17 Months and ‘No’ 105 Times = Yes! | 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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17 Months and ‘No’ 105 Times = Yes!

Uploaded: Apr 15, 2022
I am thrilled to share my great news with you, Readers. To help me bring my I Do, I Don’t: How to Build a Better Marriage series out into the world, at long last, I have a ‘Yes’ from a book agent. I was told ‘No’ 105 times over 17 months! Those are real numbers. My color-coded spreadsheet to keep track of it all has 198 rows of agents and 55 of publishers! (I set up an I Want It! page for you to sign up for an email when the first book is ready.)

Yet this post is really about perseverance. In my career before becoming a therapist I worked in high tech for 15 years. The first five years I was in computer sales. I learned then that every ‘No’ brought me closer to customers who would say ‘Yes’. And they did. I made a good living for a long time.

In the final five years of my high-tech career a lot of people in my life died (beloved grandparents, parents, a friend, plus I had five miscarriages and my baby died of Trisomy 13). I was swamped by grief. I decided I needed to do work of the heart.

Perseverance came into play once again through three years of grad school, 3000 supervised hours of clinical work, and two State board exams.

What matters enough to you to persevere? I hope one of your answers is ‘A healthy relationship with my partner.’ How do you work toward your goal(s)?

The reason I’m so excited to write to you weekly and to bring my book series out is my desire to help you work toward and retain ‘A Better Marriage’. When you’re happy and fulfilled at home, it gives you energy to bring out into the world that ultimately helps others, too. When you’re unhappy at home, it interferes with work and everything else.

I want to encourage you to learn the tools I offer, practice them every day, and get the results you yearn for, that your brain is wired for. I’m guessing you’re thinking ‘It all takes so much time, and I already don’t have enough time.’ But here’s the truth: Yes, upfront, learning and practicing the tools does take more time. However, once you stop spending so much time disagreeing, arguing, feeling sad, angry, unheard, unseen, resentful, etc., you’ll not only have more time in your life, you’ll be a hell of a lot happier, too. Bonus: all the tools I share with you can be used with kids, friends, family and co-workers, too.

To help reach your goal of a better relationship put happy photos of the two of you in your line of sight. Move them every two to three weeks (brains are wired to seek new, shiny objects). Lean in into your discomfort with changing. Do what you did while dating. Make your relationship your top priority (not kids or work; I believe in you that you will be successful in parenting and your career despite prioritizing your relationship). Give in your partner’s Love Language (or go ahead and give in all five love languages). Work toward secure attachment. Do Personal Weather Reports. Belly hug. Look into each other’s eyes while talking (and while making love). Believe in each other. Have the best intentions. Give the benefit of the doubt. You said ‘In sickness and in health.’ Remember how happy you were when you said ‘I do.’ I know a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. Do all of this anyway. Everyone needs to work on their marriage after saying, ‘I do.’

If you’re not familiar with these ideas, or it’s been a while, search those terms on CouplesNet and read more about them.


Please let me and other readers know what you do to have a better marriage.
What is it worth to you?


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