Try to remember, if you will, the day you met your spouse, or better yet, the day you fell in love with your spouse. Imagine during that season of your relationship that the emotional space you two inhabited was like a secluded, wide open meadow.

Tall grasses and wildflowers moving with the breeze, an occasional tree casting shade from the afternoon sun, and the sounds of birds and bugs in search of mates of their own. It was a wild space, uncultivated, and free.

You loved that space, and longed to spend as much time there as you possibly could. As time passed you both created pathways through the grass, and you began, slowly to change the shape and purpose of this space.

You talked about growing a garden, and dreamed about what you would grow together. The meadow started to become a cultivated place, suitable for growing things that would nourish you.

As is true of all relationships, you also introduced things to this space that you found difficult to control; past hurts, unhelpful ways of communicating, bad habits, and so on.

As each of these was introduced to the space they became barbed-wire, land mines, fox holes; things to be avoided. Your magical space became a place to be avoided, or at best, a place to tread carefully.

Now, when you look at this space that once held so much hope, beauty, and bounty, you see a battlefield. No one wants to live in a battlefield, and most couples won’t survive long in a place like that.

Now a decision must be made. Do you abandon this space in search of greener pastures, or do you stay and do the hard work of clearing the land of all the implements of war?

I want to encourage you today, that you don’t have to live in a battlefield. You and your spouse can do the work of clearing the land of mines and beginning again to cultivate a space that is life giving and fruitful.

If you’re tired of the same battles played out again and again, consider a marriage therapist who is not afraid to get his or her hands dirty with you.

Photo Credit: Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Matthew Hanlon

Matthew Hanlon

Men & Couples Therapist | MA, LMFT

I help men and their families, who are hurting, angry, and struggling to find their way through life’s challenges, to create real and lasting change.

Call for Free Consultation | (630) 397-1900 

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