One of our long-time readers, Michael, has a blog of his own called “Am I a Good Husband” and he recently wrote a post that I thought was very good.

In the post he presents a great analogy of how sometimes we tend to not take care of our automobiles the way we should until they ultimately break down.  Much like how many of us who have struggled with relationship issues haven’t taken care of our relationships properly and eventually they break down as well.

Michael, I hope you don’t mind that I “stole” this from you!

Mechanical Prospective – Is it a Guy Thing?

“A woman goes into an automotive repair shop. She tells the mechanic that she needs help with her car. He asks “What seems to be the problem?” She tells him that it just isn’t running that well anymore. It has problems but she wants to keep it because it has been a good car for a long time.

Not sure of what is wrong, the mechanic asks “What kind of problems is it having?” She tells him it doesn’t want to start most of the time. That when it runs it hesitates, runs roughly, and makes loud noises. She says it has left her stranded a couple of times, and it has left a mess on the driveway.

He then asks her “What do you do as far as routine maintenance for it?” She tells him that sometimes she gets the oil changed when she feels like it or has time. She said that she even rented another car for a while so that her car could have a break and also, she admitted “Because the new car ran great and made her feel wonderful.”

So he asked her “What have you done to make sure your car runs great and will make you feel good?” “We’ll” she says,” I clean the driveway all the time, even when it leaves a mess. I clean the garage all the time so it has a nice place to park. I wash it constantly. I make sure I take it everywhere I want to go. And I just bought new tires for it, but it still doesn’t run right.”

The mechanics says “But you don’t change the oil when it needs to be changed, when it wasn’t running right, you didn’t bring it to me right away to look at it, and the noises you hear are the engine telling you there is a problem. Why did you wait so long to bring it to me?”

She tells him “I have so much to do. I have to work. Get the kids to school. I’m in charge of the soccer league. I have PTA. I had to clean the garage. I have to wash the driveway. I have to wash the car. I thought it would be ok. But now it’s taking up my time by having to bring it here to you. Do you know what kind of inconvenience this is to me?”

I know this seems funny, or absurd, or just plain stupid. But it is the way some handle their relationship. I’m not saying this is my wife but, I’ll tell you that she has said things that sound the same way to me.

Question is, does a little bit of work all the time sound better than major repair later? The more you let you engine go unattended, the more expensive the cost will be later.

Does that make sense to anyone but me? Am I wrong?

Just a mechanics way of looking at it.” See full post here.


I know that in our own relationship, both Linda and I have been guilty in the past of neglecting the little things that keep a relationship strong, while offering up a host of excuses for why we didn’t do this, or didn’t do that.

It’s extremely important that we keep up with the “routine maintenance” in our relationships so that we don’t have a major “repair job” down the road.


Additional Resources

Marriage Fitness – “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage”

Article“What Are the Little Things?”

“The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” – Great book by Gary Chapman

    9 replies to "Cars and Relationships – Routine Maintenance Eliminates Major Repairs"

    • InTrouble

      Great post Doug, and such a very, very important concept.

      Sometimes you don’t even realize how far off your relationship has gotten until someone else enters the picture with, shall I say, a fresh take on things. You know, WANTS you…badly…and then it’s too late.

      On the other hand, what do you do when working on your relationship starts to feel like hounding your spouse? When they think everything is just fine? When they respond with, “This is just the way I am?” But when, at the same time, they’d be completely and utterly devastated if the marriage was ruined???

      I have to be honest, I think I take all or most of the care (still!), but, well, you can see how that turned out…

      Alas, if only it were all easy, huh? If only we took really good care of our relationships with those we love.

      People need to meet their spouses half way, and think hard about how you’re going to feel if SOMEONE ELSE takes care of your spouse in a way you haven’t or won’t. Even, or maybe especially, in a marriage where are 100% sure your spouse would NEVER, EVER stray…

    • Notoverit

      I feel like I am driving a Studebaker. LOL. Yeah, maybe we didn’t do the regular maintenance on the marriage but hey, there are two people involved. I can’t see that if I had said anything about what was going on pre-EA that it would have made much of a difference (my husband has never been a talker – his therapist is working on that). I am definitely more conscious of the “oil Changes” we need to do to keep this marriage lubed. (what? Too many euphenisms?)

      I agree with the post, a bit late to realize it, but it is correct. We just need to keep watch and be careful that we don’t fall down that hole again. Regular maintenance is required (maybe we should get a handbook, like autos, when we get married. LOL).

      Having a better day today. Can you tell?

    • Notoverit

      Whoops -” euphemisms” -can’t typppe todaaay.

    • michael

      I don’t mind one bit.
      My posts ( rants) aren’t as often anymore. If it made someone smile, or if it made someone think, it was a good post.

      • Doug

        Thanks Michael, my thoughts exactly.

    • Last2Know

      It’s been a while, I am so happy to see the site is going strong. Happy Bday to both of you. Things are good with us now, we are grandparents and a daughter got married this past year. However not one day goes by that I don’t think about my H’s EA and some days when we become complacent I remind him about where we were two years ago. I miss this site very much but I am happy that I don’t have to visit everyday 2-3 times a day like I did two years ago. For all of the newby’s, yes it will get better if you read, post your questions and have an open mind. Accept what is real and lean on people who know what you are going through. I started posting back in March of 2010 (I think it was) and we were all still pretty new in our recovery. Thanks Linda and Doug, we all gave each other something to think about, helped each other recover and we had fun too. I am in a new job now (a director-whoop-ti-do) but I travel alot and I am a much stronger and confident woman than I was before the EA. I am secure in myself now and I decided along time ago to put my heart out there again and trust him. He has grown alot as well and he doesn’t do anything for me to ever have to worry. Yes I still check his phone every now and again but not like before. It really is a horrible way to live. I just wanted to say hello, happy birthday and let everyone know that recovery is forever, it just gets easier as time goes on.

      • Doug

        Last2Know!!! How the hell are you! From reading your comments it sounds like you are doing pretty well. Thanks for the great advice and we hope to see you around here a bit more to spread more of your wisdom!

      • Doug

        Last2know, I must have sent a signal to you because yesterday I was thinking about you and how much you helped me through all of this. I was searching for one of your questions you had asked Doug about jealousy. It was like you were in my head asking the questions I was too afraid at the time. In a way I was learning about his affair through you. I am happy that you are doing well and regained your confidence. I always felt that you were in total control during your recovery and I learned so much from you. Linda

    • changedforever

      Last2Know, thx for your post…very uplifting. And Michael & Doug…what a good post for this week & so true. We are still in the pretty much daily or every other day maintenence mode…and, as good as I’ve always been with my vehicles, I dropped the ball on our relationship. Complacency after almost 25 years? Definitely. To all…don’t wait til a family trauma strikes within your life & then believe that said trauma will draw you together. It won’t. We are living proof of that. Don’t let the distractions of life burn your weakened relationship…work on it now…not later. Savor every moment of what you have. Live for those good days. Thx again for the posting…all of you. You truly give me strength to go on (& continue on this rocky road of recovery!)

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