How Gardening Is Transforming My Marriage

David Jurasek
9 min readApr 12, 2020
My wife and I in our garden in Toronto, Canada — David Jurasek

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.

Freeze frame of me and my wife re-enacting a fight— taken by Patricia Marcoccia

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.

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David Jurasek

Imperfect man wrestling with the paradox of being powerful and loving. Find me and our dojo at: www.powerfulandloving.com