By Chandrama Anderson
E-mail Chandrama Anderson
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)
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 Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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“Some people put more effort and money into the wedding day than they do into their marriage itself. Then it’s all downhill from there.”
- Sam Torode
Just as you take your car in for maintenance and tune-ups, it’s critical to do maintenance and tune-ups on your marriage. Every couple needs to work on their marriage after saying “I do”. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the land of “I don’t”.
Many of my clients come in because they feel disconnected from one another. Their communication is suffering. Their sex life is suffering. There’s a lot of bickering and arguing. I’m certain those things were not in your wedding vows.
What was in your wedding vows? Please go find them and look at them together. See where you are living up to those vows. And painfully, notice where you are not.
Make a plan to address the areas that you’re not meeting in your vows. Be kind to yourselves and each other in this process. This probably means you need to schedule time in your calendar to spend together. Spend this time just the two of you, without kids, family or friends. Don’t talk about your kids or work during this time.
In prior columns, I have mentioned books that have discussion topics in them. You can also look at my reading list on my website. I recently came across another good tool for prompting conversation: DIY HUMAN Deck. These are a Narrative “approach to building meaningful human connections by aiding individuals to reframe how they see themselves and others through the process of sharing stories.” I’ve really enjoyed how deep conversation goes, and how quickly.
I would recommend that you spend time in DIY marriage counseling weekly. After all, your relationship needs to be your top priority. It will help you not only inter-personally, but in all of your relations – kids, work, family and friends. Read through CouplesNet columns and use them for a springboard of conversation.
I wish you a lifetime of love, conversation, connection, and being each other’s go-to person.