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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Calling invisible Women is an entertaining novel, but it really got me thinking about how women -- or men, may become invisible in a relationship.
In the story, as long as the main character, a wife and mother, wears clothes, her family "sees" her. But they don't actually look at her. If they did, they would see a blank space in place of her face. She cooks, cleans, and does her regular household routine, so her family doesn't notice her invisibility.
In my office I hear people talk about feeling taken for granted. Men and women, both. I hear talk of not being appreciated, not being heard, not feeling seen, not being touched, not having one's perspective taken in. These are all phrases crying out about invisibility.
Please, slow down and look at each other. Notice facial cues and body language. Know your beloved's face.
Please, slow down and listen to each other, rather than hearing a voice. First respond to what is said; then you can say what you want to say.
Please notice and appreciate your partner, and his or her efforts to make your lives work well.
Please try to walk in his or her shoes as he or she is talking with you. Imagine what the situation is for him or her. Give empathy.
When you first met, maybe you saw each other through rose-colored glasses. Perhaps the glasses became clear over time as you got to know each other well. Some couples now see each other through brown-tinted glasses; everything you do or say seems to add to the disdain or troubles.
Take off your glasses, whatever color they are, and make the effort to see your beloved with your best intentions.
Decide you are a team. Whatever troubles you have, you will look at as a separate entity --that you will work together to solve. You are in it together. So you can be right, or you can be happy.