We all know that I love remodeling. My best-selling free eBook is entitled The Power of Remodeling — How Remodeling Your Home Can Change Your Life. That’s right, change your life!
But what about your marriage? Changing your life is one thing… anybody can do that, right? They got The Secret, Tony Robbins, and old copies of Dale Carnegie to do that. But your marriage!? That’s serious business we’re talkin’ now.
And isn’t home remodeling supposed to be like the dedicated arch-enemy of marriage? Isn’t it a fact that something like 2/3 of all couples who start remodeling never get past the demolition? Yet, now I’m saying it’s good counseling?
Wrong! Only 1/3 of marriages fail before the end of demolition!
Okay… all joking aside. This is serious business.
Remodeling Is Marriage Counseling
I read a post today about how really building a relationship was about getting to the core… well, here is a quote:
“Instead of living by others’ expectations, discover and live from your core.”
Got that? Your CORE! Okay, I don’t really know exactly what that means, but I do know this: It made me think about remodeling. In fact, I thought that’s where she was headed… but no.
Here’s what I think:
Save Your Marriage By Remodeling
Remember that this home is for both of you! It shouldn’t reflect her style or his style. It should reflect YOUR style together. As a couple. A little work is all it takes to figure this out.
Husbands – Realize just how important the house is to your wife! Don’t take it from me, take a look at what she likes to read online… check out her Google Reader…( I’m not a certified counselor)
Wives – Remember that his lack of style is actually a style. It may seem like it’s not to you, but it is to him. There is no doubt that a set of surroundings exists that he would consider “perfect” and, all things being equal, he’s probably up-for the idea of making it happen.
Research together – the best thing you can do is go out to places that you think might give you some clues. Model homes, hotels, restraunts, pool halls, Lowe’s Motor Speedway (not the parking lot at your local Lowe’s), whatever… lots of places. Spend some time paying attention to what physical surroundings actually instigate a good feeling in each of you. Take a picture, write it down.
Designate Areas – What was that movie where they split the house down the middle? War of the Roses? Like that, but in a less dramatic way. For some reason, I don’t like the term “man cave” but there is some sense to the idea. If your design styles aren’t totally complementary, try to have some section that you agree belongs to your spouse to design however he/she wants. (most often, he gets the garage, and that’s not fair! At least give him a porch too.)
Agree on a budget! This one is the main culprit. Money fights! I can tell you from experience how to avoid this, but it might mean you start your work later. Have an agreed “splurge fund”. The problem is when the time comes for a toilet purchase… you want the nice one with all the bells and whistles (pottys have bells and some sport whistles too). He doesn’t see the value…it has a very simple purpose, he says. This is where the splurge fund comes in. If you say, “Jim, this John is important to me! I’m willing to splurge on it!” (again, I’m not certified in this…so…)
Decide on a work schedule! It can be very challenging for both of you to have work going on six or seven days a week twelve hour days. (that’s your contractor’s hours, right?) Decide before you start what the hours will be, tell your contractor, or hold yourself to it. This is especially true if you have strangers around. It gets old. Fast. It might mean to do the work in stages. That’s not so bad anyway.
Just work together… from your core!
The overall point is that your house is the largest outward expression of you as a couple and if you both get involved in the remodeling process you’ll both get a sense of ownership of the project. You’ll both be excited, if not about every aspect of the work, at least about something! When one person isn’t really excited at all, it can be bad news!
Did I say I wasn’t certified?
By the way… if you’re wondering how I ended up reading this post on marriage, I’ll show you. I saw this link on Facebook:
Build a Better Marriage By Getting Buck Naked … so I clicked on it!
Now, I know that you have some thoughts on relationships and remodeling! Let’s hear ’em!