We had a “family” dinner yesterday where I was surrounded by my kids… as well as the “new” kids that were added to that table because of our own. I looked at my wife of twenty-five plus years and couldn’t believe I had been given so much… all because one day years ago I thought a girl I saw was HOT and I just had to meet her!
Having the privilege of performing weddings throughout the year I get the opportunity to meet a lot of different couples. Couples with different histories, different outlooks on life, different aspirations and dreams for the future.
But they all come to me to get married stemming from one reason… they are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together. It doesn’t matter how similar or different their pasts are, what stays the same is each couple wants to continue on… together.
I’ve also found out something else over the years. It comes from counselling many couples who are already married as well as my own life experience: “being” in love and “staying” in love are two different things and therefore need to be fuelled differently.
Did you know that gasoline isn’t explosive? (I know, you’re thinking, “where did THIS come from?!?!”) The gas you pour into your car isn’t explosive. The liquid doesn’t catch on fire. It’s the vapours from the gasoline that are HIGHLY explosive. It’s literally the “gas” from the “gas” that keeps us going.
In my experience, I’ve come to see and recommend that the best way to keep the fire of love burning is to focus on these four things:
- Keep gas in the tank. The last thing you want to do is run out of gas on the road. You’re stuck there until you get help. Same for the marriage. You run out of gas, you’re in TROUBLE!! Make sure to keep filling up the tank (find out what makes the other person tick and keep filling it up).
- Keep feeding the engine (relationship) with more gas. It’s no use to have gas in the “tank” and not use it. Don’t settle on “coasting” in order to save gas. No. That gas got you to where you are… don’t hold back because you’re lazy or “sick of driving”. You committed to life… keep going.
- Keep the “spark” going. No use putting gas into an engine with no spark. You’ll “flood” the engine (remember… “liquid” gas isn’t flammable). By keeping the gas flowing where the “vapours” can catch the spark… that’s where the BOOM is!!!!!
- Go in for routine maintenance. Just like with cars, you cannot just drive it into the ground (well, you can in a marriage… it’s called a divorce or an empty marriage). Get a “tune up”… find out what’s wrong with the relationship and make the fixes necessary to get it back into great shape. Yes… it may “cost” you something (pride, money, time, etc…), but in the end, remember, you signed up to go on this journey for LIFE… and so as “life” changes, you’ll have to make the changes necessary to keep the gas coming, the spark igniting, and the love going on for the road ahead.
Tell me your thoughts.
At least this is how I see it,