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Staying Power: Surviving Home Improvement Projects And Staying Happily Married

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Anyone who has ever watched Dr. Phil knows he calls certain relationship “issues” deal breakers and usually these focus on some of the more serious situations. On the other hand, anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that even the “small stuff” can lead to large arguments causing many couples to question their relationship. And, generally, most of us tend to stress and fight over things that should otherwise be enjoyable.

From not looking right for “date” night to disagreements about what to eat, where to go, what he chose to wear or not to wear, dirty dishes in the sink after a long days work, and decisions about home improvements and renovations can turn a conversation into a full-blown controversy and personal attack.

But saving your marriage and your sanity may require saving the arguing for really poignant and important issues and knowing when to back off and/or back down. And, experts suggest that one of the best ways to keep it in check in constantly checking yourself making sure you and your comments don’t reach the boiling point in the first place.

1. Remember PATEINCE Is A Virtue: While certain things NEED to get done by a certain time, you can easily loose your cool when you begin to realize that plans aren’t going, well, according to plan. It’s important to remember that things DON’T and WON’T always work out according to your plan, and forcing the issue can potentially result in shoddy work and more frustration and to a potentially to a dangerous situation. Patience and respect help ensure both parties ideas and needs get heard and met or at least considered.

2. Put Safety First: When you “do” disagree make sure you approach the argument with your “guard” up. Guard against saying or doing anything damaging or hurtful and make sure that there is nothing around, that in the heat of the moment you can slip on or trip over, especially when in the midst of home repairs.

3. Look At The Lighter Side Of Things: Instead of getting caught up in the heat of the moment, try instead to look at the humor of the situation. From laughing at yourselves and your foibles to telling a joke to get you through the rough spots, laughter can, more often than not, be the best medicine.

4. Walk The Other Way: Learn to walk away from an argument by taking a break from a stressful situation, especially when you feel the tension rising and your negativity getting out of hand. Even if you start another “project”, change the pace by allowing yourself some downtime to relax and recharge. Also remember to drink plenty of water, especially during hotter days, keeping your electrolytes and your moods more balanced.

5. Two Heads Are Better Than One: Build your skills in working as a team. Try to remember, that while you both may have specific roles, you should maintain a spirit of willingness to compliment and help each other in all you do. And, if your mate is trying his or her best, but is actually holding you back, try to explain in a nice way, that it may be more beneficial and time saving if he or she helped by doing something else (and don’t forget to stress of equal value and importance).

6. Know When To “Throw In The Towel”: No doubt it’s important to keep going until the job gets done, but not at the risk of getting so worked up and stressed that you loose your enthusiasm (about a project) and for your spouse. In cases like this, it’s best to refrain from saying or doing anything you may really regret later and walk away, at least for the time being.

7. Fear Factor: This is especially true when doing or trying something new or when working around the house. Learn to understand and respect that the extra time necessary is due to inexperience and fear. Your partner may not be quite sure what he or she is doing or what is the best and safest way to approach it. Instead of getting angry and upset, reassure your partner that you appreciate their hard work, efforts and their taking precautions and care to do things right. Also don’t forget to ask if your partner needs any help, since two heads, especially when you are trying to figure things out, are better than one.

8. The World Around You: Remember that often times you need to practice restraint because of the people around you. Do you really want or need the kids, your parents, neighbors or tenants to know about and hear about your frustrations and dirty laundry. Take note of others reactions to what’s going on and their comfort level, if and when you do say things. Make sure you and your mate don’t make others or each other feel awkward or uncomfortable.

9. Call It A Day: It’s easy to get caught up in the moment or a project and allow it to go on longer than it should. Remember, pushing deadlines is one thing when necessary, but not allowing time for yourself to enjoy your work, progress or the time “off” may lead to further frustrations and arguing. Take note of your and your partner’s emotions and know it’s time to call it quits when you have no more to give physically, emotionally or mentally. Tomorrow’s another day.

10. Wordy Gurdy: Sometimes, in fact, most of the times, it’s not what you say, but how you say it (that makes all the difference and gets you the response and reaction you want and/or need). When in disparity with your partner, remember, that there is nothing necessarily wrong with being disappointed or angry, but how you express that can make all the difference in the world. Let your partner know in a gentle, loving way citing good reasons he or she can relate to or understand. And, don’t forget to be open to their views and comments as well.

Remember, a happy marriage is based on being able to be and stay happy through the good times and the bad, and through all the projects (and situations) life throws your way…and it’s all supposed to be fun.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Staying Power: Surviving Home Improvement Projects And Staying Happily Married

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