other times...not so much; our families get along for the most part; we're both pretty open-minded on things in general; sex is great during ovulation week but we struggle in PMS weeks for obvious reasons.

 

The bad aspects of our relationship are as follows: reasoning with her during PMS is like reasoning with someone who's drunk - sad but true; our communication lines break down in PMS and period weeks due to her anxiety during PMS and my resentment during her period week; I'm frugal and practical with money and while she's not a spendthrift, she doesn't like to track how we spend money - this drives me nuts; I'd like to have 1 more kid so our son is not an only child - we agreed upon 2 kids prior to marriage - she said she's done having kids despite her good health and getting an OK from her doctor because she thinks it's too much work at her age (I've offered to hire help) and we have relationship issues, etc.

 

I'm sure there are other good/bad aspects or important background info that I inadvertently omitted. But this should be enough to get us started. I welcome feedback from both of you, so please respond or ask clarifying questions if needed. Thank you!

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Since Elliott hasn't responded yet, I'll ask some other questions to take the exploration a little further. However, I'd be surprised if the counselor you had already didn't ask the same questions already. But one concern I have about marriage counselors is that almost every licensed therapist of any sort (and pastoral counselors and alcohol/drug certified and other unlicensed counselors) who is or ever was married thinks they know how to do marriage counseling, even if they've only had one 6 hour continuing education seminar toward their biennial license renewal requirements (typically 30 hours).

 

There are many different approaches in this field, but one that is not very helpful is "Rogerian nondirective" counseling: in which the counselor does not offer any expert knowledge but only basically repeats back what the clients have said, asks if that's what the speaker intended to get across, and agrees with them, while sometimes emphasizing what they FEEL as expressed within what they're saying. This is called "active listening" or "360 degree listening." A great many marriage counselors still believe that teaching the marital partners to use this "active listening" between themselves, without a therapist to referee their exchange and make sure that a listener has not misconstrued the speaker's intended message, is a good way to calm down couple conflicts and foster empathic connection and thus solve the couple's problems in the long term--since almost any layperson will repeat the divorce clichee that "our communication broke down." IT'S NOT VERBAL COMMUNICATION, IT'S EMOTIONAL SAFTETY & CONNECTION.

 

In 1996 I heard the master researcher into couple conflict, John Gottman, present his research results in Seattle at the International Society for Study of Personal Relationships: From both questionnaires and videotaped couple interactions he found that of those couples who had been taught the active listening techniques, only 6% were able to use them effectively in a personal conflict situation! And that was true also for couples who were both trained therapists!

 

So if you believe that you came away from your couple counseling (how many sessions?) with little or no new knowledge and no skills that you could make work, then you either quit too soon, or you were not exposed to an effective approach.

 

As I read it, You have written that your wife's emotional reactions are uncontrollable for 2 weeks prior to her period, and she won't take any psychoactive medications to dampen their fluctuations. For your part, you have become so reactive yourself to the frustrations of your interactions that your seething hostility continues to set her off during the one or two weeks in which her hormonal condition is not already volatile.

 

Is that accurate to your report? Would your wife agree that she has had very significant mood alterations prior to her periods for many years prior to your marriage as well as since? Does your wife know that you are trying this route of seeking advice online? Could you invite HER to describe the cycle of your runaway arguments from her own perspective? Would it sound the same as yours? Or would the implied stigmatizing of her female hormone cycle embarrass her so much that she would have no idea about what she could say that would not be turned against her as proof that her body chemistry is the first cause of everything?

 

Nobody can cope well with a detailed indictment that shows they are not in control of their own mind and emotions, because that is a shame scenario to which anger and self-blame are practically the only responses normally possible.

 

Your system declares that only a gynecologist and/or a psychiatrist can salvage your marital interaction. I suggest that you try a particular kind of marital therapy, on the off chance that what you've perceived as caused by your wife's hormonal fluctuations might be maintained and even worsened by the habitual cycle of negative emotional exchanges, so that it's now the "vicious cycle" that is in control of your intimacy, and empathy is now almost impossible most of the time.

