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Relationship Lost Its Spark?

A Mechanical Metaphor

Over the years of reading self-help books, it's become obvious to me that I rarely find
one that I could get my Dad, or most other men, to read. They're just not written in a
way that men can relate to. Interestingly, I've noticed that computer and other gadget
companies are beginning to catch on to this fact. When we unwrap our latest piece of
high-tech gadgetry, we now have a choice to opt for the Quick Start Guide or plough
our way through the entire manual. For most of us men, that's a no brainer. We want
to play with the toy, not find out how to build it.

My Dad is a mechanic and he taught me that given a few basic tools and a decent skill
set most things can be fixed. When it comes to engines he is a genius. He can tell you
what's wrong with your car by just listening to it. His skill is so fine-tuned; he can
diagnose your car trouble over the phone. Grown men used to bring their cars over to
him in tears, convinced this was finally the end. My Dad would take it to bits, figure
out if a fuel line was blocked, determine if there was too much friction in one area, or
if there was not enough connection in another. Then he - d put it back together and just
like magic, the car would run again. To my father engines were predictable; he knew
what to look for.

Take the spark plug. If it stops sparking, your engine stops running and your wheels
stop turning. To a mechanic, it's very predictable that your spark plugs will last only a
certain amount of miles and then need replacing. So given that a spark plug will cost
you about '3.50 (let's not talk about the labour costs), how many of you would
divorce your car at this point? No you wouldn't, because you understand that your car
is a sizable investment.

For some reason, we fail to apply the same logic to our relationships. People start
talking about how they've lost the spark or they've got communication issues as
reasons to leave. We forget all the time and energy invested in getting to this point
and all we can think about is running for the hills. It's worth noting at this point that
- leaving' happens on many levels and even the subtle withdrawals damage our
relationships. I know this because I've done it myself. In fact, given my own wiring
I'm still prone to want to bolt when it gets rough.

This power struggle is a totally predictable piece of relating with your loved one. It's
the time when Mr. or Mrs. Perfect suddenly becomes one of your parents or an
ex-partner. For some complicated, yet unavoidable reason, this is always going to
happen. The best news is that the only way out is through.

Sometimes we just need some basic tools and good skills. And remember, if you're going to get expert help make sure you find
someone who believes in fixing the relationship you are in. There are plenty of
cowboys all to ready to sell you a new car.

Copyright 2003 by Michael Myerscough 'The Great Sex Coach'.

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