“I thought we were fine,” she said last night in our couples’ session.

He contacted me two days ago, wanting to get in to see me before I left for vacation. I had not heard a peep from them in six months. I thought they were fine too. I should have known better. 

Long-term relationship is like car maintenance. You just want to turn on the engine and have the thing take you where you want it to go. Just work, damn it. 

But perpetual auto-pilot is a deception, albeit seductive. Nothing keeps working well without time, attention and energy.

We take the time for car maintenance. The lights on your dash even remind you – change the oil, check the tires, replace faltering parts. You attend to that automobile you rely on for your life to function.

So, why aren’t we doing the same thing for our marriage? You can buy a new car. And I guess you can get a new spouse too. But, that’s a high price with many consequences. Not something I recommend.

Don’t wait for a crisis. Maintain your precious and fragile partnership before it breaks down and needs emergency repair and/or it is too far gone to be fixed.

Working on your relationship is not shameful. It is smart. The best investment you can make for yourself, your children and their children.