This idea was sparked by something David L Patrick said.
The saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s pithy and all, but in real life things that are left alone usually break, and sometimes they break catastrophically. If you don’t do preventive maintenance on your vehicle, one day it will die – or won’t start – or won’t stop when you need it to! Fail to do preventative maintenance on your wood stove, and you will treat your neighbours to a thrilling chimney fire (BTDT)! Beyond preventative maintenance, you can also learn to see what is going to break before it does. Signs of wear and stress can be hard to see, but if you work at it, you can become an expert.
Your marriage is the same way – you can avoid breakdowns and fires by doing preventative maintenance, and you learn to see signs of wear and stress that signal something needs attention. On the other hand, you could go on like the fellow who doesn’t even know his car uses oil, and be rudely surprised from time to time by marital catastrophes.