A few nights ago while mindlessly channel hopping I stumbled across the 1980’s cult vampire movie, The Lost Boys. For the 30 somethings reading this, Kiefer Sutherland was a vampire long before he was the America saving hero, Jack Bauer in 24. For the 20 somethings reading this, Kiefer Sutherland was a blood sucking, upside down hanger, long before he was the Designated Survivor destined to the seat of the most powerful office in the world! And for the 40 somethings like me, who can forget the rice / maggots scene in the cave or the haunting chants of “Michael, Michael, Michael”? If you didn’t have the soundtrack on tape, then did you even experience the 80’s in all their fullness?

I watch movies through a different lens than when I was a teenager and the scene that stuck out to me most this time around was the end where the family home is destroyed by exploding and combusting vampires and the family are looking on in disbelief as to what has just occurred. The elderly grandfather strolls in, walks over the devastation, grabs a soda from the blood covered fridge and nonchalantly says, “One thing about living in Santa Carla that I never could stomach…all the d*** vampires!”

Isn’t this true of how we so often react after bad stuff happens in our relationships? We acknowledge that we knew about the problem but we didn’t do anything about it. The really smart people, the world changers, the marriage savers are not those who look back on the wreckage and say, “I saw that coming” or, “I told you so”, but they’re the ones who take definitive, trajectory changing action before it becomes a cause of devastation.

The really smart people are not those who look back on the wreckage and say, “I saw that coming” or, “I told you so”, but they’re the ones who take definitive, trajectory changing action before it becomes a cause of devastation. Click To Tweet

The best leadership I see is not the heroic, vampire slaying, storm the gates of hell type of leadership, but it’s the type of leadership best seen in the unseen – the people who can cut a problem off at the pass before it becomes a fully mature killing machine. The leaders who take unheralded action, without plaudits of praise to avoid a scenario that they’d rather not have to lead through or deal with.

Think about it.

What in your life do you need to drive a stake into that will kill it off before it kills you?

What decisions will lead to a long, uneventful, deeply contented marriage instead of standing on the rubble of your relationship saying “well, this is no surprise!”

Perhaps you need to unfriend that old high school sweetheart on Facebook before you become (more) emotionally or physically involved. Maybe don’t spend time alone with that colleague who you’ve secretly fantasized about having an affair with. Maybe you need to ask help from a friend or mentor on how to manage your debt and finances. Do you need outside help? A marriage mentor or Crisis Counseling? Regardless, the best thing you can do for your marriage is to deal with the problems today before they come back to bite you tomorrow!

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3