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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I’m not talking about a financial investment plan this time, although I do also recommend that (money is a huge hot spot for many couples). I’m referring to investing in your relationship.
Dr. John Gottman, who has researched couples for a few decades at The Gottman Institute, has determined that if you have 5:1 ratio of good interactions to poor interactions, your marriage will be solid. What if you had 10:1—or more? 5:1 seems as though you’d have some pretty sh!**y days on a regular basis. Please don’t set a low bar for yourselves.
What does investment look like?
1. Be complementary; say what you appreciate or are grateful for
2. Touch, even a quick squeeze on the shoulder just for contact
3. One cooks and the other cleans up
4. Truly seeing and hearing each other (20 minutes/day)
5. Find out what your partner loves the most in bed and get really good at it
6. Do things to give pleasure to your beloved, even (and especially) if it’s out of your comfort zone
7. Make time for each other—when you still have energy left, not as the leftovers
8. Give small, medium or big gifts once in a while (flowers, new tools, a trip, something related to a hobby, etc.)
9. Talking about your relationship and what you want to do to make it even stronger
10. Spending time doing what you each enjoy (not all one person’s likes)
11. Carve out time for individual needs as well (exercise, hobbies)
12. Remember your marriage comes first, your kids a close second (your healthy relationship is the roof over their heads and teaches them how to have healthy relationships when they grow up)
13. Get away overnight without kids a few times a year (you can do a kid swap with friends to allow this to happen if you don’t have family nearby)
Add more to this list. Your investments can pay off in the short and long term.