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Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1200
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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My girlfriend and I were dating for around 9 months and we

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My girlfriend and I were dating for around 9 months and we really got along very well. We rarely had a disagreement. We started off the new year together and still great. At the end of january she had a formal dinner at her place to officially introduce me to her parents. I met them and it truly seemed to me that they liked me. My problem is that since that day i feel everything took a turn for the worse. It ended up being that was the last time I phsically saw her. She claimed to have gotten extremely busy at work and was in danger of losing her job. Then a few big snow storms hit and I was stuck out by my job for days. We had a trip reserved to go to puerto rico and two weeks before she sends me an email saying that she cant make it because of work. The trip was her idea and I paid for it. I thought it was extremely impersonal to not even call me to inform me, she chose an email instead. Two days later (valentines day) I was still very angry for how she had handled things so I didn't call her. However I did send her flowers and chocolates delivered to her door wishing her a happy valentines day. I never heard from her to say thank you. She has a little son who turned two recently. She is going through the process of a divorce and I began dating her shortly after she left her husband. So after about a month of no talking I send her a text on her boy's birthday to wish him a very happy birthday. She replied thanking me very much and that was it no more contact since. That was a month ago.
I'm completely lost on what to think. I have no clue as to what happened. We got along great together. My main guesses are she either began seeing someone else while we were still together or she got back together with her ex husband. Or her parents met me and din't like me and convinced her I wasn't right for her, although it did seem like they liked me at the time.
I know I can be stubborn at times but I don't feel I did anything wrong here. I won't mind swallowing my pride and calling her to apologize if I was wrong somewhere. But I don't want to expose myself to rejection especially when I don't feel i'm in the wrong here. I guess based on what I wrote I'd like to hear an outside perspective. Maybe I'm not seeing something. Thank you for any help. Alex.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Welcome to my couples workshop, where people 18-80 of diverse cultures & orientations have come to explore their questions and find a path of heart. I'd say You've got good reason to be worried. But the most likely problem in my estimation is that she's on a really bumpy road with her exhusband--they might be trying to get back together, or she's really upset about what's happening and she can't face dealing with you as well as dealing with him.

Dr. Norman Brown :

The computer system wiped out what I wrote, so I start over again. You have good reason to be worried, and to be hurting inside too. Getting involved before a divorce is completed -- or even just being the first new relationship for her after she and her husband broke up can be a big risk. Because what's going on between her and her ex often has a much bigger emotional effect on her than what goes on with you. She could indeed be trying to get back together with the father of her child, or going through some very painful ups and downs due to the many levels of issues that come up during a divorce (for longer than we expect) -=- and she wouldn't want you to know about either possibility, because she may want to keep you waiting for her, in case she does still want you after her problems are over, or just needs your interest in her as a support for her in her rough times.

Dr. Norman Brown :

You have waited over 2 months and suffered several disappointments, so you have every reason to be bewildered and hurt. She may be ashamed to admit to you what's going on with her, because she knows you have every reason to be upset.

Dr. Norman Brown :

When you are the first new love to follow her marriage, usually she has instinctively chosen you because she senses you're more into her than she can let herself be into you--since she's really NOT READY YET to love and commit as much as you are.

Dr. Norman Brown :

You can't keep yourself from being rejected, whether you stick your neck out or not. She may still want you to wait until she gets more stable, or just be too embarrassed to admit that she's not ready to love ANYBODY else yet (whether she's hooked up with somebody new or not). I think you've waited patiently long enough to send her a short email of your own, in order to find out where she's at. It could say:

Dr. Norman Brown :

"Do you still want me to wait for you? Are you ready to tell me what's happening with you? Are you having any problems or feelings with your ex? I don't deserve to be kept in the dark. If it's really just big problems with your job, then tell me enough about them so I can believe you. I've given you a lot of myself, so give me some answers."

Dr. Norman Brown :

Of course you'll use your own words if you want to force a reasonably convincing response from her. IT'S a LOT BETTER to get DUMPED than to get DANGLED on the wrong end of a yo-yo like you are now. From what you've written, you've done nothing wrong yourself. Except perhaps to be more accepting and patient with her than is good for you.

