by Mindi Artherton
I do not have a perfect marriage. In fact, it is far from perfect. So naturally, when we made the commitment last spring to build a home for our family, of course one fear that crept into my mind was “will we be able to do this and still like each other at the end“?
I am happy to report, the answer is yes! We have moved into our new home and Robbie and I still kind of like each other. =) Now, has this process been all smooth sailing and void of any disagreements? Absolutely not!
For us, avoiding major conflict through the building process was not as difficult as I thought it would be.
You do your thing and I’ll do mine: There were a couple of things that Robbie really cared about. Luckily for us, I didn’t really care about those things and visa-versa. For example, he was very excited to have a large patio off of the back of the house with a retaining wall. Do I get excited about concrete and retaining walls? Nope! So I just stepped aside and let him do exactly what he wanted!
I really wanted a lighter color of flooring. He could careless if we were walking around on stud-floor for the next 20 years! The moral of the story, be ok that he may not care about something that really excites you. And on the other hand, let him go crazy with the thing that makes him most excited about your new home!
Home is where your people are: The most challenging aspect (in terms of how it affected our marriage) was our living arrangement. My family was incredible and allowed us to stay in there home while we built. When I say “us” that would include, both Robbie and I, 2 kids, a dog, and one newborn sweetie that joined our crew in October. This was tough.
I don’t like living in clutter and not having a space that was uniquely ours wore on me. We survived and I will forever be grateful that my family shared their home with us! It allowed us to save a rent payment each month and use that money to build our home. I was constantly reminding myself how fortunate we were to have a roof over our head, but Robbie definitely had to chose to help me through this and forgive me when I “barked” at him because of a mess!
Time is not on your side: Know from day one, it will take longer to build your house than you think it should. That isn’t your fault. That isn’t your spouse’s fault. And I would say in most cases, it isn’t your contractor’s fault. Weather happens. People don’t show up. Other jobs happen. It is ok, it will get finished.
Also, if you are going to complete any of the work on your own, be prepared to not see your husband in the evenings. While those evenings can feel long (especially when kids are involved) and a little lonely, know that he is just trying to help save your family money and help build the home you envision.
I’m not expert, but when it comes to your marriage surviving a building project, this is what I have learned! Once I get a few more boxes unpacked and I can somewhat navigate around my mess, I will share a few photos of the house with you all. Until then, mommas!