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Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
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I am 42, my partner 48. Weve been together for 5 years, and

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I am 42, my partner 48. We've been together for 5 years, and I am starting to feel less comfortable in our relationship. He is a sweet, kind man, and allows me a lot of space and privacy.
The problems I have is that he seems not very interested in my 13 year old son; I feel like I am in one house with two families: one with my son, as a single parent, and one with my partner. They don't mix.
Also, my partner doesn't want as much sex as I, and frankly, I am now feeling less attracted to him lately as well.
I am from a very different cultural background than he is.We live in his country - I moved here to be with him. That is fine, but he shows little interest in my country, and has even said once that he doesn't think he could go there, even for a week or two, because of the heat, mosquitoes etc. It hurts me that he seems to be so disinterested in such a big part of who I am.
He is not happy with where we live atm, he complains a lot about it being too noisy yet also he thinks there are not enough exciting things happening. In fact, very little is good. I worked hard to make our home and garden habitable -it was a mess when we moved in- and I am proud of that and I love it here. I also feel hurt that he doesn't appreciate this, and I feel bad because he had to move form his previous home which he loved because of my son and me. (It was way too small).

In short, I feel a bit disappointed and unappreciated, and I worry that my son will be harmed by living in a house with an adult who is not interested in him. (My son has a good relationship with his own dad, so my partner doesn't need to be a father - but a friend would be nice)

nphbrown :

I wonder what the 2 countries are that you're talking about, UK and what other country? Did your partner ever have children of his own? Or was he perhaps VERY comfortable living alone and quiet (for how long?) until he got interested in you. Was he ever married before? How do you think he feels&thinks about about your exhusband?

nphbrown :

Now I have to beg your pardon so I can go to sleep. I'm in Florida, and it's 4:30 am here. But please ask for me again tomorrow, because I'll have time online again, with afternoon my time being evening your time. I'm wondering how much of your issues are cross-cultural, how much financial. ;You should be in the same stage of life, but I wonder if he's more reclusive and perhaps older than his chronological age. If English isn't your native language, I'll keep my thoughts simple. I also speak and write a few other languages, but none but German could be as good as you are with English.


I cannot reply until tomorrow


Thanks very much for your response so far.


Again, thank you for responding. I come from Suriname in South America, which is a country most people over here haven't even heard of. I also lived in the Netherlands for a long time before I came to the U.K. to be with my partner. He has been to the Netherlands. My mother used to live there, but now that she is retired she is moving back to Suriname, where all my closest relatives live. My partner tells me he was not happy living on his own; he was quite lonely. He also works from home and sometimes saw no one for days on end. He did love the location of his house though; it was very rural and he could go out for walks in the countryside whenever he wanted to. He complains quite a lot that that is not the case where we now live. We live in a small semi-rural town and in my opinion there are plenty of opportunities to go for walks, some immediately near our home and others -including the ones where he lived before, only a short bus ride away. But he says the walks near here are not quiet enough since he can still hear cars in the distance if the wind is right, and he does go with the bus, but that is of course a little more effort. That basically sums it up; he is dissatisfied, I try to suggest possibilities but he seems determined to remain dissatisfied. I think he may be mildly depressed, and I fear that even if we were to move home it wouldn't make a difference for his mood. He also complains that there aren't any live concerts to go to here, not enough football matches, and not enough buddhist activities (He is a buddhist). No, he never had any children, nor did he ever want to. He was not married before, and didn't have a relationship as long as this one before, but the same goes for me. I was not married to my sons' father,. we had known each other for a few years already before we got into a relationship. The relationship itself was a failure - we were better off as friends -but at least we had our son. I don't think my current partner has any strong feelings towards my son's father. We don't see him that often, as he lives quite far away. Financially I am quite dependent on my partner, which I don't like so much. I have my own income, but it is very little, and the house we live in is his. My partner is extremely introverted, and it is hard to talk with him about things like this, or about anything but football really. I must admit that I dread the day when my son moves out and my partner and I will be together. I tend to have in-depth philosophical conversations with my son -who is very bright- and I'd be a bit lost for conversations without him! BTW English is not my first language, but there is no need to keep things simple.

