Whether it is car tires, a home, a relationship, our school work or careers, if bad feelings set in and attempts to solve problems fail, we "stop maintaining things". For example, a student might adopt an "I don't care" attitude out of frustration and a need to "reduce the pain" by caring less. But then work they were capable of doing also goes undone. Our "attitude" becomes more critical, negative. Bad feelings, dissatisfactions, create a growing disconnect as we emotionally distance ourselves and begin looking for "greener pastures". Something better. Something to feel good about. It might mean selling the car when spending a small sum to fix the tires was a better solution.
We need to be aware of our feelings but then "think things through" before making a decision. If by doing so we invest our time and energy to improving things, and get quality results, we will then feel better and "more connected". Ever wash and vacuum your car and then while out for a drive "feel like it is running much better than before"? Or get through a difficult conversation and then feel closer to the other?
Lastly, I am sometimes asked about how to be happier and have been working on a definition of that feeling that would inform a plan. For now, to keep it simple, I have settled on "exceeds expectations". If the outcome of our efforts or involvements exceeds our predictions, we feel good. If the woman in the article has high expectations, then she will be in continuous conflict and never satisfied. That is a more comprehensive topic for future discussion.