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Couples assessment: Where are you in your relationship?

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Edifa - published on 12/31/20

The new year is an ideal time to take stock of your marriage and continue to grow together.

Nature offers very beautiful landscapes: lush colors, birds singing, insects buzzing… Gardeners are proud of their work. It’s normal, it’s the season. But if the lettuce has sprouted, it is because the soil was first nourished, the seeds sown and watered regularly. Perhaps it was necessary to protect it from too much rain or too much sun. And from the hungry, shameless slugs. The azaleas have flourished magnificently because we added the supplements and carefully removed the encroaching bindweed. And so on for all the other plants that are a delight for the eye as well as the palate. A beautiful garden is not the result of chance, but the result of much care and work … and of love, too. A bit like our marital relationship — if we take care of it, it can also be as beautiful as the loveliest garden.

The new year can be a good time to review the past year: what care have we taken, or what weeds have we allowed to germinate and grow without necessarily being aware of it, like shared moments of tenderness, or lack of time, or those little accumulated grudges? We are going to have to weed, till, and water our conjugal garden. But how? And where do we start?

Finding the right tools for cultivating the conjugal garden

First of all, by becoming aware of the possible sentimental and sexual stagnation of our relationship as a couple. Where are we in our presence to each other? Are we in this together? Do we share our projects? Our dreams? Our sexual and spiritual intimacy? Then, by getting the right tools to make it bear fruit: benevolence, which will help us avoid toxic phrases and will help us listen more attentively to each other; tenderness, which acts as a true fertilizer of love and fills our insatiable need to be loved; and time, which we must take on a regular basis, to rediscover our love for each other.

Perhaps we will need some advice. A more experienced friend, an “accomplished gardener,” a few specialized books. We need to have our “go-to people” who will comfort us and support us in our projects to keep us on track. Success will depend on being consistent and patient. And when our friends come to see us, they will say: “Oh, your garden is so beautiful!” And they will exclaim with Solomon: “Like a lily among thorns, so is his love among the maidens … Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is her beloved among the young men.” (Song of Songs 2:2-3).

Marie-Noël Florant


Read more:
Is your marriage in trouble? Turn to St. Joseph!

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