nphbrown :

HMM. You sound a little guilty for drawing him away from his ingrained lifestyle, but that assumes you don't have the right to be yourself and lead your life in ways that meet your needs rather than just his. You didn't say what your country and culture have been. I imagine he's English and you're Spanish. I suspected he might be a recluse who wants to have some human closeness, but not too often. And you didn't sign up for the thin diet of attention and intimacy that sends him back to his tower-room. You might both take the free Jungian Types test at, with a couple pages descriptive printout for each type. What sort of an Introvert is he? And you?There are characteristic strains and judgments of each type towards the others that might further objectify what's not fitting for you both. If you are much more extraverted than he and more feeling where he is thinking, your relationship may be in for increasing estrangement, unless both he and you can give you honest permission to go outside the home and develop a social life that is fulfilling for you. That might even risk you finding a man more suited to your energy and your relationship needs.

nphbrown :

Further if your boy doesn't see that much of his biological father, then he might get pretty difficult from now on thru adolescence, when he would be better served by a more interesting & interested male mentorship, and by not getting all of his parental intimacy from you. Perhaps the UK has a mentorship program for boys his age like the American "Big Brothers" to fill that natural masculine development need. If not, your son could search for himself, or you could ask your partner to help find an interest group that matches a key interest of him, and then ask around if any young man in his 20s or 30s, or a father who never had a son interested in "following in his footsteps."

nphbrown :

It was customary in the Middle Ages for boys who didn't inherit their father's lands or want to follow their father's trade or profession to bond with an uncle instead. Or the boy could be apprenticed to a reputable guildsman or professional who would teach, mentor and inspire him in ways his father could not. And equally important, during his adolescence & apprenticeship the boy would not be competing with this uncle or mentor for his mother's time and attention.

nphbrown :

I'm sorry I didn't see much of your reply to my questions before I began to answer what I did see. That's all I have time for tonight. Ask for me again tomorrow if you want to discuss these issues further.

nphbrown :

This chat format frustrates me, so I'll switch it for the next discussion. You and your man have the classic anglosaxon vs tropical-blood attraction & repulsion. The Jungian Types could help, and help me counsel you further if you can report both yours and your husband's results to me. Don't get your son tested. You need to keep your couple separate.

nphbrown :

But his dissatisfaction with life could represent a fundamental loss of joi de vivre that reflects a failure to develop some aspects of himself that he now needs to continue with a meaningful and growing existence. He's introverted, so he might take to Jungian analysis, that focuses on finding meaningful life paths in midlife, on integrating inner symbolic forces to free up momentum for new growth, and uses dream work as a vehicle for discovering aspects of oneself that have gone unnoticed and undeveloped before. If he's that bothered by even a hint of car sound, he's highly sensitive, and thus potentially very interesting and reflective, perhaps artistic. We have some books about the glories of solitude written by deep introverts--and my therapist/jewelry-artist wife loves those books. I'm more balanced introvert--2 phd's means lots of alone time, but love of teaching and dream groujps is more social than my wife wants. But it's easier for a very introverted woman to be comfortable with her man going outside for people-contact than for a very introveted man to be comfortable with the roles reversed. One of the books, called A Party of One, advocates couple lives with occasional tete-a-tetes between stretches of separate room, dwelling. We have that now, because my wife's chronic pain leads her to stay up most nights, while I want to sleep and rise earlier--tho I'm not succeeding now, because the opportunities to be the first to find people like you are far greater at night (it's 2:11am now).

nphbrown :

There is a generic drug I've researched because it's highly beneficial for autoimmune diseases, and a mild antidepressant, and also very successful for increasing the rewards of social interaction. I'll write about it next time, tho I'd like a bonus if you can afford it.

