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Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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All This Arguing . . .

Uploaded: Apr 11, 2014
. . . fighting, disagreeing is actually a primal cry for connection.

We are biologically wired to NEED a secure connection with another adult (defined as: be responded to with empathy, know we have each others' back, seek comfort and sex from one another, create a home that is a haven and gives us strength for all the other things we do outside our front door).

If we can step back, either one of us, in the midst of hard words, poor tone, too much volume, certain looks, and so on, and say or show the "time out" T with our hands, we have a chance to notice that this is a protest about needing to feel connected again.

You might not like hearing this, but when kids cry or have tantrums often they are calling for connection. We're not all that different, except that we can "use our words" to ask for connection.

Imagine what life would be like if we were able to short-circuit these poor interactions. Maybe we'd feel great, or perhaps vulnerable, or other feelings would show up.

We've been taught we shouldn't need anyone; we're strong, competent, independent, and successful. And that's true, we are. It's the American way.

AND, we need secure love and connection.

Protest is actually a healthy response to a situation that needs adjusting. Just don't get stuck in the view that the protest IS the issue when it is only the symptom.

So please, slow down, and see these arguments for what they are – a front for money laundering – I mean a front for the need for connection.

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