 

There is a specific type of highly trained marital therapy that targets these specific "vicious cycles" for 8 to 15 sessions. It's goal is to penetrate the surface emotions in a gradual way that leads to the underlying emotions that actually yearn for the safety of secure and empathic attachment. I'd venture to guess that at this point the mutually punishing reactions that you have to each other greatly increase and even outweigh the reactions originating in her hormonal fluctuations. So the careful and highly empathic work of a skilled Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist should succeed in bringing your intimate relating to an even more rewarding and trusting connection than you had at the beginning of your marriage, when you hadn't yet been tested by the storms of parenthood.

 

IF the EFCT professional finds that pharmacological intervention should be tried, perhaps your wife will be more open to it when she feels that her emotional responses are respected AS THEY ARE, without being reduced in validity to mere manifestations of biochemical imbalance.

 

You can locate therapists who are paying members of International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy by going online to ieefct.com. However there are many other therapists who have had the training (as I have) and may also have worked with other approaches as well, which goes for the listed therapists too.

That means that if you don't live near anyone listed online, you can still call around to licensed psychologists, marriage&family therapists, clinical social workers, professional counselors or mental health counselors and ask them how they work with couples. I'd advise you NOT to tell them at the outset that you're looking for an EFCT (which is NOT a government license, but a private training system). For the default therapy system these days is "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy," but it is NOT a good fit for your issues. It rides on the basic assumption that if we'll just correct our faulty thinking, then we'll change the way we feel. That model may fit the way most MEN think their feelings should work, but it's not the way feelings in most marriages actually do work. Apparently not in yours.

 

Far too many therapists will tell you over the phone whatever they think will get you to come in for a session. So I'd be cautious about mentioning EFCT if they don't bring it up with some pride in their skills. If you mention emotions in general, and they emphasize "communication" or something else instead, then I'd advise you to keep them on your list but also keep calling other therapists.

 

One other question I'd advise you to ask: "I've been told that many therapists are required to have a significant amount of personal therapy to be certified by their training system, and many others have chosen personal therapy for their own development. These people understand therapy from both the practitioner's and the client's experience. What do you think about this perspective?" Some counselors may tell you they had "some counseling" to qualify for their grad degree. But if they're evasive about how much, it's usually been 6 sessions or less; and that's basically useless. For if they only attended the minimum required of them, then they probably avoided getting into any issues that they'd have to become truly vulnerable to work on and would have to "work through" before they were actually finished--so they don't really know what it takes to do more than simple problem solving. [It would help if the therapist had also experienced couples therapy for themselves, but that's less likely than is individual therapy for those seeking the personal psychospiritual development that that the great religions and psychotherapies all aspire to.

 

Your marital problems are not simple, unless your wife will become sufficiently docile on psychiatric anxiety or mood disorder meds, so you can sail through your months without more returns of the vicious cycles you've been maintaining for several years already.

 

I didn't intend to preempt the approach Elliott will take. But when your description was entirely focused on a very habitual repetition of highly unsatisfying emotional interactions whose subject content was unimportant compared to their emotional charge, my own expertise (tho not limited to EFCT by any means) led me to suggest EFCT as the most carefully targeted approach to your issues--tho it may lead to concurrent hormone-management medications. And your wife can be convinced thru the very respectful EFCT approach that what you perceive as her hormone-based volatility is NOT the sole basis for your couple patterns (eg. what was her menstrual experience like before you married? and before you had your child?) and therefore NOT solely "her fault." In fact EFCT clearly labels the "negative interaction cycle" as the patient in marital therapy, NOT either partner, and the goal of slowing down the repetitive interaction to open it up down to its core emotions is to reveal and honor the key emotions that are naturally seeking secure attachment and defending against hurt, shame, fear and loss.

 

I'm sorry to write so much. But I want you to understand HOW a really well designed couple therapy would approach your specific issues, in case the counselor you saw in person didn't have a clear treatment plan to show you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your detailed response. As for marital counselors’ qualifications, I totally understand what you mean. There are many charlatans working in the financial services industry too. They get a Cracker Jack designation and start talking to clients like they’re experts. Their clients usually suffer in the end, while the advisor lines their own pockets.

 

My wife and I have seen two therapists. One had a PhD and seemed experienced, and the other one was working on her PhD. For the PhD, my wife saw her individually probably 20 times, and I saw her 2-3 times by myself, and then we went together about 6-8 times. It wasn’t getting us anywhere, and the PhD told us she couldn’t help us further. I think she used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

 

For the grad student we saw, I think she was divorced and remarried with a kid or two. She did have experience with marital counseling, but her inexperience with clients led us to go in circles. I think she used a combination of approaches. We saw the grad student about the same number of times as the PhD, except I believe we had fewer joint sessions (maybe 5). We stopped going because it seemed like a waste of time. I had clearly told the grad student what our prior experience was with the PhD and that I didn’t want to repeat it. But we ended up in the same place, except that we stopped going instead of being told that we couldn’t be helped further by the therapist.