nphbrown :

I love this answering, even tho the pay is very low, because I get to download a lifetime of people watching and psychology & european culture study as it applies to each unique person who writes to me. I lived 5 years in Europe during my college years, living in Germany, Greece, Spain, SW England (Devonshire), & French Switzerland, and repeated hitchhiking & walking tours of Italy, France, Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Scandanavia--in that descending order of amount of time spent, and all with great appreciation. I had a student from Suriname in a Freshman college folklore class in 2005, Morgan Hill, who was so handsome he made your eyes hurt. A demain

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you again. I am not quite familiar with this site and how it works. Would it be best to wait with accepting your answers and then give a bonus for the extra time? I certainly can afford it; we have a low income but even lower expenses. Or should I accept now and just pay for another question?
I am not quite Spanish; I am a bit of a muddle. Suriname -which has the official language of Dutch- has a very diverse population. I am mostly white, but I do seem to have the South American temperament. I am very emotional, and admittedly I can be unstable. Fortunately, after meeting three of my partner's previous girlfriends I can safely say that he is drawn to highly emotionally expressive, unstable women!
I think he has deep emotions but can't express them, and he partly uses me to express himself somehow. I don't mind that.
I am not particularly social, I don't much enjoy group activities. Hence, I work for myself, as a childminder and a writer. (One earns a tiny handout and the other nothing (yet)) Of course for my work as a childminder I am dependant on the house, and since it is my partner's, a break up would mean that my son and I wou be homeless and I out of work. In the current economical climate it may be hard to find a job!
I am incredibly grateful that my partner gives me the opportunity as well as the financial security to write. He has also given me the emotional security to do so, by being completely non-judgemental about my many quirks. He is a very good, kind person, with high moral values. I admire him in some ways, and I do love him very much, but I'm not sure if I want to stay with him forever - which I did want initially. I do find myself being interested in other men; mostly men that are my age or a little younger, and seem to have broader interests.
I was a single parent on very low wages for eight years before I came to live with him. We were rather poor the first two months of our relationship, but then he got a (long overdue) payrise and an inheritance, and now we are comfortable. I enjoy that -it is an amazing experience to just be able to go and buy a coat when you need one-, but I do feel guilty about mainly living of his possessions and income. And I feel guilty about causing him to live somewhere where he doesn't like it. Yet I don't really want to consider moving until my son had done his exams, which is in two years.
I fail to understand why he is so dissatisfied, and I find it hard to accept, and a little hurtful. He is a buddhist, and buddhist teachings advocate to let go of desires and attachments, so you will find contentedness, yet he seems to always want something he doesn't have.
His oversensitivity to sound also means that I am often disturbing him. I suffer a bit from insomnia, often waking at 2 or 3 in the morning, and after lying awake for one to three hours I really want to get up rather than lie in bed and be bored. Yet when I get up it disturbs him and he cannot do his morning meditation. I usually sit at the computer when I get up, so don't make a lot of sound, but every noise is too much for him.

I can't imagine my son ever becoming difficult; he is an extremely reasonable child, and if he does get in a (teenage) strop he will usually understand why I make certain demands if I only wait until he calms down and then explain. Fortunately he has not inherited my emotional turbulance. He does have a good relationship with his father, he goes there three times a year for one to two weeks on end, and his dad comes to stay with a friend here approximately three times a year too, so they can do things together. So with concern to my partner I am mainly worried that his lack of interest will make my son feel insecure.

I'll see if I can persuade my partner to do the jung test.

Thank you very much for your forthright and mellifluous depiction of yourself and your partner. I too am a writer, which is what I first thought about when I first went to Europe at 18. At that time I couldn't come up with any decent story plots, except thru minding my dreams. That was 50 years ago this summer, and 3 years before my first unconscious hint that psychotherapy was my calling. I too am a writer, as evidenced by that "mellifluous" on the first line above. I've made some small $ from the textbook Love & Intimate Relationships since 2000, about $.05 per hour for the time spent writing and editing it. But I don't mind, because, as you probably know, the writing has to be its own reward. So you are very fortunate that your partner supports your passion. Understandable then, that you would want to support him in every way you can.


