As I turned the corner, the little oil can symbol in the dashboard lit up. It was there for a few seconds but then it went off.
Some days the light would come on a handful of times for a minute or two. Other days it never appeared. I had gone about 2800 miles
since my last oil change so it was fair enough warning. I thanked the light for its little reminder but with all the other things I had to get done, I put off the oil change until I was closer the 3,000 mark. I really didn’t think it could be that serious.
A couple of days later I received the call from the highway patrol. He said that my wife had car problems on the Interstate and was getting the car towed to the shop and would be home late (Athena is very considerate and calls if she is running really late because she knows I worry about her if she is late).
The call from the mechanic confirmed the worst. The engine was shot. There was no oil in the engine and it would have to be replaced. Ignoring the warning signal cost me $2000.
That happened a few years ago but the (painful) memory is still there.
In my work with couples all around the globe I often see warning lights going off in their relationship. Some don’t recognize the warnings; others simply ignore them. Some couples think the problems can wait until the semester is over, the big project at work is complete or the last child leaves the nest.
Here are some warning lights that might go off in your relationship:
– You usually can’t wait for your spouse to go away on a business trip
– You are regularly spending more each month than you are earning
– Your mate doesn’t want to go out on date nights
– Your spouse starts spending more time with friends of the opposite sex
– The two of you consider having a child to help your relationship
– The frequency/level of arguments has increased recently
– You can’t remember when you had a good conversation with your mate
– Intimacy between the two of you has taken a nose-dive
– There has been a big change of moods in your spouse recently. Either he or she is more withdrawn or irritable.
None of these necessarily mean that your relationship is in serious, immediate danger, but it could be. You might consider going on a marriage retreat, seeing a marriage therapist or reading some books on relationships.
If you notice warning signs going off in your relationship, check them out immediately. You might not have another “200 miles.” I know, I’ve seen it happen.
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