“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who won't give up on each other.” | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

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Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

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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)

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“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who won't give up on each other.”

Uploaded: Aug 6, 2021
Thanks, Kate Stewart, for that quote.

No one is perfect. Shooting for perfection takes too much time and energy away from your life. Do things very well; care and work hard, maybe even go above and beyond--to a point. Stop short of perfection and enjoy life. (Ask yourself what is underneath seeking perfection. Was it expected of you growing up? Did you watch your parents try to be perfect? Are you worried about your education/career? Seeking perfection may be a good cover for feeling anxious or lacking confidence in yourself--it’s likely related to needing to be--or at least feel--in control. Once you address the underlying issue(s), you can manage your life better.)

While you’re busy not-being-perfect, also don’t be too big of a pain in your beloved’s ass, or anyone else’s. Yes, you have to take/make time to self-reflect. You deserve that time for understanding and improving certain behaviors, and to feel at peace with yourself.

Gottman’s ratio of 5:1 good interactions to poor ones is worth keeping in mind. Again, that’s 80%, not perfect.

If you are looking around and comparing your relationship to others’ relationships, please know two things:
1. No matter what you see/hear of another’s relationship, you aren’t inside there to truly know. Most people hide their couple issues. I hope you’ll open to trusted friends of your marriage.
2. There is no “right” way to have a relationship. What works for the two of you--when done with a truthful good heart--is right for you.

Enjoy each others’ quirks. Find ways to understand your honey’s quirks as part of what makes up who s/he is; who you love and cherish. For example, my husband is very particular in the way/place his tools are put away after a project. I realized early on that is one of his quirks; it doesn’t say anything about me or my competence or abilities. I carry tools over near his truck and set them down. I’ve helped, and he is free to indulge this quirk!

Here are four ways you might respond to your beloved’s quirks:
1. Sit back, watch, enjoy, and smile at his/her quirk (kindly, not smugly).
2. Ask good curiosity questions so you better understand it.
3. Make a demand.
4. WTF?
Please choose number one or two!

On to the refuse to give up portion. Please note: if you are in an abusive relationship, work to see if there is any way healthy change can happen (that choice has to be made and implemented by the partner who is abusing). If so, make sure you are safe and you may ask for change of behavior. If change can happen, maybe you’ll stay. If not, you didn’t take vows to be abused.

If you are in a relatively healthy relationship where a few--or a lot--of things have gone or are going off the rails, be willing to work, be vulnerable, learn new tools and skills, grow both personally and interpersonally. Life is full of curveballs. Limber up!

The couples I’ve seen who have gotten the most out of therapy fall into the “We’re not giving up no matter what” category.

And maybe, most of all, make time to enjoy one another; get out of the minutiae of everyday life and see who is before you in all his/her glory and quirkiness.

Community.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Aug 8, 2021 at 11:24 am

Kevin is a registered user.

Right on Chandrama, I have learned to love my wife's imperfections because they along with her perfections make her who she is. Also, I know I have a lot of imperfections so I appreciate her understanding and living with me.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by III, a resident of Midtown,
on Aug 8, 2021 at 2:04 pm

III is a registered user.

Men marry women hoping they will never change. Women marry men hoping they will change.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Aug 9, 2021 at 10:45 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

#4 is tempting, but I go with #1. As natural as it is to want to talk to family and friends about marriage, they're not capable of being objective.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Joe+V, a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 10, 2021 at 2:32 pm

Joe+V is a registered user.

Thank you for covering all these specific things that are part of marriage. There is a lot a couple can learn from reading it. We are not giving up no matter what! One very important phrase to remember, among many others, Also, a thank you to Pleasanton Weekly for providing it. Joe V


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 13, 2021 at 10:59 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Thanks, Kevin, III, Jennifer and Joe for sharing your thoughts, learning and wisdom.


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