According to many family therapists, a home remodel is among the most stressful events that a couple can go through together. One divorce attorney claimed to have seen more divorces resulting from home remodels than extramarital affairs. If you and your partner are considering a remodeling project, keep in mind the following tips to make sure you come through it together.
Be on the same team
A remodel will entail many important decisions that both will have to live with. It’s important that one person doesn’t completely dominate the decision-making process when it comes to the remodel unless the other really and truly means it when she (or more likely he) claims to be fine with whatever the other person decides. Pretending to be fine with something when you’re not will only lead to hurt feelings. If both people in the relationship are contributing ideas and arriving at agreements during the planning stage, the chances of the relationship surviving the remodel is much higher.
Get the family involved
If you have children, or if you have nearby relatives who’d be willing to help, find ways to include them in the work that’s DIY friendly. Having family about you while you work helps keep everything in perspective and it should make it less tempting to lash out in anger when under stress. Younger children can help paint a wall and older family members can assist with other DIY projects like replacing light or sink fixtures, installing baseboard heater covers, or some light landscaping work.
Find what works for you
Some couples need to work in separate rooms when remodeling in order to keep the peace. If you go this route, just make sure the other person is on the same page about what the partner will be working on so there’s no surprises. After dividing up tasks you can divide and conquer and then meet together at lunch or at the end of the day to spend time as a couple. Others will prefer to work side by side on one project at a time. You know what will be best for your partnership.
Choose your battles wisely
Of course you’ll want to try to compromise whenever possible when each of you want something different but that won’t always be possible. When you both want opposite things then both need to choose battles wisely. Can you live with whatever it is your partner is wanting in a particular instance? If so, then go along with it. If you concede on some things you have more bargaining power when it comes to the disagreements that are even more important to you.
Take time out for your relationship
Most important of all is to never get so caught up in the busyness of remodeling that you can’t make time for each other. Any relationship, no matter how strong, will suffer if there’s no quality time together outside of remodeling work. So even if it takes a little longer, make sure you’re still going on dates and doing the things you both enjoy doing to foster your relationship.
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