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Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I was in a marriage for 6 six years. I feel that my ex-husbands

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I was in a marriage for 6 six years. I feel that my ex-husband's family did not treat me respectfully, XXXXX XXXXX they interferred in our business at a very unhealthy level. I feel that they were very insecure and paronoid people.

During the marriage, I carried my ex-husband on my health insurance for very long periods of time and spent a lot of money doing so. I also took us on several very nice vacations, bought both of us a gym membership, paid the cell phone bill for two cell phones, bought furniture, took both of us out to eat MANY times, and paid to decorate what once was a VERY junky bachelor pad. I also did not demand that we have children.

We are divorced now, and now I feel that I was TOO good to my ex-husband and his hillbilly family. The red flags were there that there would be interferance in the marriage if I went through with it. I feel that my ex in-laws were extremely miserable people. Toward the end of the marriage it was to the point that I really did not want to be around them because everything has to be their way or the highway.

In retrospect, I think I dated several ppl in the past that wanted everything their way, and then blamed things on me when it didn't work out. I was hoping when I got married, that I would marry into a classy family with people that know how to treat a female. I really think that they failed me in not caring about my feelings.

In looking back, I will be very honest: I hate my ex in-laws and my ex husband and I do not wish them one ounce of happiness. I do not like to hate ppl, but I really would not care if all of them got hit by a bus tomorrow.

Is it wrong to feel this way? I feel this way because I do not feel I was a appreciated. I am a Libra and Libras like to feel appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
Hello. The most important issue here is that you continue to dwell on the past and analyze a former relationship, how he and his family treated you and the things you did for him and comparing it to your own standards. You have to stop thinking about these things in this way because you are holding onto them and causing you to carry this baggage with you on a daily basis. It is quite likely it can interfere with your present and future relationships with yourself and with others. While it is not wrong to feel the way that you do, because feelings are feelings, you can't help them, you must learn to look to the future. Your perspective on the past relationship may or may not be 100% accurate, it is your point of view and there is nothing wrong with having feelings that reflect this, however your concern has to be with being able to let it go. At this point in your life, what does any of this matter? You are not with this person anymore, you do not have to socialize with his family, so why do you give them the power over you by holding onto them? You can hate them all you want or forgive them or anything in between, in any case, just concentrate on your future without him. Use the marriage as a lesson in your life and move on.
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1381
Experience: Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

BOY are you lucky you didn't have children! Count that as a blessing.

 

I am curious about how you came to marry someone who would treat you the way you feel you were treated. One the best things you can do for yourself when you're between relationships is to study yourself, specifically to understand where your tendency to date such people might have come from (of course ACCIDENT can't be ruled out: but you don't want that accident to happen again). I've studied the brain and I'm looking at the possibility that our cerebellum actually lays down patterns of our most significant early love relationships: father, mother and first long-lasting-committed love (or first husband), and these complex patterns act as control-modules that guide our thoughts, feelings and behavior in later love relationships. So was either father or mother in some significant ways a taker-not-giver type of person? Or if father was absent or very dysfunctional, unfortunately his offspring (esp daughters) may have an unconscious belief that they need to take anybody they can get if they seem to be better than what they got at home.

 

As part of getting ready for a Different kind of person to relate to, I'm suggesting you work with a counselor/psychotherapist who knows how to help you study your significant loves and THEN to build up your conscious awareness of HOW you'll notice whether somebody new is fitting one of your ingrained primary relationship patterns. Highly experienced or researched psychologies differ somewhat on how much you can change these prior guiding patterns. But one thing you can definitely do is to get clear on what your own "old-script" patterns are, so you can notice yourself slipping into the current of one such tendency and then "swim upstream."

 

With reference to your strong hatred for what you experienced, I'd say some of your glowing anger might be well aimed at one of your parents too, and then that anger can be converted into your own energy for change. While prayer might help you move towards forgiveness, it won't change your unconscious tendencies in relationships. (Like maybe your mother was a great giver who tried to fix your father, and you thought you could do that and have even better success than she did.) Generosity is good, but in intimate relationships Love has to be in balance with Power for a healthy result.