 

To answer one of your other questions, while having a therapist understand therapy from both the practitioner and client’s perspective is a good thing in my opinion, it needs to be coupled with good training and experiences. Our grad student situation was a good example.

 

What do you think of John Gottman’s materials? I may have started listening to one of his audio books from the library a few years back, and I was turned off by something (not sure what though). But if there’s anything from him that is applicable to our situation, I’d like to hear about it. Also, my wife and I tried reading “Fighting for Your Marriage” by Markman, Stanley and Blumberg (2010), but we didn’t get far. Usually we were too tired to read much and eventually gave up. It came with a DVD in which I believe couples were videotaped discussing things or having conflicts. The DVD also talked about their PREP system. Anyway, I wasn’t sure if you heard of these authors, their work and the PREP system. If you don’t think it would be appropriate for our situation, please let me know.

 

You had asked whether your description of our interactions was accurate. For the most part yes, but when she starts to warm up to me after she gets her period, I don’t exhibit seething hostility but rather I'm just not receptive to her. My mild hostility is reserved for the two weeks when she has PMS. :-) During her PMS, my wife is in denial about what affect it has on our relationship. After PMS she doesn’t really want to talk about it, and I don’t either to be honest. I’m just glad the storm has passed.

 

As for how her PMS was prior to our marriage, I remember her saying (after we were married) that it was bad. One month seems to be worse than the other (I think it’s because of alternating ovaries each month). But the stress of life events (moving into larger house in ‘07, losing job in ’08, and kid in 2010, hosting small parties, lack of sleep, etc.) definitely seems to exacerbate things.

 

My wife doesn’t know yet that I’m reaching out for advice online. I was going to involve her but thought it might be best to let it play out in front of a trained therapist. I think what you said about implied stigmatization would be true for her. But I may ask her to describe our cycle of runaway arguments, and then I’ll share it with you.

 

I agree with your statement that the mutually punishing reactions may be greater than the PMS itself. At this point, certain things I say or do trigger reactions in her during PMS, even though she’s fine with them during non-PMS. Also, certain things she does during PMS trigger reactions in me. We have a lot of arguments with similar themes during her PMS.

 

I checked out the site (http://www.iceeft.com/, not ieeft.com) but didn’t find a certified EFT therapist in our area or even state. So I will enact the Plan B you mentioned. If there’s anything else you’d suggest for EFCT, please let me know.

 

One final thought on our situation, my wife is an extremely light sleeper – to the point where we can’t even sleep in the same bed because my rolling over at times or heavy breathing (she calls it snoring) wake her up. Also, if she doesn’t have uninterrupted sleep, she feels as if she barely slept at all. For instance, she could sleep for a total of 8 hours but needed to get up once halfway through her sleep, and then she would consider it a terrible night’s sleep. We’ve tried ear plugs for her to no avail. Even with me sleeping in a spare BR, she still hears me walking in the hallway, running water or whatever, and this wakes her up. It’s maddening. Anyway, the grad student therapist made a big deal about us sleeping in different rooms. What’s your take on this? Please let me know. Thanks again!

 

BTW...I have no problem adding a bonus or rating you multiple times for your time and effort as you help us work through this.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

While I appreciate your offer of a bonus, I KNOW I won't be able to duplicate the painstaking work of EFCT that I could do in person. I'm only 30 hours after tooth extraction now, so not feeling good enough to delve in again. Gottman's new marital therapy approach and PREP are not going to be the help you need. I only brought up Gottman because a lot of therapists think active listening is the key and Gottman debunked that over 16 years ago, but many still haven't got the memo.

 

Where do you live? There might be another type or two of therapists who could help. Do you know if either of those well-intentionede & well-trained therapists (just wrong training for your issues) ever worked with your wife on her shame associated with the powerful effects of her period? She could have a really ROTTEN pubertal and teenage experience. She had a lot of individual sessions, but that doesn't guarantee that the therapists knew enough about the power of shame to make it possible for her to be open to qualified medical intervention to give her a more menstrual cycle.

