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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1162
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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For: azureoceans In my seemingly normal state of confusion

Customer Question

For: azureoceans

In my seemingly normal state of confusion regarding the situation with Joe. Does it appear that he truly came home to be with me and be my husband again or did he just return home to save money? Is he still continuing the relationship he had when he left? Why does he seem soo distant. Says he loves me but doesn't act like it.....I don't know how to address the things that are not being said between us....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Are you asking for a psychic to answer your question? Or is Azureroceans a relationship counselor?

Dr. Norman Brown :

It is normal for spouses to feel very touchy after an absence of even a week, let alone a month or more. It's like each person's emotional being is enclosed in an egg shell, or multiple egg shells, with no established protocol for how to get them to open up. A great outburst of sadness, like grief at a genuine funeral, would be the most likely to ease the transition. . . . . perhaps beginning with something like "I've really missed you."

Dr. Norman Brown :

But the chances are that neither of you will even be able to say that, because YOU're already feeling so hurt that he's been cheating with another women that such opening up of your defensive eggshell could easily be more than you could bear.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Then your husband, if he is not a Psychopath (who knows only power and powerlessness, not Love), would be feeling GUILT for what he's done to you. So unless he can confess to that guilt and feel POWERLESS to make your normal & justified hurt go away, he could feel trapped inside of his shell.

Dr. Norman Brown :

So you're both trapped inside of your shells. And a psychopath will only be able to fake the words of love, because the powerlessness (to make it all better) that he would feel if he's returning after a(nother?) episode of adventurous cheating is not something he could tolerate.

Dr. Norman Brown :

So you could ask him--in writing or in person--it he feels REMORSE for cheating on you. And if he says he does, what is he going to do about it? If you don't feel able to speak those words, OK. Then write them and send them to him or leave him a note. Can you give him those 2 questions to answer as his way of stepping over the threshold of your house to rejoin you? If you can't even write those words to him, then you are not giving him a threshold to step over, no action that he can attempt to reach through his shell to contact you. SO your togetherness may remain icy and awkward until something else happens to distract you from the truth between you.

Dr. Norman Brown :

If you feel completely helpless to confront him, then perhaps he really IS a psychopath. And perhaps you didn't seem to deserve much love during your childhood either, at least from men. You have been extremely active asking questions on this site. So hopefully other experts have been of sufficient encouragement to keep you going.

Dr. Norman Brown :

I hope you weren't just expecting a psychic to tell you what's happening with your husband. For that removes the necessity of you acting on your own behalf to find out your answer. And if you don't DO or SAY anything that he has to respond to, you are not carrying any power. That leaves him holding ALL of the POWER, and no relationship can be balanced and satisfying under those circumstances. I look forward to reading what you have to say.

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