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 Connect2 Marriage Counseling/Silicon Valley Couples we work with couples to help you understand yourselves and your marriage better and to work through your issues. We teach tools and skills. We try to help you see things differently, to experiment with new ideas and actions, to change how you behave in your relationship, to get clear on your values, goals and priorities.
Ultimately, you decide whether you will stay married or not. That part is your job, not ours.
If you do decide to separate and end up feeling relieved or that a burden has been lifted, that’s a normal response. You may be feeling many things when you separate and all of them are normal: fear, anger, sadness, excitement, relief, uncertainty, exhaustion, questioning yourself, freedom, loss, grief, happier, mad at yourself for “wasting” so long on this person, feeling robbed by him/her, and so on.
It may be confusing to experience so many conflicting feelings. How do you hold being happier and sadness at the same time? Yet you can.
Going through separation and divorce is a journey; you have to deal with lots of details and legal issues when you’re emotional and it takes a long time (in the actual dealing with paperwork and legal issues). Your feelings are to be expected to be all over the place. If you have kids, it’s a lifelong journey as there are all the key moments of your kids’ lives: birthdays, graduations, marriage, grand kids, etc. to figure out. I hope you can find it in your heart and mind to be friendly with your ex if you have kids as that’s what’s best for them.
Maybe you’re ready to date, but are officially still married. How will you handle that? Maybe you think you never want to date again. Normal.
If you are the one who left, it may be easier on you. But maybe not. If you were the one left it may be harder on you. You may wonder why you were left, what’s wrong? How am I lacking? And so on.
Whatever you’re feeling and whether you left or were left, talk to your friends or a clergy person or go to a divorce support group or find a therapist. This is a time of great change in your life and you can’t expect it to go smoothly.
Maybe it’s tough for you to be vulnerable or scared, but the truth is we are all vulnerable and scared at times. Opening yourself up to others’ support not only helps you, it allows others to give to you. Plus they know when they need you they can reach out, too.