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 dinner recently, my husband and I were eating artichokes and having a spirited conversation, as we often do. I looked over at one point and noticed he was eating his artichoke leaves the WRONG way -- he was holding the leaf with the meaty side up. I eat them with the meaty side down. Does this sound like Dr. Suess' "The Butter Battle Book" or what?
"Do you always eat artichokes that way?" I asked. "What way?" he asked. "Upside-down," I replied. We looked at each other and how were were eating. We each tried a leaf the opposite way and determined it didn't feel right, and went back to enjoying our food and conversation.
A few days later, my brother-in-law was having dinner with us (yes, more artichokes), and I asked him how he eats the leaves. He looked puzzled, but said, "Right-side up." Next my sister came to visit, so I asked her how she eats artichoke leaves. Meaty side down. Ha!
Of course the moral of this story is that there is no right way to eat an artichoke. Furthermore, there is no right way to do many things that arise as disagreements between couples. So much of what you do is based on what you did growing up, and while that is your "normal" or "right" way to do things, your partner's normal or right way is also valid.
Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be kind and accepting? Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be content -- or even happy? Are you in a power play? If so, what's that about?
There are issues in this world and in your relationship that matter a lot; sort through them and use your energy productively, with your partner and overall in your lives.