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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1678
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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How can I make my relationship better?

Customer Question

How can I make my relationship better?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
With my boyfriend
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 7 months ago.
Tell me about yourself and your relationship, so I can advise you. (Age sex, length of relationship, living situation; what happens that frustrates you.) It DOES take 2 to make Relationships better. But if you change what YOU do and say, the other person will have to respond in some way. It takes a lot of courage to bring about change. But it is possible.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I'm 20 he's 23 we have been together for over two years and we live together. We get mad at each other over simple little things that shouldnt be argued about. When I ask him to help me do anything it acts like it kills him or I get yelled at just because he doesn't want to do anything at the moment.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Some days we are great and others it's like we are never going to get through the day...his mother passed away about a year ago and he has acted different ever since I try being there but most the time he just pushes me away
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 7 months ago.
You are very intuitive about his emotions, and you're trying to work around a man who is unfamiliar with and afraid of his own emotions. I wonder if he uses alcohol, excessive work or marijuana to manage his life. You could be correct that avoiding his grief over losing his mother (esp if she was a single mother) is making him very dodgy about dealing with anything involving emotions with you. You don't have to blame yourself for being unable to cope with his moodiness. Is there anybody YOU could talk to about his losing his mother that might be wise and clever enough to talk to him and draw him out?You are in a very difficult period for your partnership, because normally romance and sexual passion last for 2 to 3 years (so in pre-birthcontrolpill days you could birth and wean one infant) before they subside enough to let unresolved problems become emotional wounding leading to breakups and making it possible to move on a then start over with somebody else.It will not be your fault (only, or even mainly) if your relationship dies in this way. I'm guessing that your boyfriend is a typical non-college-educated male who's way too defensive about what a "real man" does with his own emotions (other than Excitement, Anger and Disgust: all the others are denied) to accept a recommendation to talk to a pastor or counselor about his feelings about his mother.Unless it comes from an older man who he respects and reveres.Let me know what you think about what I've written here, and we can go on from here to more possibilities. What kind of a man is his father--if you know him?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 7 months ago.
I may leave soon to do errands for my wife & daughter who I care for. But I'll keep checking between home tasks and responding. Often distracting myself with other tasks (or asking my retired-counselor-wife what she thinks) helps me reach further into our long history as psychologists for more ways to nudge your process forward.It is EXTREMELY common for blocked emotions to build up (esp if they include distress, grief, fear, self-reproach, etc.) until they come out as anger at the slightest irritation. So it's quite possible that's what's going on with the two of you--esp him.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Well I know he doesn't drink or do any type of drugs but he does play a play station to keep his mind occupied I could you could say, there isn't really anyone that he talks to her with about besides his cousin but at times I think he does more harm than good when he talks with him about her. He will say stuff to me like oh mama would of liked this or I wish she could see this but I have no clue of what to say to him when he says stuff like that I usually just say I know she would or that she's always with you but it doesn't really get him to talk much afterwards. And he hasaid some college education and wants to go back to get his cdls but he doesn't try to show his emotions he trys to hide them and I tell him not to and to talk to me but he just pushes away or tries to say nothing is wrong with him. His mother was like our go to person if we had problems going on I would talk to her about them and then she would talk to him and the problem or issue would dissappear. His daddy lets his emotions out and talks all the time about anything and everything
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
And ok thank you so much for going to try to help me with this
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 7 months ago.
So if his mother was his counselor, he's now missing out on that--but he might wish he could talk to her about some things now and then. You could ask him if he ever talks to her now about things that he has questions about. If he doesn't get too moody about that question, you could tell him that sometimes people who have passed away come back in dreams to help out their loved ones. (You might have to mention these ideas on different occasions with some space in between.) Then you could tell him you know a guy who helps people translate the wisdom in dreams about people who've died to the people who've dreamed them. (That's me. I'm not a psychic; I'm a psychologist and family therapist who's interpreted over a hundred and fifty dreams of encounters with the dead on this website alone. More often than not, when a deceased person returns in dreams her guidance is aimed at helping her loved one with his grief process and what he needs from her to carry on with living.) This is another way you might get him in touch with guidance to help your relationship thru this important growth step for him and your relationship.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 7 months ago.
It's not unusual for him to be withdrawn and depressed (& irritable) at this time--it's just that a shutdown of any self-dialogue or dialogue with a teacher/pastor/father figure can lead to mor3e estrangement than you can stand. (You questions about whether he ever still talks to his mother about issues could also lead to suggestion that he could write to her about stuff--and then put the letters somewhere secret--which is just what most people do when they have grieving to do: they take it to somewhere&/or someone secret.)
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
He has told me about dreams he's had before with her in them and he says he's sees her from time to time because she passed away at home which is where we live
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 7 months ago.
Do you think he might be curious about what a skilled dream interpreter could discover in any of his dreams about her--since the higher (aka divine) purpose of those dreams i to provide guidance for benefitting from the after-death part of his relationship with her? Or might suggesting such an online conversation (or phone conversation thru JustAnswer) raise suspicions (that some socalled expert would try to make him believe something different about what's happened in his dreams than HE believes?) All dreams are good dreams, because the Divine Power within us uses them to guide us on our unique path in life.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
He may be
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 7 months ago.
Then suggest to him that he send me one or two of his most detailed and/or surprising dreams with his mother in them, with their approximate dates, compared to when she passed away--and including any special thoughts or "sightings" he had had of her around those dreams, and I will go to work to interpret them. Since you've said she passed away in the house where you're still living together--and perhaps his very talkative (perhaps mentally off-balance) father is living there too--then it is possible that he is not letting go of his mother and letting her leave the family for the afterlife (perhaps even in agreement with his father). Whatever the process may be that is reflected in his dreams, interpreting them should help move it forward.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok he said he would be sitting there talking to her while she was on her deathbed but she would be raised up sitting outside of her body and they would be talking then all of a sudden it was the day she passed again with everyone around her and he would seem himself there but before she passed again she told him it was time to go and he walked down the steps and the. He woke up from it.