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Therapist Answers Relationship Questions From Twitter

Licensed family therapist Stephanie Yates-Anyabwile answers the internet's burning questions about relationships. How do you know if someone is gaslighting you? Can a relationship withstand cheating? Do open relationships really work? What causes a marriage of fifteen years to fail? How do you know if your significant other is "The One"? Stephanie answers all these questions and much more. Director: Justin Wolfson Director of Photography: Eric Brouse Editor: Chris Davies Expert: Stephanie R. Yates Line Producer: Joseph Buscemi Associate Producer: Brandon White Production Manager: Eric Martinez Production Coordinator: Fernando Davila Casting Producer: Nicole Ford Camera Operator: Rahil Ashruff Audio: Jeff Gaumer Production Assistant: Patrick Sargent Post Production Supervisor: Alexa Deutsch Post Production Coordinator: Ian Bryant Supervising Editor: Doug Larsen Assistant Editor: Justin Symonds

Released on 02/14/2023


I'm Stephanie Yates-Anyabwile,

a licensed marriage and family therapist,

I'm here to answer your questions from Twitter,

this is Relationship Support.

[upbeat music]

From _jessybeauty, how do I tell my closest friend

her boyfriend begged me for sex?

Okay, so I think the best thing you can do

in a situation like that is find an opportunity

when your friend is already disarmed,

you never wanna pull something like this out

when you all are already in the course of an argument

for example, I would go ahead and let her know

that this is something that's going on.

Will she get mad at you?

There is a possibility that she will,

but what she's upset about is the information itself

and she's probably very embarrassed, humiliated,

but if you keep this information to yourself

what does that say about your friendship with her?

That's going to call into question

the relationship itself between you and her,

and so you try your best to be as humble as possible

and let her know the reasons why you've chosen

to share this with her and let the chips fall

where they may.

Hopefully she can be mature and understand

that you have her best interest at heart,

but if she's at a place where she's not ready

to accept the truth, and she wants to be upset with you,

then you kinda have an eye-opening experience

about the person that you're considering to be your friend.

From Lingzi_W, is it ever okay to ghost someone?

I would say if you feel like you're unsafe,

if you're dealing with someone who might be stalking you

or has anger issues, and you feel like you can't trust

this person can handle the information

that you're not interested anymore,

that is the only time that I would say

that it's okay to ghost but what we see most often

is that people have a hard time

trying to have difficult conversations with people,

with this opportunity, a person that you clearly

don't care that much about to where you'd be fine

to never talk to them again,

this is actually a great time to practice

having difficult conversations, sharing your feelings,

and dealing with the person who you may be making upset.

So that way when you are with the person that you love

and care about and you need to have

a difficult conversation, you're a little bit

more prepared to do that

because you've got some practice in.

Michaeltheboy, how do I tell my partners

some of his friends are losers?


So if you feel like your partner is surrounding themselves

with people that you don't think are investing

in your partner's success,

definitely find a way to have that conversation with them.

But what you don't wanna do is establish yourself

as the enemy.

You never know the conversations that your partner

is having with their friends behind closed doors,

and there could be times where those people

are standing up for you in a way that you didn't know

was actually sustaining your relationship.

So be very careful when you establish yourself

as the enemy between your partner and their closest friends

because you might not win that battle.

And if at the end they choose their friends over you,

you're the one who started the war.

From KeybladeKate, can I ask you you guys a question?

If you guys are in a relationship

and your partner is flirting with other people,

would you consider that cheating or disloyal?

Within one relationship, you might be in a position

where flirting is actually expected.

I know some couples that find flirting

to actually be ego boosting and they like to see

that their partner can still pull someone

if they want it to.

But in other relationships, it can be a major hit

on your partner's self-esteem to see that you're interested

in someone else, attracted to someone else,

and then going to the next step and actually acting

on those feelings.

You definitely don't wanna have one person

who is okay with it, and another person who is not.

