Tuesday, April 22, 2014

a metaphor about relationships

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I'm pretty sure a good marriage is built upon encouraging your spouse to embrace their inner child. That and back rubs. On Easter Sunday, Shawn and I visited my sister and her husband. The family went to the park and Shawn determined that one is never too old to swing. We also found a baby turtle near this swing set, which we happily transported back to the pond.
Anyway, on to the topic of this post. A metaphor about relationships inspired by the book I just finished reading for book club called, This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. They are making this book into a movie, which comes out in September 2014. The book is about a Jewish family that doesn't really practice but are sitting Shiva together after the patriarch of the family dies. The family has major issues and they are forced to confront them during their week together. I really liked the book because it had some great one-liners, raw emotion, plenty of sarcasm, awkward sexual encounters and believable family drama.
The main character of the book was cheated on by his wife {with his boss!} and something his mother said to him really got me thinking: "...We're programmed to attach far too much significance to {sex}, to the point where we lose sight of everything else. It's just one tree in a thick forest."
Relationships are like forests. There are so many things {trees} that make up a relationship and sometimes we get so caught up on one aspect of our relationship that we can't see the forest for the trees. Think about all the aspects that make up your relationship with your spouse or partner - your likes and dislikes, personalities, parenting styles, the things you have in common, the things that make you different, your hopes and dreams - each is just one tree that makes up the forest of your relationship.

One argument alone won't burn down the forest. One bad year in a 50-year-long marriage doesn't mean the relationship wasn't a good one. However, one infestation can infect the entire forest if it's not confronted, dealt with or managed.

Shawn and I are certainly guilty of not dealing with an infestation {or two or seven} right away and giving some trees too much significance. But we have been able to get the issues treated and see the big picture, in order to keep the forest of our relationship from dying.

The next time you're doubting your relationship or find yourself getting upset about something your spouse or partner did, determine if the issue is just one tree or an infestation. Are you placing too much significance on one tree? Can the infestation be confronted and managed? Relationships can have some ugly trees, but that doesn't mean that the forest isn't beautiful.  


Brittany said...

Ah-Mazing! I am a new reader and A) Love you already! B) this post. I needed this today! Thanks!

Stephanie said...

Nice! I like this one. Especially since I'm about halfway through the book right now :)

Cheri @ Overactive Blogger said...

I love this metaphor! I will be thinking about it on my run today!

Kristyn @ Carolina Fireflies said...

I love this metaphor! Such a great way to take a step back and think about things! And that picture of Shawn in the swing is priceless!

Miss Chelsea said...

My forests always attract lumberjacks. RIP.

Because of Jackie said...

I heard a quote somewhere (maybe on Dr. Phil??), that id the sex is good in your relationship it takes up 10% of your thoughts, but if something is wrong it takes 90% of your thoughts. Interesting, right? I've also learned not to pick on one thing, there are so many things to get riled up about and so many things just aren't worth it!

Madeline Mihaly said...

this is such great advice (hopefully the men read this too) & that picture in the swing is so funny!


BNM said...

such great advice thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

Just read that book for book club, too!

This metaphor is awesome. Thank you so much! Good timing, too! ;)

Brianne Bracco said...

Well, I think I'd have to agree with this metaphor. It's not easy, but it's definitely worth it when you've found the one. :)

Janna Renee said...

This is pretty awesome. Definitely some sound marriage advice, and now I want to read the book!!

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