“I can’t live with this man. He makes me crazy. I constantly have to remind him of even the simplest things. He’s like having another child.”
“She would make anyone insane. She always tells me what to do. All she does is nag. I feel like an idiot who lives with his mother.”
Have you ever said this or something similar? Here is your chance to insert your favorite reason why your spouse drives you nuts and keeps you from living the blissful life you know is possible. OK now get ready to be corrected!
Husbands and wives spend too much time pulling weeds from each other’s gardens. What am I talking about for those of you who hate gardening and never pull anything out of ground? I’m talking about our tendency to complain and criticize the other person so we don’t have to look at our own problems (weeds).
We all have a garden inside of us. Our bodies are fertile soil. We sow all kinds of seeds in our gardens–good seeds like kindness, patience, praise, etc. or bad seeds like lust, control, criticism, etc. The more good seed you put in your garden, the more good harvest you get. The more bad seed you plant, the more weeds will crop up and choke any potential harvest (This is Basic Farming 101).
Husbands and wives like to poke around in the gardens of their spouses. They are quick to spot the weeds and spend a great deal of time pulling at them. As a result, they don’t tend the seed in their own gardens and allow things to creep in that aren’t good (anger, bitterness, frustration, disappointment, etc.). Then, they grow weeds in both places and neither one is attending to their own stuff. They ‘d rather pull the obvious weeds from the spouse’s garden and ignore what’s growing in theirs.
Spend time tending, watering and guarding your own garden and your relationship will be better. If you are responsible for your issues and attend to them, you will improve your relationship.
Couples come to therapy all the time with complaints about the other spouse. I try to get each one to stop complaining and address his or her part of the problem. When they do attend to their own stuff, the other person is less defensive and more likely to do some work. And I can actually help each person pull his/her own weeds. So the next time you attempt to pull weeds in your spouse’s garden, check your own first. Deal with your ground clutter and wait for the beautiful harvest to come.