 

That's all for now.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I hope you're feeling better by now. To answer your question, we live in a suburb of Cleveland. Any help in finding a suitable local practitioner for us would be appreciated.


 


I'm not sure if either of those therapists helped my wife with any potential shame associated with her periods. I'd ask her now, but she's in PMS-mode and driving me crazy. We had a major blowup tonight. Luckily, our son was asleep while we were in another part of the house, so it didn't wake him up. She was upset about something minor, and it got ugly. After I cooled off, I made an attempt to talk with her calmly. But I had to walk away because I was getting frustrated. Then she came to talk with me. We got past the issue, but every time this happens it inflicts damage on our relationship. And the sad thing is that it's usually over something trivial that takes on unwarranted significance during her PMS. Anyway, the sooner we get help, the better.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

There is one certified EFT in Cleveland, Christina Juguilon, LCSW, Cleveland VA medical center, tel(NNN) NNN-NNNN In addition there is Marlene Lefton, LISW practicing in Newbury & Willoughby Heights,(NNN) NNN-NNNN

 

I'm particularly concerned that your wife could have an extremely painful, shamefilled history with her period, and it may take a very sensitive approach to help her feel safe with that. Both of these being women helps.. Doesn't the issue of PMS come up in the very first session? It certainly should in EFCT. Shame and Fear are the core killers in intimate partnerships, with Shame fomenting Confusion, Withdrawal, Self-Blame, and also as defense: Attacking the other person. Other research has shown that before Every escalation in a couple fight comes a Moment of Shame (Hurt, Humiliation, Disappointment, Embarrassment, or Guilt). If your wife bears a load of shame from her PMS history, she's going to have hundreds of triggers for it, and certainly any mention of it would ring her bells.

 

I'm not so sure that EFT therapists are specialized enough in Shame by itself to have good methods for de-fanging it. But I am.

 

If you get practice in noticing when you have a "shame moment" without judging it good or bad, right or wrong, you can slow down some of your fights. You probably won't gain control once an escalation gets going, but you'll be able to notice when the first flicker happens before a brush-fire starts. So here's what you need to know.

 

Shame (as a family of emotions) occurs when either of the two positive emotion families, Interest/Excitement or Enjoyment/Joy is interrupted or impeded, but not yet extinguished. So if you're excited about something and you open your mouth to tell your wife, and she's preoccupied with something else, or even in physical or emotional pain inside of herself, then she won't reflect your interest back--so you're Disappointed, but you might not notice at first. You might do one or two of four evasive moves: They're called The Compass of Shame

 

Withdraw (leave the scene, take your attention completely away from her--and that could feel like insensitivity to her)

Attack-Self (blame yourself internally, think you were stupid, feel depressed, wish you hadn't opened your mouth) She might notice you're depressed and feel guilty for disappointing you, but then hate feeling guilty SO often.

Avoid (switch your attention quickly to something else completely that reignites your interest/excitement or enjoyment, like the TV or the Internet, the happy Dog, the Work you brought home to do) She would notice that you've gone away and figure that you Just Don't Like Her most of the time, that you don't want to be bothered with her--that would be Attack-Other on her part.

Attack-Other (think to yourself: there she goes again! I can never get through to her, it's like living with a mamabear! What a piece of work!) If she tries to get contact with you then, you're likely to show by tone or actions that you're down on her, and Now the Brush Fire Takes Off!

 

Now what you do is keep a notebook for every Shame-Moment vis-a-vis your wife (and her vis-a-vis you) for a week. You'll NEVER be able to count the Sh-Ms once a row gets started, so don't even try. It's the FIRST ONE of YOURS in a series that you'll jot down later. Often you won't notice Hurt, Embarrassment, Awkwardness, Shame etc, but one of the four poles of the Shame Compass will show up: You backed off or got REALLY cautious (Withdraw); felt stupid, out of place, unwanted (Attack-Self); switched away from her to something else or made a joke (Avoid); or thought something negative or smirked sarcastically (Attack-Other).

 

It's not Good or Bad that you had a Shame Moment, but it's Good that you've jotted it down afterwards, WITH the 1 or 2 or 3 compass responses you made.

 

You DON'T SHARE YOUR SHAME MOMENTS WITH YOUR WIFE, you DON'T KEEP SCORE. You're learning about how YOU feel and deal with those glitches in the positive feelings you crave so much with each other.

