Premarital and Couples: The Resiliency of Bridges | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Mountain View Online |

Local Blogs

Couple's Net

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)

View all posts from Chandrama Anderson

Premarital and Couples: The Resiliency of Bridges

Uploaded: May 8, 2020
Lately I've been thinking about the image of healthy couples as being a bridge. Each of you is one foundation on each side of the water. A strong foundation must be built (they don't magically appear) in order for the bridge to stand. Only after each support is built can the span be built. The couple determines the purpose and design of the bridge.

To truly be there for your partner, you need to be emotionally attuned to him or her, while staying solid in your sense of self -- my own feelings, my own body sensations, my own thoughts and perceptions. A healthy relationship is akin to a well-built bridge: it moves; it sways, flattens, contracts, adjusting to changing conditions; all the while the foundation is solid and resilient.

This seems to be a bit difficult to understand, much less to know how to do. We have this huge cultural myth hanging over us -- Don't be dependent or needy. The truth is that we need to be inter-dependent, and needing others in healthy ways is, well, healthy. Most of us want to be needed, too. Not overly so, but needed.

Yet many of us were taught, consciously and unconsciously that our Self is the reflection of our caregiver(s), and somehow we're not supposed to be separate. So perhaps, when one of you gets triggered (or moody), the other person takes on the same feelings since you were not supposed to have your own feelings, voice, perception, and so on. That's just the way you are supposed to be with your partner.

What does relationship resiliency look like? Sometimes you come further across the bridge to support your partner, other times he comes further across. Ebb and flow. This creates a working bridge, a secure attachment; attunement, I know you've got my back, I seek you out for comfort and sex, our bridge is the gateway to our home as a safe haven that gives us what we each need to go out into the world.

Here are a couple of examples of a non-resilient bridge:
-If, based on my earlier life experiences, I feel anxious about the attachment we have, and I don't trust that your span will reach far enough across, or only be there some of the time (i.e. can you hold me in all my various facets?), then I can't relax into our inter-dependence. I wonder if I can count on you.
-Or, if my life experience has taught me that people are not available, then I will be avoidant; I'll pull away and not hold up my part of the bridge and you will be hanging out over the water at times.

So what do you want your bridge to look like? What does each land-based foundation look like? Does your span cross a stream, a river, a lake, a bay?

If you're ready to create your own bridge as a couple, or to strengthen the foundations, give me a call . . .













#marriage counseling
#couples therapy
#couples counseling
#individual counseling
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.


Get fact-based reporting on the COVID-19 crisis sent to your inbox daily.

Despite opposition, Chick-fil-A lands in Redwood City with long lines
By Elena Kadvany | 34 comments | 6,632 views

Kids and sugar: A cautionary tale
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 2,264 views

Couples: Are you Committed to your Vows or Dysfunction?
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 2,028 views

Do peaceful protests do any good? How about the more violent ones?
By Diana Diamond | 6 comments | 827 views