Recently, out of curiosity, I watched a BBC documentary on Carla Bruni Sarkozy. I’m not going to make any comments about her, but I was struck by something she said about her marriage. Quoting a poet, she said : “In any good marriage, one partner is the gardener and the other is the garden. We take it in turns to be either…..”
I thought how true this was of marriage and of any significant relationship. Sometimes we’re needy and the other tends to us and sometimes we’re strong and take care of the other.
Problems in relationships occur when we take fixed roles. One person thinks that he must always be the strong one, always have the answers, always be the provider. In other words, one is always the gardener. Also in some relationships, people always want to be the garden. She is always needy and insecure and needs the other to give attention and be the provider. If we get stuck this way, then we can never evolve as individuals and neither can our relationship grow or blossom.
I’ve always found it difficult to be the ‘garden’. I would rather be the strong one than the needy one. It takes a lot of courage and trust to say to the other: “Hey I need help, I’m hurting right now, I need a hand, I’m not okay.” But I’ve learned to love and trust and to say to the other: “Please be the gardener for now – I need tending to.”
Are you and your and your significant others taking turns with the gardening? Ask yourself if you are the gardener or the garden in your significant relationships and attempt to vary the role – you’ll find much more growth and meaning in your relationship, I guarantee.
PS: This was first published as a guest post on My Reflections