My restored ’55 Chevy Pickup started making a “tick, tick, tick” noise when I stepped on the gas. It seemed to drive OK, but I was afraid something might be going wrong, so I took it to the mechanic to get checked out. The mechanic told me that I had a gas leak caused by defective gaskets in the exhaust headers. I was right to bring it in, as it would have gotten steadily worse and eventually damaged the engine.

Marriage is a bit like that. When it’s new, it’s often in such good shape that it doesn’t need much attention. It’s just a fun ride that can take you where you want to go. But if you don’t pay attention to it, and devote time to maintaining it, it will ultimately let you down.

Pay attention to warning signs (like the ticking noise), but also know that routine maintenance is required for every important relationship. Even before a car shows signs of trouble, you may need to take it out for a spin, put some air in the tires, or check the battery. Try to understand the needs and desires of your spouse in the same way.  He or she may need some regular attention.

When treated with respect and love, a marriage (and an old car) can run beautifully for many years…with no need for a trade-in.

This was written by David Wisdom, who loves me almost as much as he loves his ’55 Chevy Cameo Pickup.

Susan Wisdom, MA

July 2011

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