A New Flower in the Garden
A garden is a great analogy for a marriage. Both a garden and marriage require a commitment to create, care, and constantly nurture and maintain it. In a garden if you attend to it daily, weeds and bugs don’t have a chance and the garden will continue to bloom and thrive. The same with a marriage, if you constantly keep the focus on the relationship and making it strong, it will not be susceptible to infidelity, loss of trust or love. A healthy garden allows for flowers to grow and a strong healthy relationship is one that allows for child to flourish.
Sometimes a gardener stays away too long and weeds completely take over the garden. The same is true with a marriage if one or both parties loses sight of the relationship and stops tending to it daily, many things can over take it such as infidelity, resentment, loss of trust and loss of love. Sometimes the marriage cannot be saved if these issues are not addressed soon enough.
A child is like a flower in the garden. Children flourish in a healthy stable relationship and this is set by the parents. However, as a marriage therapist, I’ve seen how once a child comes along the parents can lose sight of the importance of keeping the focus on their own relationship and forget that their relationship is the foundation of the family. Quite often, the relationship slowly declines after a child or two joins the family because the couple doesn’t maintain their relationship, placing it secondary to the child(ren). If this goes on for too long, the couple grows apart, becomes distance and the whole family or garden is at risk of perishing.
Drs. Gottman’s relationship researchers, showed that a relationship can be in a slow and steady decline for about six years before it hits crisis and couples seek help with counselling. Often at that point of entering counselling it may be difficult to salvage the relationship without great effort on the part of the couple … just as when weeds have completely overtaken a garden.
In my experience as a marriage counselor what I have found is that couples that struggle and enter a slow decline are the ones that forget to maintain regular focus on the relationship. In other words, their garden was neglected for too long and they may have just been watering the flower, their child. For a child to flourish, he/she needs a strong foundation between the parents. If the parent’s relationship isn’t strong the whole family system is in jeopardy.
Ways to keep the focus on the relationship are to always make decisions with the relationship in mind and not the individual. Whatever you do for the relationship will help the individual, whatever you do that hurts the relationship will hurt the individual. Always ask yourself if I choose this or make this decision how it will positively or negatively affect the relationship. If you keep that in mind your relationship will stay strong.
Tammy M. Fontana, MS. NCC CTRT, Lead Therapist at All in the Family Counselling
Visit/call us to find out more atwww.allinthefamilycounselling.comor9030 7239.