November 26, 2014

When I got my first car my father told me, “Regular oil changes are the best and cheapest maintenance you can ever do!” I have religiously followed his advice. The longevity of my cars has born witness to the wisdom of that advice. Plus that regular investment has saved me money in the long run.

The parallel relationship advice is, “Frequent focused time together is the best and cheapest maintenance you can do!”  Focused time is defined as time where two people have each other’s full attention. Connection is made beyond the surface, head to head and heart to heart. There is the exchange of facts and details but much more. The communication includes feelings and emotions (positive and negative). One leaves the time with the assurance that they were heard, understood and a cherished relationship was deepened.

This focused investment should add to the quality and longevity of any relationship and save huge future costs emotionally and even financially. Relationship break ups come at a high cost!

So how’s your maintenance program going? When was your last tune up?

Action: Make the investment. Schedule some regular time to connect. Maybe it can be in your kitchen or a coffee shop. Put the technology away, be face to face without distraction. Make it your goal to understand the world in which your spouse lives. Ask questions, share highlights and the tough moments. Talk about the fun and the overwhelming circumstances. Let them in on what you’ve been thinking or feeling, on your hopes, worries and fears.

Read More: Give a Gift to Your Relationship

Written by Mike Woodard

Mike Woodard

Mike is married to Karen, he is father of 4 and grandfather of 2. Backpacking is his favourite past time. Science and theology are his educational background, a biology degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Christian Studies from Trinity Western Seminary. Mike is the Associate Director of FamilyLife Canada. For more of his story visit familylifecanada.com/mike