Couple relationships: rewilding yours

There are scant few individuals and hence couples who escape the target driven, digitalised culture that we now find ourselves in. We’re all, I think, fairly aware that this often crowds out our ability to often relate in an open, responsive manner. The stress we are put under makes us tense, irritable and we project this inevitably onto our partners, who either soak it up or fight back: this creates (or co-creates) a vicious cycle of fight or flight in our way of communicating and connecting as a couple.

This is the cognitive and emotional equivalent of a crowded town, pulsing with noise, traffic and congestion, lit up with competing distractions and needs.

Rewilding is a concept that was recently brought to my attention via Rachel Corby’s wonderful book Rewilding Yourself: becoming nature and as a couple therapist I wondered if this was applicable to - could we rewild-our couple relationships?

Corby talks of rewilding in an individual sense as the choice to “take a step away from the synthetic existence of modern life to immerse yourself in nature, literally to become nature” (p19) and it struck me that the nature that we go out into is the nature we then bring into ourselves as individuals and therefore into the “we” of our relationship.

Connecting as a couple with the sea, woodlands, hills and forests, trailing our hands over long grass, tasting the salt air of the beach, hearing the sound of the waves as they break on the sand, noticing the way tree roots reach deep down into the ground. Just walking out and connecting with each other and the body as it moves - as the couple body moves and breathes.

Further, we might explore how it is to appreciate the nature of our couple relationship itself, its ebbs and flows, its needs and wants, what nourishes and depletes it, what gives it space to grow, how I see my partner’s own nature move through the seasons and the years and how I can be beside this and we can immerse ourselves in it.

Perhaps this is the rewilding of you and of your couple relationship.

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Written by Graeme Armstrong MBACP

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Written by Graeme Armstrong MBACP

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