A long while back, I had a conversation with a lady and we were discussing marriage as a whole. At one point in the conversation she said, “well if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’ve heard that expression so many times growing up in rural Kansas but never really thought about it much as it applied to marriage.
But is that the way to approach something of value?
As I’ve given this expression more and more thought over the months since the conversation was first had, I’m going to go with no.
This expression leads to another one- “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. These are mindsets.
These mindsets lead to complacency in marriage.
Marriage and parenting are the two places in life where complacency is literally the killer of happiness.
Complacency leads to one person having too much responsibility and therefore, resentment. It leads to one or both parties having unmet needs. Mostly, it leads to the breakdown of the marriage as a whole because a whole marriage is the sum of many small habits, thoughts, actions and intentions.
Intentional, honest reflection combats complacency. How can I show up better for you? What did we do well this week? What wasn’t so great? How can we do better?
When you only look at what’s visibly broken or you bypass the things that are annoying but not yet a problem, you’re basically saying “our marriage isn’t valuable enough to maintain.”
Would you let your car tire go with a tiny hole in it “hoping” it doesn’t get to the point of a blowout on the highway or would you fix it right away? Your marriage is no different.
The mindset for those with strong, fulfilling marriages is “this is our priority. We treat it with respect, honor and value. We fix things BEFORE they’re broken.”
What’s the mindset in your marriage?