Sometimes couples make jokes about their inability to work together successfully on projects, especially home improvement projects. However, looking at how you work together on smaller projects can offer you some valuable insight into the overall strengths and weaknesses in your marriage. How you deal with small problems in life often reflects how you handle the bigger picture.
Home improvement projects test your ability to work together as a team. Do you try and share the workload? Can you take direction from your partner? Can your partner count on you to do what is asked?
How you share the workload is important to examine. Even if you lack the skills that your partner has, it is important to look at what role you take. Do you allow your partner to do all the work while you watch? Or do you offer to do what you can? Does your partner not trust you to do any of the work?
If the two of you can work together as a team on a little project, it’s much more likely you can do so in life. Take a look at how the two of you function with day-to-day tasks of running your household. Do you work as a team that supports one another? Or does one person tend to do most of the work?
Your communication skills during a home improvement project may show some areas that could use some improvement as well. How do you handle suggestions on how to do something differently or more efficiently? How do you respond to questions when your spouse asks for clarification or doesn’t understand something? Do you argue, yell, or resort to name calling?
If you can’t communicate well about how to paint a room, it may show that your communication skills about important things in life need some work. Communication includes your ability to clearly explain your needs and give instructions as well as your ability to hear what your partner says. Learning how to communicate effectively can make a big difference as most disagreements are caused by misunderstandings of what your partner wants or needs.
Encountering problems seems to be inevitable when completing most home improvement projects. How you tackle these inevitable obstacles reflects your problem solving skills. Do you give up if things aren’t going the way you expected? Do you argue? Does one person just make a decision about what to do next?
Problems are going to be inevitable in life. How you manage the small day-to-day problems such as how to get a car repaired, who is going to pick up a sick child from school, or where to go on your next vacation, requires some problem solving skills. There’s also the bigger problems that are likely to happen. Financial problems, an unexpected job loss, a death in the family, or an illness can require a great deal of problem solving. It is important for couples to be able to work on their problem solving skills to overcome small problems to help them prepare for the bigger problems in life.
A lot of home improvement projects start out with a budget that requires some changing. How do you and your partner decide on a budget? Or do you even create a budget before you start? How do you make decisions when changes need to be made to the budget?
Take a look at how you handle this. Does one person tend to make all the decisions? Do you carefully evaluate how much to spend or do you just buy things without calculating? The way you handle these budgetary issues may reflect your overall budget. If you didn’t set a budget for your project, it may show that you don’t have a budget in your daily life. Setting a budget, sticking to it, and working together on your financial goals is important for a healthy marriage.
Dealing with Stress
How do you deal with the stress of a home improvement project? Do you struggle to deal with things being out of order? Do you get easily frustrated when things don’t turn out the way you want? Do you resort to arguing?
Handling stress in positive ways is important for a happy partnership. Being able to use humor, accept setbacks, and support one another is important. Life gets stressful and stressful events are going to happen. If you can help each other work through these issues in a way that helps alleviate one another’s stress level rather than contribute to it, it will go a long way.
Improving Your Marriage
You don’t need to embark on a home improvement project to test the quality of your marriage. You can certainly look at how the two of you handle other tasks and projects together in life. When you discover some areas that need improvement, look at the bigger picture and see what ways you can improve your skills.