Perhaps a root of your relationship issues is lack of passion, which you perceive as not coming from inside of him. That's actually part of what I would hope a Jungian analysis of some months and focusing on dreams could reignite in him.


I just googled Jung & Buddhism, where there is a lot online, and some books on Amazon. Then the air conditioning repair guy called and I have to go to our therapy office to assist. But there are at least 3 texts that look good for introducing the cross-fertilization that could occur between Jungian and Buddhist approaches to mind and development. Self & Liberation, a potpourri of essays by bridge makers, and The Essence of Jung's Psychology & Tibetan Buddhism . . Moacanin, who's one author in the S & L book.


Perhaps Passion is a central issue in the confrontation of E & W spirituality, Buddhism & Jung (where passion is Eros, and the inner feminine in men, that "leads us onward" (Goethe's Faust Pt II).


But I'll have to check back in later. A bien tot

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My partner kindly took the test, in spite of being very busy with work. :-)

He scored I 67, N 62 F 62 J 33

My score was I 67, N 75 F 88 P 44

I probably won't be able to write again until tomorrow morning! Nice to read that you write too; I tend to have the problem of getting too many story plots...

You're both exactly the same types as my wife (INFP with I, N, & F very dominant just like yours). With very dominant inward Feeling, you live in your own inner feelings like a fish in a secret sacred pond. You make decisions out of what feels right to you, but you don't let others know what you're really feeling that often. I had the problem with Pamela, that my Outward feeling expression was not met by hers. She's had to learn to bare her heart to me so I'll know she Really Does Love me, even tho it looks to me often like she just needs me to tend to the walls to protect us from the world, while she can hole up in her cloistered sacred space and practice her art, her imagination, and her prayer. I'll try out some of the Inferior Function interpretations out on you, as I have on her. She has 2 Inferior Functions, and you probably do too. Inferior outward directed Thinking -- so thoughts about the outer world can be underdeveloped and embarrassing if uttered before she's had a chance to approach the matter thoroughly. But when she's worked on those thoughts enough, she's very good. Our former teacher, INFP Jungian analyst XXXXX XXXXX never wrote anything until he was 51, and then it was the Episcopalian priest who'd invited him to give a talk about Parsifal as the symbol of sacred masculinity, recorded it, and then helped him to turn it into his first widely acclaimed book He. Now, around 90, he's still turning them out (around 15), and probably still by improvising a talk (Intuition) full of Feeling colors and then editing it.


Also, because she's really good with intuition about other people, she has a secondary Inferior (underdeveloped) inward directed Sensation, meaning that she doesn't have good awareness of her body. In fact, not only does she stay up all night most nights, but she doesn't recognize when she's either tired or hungry until those needs are way past due. Perceptive types procrastinate a lot, while Judgment Types like me and your partner prefer to adhere to previously planned performance.


INFJ is the Author, Teacher, Big picture Idea man. His interior Intuition is perfect for meditation and production of forward-looking ideas and plans. It's what I'm good at, so your partner should be also. but I'm almost equal I & E, because I've spent so many years (over 30) teaching a wide variety of subjects. You've said your man doesn't show much feeling, so his Feeling stays perhaps in his Buddhist cloistered interior space. He's more of a puzzle to me.


But one other thought about our similarities as couples: When they're younger, people unconsciously choose partners who seem to manifest what they don't yet manifest. Introverts choose Extraverts, Feelers choose Thinkers, Judgments seek Perceptionists

But if they get together later in life, they're more comfortable with somebody more like them. My wife and I met when she was 33 and I was 41. You two met (guessing) at 36 & 42.


