By Chandrama Anderson
Email Chandrama Anderson
About this blog: About this blog: I’m an LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I am the President of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I’ve worked in high tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in… (More) About this blog: About this blog: I’m an LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief, and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I am 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 high tech background is helpful in understanding the dynamics of local couples and the pressures of living here. I’m a wife, mother, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate of causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son has graduated from culinary school and is pursuing a degree in sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding tandem bikes with my husband. I love the beach and the mountains; Nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples and on this blog I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills as well as book and film reviews and reflections to help you be the real you and your own voice to find 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 sheds light on my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic #MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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I wanted to share again this popular and important post I wrote in 2014.
I just read Vow by Wendy Plump, in which she writes about her own infidelity and that of her ex-husband; the benefits and costs it has found.
Maintaining a faithful marriage involves exercising loyalty, staying out of potentially dangerous situations, investing more and more in our marriage, keeping the windows and doors closed, as Mira Kirshenbaum writes in her book: When good people have affairs: In the hearts and minds of people in two relationships. And be sure to know that alcohol is an extremely dangerous inflammatory bomb.
As Stephen wrote on Couple’s Net, he remembers how lucky he is to be married to Nancy and presumably acts within and without her presence, from that place of knowing how lucky he is.
Plump writes about the loss of passion in her marriage, about the allure of novelty in falling in love. You can fall in love with your partner every day. You can see, see, hear and know them, every day. You can touch, acknowledge and give to him every day. It’s a choice.
You can get lost in the daily rhythms of shopping, kids, work, laundry (oh yes, and appliances). Or you can be there together.
It’s difficult because the hormones and chemicals that get going when you’re seduced are real hormones and chemicals running through your brain and body. They always let up. But they are addictive, as are alcohol, drugs, and other behaviors that trigger the reward system in your brain.
Mature love is different and passionate and comforting with effort and loving care, both.
Faithfulness and loyalty replace conscious competence (from the four levels of competence: unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence). You need to pay attention to what (and who) is around you and choose your partner – again today.
The human brain is wired for complications and prone to negativity. It’s up to you to slow down and get your left frontal cortex going so you can make informed decisions. Most people really want to be happily married. Most people really don’t want to blow up their family.
Make sure you spend time with people who are friends of your marriage. It’s easy to hang out with those who vicariously experience the thrill of an affair while he/she returns to a safe, loving home.
Talk to your spouse about your day, your week, your life. If you find yourself talking to someone else about things you don’t talk about with your partner, or hiding who you’re talking (or drinking) with, stop now and go home and bring more into your relationship .
Monogamy is ultimately a commitment to yourself. Loyalty and integrity is what you do when no one is looking or will know.
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