 

After several days you might start revisiting some of your habitual Shame Moments and experimenting mentally with other ways to respond instead of what you did. Shame Moments are very uncomfortable, but you can respond in at least two ways that may help in the relationship: 1. experiment with whatever might feel best to both you and your wife--that's a work in progress, or 2. act in ways that your own moral system bids you to act: like apologizing, like putting yourself in the other's shoes, even though she's SO different than you some of the time. [eg my wife has Chronic Pain, and that predisposes to emotional overload, which manifests as distress/stressed-out or Anger; but I don't have chronic pain except now, since 2 teeth were extracted on Monday]

 

Your wife is probably going to have a much bigger challenge dealing with this self-monitoring exercise than you, and she doesn't even know you're consulting online: Problem. So you could try it first for a week yourself. Then IF you've been able to make it work for yourself you'll be in better shape to present it to her--because you might already have a better handle on your own kindling points for the brushfires. If she does do it too, it would make sense to start with one of the "good weeks" between you.

 

Then it's going to be important to have a conference with me to go over your results. That's not very possible on this website, so you could look up my research article Low Dose Naltrexone for Disease Prevention online, since I'm the first author. Low dose naltrexone is a generic drug that stops flares and progression of autoimmune diseases, & strengthens both endorphin and immune systems. So it's also a mildly effective pain manager and antidepressant. But I'm not suggesting that you use it, just read the article.

 

EFCT doesn't use my exercise on shame monitoring, but you could still speak to the EFT person about shame and PMS to see how she responds. By the way I wasn't suggesting that a therapist could substitute having lots of personal therapy for having lots of good training, but that personal therapy indicates a commitment to viewing self-knowledge and self-development as a way of life and viewing oneself as a wounded healer, so dysfunctional issues are not presumed to be only present in one's clients.

 

My teeth hurt. Your comments are welcome. I'm suggesting that the Shame Moment awareness log might be good preparation for making the progress sooner that your dedication has deserved for some time.

 

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Now I'm going to shift gears and open up another line of interpretation & suggestions. I'll be brief, because I'm healthy enough today to mow the lawn.

 

In the tribal days of prehistory, men & women weren't expected to be each other's best friends or even be together all the time. Women all ovulated at the same time, so they also all PMSed at the same time. And they went away from the men (and some may have bit the heads off any men who came to spy on them). They lived with "women's mysteries" which might have been something more "mystical-mysterious" than what logical men could even care to understand. Female consciousness may be less linear-thinking and more global-intuitive/feeling than male consciousness, since men had to find their way far away from their village to hunt and find their way back, and women had to integrate all the hearts and souls of the children and adults in the settlement itself.

 

So maybe your wife's ferocious PMS is her own higher power showing her and you that she needs HER OWN SPACE for half the month--or at least infrequent contact with you at that time. She might have a "mystical-spiritual-religious" or creative-artistic component to her personality that has not been able to work its way to the surface because her visceral need for solitude was not honored in her family nor in your marriage.

She may need to go back to work, or "out" of her housewife role more than now BEFORE your son goes to elementary school. If you're a high-enough wage-earner that she doesn't "need" to work, then you could welcome her freedom to manifest her own personal creativity, spiritual aspirations and worth without expecting her to "earn" the right to self-development by bringing home significant wages. And a shared-play-group approach to caregiving pre-K sons and daughters would be better for THEM than just isolated mother-child dyads in isolated homes, an outcome of the death of villages and neighborhoods.

 

PERHAPS if you start pointing your future family life toward a greater independent role for your wife, you might find that her PMS is still present but less fierce, because its biologically inbred function is more fully actualized. I've been uneasy from the very beginning with focusing on your wife as if her PMS was THE PROBLEM and you were the well-meaning husband at his wits' end for helping her.

 

A lot of older couples no longer sleep together every night, but only occasionally, and older women AND men show on attachment style surveys that they are more Secure and more Avoidant (meaning that they have many other very good sources of self-fulfillment besides their partner and don't want to sacrifice as much of their self-directed activities to make their marriage work as they used to)--and few to non are still clinging to their partner for dear life afraid s/he will leave them, even if they learned that anxious style of attachment from unreliable or unstable mothers in childhood.

