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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When I am advocating for my husband while he’s in hospital, I refer to it as ‘Fierce Love’. I will do pretty much anything for him while he cannot do it himself. Yesterday morning, three hours before visiting hours began, I kindly forced my way into the German hospital with an ice pack because he needed it.
Fortunately, I ended up being there when the doctor did her rounds. When I saw the incision, my first thought was, “Wow, what happened to the other guy?” Cliché, I know.
Another example of fierce love was during my husband’s cancer treatment in 2011 when the hospital pharmacy mixed up a $7000 bag of chemo meds that was a higher dose than we had agreed on with his doctor. I had to leave and go to work. I told them, “Please re-do it at the correct dose or we refuse chemo today.” Thank goodness they did because his reaction to the lower dose landed him in the hospital for six nights and he lost 25lbs. It’s the one time during the whole ordeal that he thought he might die. We try not to wonder too often what might have happened if he’d gotten more of that medication.
There’s a fine line between fierce love and controlling one’s partner. For me, it’s when my husband is unable to stand up or speak for himself. I occasionally use fierce love to help others in my life who are lacking the internal resources in a given situation. Then it is done with consent and with the intention to not only pave the way and do whatever it is together, but with the hope of teaching by example how to self-advocate.
On an off-topic note: I have been sleeping poorly here (no surprise); I often wake up after three hours and am wide awake. Last night I video called my 26-year-old son as he was getting off work. After talking for a bit, he read to me for 45 minutes. Then I was able to go back to sleep. I guess it’s true that what goes around, comes around.
My columns for you are a form of fierce love; my goal is to empower you to have a better marriage.
How do you enact fierce love on your beloved’s part?