Married Life // Under Construction


Hole in Living Room Floor

How’s that for a glamorous photo? I decided it’s one of those “keep-it-real” days around here. This is an actual picture of an actual hole in our actual living room.

Before we started this renovation on our house, my dad made an offhand comment to me one day about how we should be ready because construction has broken up more than a few marriages. I nodded seriously at him and giggled inside because sometimes my dad cracks me up with his sage advice. But truth be told, now that we’re in the midst of this whole shebang I can absolutely see how a marriage is tested by sledgehammers and cement mixers. It’s chaos. And sometimes the physical chaos starts feeling like mental chaos and you both just start to snap.

Right now, there’s a hole in the middle of our living room where our fireplace used to be. A giant, 6-foot-by-5-foot hole. Just hanging out. And in the three adjoining rooms, there’s a layer of dust on everything that meets the eye. So here we are, trying to go about our lives and work and entertain a toddler but not let him fall in the hole or lick the dust or anything else life threatening. And meanwhile, we’re deciding how best to plug the hole temporarily and what kind of cabinet exactly is going to go there eventually, and should it be a cabinet or closet? And what really is the difference? And will two extra feet in this room really matter? OH MAN. It gets intense.

And to top it all off, I’m pregnant now and for some reason we always end up doing these major life-changing things (like moving to a new town or a complete home remodel) while I’m with child. Because we just really like to live on the edge. All of this is to say that yes renovations can absolutely challenge a relationship. We had a little taste of it when we moved into the house a couple of years back, but this is next level.

So how do you deal? We’re figuring that one out as we go along. I think mostly you just fight tooth and nail to remember that you’re on the same team. Because as soon as one person gets a little tone in their voice, the other one gets defensive, and then all of a sudden the new dining room is a war zone. So maybe we have differing opinions about whether we need obscured glass or clear glass in the new bathroom windows, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. We’re trying to keep our heads from spinning with all of these teeny tiny decisions, and lean on each other instead of pitting ourselves against each other with differences of opinion. It’s really easy to dig your feet in and try to stand your ground, but really nobody wins at the end of that situation.

Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that some old closet doors are now covering the hole so we can’t fall in. At least we got that one figured out. 😉 xoxo

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  1. OMG when we were getting the doors replaced in the house it was a WAR ZONE. There was a pile of tools in every room, all the new doors were stacked up in the dining room and the derpy guy the carpenter hired to help would leave tools ON OUR BED!!!!! GAH! To boot, neither one of them mentioned that dust would get on every. piece. of. clothing. so we ended up at the Laundromat one day with everything we own. Brutal. It tested us for sure. But we had been through so much worse (namely when my mom moved in with us for a few weeks between selling her house and renting an apt) so we just sucked it up knowing we were BOTH miserable.

  2. To me, the dust is the worst part of a renovation. I remember cleaning everything in my house only to have it covered in dust the next day!! Ahhh!!! When it all gets to be too much I recommend dinner with friends.

  3. Ugh, we are SO living through this same thing right now — with a three month old baby, because clearly we’re suckers for stress. It’s ROUGH. Sometimes we find ourselves snapping about the dumbest things, because we just can’t take another second of it… and we have at least four more weeks. But it’s all about communication, keep talking, keep laughing, know it’s all so temporary, and one day it will all be worth it. Good luck!!