Repairs in relationship demand parties in relationship to work on it

Relationships have been compared to vehicles for a long time.
Representative use.
Representative use.

BENGALURU: If you own a vehicle, every now and then, you’ll start having some issues with it. Even if not major problems, there will always be regular wear and tear, especially on the potholed roads here in India with all the craziness of traffic, the randomness of wandering cattle and so much more. Most of us are so used to the dings and dents that we don’t even bother getting them fixed each time there is a scratch or a bump. We typically let it accumulate for a while and only when there is an issue that actually affects the running of the vehicle will we get it to a mechanic and get it fixed up. Even then, chances are that we would just get enough done to keep things running. For a vehicle to be maintained really well, it takes a concerned and proud owner. We are talking of course everyday vehicles, of course – not the trophy cars which are rarely taken out, but maintained in mint condition – but then, that’s more about the vehicle being loved for what it symbolises rather than as a vehicle itself.

Relationships have been compared to vehicles for a long time. In the olden days, they would be compared to a cart being drawn by pack animals, with the analogy being that the animals yoked to the cart need to work together, pulling in sync and reacting in alignment with each other to keep the cart moving steadily. We are way past the era of animal-powered carts, but the idea of relationships being like vehicles is still quite relevant – especially the part about it needing regular maintenance, and how relationships too get dinged and dented every now and then – which prompts the question: Is that why we have the popular visual of newly-weds getting into a car and driving away?

Every relationship takes a hit now and then even when none is intended. There are all sorts of minor hits, and sometimes, even major ones that threaten to break up the relationship altogether. We might choose to keep the relationship going with all its minor dents and scratches, but we cannot ignore the signs that maintenance is due and certainly need to stop and repair when the damage is threatening the relationship. Just like with vehicles, unless we are really invested in it, proud of it and loving it, we might not really attend to it as much as we need to.

Unlike vehicles, the repairs in a relationship need the parties in the relationship to work on it. There needs to be the acknowledgement of the injury, the attention to the whys and wherefores of the injury, clarity on what changes are needed, how they will be implemented, and the earnest, sincere attempts to make up for any damage caused. Quite often, when the partners mutually value each other and the relationship, these repairs can happen quickly and easily, provided there is ongoing communication – otherwise, one might just need to visit the mechanic – a relationship counsellor in this case.

(The writer’s views are his own)

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