While driving along one day I heard a disturbing dinging coming from my car, and I was almost too afraid to look at the warning light on the dashboard. Thank goodness it wasn’t not the engine light. Instead, my car is simply giving me a friendly reminder that it was time for a check-up. Those appointments roll around every year or so. You take your car to the mechanic for a once over. If you drive a lot, then you may have to go more often.
Think about going to the dentist. Unfortunately, your teeth don’t come equipped with a warning light to indicate when it’s time for a check-up. But many people regularly go to the dentist even without a toothache. It’s just a good thing to do. Regular check-ups combined with small treatments along the way can help us avoid waking up in the middle of the night with a raging toothache that may require an extensive and expensive repair. Once again, preventative care is a wise investment because it can help avoid sudden larger issues.
The same principle applies to relationships. We save ourselves emotional pain, time, and expense, if we have regular check-ups and do some kind of relationship maintenance at regular intervals. It is much simpler and more pleasant to talk about our needs or discuss conflicts and find a solution together while you still get along. Similarly, it’s much easier to get your teeth cleaned regularly than to have a cavity filled.
What does relationship maintenance look like? It could be attending a marriage workshop or having a session with a good therapist or competent counsellor. You could work through a book together.
Regular relationship maintenance is no guarantee that there will never be any damage, but it certainly increases the likelihood that problems will be recognised early enough to be addressed and dealt with.
Moving to the next level in your relationship:
Talk with your partner about ways to do regular relationship maintenance and make a plan to do something specific.
In last week’s blog with Mark and Odette, they talked about having regular family meetings where they covered W.W.W. (What Went Well) and E.B.I. (Even Better If) together.
Check in with your partner today even if it feels unnecessary. Talk to them about what’s going well and what would be even better if…
TIP — Toucan Together’s new Growing Module sets up some great conversations about strengthening your relationship as a couple. You’ll discover how to grow together through 5 common relationship challenges; explore 5 ingredients for a thriving relationship and find fresh perspectives for marriage (whether you’re married, living together or dating). You’ll also hear some great real stories from couples talking honestly and openly about their relationships. GET STARTED | LOG IN