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Category:  Romance

Regular Maintenance

by Steve Goodier

A Kansas cyclone hit a farmhouse just before dawn one morning. It lifted the roof off, picked up the beds on which a farmer and his wife slept, and set them down gently in the next county.

The wife began to cry.

"Don't be scared, Mary," her husband comforted. "We're not hurt."

Mary continued to cry. "I'm not scared," she responded between sobs. "I'm happy... 'cause this is the first time in 14 years we've been out together."

I find that little things, such as too little time and attention, will hurt an intimate relationship (marriage, parent-child, or close friendships) more than anything else. We can usually get through the times of crisis; it's neglect that often destroys closeness and intimacy.

In his book The Romance Factor, Alan Loy McGinnis says the longer we postpone maintenance, the faster the rate of deterioration. He writes this: "I see that principle operating in families every day. Many couples who have come to my office with their marriages in shreds did not start fighting about unsolvable problems. Their marriages were not suffering from major malfunctions, but merely from a series of small deteriorations that a little adjusting and tightening could have corrected. But people had lost interest and had turned their attention to other things: children; careers; tennis; decorating their homes."

I don't know of anything of value that does not require time, attention and lots of maintenance! In one week's time I once worked on two plumbing problems at home, caulked bathroom tile, replaced a heating element on the dryer and another on the stove. At the same time my car needed two new tires, windshield wipers, a battery, new brakes and a starter motor.

But everything of value requires maintenance. And I am in trouble when my home or automobile receives more attention than my closest relationships. Even if a marriage is made in heaven, the maintenance must be done on earth.

Mother Teresa said, "The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." Lack of regular maintenance will turn your valuable relationship from an ideal into an ordeal. But daily maintenance - spending enough time, listening and touching, laughing and caring - will keep you close. And isn't that what you're hungering for?

Steve Goodier is a professional speaker, consultant and author of numerous books. Visit his site for more information, or to sign up for his FREE newsletter of Life, Love and Laughter at  


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Category:  Romance

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