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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question
Dr. Norman Brown
Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I don't know wether you can help me in my situation but I thought
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I don't know wether you can help me in my situation but I thought I'd give it a try to see if you can help..
Basically I was with someone for 3 months. Everything was fine going from better to even better. We had future plans together to have baby's, buying a house together, having a joint savings account, I spoilt her for her birthday and she was grateful. I even booked us to go to New York for new year which we was both excited about and I was going to pay everything. She was a good honest loyal girl with a good job and had already booked two holidays this year and she really wanted a holiday with me but she couldn't afford it she said she wished I was going away with her too so I booked for us to go New York all expenses. Anyway, during those three months of being together we had a few downs to the relationship, nothing bad it was all just a part of getting to know eachother. We communicated well and the arguments or disagreements we had were really minor but it took its toll on her till one day she couldn't take it. We broke up. She came and collected things we talked and she said she could be making the biggest mistake of her life! She left and we continued to text but not much and I sent her a letter of apology with beauty treatments for two with 50 red roses a bottle of perfume and a clarins beauty set. A friend told me she started to miss me so I began to text and offer the chance to talk on one occasion she agreed then she said she couldn't do it. A few weeks after that I offered again by which time she was going on holiday and she said she needed the break to clear her head and that she would think about it. She text me and said she still had feelings for me and she missed me but right now she can't get back together right now or give me a decision. She said the decision she made was for the best for now and that she was sticking to it. She said she completely shut down her emotions and doesn't know how she feels and that she feels numb and that things might change if we meet up. Anyway she came back off her holiday and I text her 3 days later asking if she enjoyed it. She text and said she did enjoy it and that the country was a lively place to visit apart from the weather etc. so I asked if she had given thought on is meeting up to talk. Wether it was to get back together or not it would be nice to meet up again. She agreed and we set a date. I was going out with mates two days prior to us meeting up and I text and said would it be okay if I can call her she said yes but I got home late and by that time she was ready for bed and said she would defiantly call me the next day. The next day came and I had no call so I left it as late as I could and asked if I could call. She said no she was on her way out for a wedding party with her mum. So I said it was about meeting up the next day. She said she didn't think it was a good idea if we wasn't getting back together. I said but we both wanted to get things off our chest and that it wasn't about getting back together and she repeated what she said again. So I asked her to block me so she did. She blocked my phone, Facebook and all other social media. So I contacted her by email as I thought that I shouldn't of asked her to do that so I'd shot myself in the foot with that one. I asked her in an email if I could phone and tell her what I wanted to get off my chest and she said no which was a surprise giving the fact a few days earlier she was willing to meet up and she was going to let me call if I hadn't been late getting home. So I asked her if I could email her what I wanted to say and she said no again and that it was borderline harassment and she would get the police. So I decided to email her what I wanted to say and leave it at that. I shown a friend and she said it was lovely and to send it so I did. A week later I had a call from the police which I never expected from her. I was in shock as I was just trying to fix my relationship and the fact she was blowing hot and cold I didn't know what else to do but to fight for it. As anyone would. Anyway I've been told not to contact her and I'm so confused as to why or how she has done this and not acted like an adult. Maybe it's to do with her emotionally shutting down. Or past experiences. I read up on why women shut their emotions down and it made it a bit clearer and I wanted to talk to her and understand more of this. She is a lovely girl and I do care about her and I don't for one second blame her for getting the police. This was not like her at all or the person I knew. She shut down her emotions and me out of her life and there was no way back in. When I found a way and she softened up a bit she quickly put her guard up. All I did was try to help us and listen to her. Once when we communicated brilliantly and now we can't at all its all a bit weird to me and I can't understand it. It's been 4 months since the break up and 6 weeks since she got the police. Is there anything I can do?
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Dr. Norman Brown
replied 2 years ago.
Three months is not very long to build a relationship. It's time to feel all the wonderfulness of new love, to build an idealized image of each other, and then to run into the first disillusionments, when the high-flying euphoria of ideal love can turn into a steep craqshlanding that leads the disappointed person to suddenly pay more attention to all of the negative colored thoughts about her partner that can ad up to a certainty that "it's not going to work out" The (low) value you've given to your arguments might be quite different from the "fatal flaw" value she might be giving--and that could come from her own history with negative emotional encounters. Her negative experience could come from HER relationshiop with her mother or father, or from THEIR relationship with each other (if their relationship was poisoned or even led to divorce). If her parents divorced or seemd to fight more than they loved, then she would expect that an argument could easily be the beginning of the end, and things will only get worse, and she won't be able to stop the end from happening--that;s the central cause of the tendency of sons & daughters of divorce diving into relationships rapidly, overcommitting themselves at the beginning, and then running away as soon as the relationship starts to look rocky.The fact that she called the police to keep you from contacting her suggests that she's very vulnerable & feels she needs parental/police protection. So she may well have lost her father a long time ago (probably thru abandonment and/or divorce, and she may have little sense of support from her mother or other family either. Her vulnerability might have encouraged another boyfriend to keep after her aftrer she started to back off before now. (Your ages suggest that you're both pretty young (early 20s or younger).I'd say the ONLY chance you have of resuming some relationship with her is to email her and guarantee not to spproch her in any way unless and until she should contacty you. AND add that it hurts you terribly to know that anything you have done or said or written has made her fearful, because imagining her scared only makes you want to make sure