Dr. Norman Brown :

As long as she can say Yes, No or Nothing and you wait, she has too much power and you have too little. Love and Power are opposites, but they need to be in balance for the relationship to work for both of you. So if you insist that she reveal enough to you so YOU can make up YOUR OWN MIND about whether you want to just wait for a sign from her or YOU want to DUMP HER.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Please ask anything more you want to ask. I'll respond tomorrow, probably in late morning or early evening.

Dr. Norman Brown and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

first of all Dr. Brown, I thank you for your response. You pointed out possibilities that I hadn't realized. I had initially only read part of you're response because it's all that was available. Only tonight did I realize that you re-submitted your full response to me. So without reading your advice I texted her yesterday because I felt there were things to be said on both our parts. I said I would like to talk to her and asked her if I call her later in the day. After a few hours she responded. I think it's just easier if I put the exact text exchange we had up here so that you can fully read it how it was sent. So here it is:


Me: Hey I was thinking a lot lately and although normally I wouldn't do this, this time I feel I should. I'd like to talk with you if that's ok. I feel like there are some things to be said on both our parts. So if you have some time later I'd like to call you. Is that ok with you?


Her: I'm sorry I have a lot on my plate right now, I can't talk nor do I feel there is anything to discuss. My priorities now are solely my career and my child. I hope you can understand that. You are a great person and I truly wish you the best.


Me: If you really think I'm a great person then you would give me a chance to talk to you. It's all I want, I don't think it's too much to ask. It won't take up much of your time at all. I feel with what we've been through together I deserve at least that. So please do me a favor and let us talk today ok ? After that, I'll leave you alone if it's what you want. You know I'll keep my word.


Her: I'm really sorry, I can't. Please respect that. I really don't want to continue this conversation. I have a lot going on personally and professionally. Thanks.


Me: Well it's funny but you think you know someone and then it turns out you don't know anything at all. I didn't think it was too much to ask to have a simple conversation with you. I wasn't going to try to convince you of anything, I simply just wanted to be heard and also to hear what you had to say. You had asked me to let my guard down in the past, and this is part of me trying to do that. You know very well how hard that is for me to do but still I'm doing it because you had asked me to.

It's ok, I've made my assumptions already and have figured that you are back with your ex. You don't have to give me the "too busy with you're career" thing. One thing I've been with you, is honest, and that's all I ever wanted in return. I'm not angry or bitter, not at all. I always figured the possibility of this thing happening. You have history with him and a great little boy together. I always knew in the back of my mind that if it ever came down to it, I would never be able to compete with that. If you know me at all, you know that all I'd ever want for you and David (her son) is the best. I'm not saying that for any other reason except because I really wish that. But Tanya, one thing I can guarantee you is that despite however you try to justify it to yourself, remember this: David ( her son) will be happy only if he sees your happy too. When he gets a little older to understand better, then you will see how right I was about that. It felt like you were happy with me but then again I can't answer that for you. Anyway I didn't want to do this through text. There really is so much more I'd like to say but I guess this is the only option I have. Like I said, absolutely no grudges on my part. If at some point you ever have a change of heart You know I will be around for you and you know where to find me. Take care of yourself and your little guy too.


Me (this morning): I really needed to get this out, sorry. I won't bother you again if you don't want me to. I just find it really important to say this to you and it will eat me inside if I don't. I hope you can at least understand that. Here goes: I stopped talking to you before because it felt like you were cutting me off. I was upset and didn't understand why you would do that. Before that we always got along great and I couldn't make sense of how you were beginning to act. I refuse to believe that you weren't at the very least a little happy when we were together. I was happy with you. I want you to know that I Love You. Ok, I know I had only said that to you once before and it was stupid of me to not have said it to you more often., I realize that now. But I refuse to just lay down and die without a fight. I have no doubt that I can make you happy. If you want no part of it then I'll have no choice but to let you go. But I needed you to know that, for my own piece of mind. So at least just believe what I just wrote because it's absolutely true. Ok that's it.

Yesterday she deleted me as her friend on facebook. I find that very hurtful because it seems very childish and cold. She is acting like someone who I don't know. and I am rarely active on facebook regardless. What is she afraid I'll see on her profile?? There have been other girls I've dated in the past who still have me as their friend on there even after we stopped seeing one another.

