What are you driving?
Do you remember your first car? Was it a corvette? A Ferrari? A BMW or Mercedes?
If you're like me, it probably wasn't. Most likely your first vehicle was a wood paneled station wagon that used to belong to your parents, or maybe it was a car you purchased after you got your first paycheck? I remember very vividly the first car I bought, actually it was a truck, it was a red Nissan Truck. Her name was "Ginger" and she was a good looking piece of Japanese ingenuity, conceived in 1980, I bought that little truck my second year in college, which made her roughly 16 years old. Despite the naysayers, I easily managed to ignore the comments from my friends, such as "You know your truck's missing a bumper, right?" or "Did you really buy a truck with 300K miles on it?" these comments only served to fuel my burning obsession with this vehicle. I may not have had money to buy insurance for my truck, but I certainly had enough money to get it washed periodically, fancy car seats (to hide the cigarettes burns from the previous owner), and buy gas to drive myself up and down the coast of California.
While this personal experience pertains your first vehicle purchase, it can also act as an allegory for how many new relationships get started, and why it's important to remember that getting married is very much like buying your first car. Getting married is just the first step in a marathon that will take you far and provide bountiful rewards along the way. That said, it is also important to remember that the needs in a marriage will also evolve.
That truck I bought way back in 1996, I thought would be the only vehicle I would ever need and at the time spending $3,000 on a vehicle seemed like alot! Now in my older years, I have a family, a couple of dogs and more responsibilities that necessitates a little bit more reliability than a truck that might take 15 minutes to start.
Your marriage isn't the vehicle. Rather, your marriage is the need and desire for a mode of transportation to take you further. Many couples find themselves questioning their decision to marry or question their marriage several years into it, because when they feel like the new car smell is gone, that something must be wrong. This isn't always the case, and couple need to be aware of their current life situation when these feelings arise. I remember when we gave birth to our first child, everything was awesome! But months into it, we started to realize that we couldn't do the same things as a couple that we used to. Did it mean that our marriage was falling apart? Nope, it just meant the direction our marriage was going needed a different type of vehicle to get us there!
The important thing to remember is that a marriage will evolve and mature. Needs will change for both partners and having a sensitivity to these changes can help prevent any unwanted negative feelings from coming up. Any good mechanic will tell you the key to a long lasting vehicle is to lubricate it, and within a marriage the best lubrication you could ever use is conversation!