Maintaining a Marriage
Entropy is natural. Caused by change.
With change, “things” fall apart. Ruin sets in.
Build the most beautiful garden money can buy. Do not maintain it. It will be destroyed over time, overflowing with weeds.
Do not maintain your car. The most expensive, best car money can buy.
Do not drive it. Do nothing to it. After, say, two years, it will not start.
You must “maintain” everything that is subject to change if you want it to function. Your home. Your car. Your garden. And, yes, your company and your marriage.
The prescription for reinvigorating your company you can find in my lectures and books: redesign your organizational structure periodically. Realign the rewards systems. Redefine your mission. Adapt your information systems to new realities, and do it all proactively.
Do not wait until there is a crisis. Adopt the same procedure with your car. Take it to the garage for maintenance every 6000 miles. Do not procrastinate and bring it to your mechanic only when it is broken or fails to operate smoothly…
So, review your organizational structure every year, preferably on the anniversary of your last structural change or renewal…It would be wise to review your staffing decisions thereafter; and your information needs and flows as well…
But how about “a marriage?” What does it mean to maintain a marriage, and proactively too?
Because if you do nothing, it will almost inevitably break down.
You do not have to destroy it. It will dissolve by itself…because of change.
A friend of mine recently was shaken. His wife wanted a divorce. “I do not know why she wants a divorce” he said. “ I didn’t do anything!!!”
Yes, unfortunately you have to do something. You have “to maintain your marriage.”
But what does it mean “to maintain a marriage?”
I just got the insight talking to one of my clients.
We were scheduling my visits to his company. I schedule it a year in advance.
When I suggested a certain date he said he could not make those dates because he was on his honeymoon.
Honeymoon? I was shocked. When was he planning to divorce his wife? We had just been together for dinner, the other evening. Now overnight he was planning to remarry and embark on a honeymoon?
He saw the surprise on my face and, with a smile, calmed me down.
“It is with the same wife. On the anniversary of our marriage , every year we have a fresh, new honeymoon. Because, and here is where the tires hit the road, “one honeymoon is not enough for a lifetime of marriage.”
Aha. Once a year on your wedding anniversary, go off on a new honeymoon. No children. No one else. Just the two of you. And select the most romantic place you know. An old one that the two of you go back to, or a new one you both want to explore .
Moreover, if you have a rocky marriage, very stressful for whatever reason, take one long weekend away from home, and away from stress; from work; from the kids. Go somewhere and be together. Slow down. Do nothing. Just relate to each other and during the weekend agree that it is forbidden to solve any problems.
Just be with each other.
“Replenish the batteries.”
Not only your marriage needs maintenance. Your body needs it too. And your mind.
For the body, spas are rejuvenating. For the mind, meditation is freeing.
The faster you run, the more you should rest.
Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes