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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You tell each other everything, right? Pause. Are there things you don’t tell each other?
If you’re telling each other everything, it puts you in good stead for a relationship where you are each others’ top priority, even with the siren songs of career, kids, family, etc.
If you’re not telling each other everything, why is that? Are you withholding? Do you think your beloved doesn’t want to hear?
Telling everything doesn’t mean all conversations need to be long and drawn out. Having 20 minutes when you get home in which you each listen for 10 minutes while the other shares about the day or what’s on her mind, or his joyful or crappy moment. At this house, we like to ask each other what happened today that was weird. I started doing this with my son when he reached the ‘grunt for an answer’ stage when I’d ask about his day. I usually got a great story by asking what was weird today.
Each of you can write out a list of taboo topics. Is it sex? Wanting exciting, erotic sex, when you have “vanilla” sex? Money? In-laws? This is not your bitch list at your partner, BTW. It’s a list of things you don’t or won’t talk about. Things that feel edgy or you feel unsure about bringing up. Then share your lists with each other.
How much overlap is on your lists? Those might be good places to start your conversation. Go slowly. Notice how you feel in your body as you discuss the topic. If you start getting stressed, ask for support from your partner. That could be eye contact, or a simple touch or hug, or words of love and support.
Over time, work your way through your list of taboo topics. My hope is that you will be and feel closer, more connected, and have fewer barriers between you – in other words, more intimacy.
Let me know how it goes.