When we fell in love, it felt great! Our toes tingled, we smiled whenever we thought of each other, and it all felt so new, maybe even like nothing we'd ever felt before. We wanted that feeling to last forever, so we got engaged. Many of us spent months or literally years to plan our weddings. We started with the big plan, and worked our way down to the finest of details to make sure our day turned out perfectly. Then we got married. We could live in that feeling forever now, right? But that feeling didn't last. We asked ourselves what happened, and wondered why we ever got married.
When we get married, I believe a new sentient being is created, called Our Relationship. It requires constant care, protection, nurturing and ongoing attention in order to stay healthy, much like planting a tree does. Our Relationship goes through seasons and stages too, much like an apple tree. In the beginning, we find a safe place to plant it. Our Relationship also needs lots of water and nutrients in order to flower, and so we might even set up a schedule to assure it gets them. Bees are needed to pollinate the flowers, and continued watering and nutrients lead to beautiful fruit in the Fall. If we stop caring for Our Relationship then, and assuming it now knows how to take care of itself, it won't make it through the winter. So we wrap the trunk to protect it. We might put a cage around it to keep deer and other predators away when Our Relationship is most vulnerable.
Have you given your relationship that level of attention since you got married? If you have, you probably are enjoying the benefits of a fruitful marriage. If not, there is still time if the damage has not taken irreversible tolls. Start nurturing the tree of your marriage immediately, with kinder words, deeds and attention. Work with your partner to restore Your Relationship back to health, and you'll discover that now it also provides a deeper appreciation for the shared life the two of you create and nurture together.
Rev. Ronnie was ordained in 2010 as an interfaith minister through The New Seminary, located in New York City. She is available to perform ceremonies throughout the United States, aboard ship or in other countries.