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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Talking with your partner and being understood may be challenging enough without adding in the complexities of technology. Body language accounts for 70% or more of our communication. Consider eye contact, breathing, and your “felt sense” of what’s going on between you, and begin to imagine what can go wrong in your efforts to talk, listen, and be understood when you’re using email, text, and/or IM.
I worked in high-tech for 15 years; the lure of technology is clear to me. The power of devices, the Internet, and the possibilities of immediate connection and community hold tremendous appeal.
I have heard so many stories of text interactions between couples that have gone awry -- meaning that they escalate quickly into fights, with both people feeling hurt and misunderstood. BTW, when is a text "conversation" done?
I find myself sitting in my therapist chair wondering, "Why were they they having this conversation by text and not in person, or at least by phone where they can hear each others' voices?"
Conversely, we may share more than we want or would be comfortable sharing if we were in person. Another thing to consider: do you really want a written record that might end up forwarded, posted in a public forum, or otherwise used in ways you don’t or can’t anticipate?
It’s also true that face-to-face conversations may feel revealing or vulnerable -- and with your partner, I actually hope that is true for you, as that is part of the definition of intimacy.
Since you want to be loved for who you are, you have to show up as who you are. Otherwise, who does your partner love?
So put down your devices, hold your partner’s hand, make eye contact, and say “Hi.”