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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Recently I wrote about the Isaacs definition of love, and it got me to thinking again about the third entity: your marriage (as in each of you and your relationship -- the three entities). In particular, the action of ". . . loving as a practice of putting their partner’s interests on an equal footing with their own" corresponds to the notion of your marriage as a container in which you both put your best efforts for the good of both.
Do you have a trust (the financial kind)? A trust is a container in which you place your assets to protect them: for taking care of each other, for privacy, for your children or heirs, for tax purposes, and so on. I love that this is called a trust.
Another way to think about it is cultivating a garden of love. Are you planting, weeding, watering, hanging out on a double hammock, sipping cool drinks? Or are you ripping out plants, grinding down green shoots, erecting a wall?
Maybe you want to be building, but for any number of reasons, you are actually damaging your marriage. What does your marriage need? Notice your thirst, the longing for connection, the protection from loneliness that you yearn for. You have to choose (and act) every day to build your trust, to nurture your garden. And you have to do it without keeping score of what your partner is doing. S/he has to choose it every day, too.
It's a good idea to talk about what it means and consists of to be adding to your trust or garden. You likely have some ideas that are the same or similar, and some that are different. In the meanwhile, you can be putting your marriage's interests first.
If you need some help, get it!