But I've got to go do a face-to-face therapy session with an Indian pilot student who used to be in my dream interpretation group when I was still teaching last year. We're going to interpret 2 recent "ego-bruising dreams" and work on him gaining greater awareness of his complex nascent feelings, because they torture him until he can put them into words that make sense to him--and I'm asking him to put them into metaphors instead, because we can think in feeling-colored pictures as well as words. Arjun is a Christian and also an INFJ. I would prefer if you stuck to this one question for now, but gave me a bonus when we've reached an appropriate stopping point, because I now get thirtyfivepercent of your deposit, but eventyfivepercent of any bonuses. When I've finally come of age as a top level expert, I'll get fiftypercent and seventyfivepercent. So I'll soon have my own website where both Pamela&I can answer questions about dreams,relationships,depth psychology,etcetc.


I look forward to more discussion, so I suppose a stopping point needs to be achieved soon, so the management doesn't think we're doing real therapy instead of just education. And we're not doing real therapy, certainly not yet, if ever. But Pamela does Skype therapy (no visuals) with another former student of mine who's back home in Australia. Perhaps it's time for you to focus on where you want our exploration to go. And worrying about his flagging passion and your sinking attraction seems to be getting close, but not all the way in the door to where you'll want to go. What are the interests and passions that once drew you together? for sex is only the ground floor, not the spiritual upper rooms or the basement with its earthen creatures.

Dr. Norman Brown and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you again.<br/><br/>Indeed, my partner doesn't hsow muchfeeling, except with football! He was brought up in a loving, but very English stiff-upper-lip family, where showing feelings was a bit of an alien concept. My partner's brother is having therapy atm, and he mentions this as an issue for him. I know my partner has plenty of emotions; one can almost see tham boil inside -they just rarely come out. The only time he actually shows his deeper emotions is when I have an emotional outburst. <br/>He also loves physical affection (i don't mean sex, just through the day cuddles) but finds it hard to do this spontaneously. Now I don't mind that, I just wrote it down to illustrate the fact that he can't seem to express his feeligns. I on the other hand am very affectionate towards him, because it seems to cheer him up so much.<br/>I am worried about the lack of sex, but that is not my biggest problem. My biggest problem with my partner and this relationship is the situation with my son and the lack of in-depth conversations with my partner. <br/>I get very tired from being two families in one house, and I must admit I sometimes resent my partner for his behaviour in that matter. A few weeks ago we looked into a nearby karate class, because we all need more exercise, and both he and my son were very interested and positive and wanted to try it. So I signed my son up, and my partenr and I would then be allowed to try as family members. My son was lookign forward to that, but when the day came my aprtenr said he didn't want to, wasn't interested any more and he stayed home watching television. My son was dissappointed. Such things happen often. Also, when we go soemwhere with the three of us and it isn't exactly his cup of tea, my partner gets moody. He doesn't become nasty, but stops taking aprt in our outing and is clearly only waiting until we can go again, which doesn't do much for the fun my son and I could have. The last two years I have started to plan outings with my son and actually tell my partner not to come, because of this. I don't mind much going somewhere that I wouldn't choose myself, I tend to enjoy things quite easily. <br/><br/>I think my partner feels excluded from my son and me, but when I am not around he doesn't interact with my son either. My son and I have stopped speaking our own language when my partner is around, and I try to involve my partner in conversations. He also never wants to come to things in school, like performances or exhibitions. It would be a small effort as the school is only up the street.<br/>I find it hard to focus so much on involving my partner in my son's life. I do tend to protect my son, too, and leave my partner's presence if I think he is being too distant or uninterested. <br/>I did discuss this, and I can see my partner tries a bit now, and I also see how that delights my son. I find it very hard to bear that I have to 'sell' and promote my boy to my man. My son is really a lovely child. Ofcourse I am not objective, but the teachers never have a bad word about him either, and many good ones. (Except the IT teacher who seems to think -rightly so- that he is a little know it all! :))<br/>My partner admits that my son is a good kid. I think his lack of interest is hurting my son, and if my son were a less confident or more emotional child, or if he had no father, I would've left this relationship two years ago to protect him.<br/><br/>My partner is indeed muchmore a planner and more goal oriented than I am. This has advantages, but also downsides. We live in a beautiful part of the world, and like to go on walks. My partner always plans exactly in advance where we will go, and then zooms off to that particular point, paying hardly any attention to the surroundigns during the walk, while I tend to want to enjoy the journey and I don't mind so much where we end up. An added problem is that I can't keep up with my partner, he walks too fast. I usually hobble after him. My son then normally stays with me, and we end up having two different walks - one with my partner on his own and one with me and my son. This really hurts me, because I'd love to share the walk with him too, and I would want to enjoy that time together. .Even when my partner and I walk without my son, he tends to run ahead. <br/><br/>You askd whatonce drew us together. We met on an internet dating site for vegan/vegetarians. Not that our eatinghabits are our main attraction, but thsi site obviously attracted more people with similar life views as us. He responded to me, so I assumed he didn't mind me having a child. We have a very similar, non-conventional life views, and it can be hard to find someone who shares that enough to share your life with.<br/>I was attracted to him because he is so kind and because he has very outspoken opinions that I agree with and is not afraid to stand up for them. When he was younger he was into activism, which I see as a sign that he was willing to take risks for his convictions, and I admire that. Physically I was moderately attracted to him, it's never been great passion, but that to suited me fine then, because I was scared and insecure in that perspective. He never takes the initiative, which makes me feel safer, but by now also a bit undesirable. He was attracted by my opinions as well, and by my looks. Later, when we met, I think he fell for my emotional behaviour too.<br/><br/>Initially he was okay with my son, and I thought they'd grow closer as time went on. Instead, they grew apart, and that is driving a wedge between me and my partner too. <br/>