So anyway I feel a bit better unloading some of my feelings to her but I'm still hurting. I guess I can understand in a way if she has gone back to her ex. I know there is a lot in between and an infant to bond them together. If that's the case I wouldn't feel as betrayed as if she began dating someone new instead and cut me off because of that. I guess I have a hard time dealing with someone who told me she loved me repeatedly acting like she never felt anything for me only two months later.


What do you think from all I've given you? Is she back with her ex or someone new? If it's with her ex, do you think she'll realize quickly all the reasons she left him for in the first place? It's my experience in life that people don't really change. Do you think the possibility exists that she'll contact me again because she misses me? I just want to know better where I stand and if I should pick up my life and try to move on. I'm 32 years old and I've dated a considerable amount of women in my life. I've had many break ups before. I can move on from them but I feel that this relationship was more significant to me.

Thank you again,




I have to get back to you after some pressing errands.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dr Norman you never got back to me. I've been waiting for a response from you. Since you and u have last communicated, I got in touch with her again through text. Last Saturday I sent her a text telling her that I needed to know the reason why we broke up. I told her to tell me through text so it would be easier for her to tell me rather than in a phone call. She replied, this is what she wrote:

Her: I'm back with my husband and working in my family. Please, please, please respect my privacy and my decision and don't contact me further. I hope you can understand that my decision is for the best of my family. Thank you.

Me: I absolutely wish the best for you, you know that and I'll leave you alone. I'm afraid to say that I miss you and David (her son)terribly ever since we first lost touch. I do love you very much and that not gonna go away either. And I'm sorry for being annoying. I understand what you are trying to do. Thank you for responding.

So that was last Saturday and I've been absolutely miserable since. Last night I couldn't beat it anymore so I began to write her an email. I knew she had asked me to not contact her but there was still so much left unsaid inside if me that I felt it necessary to tell her. Perhaps I was wrong for doing so but I was desperate. So I write an email and sent it out to her this morning. This is what I wrote:

Me: I know you've asked me repeatedly to not contact you anymore. I'm sorry to keep doing it but I don't know what else to do. I feel there was so much left unsaid between us and you didn't want to talk with me so I had no way to get it out. The feelings I have for you are not going away and I love you still just as much as I loved you before. I have to let you know that. This has never happened to me before with other women, certainly not to this extent. I have trouble sleeping at night, trouble eating, trouble focusing, trouble with everything in my life lately because I miss you so much. You have been the only thing on my mind for every minute of every hour since we stopped talking.
I understand the fact that you're trying to work things out with your ex. I always thought that issue could arise because of how recent it was after you left him that you and I first met. I know there were a lot of unresolved issues there and for the sake of David's happiness and well being I completely get why you would feel it's worth a shot for you to try again with him. But I deserved for you to have been up front with me. I've always been good to you and I feel I've earned a better way for you to have handled that situation. Just cutting me off was an incredibly hurtful thing for you to do to me. I'm just really lost on what to think about us Tanya. I mean you told me you loved me and would tell me you missed me when I wasn't with you. I never pressed you to say those things, it was always you who chose to say them. I would like to know if you really did love me or if you were saying that just to keep me happy?? If you really did love me then how could you stop so suddenly from one day to the next?? How could you say u were really glad you started the new year with me and that you were looking forward to spending 2013 together with me If you didn't mean it??
Do you remember when I was at your place one night in October and we had a talk?? I told you that if it ever came to the point where you felt you should try and work things out again with your ex to please just be honest with me and up front with it. Why couldn't you do that when it came down to it?? You told me that there was nothing left between the two of you. The next morning you texted me remember?? You said that you were really glad that I came over the night before and that you love spending time with me. You said to please don't think twice about you hooking up with your ex again. That it would never happen remember?? That I satisfy your two most important needs and why would you ever want to give that up. Tanya I could have understood if there were still some feelings for your ex, after all you two shared a life together and you have a son with him. Of course there would still be unresolved things there, it's normal. But why would u say those things to me?? It hurts so much to read those texts now, you have no idea. It feels like the whole time we were dating that I was just a distraction for you. Someone to fill the void left by your ex. You know how I always had my guard up?? It was because I didn't want to get in too deep with you and have this exact situation happen to me. I felt so comfortable around you that many times I wanted to let my guard down but the fear of this happening in my head prevented me from doing so. But eventually little by little, you still managed to make it come down. I knew I loved you early in our relationship. I was so scared to tell you. I can understand you being worried about David and how his upbringing would be without his father always around. I have always understood that. I have put myself in your shoes and know that's a fear any mother would have. But he still would have a father, it's not like your ex was deceased or not a part of his life. Me personally, I've grown up with friends whose parents stay together in a marriage only for the sake of their kids. There is no love or happiness left, but only for the kids well being it's done. In my experience all of these friends grew up unhappy or messed up emotionally because life at home is not great. Sure they're parents are together but they live separate unhappy lives from each other, disconnected. I have known kids from divorced parents who are tenfold happier because both they're parents are happy again and project that onto them too. And in turn, their kids are happy just because they see that their parents are happy and at the best they could be. Most of these kids loved their step parents too. I can tell you from my perspective that in my life, my fathers girlfriend Donna has meant so much to me. I will always appreciate how she was with us. We all liked her even more so than most of our other "real" family members. I can also tell you that I understand that it's never anyone's intention to get divorced, sometimes you can't plan how things end up. I would never get married with the thought that It would end a few years later. But I've learned very well that It's part of life that you just can't plan for things sometimes. But that doesn't mean that your son won't grow up to be an amazing and happy kid.
I never told you this Tanya because I was really scared to. When we were dating I began to think about my future with you. I envisioned us staying together for the long run. Probably for the real first time in my life I thought a whole lot about this. I thought if it went that way, about us possibly having kids someday and creating a family together. Living a happy life together. I know I have what it takes to give that to you and you definitely have that to provide to me.
I thought back on us in Cancun on vacation when we would sleep together every night. We spent a week joined at the hip and it felt right to me. When we got home and the next day I dropped you off at Brooklyn, I missed you the very instant we weren't together anymore. When I got back home I didn't know what to do. I thought about getting back in my car and driving to your apartment to spend the night with you again. I absolutely loved waking up with you every morning and spending all my time with you. One of those mornings in the hotel, I woke up before you and I just looked at you as you were sleeping and felt so very happy that it was you who was in that bed with me. I kept that one to myself.
After that vacation, was when I began realizing that I couldn't picture anything better than sharing my life with you. Now I know that we only dated for eight months. It's not too long really speaking. But what matters is I felt something for you I haven't felt for anyone in the past. For me, they were an incredible eight months and I saw only the opportunity for things to get better and better between us. I know you internally had a lot going on, and believe me I understood, but I thought you felt that too. After all we did get along phenomenal didn't we?? You can't deny me that. If your with your ex now for David's sake and financial stability I'm telling you that's a mistake. If you still love your ex then I can't infringe on that. But being that you left him twice before I know that u weren't happy with him or the life you were leading. But you were happy with me Tanya.