 

Are you a "traditionalist" with regard to what your wife should do to earn the right to stay home with her son (and be bored)? Go ahead an blast me if you don't like where I'm coming from (tho the shame-moment work is valuable too), but please keep in mind that I've already offered you 2 other approaches that the other therapists probably didn't have in their medicine bags. I'm not committed to what you SHOULD do, but to maximizing your perspectives towards something that WILL work.

 

I saw the grad student (female) therapist's big deal about sleeping in separate rooms. After about 20 years of marriage my wife did the same thing with me. She's also a light sleeper, and HIGHLY SENSITIVE like your wife. Those are the natural ARTISTS and spiritualists. Get THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON and THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON IN LOVE by Elain Aron, and it could make a huge difference in your marriage. Even though it won't be what you thought you were signing up for when you married. You married late in life like my wife and I did, when this differentiation of oneself as an individual from others is further along than it is in your twenties. Elaine's books are a godsend for millions of (formerly known as "shy" "awkward" "misfit") artistic/philosophical deepthinking people. Take the HSP test online yourself; you might be one too, but in different ways than your wife. (High sensitivity means physiological/sensory awareness, and emotional reativity, and sensitivity to others (empathy), and rich inner life (reading, introversion, dreams, higher education). Elaine writes that 80+% of humanity is designed to be workerbees, warriors and businesspros, and 20+% to be poets, musicians, artists, educators, priests, therapists, advisors, sages to keep the others from zooming off a cliff or destroying the planet. So we've got more sensory/emotional acuity from the "lower animals" who can sense an earthquake coming before it comes and get scared and urgent about what needs to be changed before it's too late. But financial maqagement benefits from some intuitive acuity too, and even the warriors and hunters need a Native American scout.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses! I tried to respond earlier, but justanswer.com timed me out and I lost everything. I think this is a bug in their online application. It should know that I'm still active if I'm typing. Anyway, this response will be shorter since it's almost midnight and I'm tired.


 


One of the therapists you recommended (Lefton) has an office not to far from us. The certified EFT isn't too far either. I plan to call them both tomorrow to see if they have any appointments that fit with our schedules. Also, I'll check out your paper. Does your middle name start with M? Please send me a reply, and then I'll rate you and also provide a bonus. I want to make sure you're compensated for your efforts so far.


 


We can still correspond. But I need some time to review your recent recommendations and will probably have some follow-up questions before trying to implement them. Also, I'll let you know if we're able to meet up with either of the therapists you suggested. Thanks again!

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
I experience frequent wipeouts with JA too. I'm very frustrated with this company that's controlling my access to people in need, but I'm grateful for the many opportunities I've had to deal with dreams and relationships over the last 2+ years, and M does stand for my middle name, in fact my mother's scots clan. My online paper is a gift to potential millions of people who will control their autoimmune diseases, practically eliminate viral diseases and prevent some cancers, but you won't need it if you don't have relatives with autoimmune conditions. Has your wife been checked for Endometriosis? That makes periods much worse, and I think low dose naltrexone has had success with it (check out lowdosenaltrexone.com). I take it for osteoarthritis which hasn't bothered me in 7.75 years since I started "LDN." My neuroscience mentor coauthored the article, and all my work was basically prospecting several hundred research articles on Pub Med, after it worked for our daughter's untreatable connective tissue disorder--until she had another knee injury with so much pain that she had to go back on long-acting narcotics. But she's never gotten her migraines back, and her GI tract was fine until a year after quitting LDN. This old drug is a medical breakthru that's blocked because it would cost the Pharmaceutical companies their profits for Enbrel, Remicade, Humira and other still-patented money-makers. By the way, Elliott, who is usually online much more than I am (because I have to take care of errands for both wife (Sciatica, cancer-treatment sequelae, memory shot from medical errors nearly killing her) and daughter) saw later what was passing between us and wrote to praise me, as I have done for him too.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello! Just curious...what led you to suggest Marlene Lefton, LISW? I was able to contact her, and it looks like my insurance will cover our visits. Also, she has evening hours a couple nights per week, which works well for my schedule. But I may still reach out to the certified EFT, Christina Juguilon, LCSW, if Marlene doesn't work out for whatever reason. But I was interested in how you picked Marlene. Please LMK. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Not sure why you closed out this discussion thread after I asked the follow-up question below. Please clarify.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
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