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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At our house, we believe that black lives matter. We believe it’s time to end racism and sexism. We believe that all people matter and it’s time to end hate.
What happens if you are a couple divided about politics?
What happens if you read in the NY Times that Trump paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017
, and have differing reactions to that information?
You can agree to disagree.
You can have an important dialogue about how you each feel. That means you have to listen and feed back what you heard. Please remember doing so does not mean you agree with what your beloved has said; just that you heard and are feeding it back.
Feelings and content are different. Using the above example, content is the $750 Trump paid in taxes. Process is how you feel about that.
People react immediately to content because brains are wired for safety: am I going to live or die? And that happens in 1/200th of a second. That comes from the limbic/emotional part of the brain. It’s to be able to run from a predator, or pull your child back to the curb. Unfortunately, it’s also an instinct that arises with your partner when it’s not necessarily needed.
Feeling connected and that you belong are about process. That’s responding (not reacting). That comes from your cognitive (thinking) and limbic brain (when you’re not emotionally flooded).
I picked the Trump tax situation because it’s liable to cause a strong reaction one way or another. You may be thinking, “What did I pay in taxes those years?”
And yet many topics engender a powerful reaction, not a response. The top three are money, sex, and power. But politics, in-laws, kids, vacations, work/home balance, and religion are up there, too.
In order to deescalate things between you, remember you’re talking to your beloved, slow everything down, be curious, ask questions, show love and kindness. And you don’t have to agree on everything. You just have to be able to talk about it calmly.