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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question
Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1207
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I have a long time and very dear friend that recently confided

Customer Question

I have a long time and very dear friend that recently confided in me that her husband recently got drunk and attacked her physically. She said she did not call police because
of the consequences. The husband was recently in jail for 21/2 years for violence perpetrated when drunk on an acquaintance. I know this is very difficult and embarrassing for her and it took a lot to confide.She has been married to him for about 20 years .its a very sensitive subject and i want to advise without alienating her .She does not see ending the marriage as an option.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Norman Brown :

I would advise her to make a visit to a skilled couples therapist on her own, with the goal of strategizing with that person--preferably a man--on how best to gain her husband's agreement to come to counseling with her himself. She can't just let the violent attack pass without consequences without risking the continued decline of her marriage, and it's possible that his own life could decline as well unless he seeks and gets psychological alcoholism treatment. Since her life and satisfaction are tied to him, both issues are of paramount importance for her. And getting a skilled professional's help even before she responds assertively to her husband is the best way to proceed for maximum likelihood of success. If you think her potential capabilities for advance interviewing and choosing a capable therapist may be limited by her present condition, you might do some preliminary inquiring for her; that would also smoothe the path for her to trust in consulting a professional by herself. I'm happy to discuss this further if you ask more questions.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 2 years ago.
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