I'm sorry this response is so long in coming. Our Internet connection was broken for around 42 hours, along with 2.5 days last week. And we don't have much chance of dwelling in a silent countryside as you are doing. I have preferred living in a small cabin and hiking in mountains every day--Alps or Appalachians--when I can live Alone with just my writing and dream notebooks for intimate company. I take vacations away from home, while Pamela prefers to hole up in her bedroom every day. But I haven't been able to afford either the time or the travel expense since Summer 2009. Coming Some summer soon, when I'll be able to take my tiny computer to write my Not that he'd show it, but he might withdraw from you more than usual afterwards, and also for longer. I imagine you trying to get him to warm up again, and it might look like that precious skit on Sat. Night Live last Saturday, when Sir Elton John played a paunchy older curmudgeonly gay partner whose cute younger boyfriend was hosting a TV talk show with a female guest. Sir Elton would repeatedly get moody and withdrawn, and his cutey poolboy-turned-beloved would chip away at his frosty glum with poking and pulling at his face, "Aw com'on gran'pa, give us a smile, just a little one, mouths ides up like this-no, com'on Both ends up, way up." And then he'd come in on Sir and have a great huge lovers-kiss in front of everybody in the audience.


Now I'm focusing on his male relationships: with his brother and with his father. Is he forthcoming, or uncommunicative? Does he reflect safety with his brother but not father? Or the other way around? Could you get more about all three of them from his brother? That sounds likely because his brother is in therapy. My intuition points me toward his male family relations especially because of your partner's evident awkwardness regarding your son. The fact that his human emotional system seizes up when he's close to doing something with your son points to some extremely painful and/or heavily repressed and defended father-son wounds.


Even though I expect father-wounds at the historical center, I'd rather cast the net of inquiry wider, because including his brother in a 3-way relationship furnishes a ready-made comparison figure for father-son action and includes possible sibling rivalry & alliances for greater accuracy. And I'd include the Passion question for each of them? What lights his fire? His brother's and his father's?


