My husband and I recently bought a home. One of the things that drew me to it was the beautiful landscaping that the previous owners had created. So very lovely and well cared for. I imagined myself sitting on the back porch, sipping iced tea, enjoying the summer sun. I imagined smelling those gorgeous hydrangeas and snipping a few lilacs to put on my kitchen table.
There was only one problem. A couple years ago my mom bought me a beautiful hanging basket of flowers. They were white and full and flowing. All I had to do was water them. There were no weeds to pull or spiders to avoid, just water, sun, simple.
That thing died like 39 times.
I'd walk by, see the crinkled leaves and brown petals and run for water. Somehow, for whatever reason, that plant wouldn't die. I’m convinced it had super powers. But although it lasted a whole season, it did not thrive.
With this dark past looming behind me, I knew that if we bought this house, it would be up to us to maintain all that beauty. And I didn't have a good track record. We'd lived in apartments or rental properties for a long time and I was always too scared of the spiders and bees to help my mom or grandmothers with their flower beds. How was I going to do this? Plus, I’d need like, shovels and stuff, right? In order to maintain all that beauty I would have to learn how. I would have to do research. I’d have to invest time.
So we bought the house and my research began. I want to know everything I can about each and every plant and flower and how I am supposed to care for each of them. I plan to invest in the tools I need to tend them. My goal? Maintain the garden while it's healthy, not just when I notice it wilting.
Relationships are the same. I hear a lot of people say, "we don't have any problems, we are so in love!" And wow, that is so good! It truly is. But the metaphor of the garden applies to this. So many couples don't tend to their relationship until it's struggling. And friends, it will struggle. Every marriage faces obstacles eventually. Couples with a very strong foundation can withstand drought after drought, but barely. Just like my white flower basket. Others, with brittle roots, won't make it through the spring storms, let alone a harsh winter.
The goal for a relationship must be the same as my goal for the garden: Maintain your relationship while it's healthy, not just when you notice it wilting.
There are no couples that can live vibrantly without regular maintenance. You have to do your research. You have to invest time. You have to learn practical tools to help you pull out the weeds. A healthy relationship, like a flowerbed, needs your heart. It needs your mind. And it needs your work. If you take the time to build up your relationship, you will see bloom after bloom. Sure, problems will still arise, like weeds in the tulips, but because of your hard work, you'll know how to get rid of them.
Let Us Help.
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