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Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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Couples Doubles Tennis

Uploaded: Jan 13, 2015
As a couple, please imagine that you are partners playing doubles tennis in life. This means that the two of you are on the same side. Whatever difficulty you are facing is across the net.

Whether these issues are about children, careers, family of origin, housecleaning, chores, caring for aging or dying parents, finances and more; all of those are on the other side of your net.

Even the interpersonal struggles of your marriage are over the net. The two of you are still a team. This doesn't mean agreeing on everything, it doesn't mean putting up with behavior that crosses your boundaries. It doesn't mean doing everything together. It doesn't mean giving up who you intrinsically are.

It does mean sorting out and getting to the root of things together. It does mean being committed to connection, giving in each others' Love Languages. It may mean giving up certain behaviors, changing even.

As you may know, my MIL (mom of my heart) is dying. I had to fire her care giver company yesterday for an ethical breach (not a care giving one). It was an extremely stressful situation, and we did not have much time to deal with it during our busy day. But my husband and I were in it together. And time was of the essence.

We talked it through in small moments throughout the day, brought out all of our concerns, consulted with others, decided what the actions items were, who would do them, and took those actions. We learned a few lessons and will do certain things a little differently with the next care givers.

We stayed on one side of the net. We took care of each other. We ate comfort food for supper. We watched football. Fell asleep resting on one another.

Now I need to go find another care giver . . .

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