she's well protected in any way you can. AND add thatIF she chooses to have any contact with you you want her to besure you will respect her limits and her sense of safety, no matter what it takes from you--so you will do only what she wants you to do and nothing else.And perhaps you can't even write any of that without her sending the police again (tho another warning is probably all you'll get). KIf she has ever been stalked before, or if she was abused during her upbringing, you just don't have any power to affect how she reacts to your efforts to make contact with her.It's too late to change what you did in the past; but when you said you wanted to get some things off your chest, you would have been better advised to do that in writing, while guaranteeing to her that she did not have to respond to you. For "getting things off your chest" is something you do FOR YOURSELF, to help you get past what you're wanting her to hear you say, so then your own heart/mind can move on to the next thoughts&feelings that you will have after you've cleared out what's "on your chest" now.So I suggest that the most positive and useful thing you can do NOW is not to find a way to contact her ("so she'll realize that she made a mistake and want you back"), but to "get the things off of your chest" by writing her a very open and heartfelt (and angry & sad, and longing, & whateveryoufeel) letter that you Aren't Going To Send--so you don't have to hold anything back.Your emotions in that heartfelt letter might reach her via psychic connection: for better and for worse. Two people who have loved each other openheartedly can often continue heartfelt communication after a breakup--though 3 months on and 4 months off suggests that she may have succeeded in greatly reducing the communication channels on her end--even while you're blaring from the loudspeaker in your heart the whole time. (Think of the psychic connection as a telephone line --and we all know now that there are cellphones that there ARE no landline wires that can be cut; so all that people can do is work inside of themselves to shut down or amplify the sending or receiving capability of their (mental) cellphone.)The only person you can take care of for sure now is yourself, and getting things off your chest will help you do that. If you do that without trying to make her "listen" you might find that the mind/heart-space you move into afterwards works better for you, and perhaps might have an effect on whether contact with her becomes possible or not.The advice you've gotten from other sites does not seem to have taken into account your ages, the length of your very preliminary relationship, or the power that your intense pursuit of reconnection with her has had to push her further into distancing from you: For the Pursuer pattern triggers the partner to Back-off and make greater Distance; and so too, the Distancer pattern triggers the pursuer to Pursue with more desperate intensity. The best thing that the Pursuer can do in such Pursuer-distancer patters is to STOP PURSUING. And in addition, if you accept the possibility that your intense emotional imaginings might communicate your pursuing-energy to her, then you could pray, or imagine, that you're fostering her freedom, safety and happiness, like giving her back to the world of her own reality With Your Blessing.Most of these things you may be very unwilling to understand or take into your own mental/emotional life, but they are all part of the world of adult living where loving passionately means risking yourself to the wounding that being rejected (where "whose fault it is" depends entirely on the emotional behavior patterns people have developed in young adult life, long before they've hade much practice at understanding what their own and other people's hidden motivations are.
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replied 2 years ago.
Her father divorced before she was born and her mother and father are very much still happy and together. Her father inherited cancer and has overcome it given a recent scare 3 months ago. I'm 34 and she is 26. I know from her telling me her past relationships were either verbally abusive or she was cheated on and I know the fact she doesn't like confrontation ie an argument. Not that ours were that bad but one argument in particular was never settled and when we went out to sort that argument out one night and put it to bed it was brought up again and again. Nothing serious. She said I was being rude at a dinner table by getting my phone out checking the football scores and made a show I front of people to which she agree she should of taken me to one side to tell me not to do it properly instead of saying so in front of others. I had already got a few things off my chest in the email I sent which she told me not to hence which lead her to call the police. I since haven't contacted her and friends say it's all gone from so good to bad in the flick of the fingers so I'm bemused by it all. We were once so close and having all these plans to this. I want to contact her to say the very things you said but as you said she could go to the police again but I'm hoping she won't. She knows deep down I'm a nice person so I'm hoping she won't. I will contact her in a few weeks while she's in Dubai with a friend but I don't know wether to just keep it simple and say hi hope your doing ok and all your family are okay etc or add a little more to it as you suggested. Like Im terribly sorry for making her feel fearful etc. They say no contact makes the heart grow fonder and I've not been in contact since but I've been to a spiritualist who said we will get back together and we will get married etc and to remember the name Oliver. She also said it might not be the baby's name but the name Oliver kept coming up in the mediums head and she wanted me to remember it. The name Oliver did ring a bell and it's the name my ex liked and wished to call our baby if it was a boy! I don't know how much you believe in this stuff or myself for that matter. Also before we met she was told by a spiritualist that she would meet someone who worked with cars was very much hands on and was older than her and that we would be going to New York which we eventually booked and all that happened and she told me as we was together which I was surprised at as it came true for her. I just don't know what else to do or what to write to her in a few weeks when she's away. As while she's away In Dubai she won't/can't call the police until she back and that when she's back it would be forgot about unless she responds. I've not stalked her or sent an unnecessary amount or messages for her to take it this far. Maybe shutting down her emotions and her feeling numb which I don't fully understand unless she helped me understand made her do this. She just suddenly changed and it's hard to figure out why. It just doesn't seem like her at all unless she's met someone else which I don't think she's the type to straight away but then again she may of. When we was together and others messages her via FB she ignored them and told me about them and I was appreciative of her honesty which is something I've never had from a woman. She is loyal so I'm thinking this is maybe why but then again I could be wrong. I'm defiantly goiing to send a message in a few weeks but indontnknownwehrer to keep it plain and simple or apologise for making her feel fearful in this way that made her do this...
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