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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What's the truth of a couple? It is never simple. And there are always multiple truths. That's why the movie, "He Said, She Said" is so funny to us.
We grow up in our own family, with our family's truths; then we develop our personal truths. Next, we try to blend these with our mate, which obviously (or maybe not obviously) are another family's truths blended with his or her personal truth. Now add in life experience. Of course it's no surprise that there are clashes of "truth."
So what are we to do with this mix of known and unknown or indescribable truths? When we ask a person WHY he did that (which I don't recommend, by the way as it paints him into a corner), he may or may not be able to articulate why; the answer is often it's just how my family did it. And what's wrong with that? You have a problem with my family? No, no . . . Now we're down another rat hole!
Instead of focusing on our truth and trying to convince our beloved, focus on the INTENTION of the communication. I often ask couples, "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be connected and happy?"
So ask a lot questions: What does that mean to you? What does that mean about you? Is that how your family did it? How do you see this? What's your vision about this? How does that sound to you? How do you feel about this?
Dig deep and be curious ? in yourself and in your partner ? to understand your differing truths. I know it takes time. I believe that in the end it takes less time because we don't have to repair misunderstandings.