What do you guess might happen if his brother tried to convince him to seek therapy? I suggested Jungian analysis, because it's a highly interior focused exploration of dreams & history with affinity to Buddhism. If his brother would be willing to speak to me about males in his family, I'd do that via email, using my screen name from our present exchange. Yet my goal can't be to do therapy myself, but only to get enough specificity out front in order to make a better case for him seeking therapy near home. I don't want to engage in a therapy commitment without ever seeing the person with whom I'm touching souls. However I do intend to do dream interpretation online, and that can be very effective in pointing out conscious & unconscious issues and building internal momentum for personality transformation that then would make 1 to 1 talk therapy a very desirable container within which the dramatic confrontation with parts of oneself can bear fruit..

The key issue besides his discomfort with your son is his evident dissatisfaction with life, despite what Buddhism has taught him. That suggests that Buddhism itself has served him by erecting walls that have protected him from his father's energy. But it has also served to shield him from your curiosity or anyone else's.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your answer, I did wonder what had happened when you didn't reply at first. I will now prodmy poor man about his dad; he usually talks quite warmly about his parents, if he ever talks about them at all. Both his parents are dead now; theyhadchildren at a later age and were both over 80 when theydied. I never met them. About dreams: My partner mostly seems to dream about footbal and public transport.... :-/
His brother is alsovery obsessed with football, perhaps even more than my partner. Thye used to go tofootball matches with their dad. Their paretn s were very religious, their mother even had a high finction in the church. My partner completely opposed agianst htis; he is now very anti-christian. Sometimes a bit too, in my opinion...
His brother also became a vicar or something (not so goo with titles) but he left teh church after their mother died, and is now also non-religious. His brother is far more open though. I was brought up non-religious (at least thrid generation), still am, but I never had any real antipathy against any religion. Except violent extremists of course.
I don't know if I could convince my partner to go into therapy. I think one of the people from his buddhist group is actually a jungian therapist. It may not be a good idea to go intotherapy with someone you know, but perhaps he knows others.

I won't be around next week, we are going away.

Thank you so much.

I guess you are off on vacation now. It's too late at night for me to write anything, but I'm glad to get your response. At first glance I can't make much out of what you wrote about the 3 men in his family--as sharing football fever and as wavering toward and then away from the parental religion (Church of England? Catholic? Or smaller protestant sect/) So I won't try to conjure up an intuitive track on not enough information. I was looking for father's favoritism, sibling rivalry, brothers allied, not with father. Only the last mentioned might have some evidence in what you wrote.


I think the Jungian Buddhist would be the best resource person. Perhaps you could speak with him--something like "do you ever recommend to fellow Buddhists that Jungian analysis might be fruitful for them? Or do they have to ask you about that first?" Closer to home: "How does Buddhist philosophy compare to Jungian analytical approaches to a father complex. My partner seems to be excruciatingly uncomfortable with my 13 year old son, he'll withdraw himself from almost anything if my son wants to do it too." Of course I wouldn't get around to saying the last sentences until I'd experienced some rapport with the Jungian Buddhist. As an INFP you are probably very good at sensing what anybody else is thinking/feeling, so you'll know whether or not to open up that topic.


But your partner is missing something in his present life, and he doesn't know what it is. So when I add that to his withdrawal from your son, and at many times also from you, I get a very unsettled relation to parent/child relations. Did he previously have a son of his own that he lost in a divorce? Had he ever wanted to have his own children? If his answer is a rather gruff NO, then I'm very tempted to assume that he can't be a father yet, because he has had a grossly incomplete father-son experience, He was also way less dutiful than his brother was, at first.


But his mother could also be a central force in this equation. I can't go any farther now. I'll welcome your reply next week when you're ready to rejoin this dialogue.

I guess you're not back yet, perhaps by tomorrow you'll be communicating. 1 Question: What is there about your personal habits and interaction with your partner that changes when you're on vacation? If anything. But I don't think anybody would go on vacation if that didn't make some changes in their own habitual living and also in how they do or don't interact with their partner.

