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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Marriage Maintenance

Marriage Maintenance

Posted: October 3, 2011 by TWH_PhD in Life, Love, Marriage, Relationships
Tags: , , , , , , ,


A major problem in many marriages is that most people pay more attention to their cars than they do their marriage. This is not much of a surprise since it is easier to get a marriage license than it is a drivers’ license. To get a drivers’ license, most people have to take classes, study, and pass a test. Yet, for a marriage license, all you have to do is go downtown, pay a few bucks, and you’re ready to go. No wonder we see so many marriages turn into major wrecks.
I do believe, however, that there is some symmetry between maintaining a car and maintaining a marriage. Both an automobile and a marriage require routine maintenance in order to function properly. My wife and I are celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary. In honor of our eight years together, I’d like to offer eight marriage maintenance tips. Perform these eight tips regularly, and you will avoid having to do any major repairs on your marriage.

1. Oil change
In your car, the engine oil is responsible for lubricating the moving parts of the engine to reduce friction. If you notice an increase in friction in your marriage, perhaps it’s time for an oil change. Oil represents joy. When there is no joy in a marriage, you are bound to experience increased friction. Friction can cause major damage. That’s one of the reasons automakers encourage you to change the oil in your car every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Change the oil before the friction causes any major damage. One way to perform an oil change in your marriage is to do something fun, different, and spontaneous with your spouse – like when you were dating. Take him or her to a favorite restaurant or the place where you had your first date. The key word is FUN – no friction allowed!
2. Recharge your battery
Your car can’t start with a dead battery – neither can your marriage. Take time to relax with your spouse and recharge the battery in your marriage. Oftentimes, couples can become so busy with life, careers, kids, etc. that they don’t take time to spend with each other and simply allow their battery to recharge. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to recharge your battery. You don’t even have to go far. In fact, you don’t have to leave your house. Both you and your spouse can take a day off and spend the day at home in your pajamas – or not :-) .
3. Check your tires
Tires are important for movement. The problem is that the tires in many marriages have gone flat! Don’t get stuck in a flat marriage. Check the air pressure in your tires regularly to make sure they aren’t underinflated. When tires are underinflated they rob your car of gas mileage. Similarly, your marriage can’t go very far if you don’t have enough air. Every marriage needs a breath of fresh air every now and then. Don’t let your marriage go flat. Also, be sure to rotate your tires regularly. Tire rotation reduces the wear on individual tires. Be sure to rotate responsibilities in your home and marriage so that one spouse doesn’t get completely worn out.
4. Wheel alignment
Much like checking your tires, a wheel alignment, affects the movement of the car. Wheel alignments ensure that the vehicle travels straight and does not pull to the side. Every now and then couples must check the alignment in their marriage to make sure their goals and lives are aligned. Too often, couples end up “pulling” apart because they were not properly aligned. Proper alignment also ensures that one or both spouses are not “pulled” toward someone other than their spouse. Regular communication with your spouse is one way to make sure that your marriage stays properly aligned. Talk about your dreams, goals, and aspirations. Take one night a week as your “alignment” night to make sure that you are both still traveling on the same straight path.
5. Check your brakes
Your brakes are the mechanism that helps your car to stop. It is important to have a stopping mechanism in your marriage. Often, there are obstacles on the highway of life intended to cause your marriage to have a wreck. You need to make sure that your brakes are working properly in case you ever have to stop short. The key with brakes is that they will often tell you that they need to be replaced before they need to be replaced. If you notice any squeaking on the brakes in your marriage, it’s time to go in and have your brakes checked. Don’t let your marriage spiral out of control. Stop, go to counseling, do whatever it takes to avoid the wreck. Check your BRAKES before your marriage BREAKS!
6. Change your coolant
The coolant is the liquid designed to keep your engine from overheating. Make sure that you keep enough coolant in your marriage so that things don’t get too heated. Arguments are a part of every marriage, but you and your spouse must learn how to fight fair. Develop safe words or phrases that you both agree on that will put a pause on any argument. Use that as your coolant to communicate to your spouse that perhaps now is not the best time, and you’d prefer to table the conversation before things become overheated. Do this BEFORE your next argument so you already have the coolant in hand before the argument becomes too heated. Remember, an overheated engine can lead to engine failure, and many marriages have failed because one or both spouses were unable to keep their cool.
7. Change your windshield wipers
The windshield wipers help to remove water and debris from the windshield to increase visibility. One thing is certain on the road and in life, the rain will fall. When rain falls on the road, the windshield wiper is needed so that the driver can navigate his or her way through the rain. However, if the wipers are old, the driver’s view is blocked, and he or she is likely to have a wreck. When the rain falls in your marriage, you need to have fully functional windshield wipers to ensure that you can see where you’re going. Many marriages end up in wrecks because the couple has no vision. Change the wipers on your marriage so you and your spouse can develop a shared vision for your life – one that no rain or storm can stop you from achieving. There are normally two wipers on the front windshield of your car because both driver and passenger need to be able to see the same thing. Make sure you and your spouse are seeing the same thing.
8. Change the spark plugs
Every marriage needs that extra spark every now and then. Don’t let the spark go out in your marriage! Keep it hot and sexy! If you’ve found that you’ve lost the spark, then it’s time to change your spark plugs. Wives, that may mean you need to change your wardrobe. Stop going to bed in a headscarf and housecoat…put your FREAKUM dress on!!! Husbands, you may need to change your conversation. Make love to her mind in the morning, and you won’t have to worry about what will happen at night! Get out of your routine. Change things up. Put the spark back into your marriage!
I can almost guarantee that if you perform these eight marriage maintenance tips, your marriage will run better, the ride will be smoother, and it will cost you less in the long haul. After all, it’s better to take good care of the car you have now than to go out and buy a new model! Keep the gas tank full – keep filling your spouse’s love tank. Make sure that neither of you ever go empty, and you will have a full and happy marriage!

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