So make sure you're having those conversations

very early on in the dating process

about what defines cheating and disloyalty

within your relationship,

so that you're not moving forward with someone

who has very different ideals than you do.

From bollyholicc, serious question,

how do I know if I'm a narcissist?

If you are even looking at yourself

in such an introspective way, most of the time

you're not a narcissist.

Because the thing about narcissistic personality disorder,

is that one of the requirements is a very limited self view.

You don't see the pain you cause the people around you,

as a matter of fact, you're looking at everyone else

like why are they causing me all of this distress?

From JayGaddis, opposites do attract,

and that even applies to your attachment styles.

But does having different attachment styles

mean you're with the wrong person?

One of the main things that we're talking about

when we're talking about attachment styles,

which for anyone who's unfamiliar with attachment styles

means that a lot of us have a bit of a predisposition

for how much intimacy we're comfortable with

in relationship.

If you're anxiously attached, for example,

you're probably gonna want a lot of validation

from your partner.

You'll want somebody who is telling you

they want to be with you, who's comfortable holding hands,

who can help you know that they are committed

to this relationship maybe more often

than another person would.

If you have a secure attachment, that means that

you don't need a ton of validation from your partner,

and you also don't need a ton of space from your partner.

But if you have an avoidant attachment style,

you tend to value your independence and autonomy,

and you need a lot of space.

It's not that you're not interested in having intimacy

within your relationship, but you might not be

the type of person that's interested in spending 24/7

with your partner as a person who's anxiously attached

might be more interested in doing.

So you can be with someone

with a different attachment style,

but you do want to pay close attention

to what that different attachment style is.

From TherealJDior, timelines too peaceful,

who do y'all think should pay on the first date?

Okay, I'm gonna get canceled here,

this is the thing that I'm gonna say

that people are not gonna agree with me about,

but I truly believe that if you are interested

in pursuing a long-term relationship with someone,

you should look at that as a partnership from the outset.

So I'm big ongoing Dutch, you know,

so that way if this is a person that you're interested

in spending more time with, both of you have more funds

to make that a reality.

Now, I do understand that for some people

it's important to know a person's intentions

from the beginning.

And paying for a meal or an activity

is a way that that person can prove to you

that they are really interested in you.

Is that really telling you if that person

is interested in you because they could be paying

for your meal and five other people's meals,

and it doesn't even matter.

From PulseNigeria247,

how do you know that someone is gaslighting you,

especially those you are in a relationship with?

Gaslighting is another one that we're hearing a lot more

about these days.

When I think of gaslighting, I think of someone

who might be intentionally or even sometimes unintentionally

making you second guess yourself,

making you second guess your feelings.

You know, maybe you saw something happen

and they say something like that didn't happen.

So sometimes it could be outright lies,

and sometimes it's something like,

oh you really don't feel like that, right?

They might be telling you, you're just acting,

you really don't feel that way,

stop trying to make a scene.

They don't validate or value your perspective

on how you're feeling or what you're seeing

and most of the time they're trying to convince you

to see or feel things a different way.

From moonareas,

should I leave my girlfriend who doesn't trust me

and is very insecure, or work it out?

When we're talking about a relationship

where you have one partner who is very insecure,

that is actually language that we still use

when we talk about attachment styles,

secure versus insecure attachment.

Sometimes when you have a partner

who is acting very insecure, they probably have

an anxious attachment style and what that means is that

they're going to require a lot of validation from you.

Now, for you, if you're the person that's gotta provide that

and that is your limit, you're like I cannot

constantly make this person feel at ease

in our relationship,

it's not my job to try to heal them

from previous relationship wounds,

I fully respect that.

In that case, absolutely end things.

From Lindy_R,

can a relationship recover from cheating?

A relationship absolutely can recover from cheating

if both people are committed to making

that relationship work.

So if you're dealing with the relationship

after there's been a betrayal in trust,

it's not going to just go back to what it looked like

before you had that betrayal and trust.

