The Relationship Tree
We refer to a relationship as having three entities.
The two individuals and the third entity we liken to the tree of life.
When we meet that significant person and we become attracted to each other, it is like we unconsciously or consciously agree to plant a seed or small tree with the intention to grow something & see what it wants to become! With the influence of each other together.
Both individuals are being required to take on a responsibility for the third entity "the tree"
However, so often with the busyness of life, the tree (relationship) gets forgotten and often only with a crisis do we have the opportunity to reflect & remember that little tree that we planted together. Maybe it is still there at the bottom of the garden, standing quietly in the shade, overgrown with weeds, in neglect as it has not been fed, watered or nurtured.
Beyond the business of maybe growing a business together, developing your careers, having children, paying off mortgages, maintaining some social life with others etc etc. We have either forgotten or failed to recognise and acknowledge the care and respect required for growing a rich and meaningful relationship. So what is it that throws the shade over your relationship tree? that allows the weeds to grow around it, retards it's growth and deprive it of any moisture, warmth, light, nourishment and new life?
If these metaphors work for you try to develop a language between you and your partner for what is going to nurture growth and development for your relationship tree. Remembering that just like the tree, a relationship is a living dynamic.
Identify what might feed and water it, for example sitting together for a drink & chat each evening, sharing that early morning cup of tea, greeting each other respectfully with tenderness, eye contact, using each other's name, regular dates, finding a shared interest, dreaming & planning together etc etc. Simultaneously, how will you remove and limit the weeds? Name those weeds!
Learn to resolve conflict more effectively in ways that are meaningful. Keep the relationship protected and allow the light and warmth to flow. Creating time and space, clear the dead wood out but with mindfulness. Don't over prune it harshly with the harsh criticalness but with kindness, careful attention, interest & curiosity for its potential & what it's capable of becoming.