Anyone who appreciates cars knows there is a list of maintenance jobs to do to keep it functioning properly. Continually, you need to keep it filled with gas, check the coolant, or check the oil. Regularly, it will need an oil change, cleaning the battery terminals, or washing the exterior to prevent corrosion. Then there are occasional maintenance items such as greasing any zerk fittings, changing the differential fluid, or readjusting valve clearances.
Marriages are the same way, we cannot just go along and pretend it will just keep running well. There are short term, medium term, and long term things we need to do in order to have a spouse that lasts and is a joy to ride. Whether you purchased a brand new Ferrari, or a ’81 Ford Fiesta that has been hammered on by the entire production crew of Dukes of Hazard, all cars need maintenance, and AWALT (although some need more maintenance than others).
Short Term – Throughout the Day
Maintain your own frame. Keep your own attractiveness up. To do this, you need to be able to stay on top physically (your body), mentally (your mind), spiritually (your moral compass), and professionally (your livelihood). A large portion of the manosphere is devoted to this, and there is no shortage of material. There is everything from the first six steps of Dread Game to instructions on how to turn your wife into YOUR slut. However, you do need to apply it, and have the ambition to continue. As difficult as it sounds, it is far easier and rewarding than handling a divorce.
All the attractiveness in the world will do no good if you come home from work and sit in front of the couch. You have to flirt and mess with her. A pinch or slap on the butt does far more to keep her excited than a routine “I love you” with flowers. Tease her, be a stinker, throw cold water on her or take her picture when she is in the shower. At the same time, she will probably want to dish it back. Be willing to take it. Just have fun.
There are times you will not be there. We live in a fallen world where there are temptations. Throw away the network TV, that stuff is mental poison. Instead, surround your home with quality media. Books, talks on tape, most movies prior to 1965, and saved music playlists offer decent entertainment without subjecting your family to SJW or other graphic tripe. My wife will listen to various church media throughout the day while I’m at work.
Along with media, monitor who your wife hangs out with. Many divorces are caused by other women who talk bad about husbands, have “girls nights out” and such. While you shouldn’t force who she can and can’t be friends with, you can keep her thinking about if what she is doing is damaging.
Medium Term – Daily
Develop a routine and encourage your wife to maintain it. How busy you make it is up to you, but we find that a set morning and bedtime routine creates an atmosphere where the kids know what is expected, we know what is expected, and therefore there’s less bickering.
Write in a journal, and encourage her to do the same. I typically write what I have done during the day. Nothing big, but just a sentence or two, it helps me keep focused. My wife writes in what she calls a gratitude journal, in which she focuses on the good things that has happened that day. I noticed when she keeps at it, she is less depressed and more appreciative of those around us.
Read together out loud. What you read is up to you, whether religious material, picture books for the kids, marriage counseling type books, or novels. We read the scriptures before I go to work and this set of picture Bible stories for the kids before their bed time as the whole family. After that, my wife and I will read some marriage book. What it does is open the door to discuss matters and interject while you are reading or listening.
Long Term – Weekly or Longer
Stuff gets in the way and stress happens. We found that if you keep a weekly schedule and talk logistics as a couple, those problems and conflicts can be reduced. I have a financial spreadsheet that I keep updated on a weekly basis. It is nothing complex, just shows what bills we have paid, and then we look at the checking account to see where we are at, and discuss any future purchases. We then go over the calendar and see if there are any conflicts that need to be resolved. Fifteen minutes a week goes a long ways in preventing arguments over a bounced check or a double booking.
Keep the romance alive, and remember why you married her in the first place. In order to do that, we go on a date on a weekly to monthly basis. She will usually comment on what she wants to do, but I will make the decision. We go out for dinner, go dancing, go have hot dogs on the beach, look at the stars or whatever. Most of the time it is announced, but sometimes I will just kidnap her.
Keep it fresh.
Keep her guessing.
Keep it exciting.
And finally, we will do a family vacation yearly. The whole family enjoys spending time together, what you do depends on you and your budget, but do something besides visiting the in laws each and every time. As much as grandma wants to see the kids, your time with them is more valuable.
Maintenance sounds like work, and some of this often is. But it is not like replacing a wheel bearing and hub on the side of the road in January when it is 10 below and you are late for work (I did that once). Each one of these steps could be expanded upon. Perhaps we could in the future. Simple day to day steps can go a long way in ensuring you will have your wife happily beside you in the years to come.