If you were with a person who no longer believes you

when you say that you're at a certain location for example,

and they would feel more comfortable

if you would share locations,

you have to be open to hearing their request

if you're looking to have that relationship

continue forward.

And if you're the person who got cheated on,

you have to humble yourself, and be open

to having a conversation about the gaps in the relationship

that could have led to that cheating.

So after cheating, it's extremely important

that you both focus in on what's going to be required

to rebuild the trust and it could take years

for that to happen.

From Adrienluvsgg,

do open relationships really work?

Asking for a friend.

and this is another one where it's gonna be highly dependent

on the people who are within the relationship.

You have to know what people are needing.

So if we go back to attachment styles, for example,

if you've got two people who have

an avoidant attachment style,

they both need a lot of space, independence, autonomy,

and open relationship might be perfect for them

because they don't have to feel trapped or imprisoned

in a relationship that's very limiting,

and they do still have the stability and consistency

of having that one partner that they will achieve

their long-term goals with.

From aroojwaheed3,

what causes a marriage of 10, 15 years to fail?

What changes or does not change?

I always thought the respect and understanding

gets better with time, but the cases around me

are showing otherwise.

What we often see is that as relationships

progress through really critical milestones,

it requires a reconfiguring of the identity

of each of them individually, as well as how they fit

as a couple.

So the empty nest syndrome, for example,

you've got a couple who maybe got married,

had kids within the first five years,

then they spend you next 20, 25 years

trying to launch those kids.

What happens when the children

are completely out of the house

and now it's just the two of you?

And you don't remember how you relate

to one another anymore?

You don't know your hobbies,

your interest,

you don't know how much space you need,

and you start really noticing that this retired life

that you envision for yourselves is just not compatible.

From __OTY_, how do you know if he's the one?

You want your relationship ideally to represent

a safe haven for you.

So if you're having stress at work,

with your family, you want this person

and this relationship to be the place where you can relax

at the end of a stressful day.

So even though in the beginning these relationships

aren't always that appealing

because they can seem actually kind of boring,

those are the types of things

that you want to pay attention to

where there can be nice longevity in the relationship

because you guys are creating a dynamic

where you can weather a lot of different storms together.

From Inspirechat,

how does developing self-love

help to strengthen your relationship?

When we are expecting the people in our lives

to make us feel worthy,

we are setting ourselves up for failure

because they're humans, and they're going to fail.

So when you have those self-love practices

of setting side time and having boundaries,

and taking care of your body, all of these things

that tell yourself, Hey, if no one else

comes through for me, I'm going to come through for myself.

It makes it a lot easier for the people around you

to show you that they love you

and it feels like an add-on instead of a need.

413Honey, do love languages matter to you?

This is a great question.

I think love languages are really important.

When it comes to love languages,

I find that it's a really great way for you

to identify your needs compared to your partner's needs.

There are five love languages,

you have words of affirmation,

physical touch,

quality time,

acts of service and gifts.

Most of us are going to score on all of those

to some capacity, but you wanna see

what are your big hitters.

For me, for example, it's words of affirmation.

But a really interesting thing

that we don't talk enough about when it comes

to love languages is that it actually also gives you

insight into some of the most severe ways

that you can hurt your partner.

So if we were to continue with the words of affirmation,

for a person who really values words,

if you say demeaning things

especially in front of a group of people,

those things are going to affect a person

with the words of affirmation love language,

more than a person with physical touch, for example.

Next, from Stage5Social,

can you have a compromise without a sacrifice?

Like what if my partner wants kids and I don't?

How do you navigate that without sacrifice?

This is a great question, and it's one of those things

that needs to be discussed in the beginning

of your relationship.

If you wanna have children and your partner

does not want to have children or vice versa,

that's the type of thing that you really

cannot compromise on.

At the end of the day,

someone is not getting what they want

and they're going to have to compromise their values.

And when it comes to kids,

I personally think that's the kind of thing

that you should not be compromising on.

That's it, that's all the questions we had,

I hope you learned something.

Till next time.

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