In the summertime, many of us take to the road and travel by car. We are bound for New Orleans, Wisconsin, New England, California or my home state, Florida. With car travel imminent, a lot of folks take their cars to the mechanic to get a check up- just to make sure their cars are road-worthy. A good twelve point car inspection can make all the difference between enjoying the ride, or spending precious vacation time waiting for repairs.

We maintain our cars, bodies, houses, gardens, tools, gear and even careers.

But if I say you must also inspect and maintain your marriage, what do you think? “I have to take her out for a meal” “I need to get some more attractive sleep clothes” “I could be nicer to my partner”. Many of us will holler “I already cook for her/let him go camping/clean the house/ bring home the paycheck!” This is comparable to saying “I already put gas in the car, what more do you expect me to do?!”

We don’t set out for California without a thorough car inspection and routine maintenance or needed repairs, and we shouldn’t assume that our relationship can go the distance without the same kind of attention.This may be why some of us have cars that last longer than our relationships.

Happy marriage is real. You can have one, even if the one you’re in is broken down. Most good marriages can become great and even a great many marriages that feel like ‘bad’ marriage can become better then you can imagine. You must be willing to invest time, thought and attention in your marriage, if you want it to work well.

Ask yourself and your partner “How are we doing with our_______”

  • Friendship
  • Division of Labor
  • Finances
  • Parenting
  • Values
  • Hopes and Dreams
  • Sex Life
  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Fair-Fighting
  • Romance
  • Play, fun and adventure

Don’t forget to ask your partner how it is for them- and don’t give up if they say they are not interested in thinking about it right now.You be the marriage keeper- one person can often make the whole thing run smoothly. If you find a weak spot, work on it. And I don’t mean trying to change your partner! Find your own weak spot and work on that- watch your partner respond with appreciation.

A happy marriage will add to the quality of your life more than any car, house or career.

Just putting some tender loving attention on a problem area may make all the difference. If you need it, here is help out there- seminars, books, counselors. This is what they call the work of marriage. It’s worth it. After all, you married for love, for Life. You can still have your happy ending.