Marriage Maintenance—The Practical Side

You know that check engine light we all have on our cars? What if the next time yours came on instead of taking your car to the shop you took a piece of black, electrical tape and covered it up? What if instead of doing simple, required maintenance or perhaps even going further and having a major repair you might not have been expecting, you just chose to ignore that light?

When I was in high school, a close friend of mine was gifted a barely used car. I remember it well because I liked the car and had always wanted that model car for my first vehicle. Well, my friend was inexperienced with vehicles and also young. So, when that light came on the dashboard for the first time she ignored it for a while until one day the car stopped running altogether. In the end, she was told that all the car had needed to prevent its ultimate demise was a routine oil change. 

The check engine light comes on in our cars to warn us that something is in need of attention. In the same vein, when we experience pain in our bodies it is a sign that something is not as it should be and needs to be addressed. Sometimes the attention needed is simple, routine maintenance (like an oil change) that will keep the car running in top condition. Other times, something has gone wrong and needs a major repair to prevent further damage or complete failure. 

Marriage or any long term relationship is much like a car. Marriage requires routine care to keep it healthy and sometimes it requires a major overhaul. I think the first step to a great long-term relationship is realizing that relationships are work. When we first meet someone and even when we make the decision to commit to them for long-term, it is easy to get caught up in the wonder and warm fuzzies of new love. But, if new love is to become a lasting commitment that stands the test of time and various life seasons it will require work. 

For now, I encourage you to take inventory of your romantic relationship. How long have you been in your relationship? Are you doing regular maintenance? Do you need a “major repair”? What is going well currently and what needs to be addressed? Whether your relationship is brand new or 20 years in, I promise that it needs regular TLC to keep thriving. If you are in need of couples or marriage counseling, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced marriage and family therapists.


Yolanda Brailey