“If you ignore the warning signs, a tragedy awaits you ahead.—Cory Herndon

check engine light

The check engine light in a car can mean many things, from a small problem to something serious. In the same way, there are moments in marriage when the check engine light comes on. 

If you take swift action and diagnose the issue, you can save yourself a lot of time and hurt. 

On the other hand, ignoring the check engine light can be disastrous. 

Where do you begin? 

First, consider why a check engine light comes on. 

The light on the dashboard tells you to get your car checked as soon as possible. It could signify any kind of issue, from a simple loose gas cap to a seriously misfiring engine. There are likely also sights or sounds that tell you something isn’t quite right. 

The same is true in marriage. 

The check engine light in your relationship might look like increasing criticism, pessimism, sarcasm, or anger. There might be more disconnection or isolation between the two of you. 

When something isn’t right in your marriage, you might experience more silence or lingering awkwardness. Or maybe there are cracks in any of your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®

In these scenarios, the check engine light is on. 

As with a car, the problem might have a simple fix. Maybe there’s slight irritation or a misunderstanding between the two of you. Alternatively, the example above could signify something major. 

Next, remember that when the check engine light comes on, you are supposed to get the car checked as soon as possible. Again, the same is true in marriage. 

Don’t ignore the warning signs in your marriage. Dig deeper into the issues through conversation or marriage coaching

When the light comes on it your car, it’s because the computer found a problem in the electronic control system that it can’t correct on its own. Similarly, if the warning lights have come on in your marriage, you might need third-party help to address the situation. 

Finally, the car’s computer stores the trouble code in its memory. Your marriage check engine light does the same if you don’t take action to resolve issues. The “trouble code” will remain on file in your marriage until you address it. 

Now, a check engine light doesn’t mean that everything is going to blow up. But if you ignore every warning sign, you risk tragedy. 

Fortunately, there are actions you can take individually and as a couple. 

For example, look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. If it’s obvious, take care of it right away. 

If the check engine light is on in your marriage because of something small, you could fix it with a walk and talk, a date night, more intentional communication, and so on. 

Another solution is to reduce speed and load. In marriage, that might look like minimizing your commitments so you can slow down and spend more time with your spouse. 

You can also use built-in diagnostic services. For instance, ask questions of your spouse and yourself to figure out what’s been building up and what you need to do about it. 

Don’t wait to take action when the check engine light comes on in your marriage. Discuss things with your spouse, look for solutions, or seek outside help, such as therapy, counseling, or marriage coaching.

You have the power to do something about it.


The 6 Pillars of Intimacy Conflict Resolution: The Secret to Breaking the Conflict Cycle in Your Marriage

Connect with Us

Join the ONE Family private Facebook group to share your story and connect with other couples who are creating extraordinary marriages. To reach us on the Hug Hotline, call or text 858-876-5663 or email hugs@oneextraordinarymarriage.com.

EPISODE SPONSOR | The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®: The Secret to an Extraordinary Marriage

Is it really possible to rekindle the spark and restore the “like-new” connection in your marriage?

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Medical Disclaimer: The content of this article & website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.