On the grand scheme of things, I’m very much a marriage newbie as I know couples who’ve been together for 30, 40, and even 50 years! But like everything in my life, I love learning, getting better, and then helping others to do the same. Marriage is no different.
An interesting self-reflection, and probably shared by many male minds, is my desire to fix what I can see is broken. If a chair screw is loose, I want to tighten it. If a bulb is out, I want to change it. If a gas tank is empty, I want to fill it up. It’s easy to fix what I can see. But what about the things I can’t see? Intangible things are harder to fix because they are harder to identity as broken or not.
Love and marriage, in their entirety, are intangible things. Beyond the tactical actions of love and marriage, there is no physical gas tank to know if things are getting better or worse, and since my mind likes to work with tangible objects, one trick I’ve created is called “The Love Plant.”
A house plant that hasn’t been watered in a week will probably die. But if you give it water on a regular basis, it will continue to be healthy and grow. The same is true for love and marriage. Both need to be watered to be healthy and grow. So I now have a virtual plant in my mind that represents my relationship with ACbert. Every day I check in with my Love Plant to see if I’ve taken the time to water it or not.
By turning an intangible into a tangible, I find myself taking the extra moment to write her a note in the morning with her tea and in those little moments our marriage continues to grow and be healthy.