Relationship As A Car
The relationship as a car is one of the most tired, overused analogies in couples therapy but that’s probably just a testament to its effectiveness.
In our work with clients we have seen this analogy exert the most impact when it centers around car maintenance. If you’ve owned a car you know that various issues can sneak up on you. You’re usually not aware of them until it’s too late, and then all of a sudden you can’t ignore them. That is, unless you take your car in for regular checkups. By putting in a little bit of extra time, energy, and money throughout the year you save yourself from the huge headaches of the big ticket repairs.
You can’t expect your car to keep functioning perfectly without maintaining it. The only choice you have is whether to stay on top of the small stuff, catching developing problems before they get worse, or wait for the explosive, disastrous problems to invariably occur down the line.
In our romantic relationships many of us start to take our partners for granted. It can be shocking for a lot of people to realize that actually they spend more time and energy maintaining their car than they do their relationship. It should be no surprise to them that their problems have become impossible to ignore when they realize that they allowed these problems to fester for months or even years.
And if there are no visible problems in your relationship that doesn’t mean you should take it for granted that things will be this way forever. It’s being conscientious about doing all the small things to maintain the health of your relationship that keeps the big problems from ever developing.