RELATIONSHIPS CAN BE CHALLENGING AND complicated under the best of circumstances. But add the stress of constructing or remodeling a home and even the strongest relationships can be seriously tested.
Construction projects usually start off with a dream or wish of some kind; maybe a bigger or smaller home, a desire to live in the country or in the suburbs or an update to the bathroom or kitchen. Maybe you’ve dreamed of all the possibilities of building your own home.
For many couples, those dreams too often dissolve into feelings of anger and stress. They argue about money and feel overwhelmed by the number of decisions they need to make. They disagree about the minutia of their project and get bogged down in all the details of building. With all the possible pitfalls it’s no wonder that construction projects can take their toll on a relationship.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. While it’s true that construction projects will always come with their share of stressors, they don’t have to put a damper on your relationship. In fact, a building project can offer you an opportunity to strengthen your bond as a couple. With a few simple ideas, you can use your upcoming building project as a catalyst for growing closer to the one you love.
1. Realize that your relationship will grow and change throughout the process of building or remodeling. If you can accept this inevitable transformation in your relationship, your building project will go much smoother. Go into the project with open eyes and know that the weaknesses in your relationship with be exposed. If you anger easily, there will be outbursts. If you avoid making decisions, you will feel pressure.
You can count on the fact that your personal flaws will interfere with the construction process. As your faults come into the open, take a breath and recognize that this is an opportunity for growth. This area of your life needs to be addressed and changed. Tap into your strengths and ask for help.
If you find your relationship stressed to the max or want to prevent major trials and tribulations during your project, read this article, Top 3 Reasons Couples Fight During Their Construction Project for additional ideas to set yourself up for success.
2. Remember that you are on the same team. You’re building or remodeling this house together. Work together, not against one another. Look for the commonalities of what you desire in your home.
When you are in conflict, remember that you’re not enemies. It helps to focus on areas of success and to create a sense of unity. When you collide with differences, remember to honor them in one another and listen with open ears and heart. Hear you partner out. By truly listening and looking for what you have in common, you can find solutions that make you both happy.
3. Celebrate, Celebrate, And Celebrate! Enjoy yourself and the many interesting moments of your project. And make it a point of delighting in your progress. You’ll no doubt experience a number of setbacks, but if you learn to look for the positive, you’ll get the encouragement and energy you need to keep going.
By following these three simple suggestions, you’ll be able to embrace the sometimes-overwhelming process of building or remodeling your home and keep the love in your relationship.
An additional resource that wholeheartedly helps you and your spouse successfully tackle your home construction project together is our book Break Ground Without Breaking Up; 7 Keys to Securing a Strong Relationship While Building or Remodeling Your Home. It’s a relational floor plan, and a set of keys to help you navigate the journey of home construction with as little stress and conflict as possible.