So you've stirred the waters for a week or so. What did you notice was drifting up? Or making a surprise fly-by a few feet under the surface? Were any of these visitations scary or beautiful? Or both?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We are now back from holiday. Thank you so much for replying again. We went to the Netherlands, to visit my mother, who will move from there by the end of next month. She has recently retired and has her own house in Suriname, where my brother also lives, and she is moving there.

I don't know if much has changed; we've been there before. Besides, talking about strained parent-child relationship, the relationship between my mother and me could be a lot better. I love her dealry, but a visit always results in my confidence dissolving into a pile of shuddering jelly. So as usual, this visit stirred up a lot for me, including gratitude to my partner, for being so tolerant with me, and for not siding with my mother against me. I also meet many other relatives, and although they are all lovely, I do feel completely drained after so much socializing. Plus there is always a stress factor because of the things that nobody ever mentions. No one mentioned the current disastrous Surinamese politics; it is as nothing bad should ever be said about our home country. Or as if it will go away when you don't speak about it. But they all moved to the Netherlands for a good reason! But then, I am just as guilty, I never say anything either. Not even to my partner.

For my partner, I don't know. He always takes his laptop so he works as much when we are away as he does at home. His routine doesn't change that much, he even has tea at the same times. He does feel awkward there because everyone else speaks another language; I try to speak English, but of course that isn't easy with so many relatives that don't speak it well. When we stayed with my friend for two nights, he became surprisingly social one evening, talking with her, me and her partner aroudn the table; he hardly ever does that, and I was pleasantly surprised. I wish he would do that more.

I do feel sad about the fact that if I want to do something there, like see a friend, I can't really leave my son with my partner to do anything nice. They don't; they just sit behind a laptop each and don't talk. Of course I can leave my son with my mother, or my cousin, and evenb with my best friend and her partner, who connect with him more easily than my partner does, even though they only see my son twice a year.

When I tease my partner (like sing to him, my musical talent leaves much to be desired) My son always stands up for him. It's usually all joking and playing, but it shows me that my son does want to have more contact with my partner, and it hurts me that this doesn't happen. I don't think mypartne ris completely unwilling, but I am not sure.

My partner's brother mentioned problems in his relationship with his mother; he had the feeling that she wasn't as comfortable with boys as with girls. She had been a teacher at a girls only school before, and had a stillborn daughter between her two sons. They were church of England. My partner was perhaps less dutiful towards his parents, but very dutiful otherwise. He does his work wih extreme devotion, even when he doesn't enjoy it, and he also stands for his principles. When he was younger he was an activist.

My partner never wanted children, and has none. He feels that there are too many people on this planet, and it is irresponsible to add more. (And after walking through London trying to get from one train station to the next I can see where he is coming from!)
Just for the record, that makes perfect sense combined with his other world perspectives. Also with mine, but I tend to get more steered by emotions than by reason.

I asked my partner about his father; he responded willingly but actually said little. He wasn't even certain what the man died of. When he speaks about his father it is always with fondness, but also a bit distant. I think both his parents were a bit distant. I am quite the opposite with my son.
Latley I feel there is more distance between my partner and me, which is probably mostly to do with me. The intimacy -emotional and in every other way- always comes from my side, and I don't feel like it so much lately. He does perk up when I cuddle him, or when I am extra sweet to him, but he seems so grumpy all the rest of the time. I feel a bit guilty about that; I can't make him be happy, and perhaps it is due to me that he is not happy now. After all, he moved here for my son and me.
So I feel guilty, and a bit resentful towards him, and tired from other things, and I don't want to battle my way into intimacy; I wish he would do it for once. Or twice.

Glad to hear back from you. I've just found your post, too many conflicting priorities, with both my wife and our daughter having chronic pain and the latter very unstable emotionally. I will read your new comments carefully and respond, hopefully later this evening, though I'm underslept from daughter medical/psychological upheavals last night and today. I'll be doing this work more congenially from my own web site within 2 weeks, at GreenEarthCollege (for Relationship Development).