We only saw each other twice a week at most and I know that's not nearly enough. I have a shitty schedule but that's not gonna be the case forever. Believe me I'm taking the necessary steps to secure my financial future and change my work situation. I've been sacrificing my personal life for years for that very reason. I would spend every night with you in Brooklyn if it's what you wanted. Being with you is what makes me happy, doesn't matter where it is. I know the "father" thing is kinda foreign to me but you know me. I do like kids and now feel like I'd like some of my own. I got very attached to David. I'm a good person and I would love David as if he was my own son. Please believe that I would never say that just to win you over, you know that I could never be capable of something like that. I say it because it's what I've always felt inside since I first met David.
I've had break ups before and although they usually always suck I can make myself move on. I've been doing it for years. However you and I never broke up, we just stopped, never had an argument or anything. We were good and then we just weren't anything anymore. I love you, I know that and I know that you and I worked, and we worked very well. You can't say you didn't feel that with me too. I know you well enough to know that you did. We always were able to talk about anything. Why has that stopped? It doesn't make sense. I know you loved me too. Whether u still love your ex or what I don't know. I know u said your working on you family. I understand what your trying to do but how could you just give up on us?? Didn't you want to see where we could have gone?? I feel in my heart that it would have been to an amazing place together.
And although I do feel that your son's well being should always be your first choice, if your back with your ex because of that it's for the wrong reasons. He might have asked you to give him another chance. You had given him that chance in the past and it proved pointless. One thing I know for sure is people are who they are and you cannot change them. A person can pretend and even really try for a little but eventually who they are emerges, there's no other possibility. And although I don't know him I know that you were not happy with him and that's all I need to know. David is little and won't even remember you guys being together and trust me he will be fine. If you lead an unhappy life in an unhappy marriage, that will take a toll on him much more than anything else especially when he gets older. I know it comes off like me attempting to sabotage your marriage or something. It's not that though. Maybe I am selfish for writing to you now especially when you've asked me not too. I'm very sorry for that but I feel you and I can be happy together for real. That's worth saying, and I'll treat you as I've always treated you. With respect, admiration, adoration, friendship and love. And that's how I've always envisioned myself being with the person I choose to spend my life with.
Take in what I wrote, I know it's a lot but I think you may agree on a lot of it. I know he's your husband but he hasn't done a good job with it, with showing you he appreciates you and reminding you of your worthiness. I feel I have shown you that in the short time we were together. That will only get better as time goes by I can guarantee you that Tanya. I've always loved hearing from you and talking to you, since the first day we met. Doesn't matter about what and I always will too. So please consider that. I don't feel it's too late for us. You deserve to be absolutely happy.
So think about it and let me know. I know it's a very hard decision to make but it might end up changing your life in the best way possible. And don't worry, if you don't respond to me then I'll have no choice but to never bother you again. Because if you don't see that I've unloaded my heart to you even at the risk of being humiliated, then it means you never felt anything for me at all. If I don't hear from you then I will finally understand and I will finally respect your wish for me to not contact you anymore. Don't be upset with me, with what I feel for you I had to give it a try.

2 hours later she replied:
Her; I got your email and I'm really sorry for how things played out and for how you feel but I asked you once before and I'm going to ask you again, please respect my boundaries and the fact that I am working on saving my family. You may not understand this, but I have a child with this person and have been with him for 10 years. That is not a joke and not something to be taken lightly. I am truly sorry for how things worked out, believe me. It was irresponsible for me to ever get involved like that so soon after what happened. The events that unfolded were not my intent. You will meet a great person and move on I am sure of that. I am not that person.

On a more serious note, to be honest, you're starting to scare me with all these texts and emails and make me feel very uncomfortable. Realize that I have a child to take care of and I don't like how you are making me feel. I am sure that is not your intent but that is what you are doing and I would like you to stop.

I was not going to respond at all but I would like you to know that you are sincerely scaring me and that is not how I want to think of you because I do not think that is what you are trying to do, but nevertheless that is the result of all these communications. I would really really really like it to stop right now. Thank you.

So I replied:
It never was my intention to scare you Tanya. You know very well I'm not a psycho or a stalker. I know you have a child with him and have been together for ten years. You told me this. You also told me he cheated on you and you were miserable most of the time you were married. That's the only reason why I felt I had to try. You never had anything to worry about in regards to me. You know I'm harmless. Although it truly kills me, I now promise to respect your boundaries. So please don't be scared. I will leave you alone.

Dr brown I need your take on this. I'm feeling destroyed right now. I never had an intention to alarm her. I just wanted her to know exactly how I felt without restriction. Something I had never done fully while we were together. I know her husband wasn't so great to her in the past and ruined the opportunities she had given him then. He cheated on her as well. I don't think someone like that can change for long before reverting back to his old ways. I want to know do you think that at some point in the future she may once again contact me if her relationship goes sour again and it's done for good? I know I should move on but right now I can't because this was the best relationship I've ever had. It was truly fantastic the way we were with one another until it all went down the drain. Do u think I should wait for her?

I'm not sure I can reply adequately today, before late tonight. Because my Internet was out all night after about 11pm, and I'm just trying to get everything done now before leaving at 6pm for a Jungian dream lecture tonight and a 9 hr dream workshop tomorrow. I'll read it while eating breakfast, so I'm sure I'll be able write an immediate response, and my intuition and feeling functions often do pretty well without much time for thinking stuff thru. (My wife & daughter stay up all night and often keep me awake beyond 2:30 when I got to be last night).



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