 

Nobody's perfect, and I'm suggesting that a good solid course in studying yourself would give you knowledge and skills to manage the imperfections we all have. It's an investment in getting the relationship you (consciously) want the next time around.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I agree with you in that sometimes the best way to analyze relationship or even friendship patterns is through analyzing yourself rather than the past relationship.


It could have been that I met my ex-husband too soon after a long term relationship that wasn't exactly good. Also, I was about to turn 30 when I met him, and maybe I just felt like I was gettiing old.


 


I think what could have been driving my engine to make the marriage work is that the religion I grew up in doesn't advocate divorce, and I really don't believe in divorce myself however in this day in age divorce happens because there are so many variables that can interfere in a marriage that are sometimes beyond a human's control.


 


It had gotten to the point that it became a one sided marriage because my in-laws did not seem to have the class to know that we were adults and not to interfere. It got to the point that I was getting so physically and emotionally tired of their BS. Also, my ex-husband started cussing me out when they did interfere rather than being my hero and standing up for me and the marriage.


 


I was raised in a religion where their is pressure to be a perfect person. The religious background did contribute to making me a good person, but I think it also influenced me to always be nice instead of standing up for myself like I should.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

WellCustomer you've got a start on understanding your neuronal patterns, and your relationship history is one of them, as is your religious culture. It's actually quite normal to dive into a new relationship right after a long one: because we get strongly attracted to someone who seems to automatically "heal" (more accurately "soothe") our wounds from the broken relationship: generic (companionship, desirable?) and specific ("Am I intelligent? Understanding? Attractive in the right places?") [these are just examples of ways we could be wounded. But after 6months or so the soothing has done its job, and then we may discover that we've been blind to the rest of our "perfect4me new love." This is an area that required relationship history research, not brain research.

 

If your former ex-BF was your first great love, then how you felt about and dealt with him could be a brain model that will influence your future loves WITH or Without your awareness, so it's better to have the awareness.

 

You have inquired at a site populated by trained psychologists, so you're going to get the best we have to offer. So far it's "put that behind you" and from me "don't just put it behind you, but use being single again as an impetus to understand what you liked and disliked about ex-BF (before exhusband) and how you learned to feel think & act, and add your earlier love relationships with mom & dad. Besides the evidence from 100+ years of Freud & Jung & deep psych-based systems, I'd summarize research evidence from my 2000 textbook Love & Intimate Relationships regarding parents: men unconsciously look for a woman that feels similar (as good and bad) to their mothers; women look for a man like their fathers, but also UNCONSCIOUSLY expect a lot of the same close relating as they got with their mothers. So women (if they had a mostly "good mother") are more likely to be disappointed with love than men. "Unconscious" means we won't understand what's driving us behind our conscious intentions without pretty careful detective work over months, and thereafter ongoing on our own--with dreams being one of the better keyholes to look thru.

 

Perhaps you don't believe in "therapy" -- but studying your past loves is very specific, and many counselors trained since deep unconscious training went out of fashion in about 1950-60 don't know how to explore that, and haven't explored what's unconscious in themselves--so naturally They "don't believe in going back to the past." I don't need to persuade you to explore that, but I do believe in pointing towards that much neglected part of the truth about human nature, when it would definitely help you to "swim against the current" of unconscious patterning. I must admit tho, that it's a kind of education (& self-awareness) that most people don't want to have.

 

I used my own "teachable moments" between relationships to begin studying my own history over 30 yrs ago, and since then I've studied a few thousand written histories--which I can present here more briefly and crisply than I did in my textbook.

 

I'm in the South myself, newly moved from Florida to Atlanta, where I'm very happy with the warmth of race relations.

Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 970
Experience: Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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Dr. Norman Brown
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Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples