The past three months have been a whirlwind of activity. Hubby and I have been absolutely buried working on the renovation of our new 8000 square foot events centre. And now that I actually have a millisecond to breath, I wanted to take a moment to share a few points I learned along the way about surviving renovations in relationships…
- Everything you hear about couples and renovations is TRUE! (Now multiply that by one hundred and you just might have a sense of what it’s like to renovate 8000 square feet with your partner instead of just the kitchen or bathroom in your home. (Let’s just say that Hubby and I spent a few months in renovation hell!!)
- No matter how strong your relationship is, there will be times that you will yell, throw things, cry, question your sanity, question your partner’s sanity and perhaps even consider throwing in the towel and just walking away. but you have to resist the urge and remember that when your partner yells at you in frustration (assuming it’s out of character), don’t take it personally. In fact, consider giving each other permission…and no, that’s not a typo. One of the smartest decisions we made during this project was to allow each other to yell, cry, scream and even throw a temper tantrum at each other as much as necessary during this project (kind of like a renovation hall pass). Now normally, I would not typically promote this type of behaviour, but extreme times call for extreme measures. And sometimes, you just need to throw the hoity toity “let’s all sit down over tea and talk nicely about how we feel” crap out the window. But, there is a catch. First you need to talk about the intensity of the current situation and ASK your partner permission. And secondly, you need to agree that once the project is over and the pressure is off, you’ll spend twice as much time reminding your partner of all the things you love and appreciate about them so they know the relationship is still rock solid!
- Things are so much easier when just one person leads. This doesn’t mean that one of you has to give up complete creative authority. It simply means that you should consider assigning ownership over specific tasks and decisions. Once critical tasks are assigned, do not step on toes. You must trust your partner to do the right thing, even if you know that sometimes they’ll do the wrong thing.
- Accept the fact that you will BOTH make mistakes and avoid continually pointing out your partner’s shortcomings as this will only make things worse. Your partner will appreciate it so much more if you simply show them love and support every step of the way. Honestly, does it really matter if they put the screw in the wrong hole. It can all be fixed so lighten up already.
- In the last three weeks before the soft opening, we barely had time to eat, sleep or even give each other a kiss in passing. We were bickering about everything. In all honesty, it was probably the most trying time in our relationship. But despite all that, we always found ways to pick each other up. Each time I hit a really low point I would tell Hubby and he would always dig deep to find the strength to pick me up and carry me for awhile. When Hubby was at his lowest point he let me know and I somehow managed to find the strength to carry him. The key was letting each other know when we hit rock bottom. Although working with your partner on a critical project poses some unique challenges, it also comes with the amazing benefit of having them right there by your side motivating you and cheering you on when you feel like you just can’t move forward any longer.
So, the moral of the story is that once again, communication prevails as the number one cure for relationship woes. If you’re under a lot of stress, ask your partner for permission to act in a way that is out of character for just a while to help you through the rough patches. But then remember when it’s all over, put in twice as much effort showering them with love and affection. In any loving relationship, your partner will understand and is there for you during the good times and the bad. Just one more way to make sure your relationship remains ROCK SOLID!