Couples: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Couples: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

Uploaded: May 29, 2018
- Maya Angelou

One of the ways to get into relationship trouble is by not paying attention early on to the warning signs or red flags. You might find yourself making excuses for the new partner in your life because you’re in lust, or you have the happy brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine flowing through your system that make it harder to pay close attention.

Calling someone on their behavior the first time around is going to be much easier and more fruitful than watching it go on for a while without saying anything and then objecting. Maybe it creeps up on you; you didn’t realize it was happening until you’re getting fed up with it. Maybe it’s the way you’re spoken to. Maybe it’s the drinking. Maybe it’s too much work and not enough play. Maybe it’s looking at other women while you’re out together. Maybe it’s being critical. It’s your list. It’s your self-respect and what works for you.

It comes back to the simple way of stating it: “When ___________ happened, I felt __________. I wish ______________.” This lets your partner know what doesn’t work for you, and you’re saying it in “I” statements (not “you did this to me,” blame-style communication).

I realize it’s difficult to know whether someone is a good fit for you. Plus there are so many choices that you may let someone go because the grass looks greener. On the other hand, holding onto to someone that you know-deep down inside-isn’t good for you, isn’t good self care. Even if it means you have to be single for a time. Value and respect yourself. That will attract someone who also values and respects you.

Women: If your egg timer is ticking very loudly, go freeze some eggs. Don’t let that desire to have a baby drive your decisions. Not only will you have eventually have a baby, you’ll have a toddler, a child, a tween, a teen, a college student, an adult. And you want to have all of that with a solid partner (not just someone because your baby desire is loud).

Work on rebuilding and listening to your intuition. It will keep you from a lot of trouble. The last time I didn’t listen to my intuition, a shi&&y situation resulted. And I knew it at the time. But for some reason, I didn’t act on my intuition. It was a painful reminder to pay attention.

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