There were times after a tense disagreement or beguiling misunderstanding with my wife, where I would wake up in the middle of the night, anxious and sweaty, staring at the back of her wild mane of hair, pondering…
If only she would be more…
I used to have the same relationship to my wife as I did to nature.
I was in awe of her natural power and wild beauty.
I loved being around her when she made me feel good.
But I was a cranky and controlling mess when she did not.
I have the seasonal allergies (to many natural stimuli) which mirror this in my marriage.
The truth is that for most of my life I was a consumer and an addict of nature and intimate relationships.
Green spaces and intimate moments of physical connection, both provided a profound experience of awe and wonder, losing myself to something greater. Both also evoked a cocktail of intoxicating emotional charges riding through my body.
Being a therapist and a relationship nerd didn’t mean I was above seeing my own relationship as a means to an end — chasing the high of feeling in love.
As the conflicts within my marriage intensified, my condition became worse, not better. I grew to expect more and more from my partner.
Here was my reasoning back then:
Now that I found the one, pursued her and then chose to spend the rest of my life with her, she needed to know my heart better than I do and give me what I needed, when I need it!
Sounds like a toddler, doesn’t it?
I’ve had a lot of emotional growing up to do!
But, it was the garden which played a great part in my becoming a better partner, lover and friend.
I attribute three factors to my marriage not imploding ~ like every other relationship I ever had ~ and instead to it gradually evolving into a bond I am deeply grateful for and more committed to than ever before.