This week we started a major remodel on the kitchen and main floor of our home…moving walls, refinishing wood floors, and gutting much of the existing structure.
Very exciting but all of the work also feels daunting and overwhelming.
Like many families, we dreamed of many many changes in our 1925 home and very quickly a kitchen remodel became a dining room remodel and a partial basement remodel — and oh while you are at it can you rebuild the stairwell and replace some doors?
When we met with our contractor last week to discuss the logistics of removing every piece of furniture on our main floor, I thought, “Do we really need to do all of that?! That seems like a ton of effort.”
I was thinking of large items like our piano…and dismantling my son’s loft bed that took hours and hours to assemble. Do we really need to change everything? Maybe we can just leave some things as they are…not because I don’t want them to change but because I don’t want to do the work to make them change.
It occurred to me that if I want my home to be radically different than our life is going to be radically uncomfortable for a while.
Hm. Sounds a lot like couples therapy.
Most couples contact us at the Center and say something like:
- “My wife and I need help communicating.”
- “We’ve been having the same fight for years.”
- “I have tried everything and nothing is working.”
As trained and licensed couples’ therapists, we know how to remodel your relationship. If you are ready to remodel you relationship, here are three ways to get started:
#1 Be Prepared To Take An Inventory of What You Bring To the Relationship
Your relationship is quite like a house. There are awesome features (the brick work!) and then hidden places that you don’t like to discuss (oy! the electrical system).
Get straight about what you bring to your relationship — you might be patient, supportive, and helpful. You might also get sarcastic, mean, and hold grudges.
Being honest about what you bring to the relationship, will help you create a map of what your strengths and areas of growth are as a couple (and don’t worry, your partner will do this too!).
#2 Get Ready To Move Heavy S***
Some of the least effective communication tools that you have been carrying around don’t work to get you the relationship that you want. They are weighing you down (like the piano that nobody plays in my house anymore!). Do you want that tool, that is not serving you, to continue to occupy valuable real estate in your marriage?
If you are ready to move it out (and if you are reading this you probably are), then know that it is going to require some effort. These old communication habits are crusty-leaden parts of us that we continue to use but support an old relationship system that we no longer want.
#3 Be Ready To Get Uncomfortable
Just like my contractor said to me, “You can’t have it both ways” — wanting the new, better, improved but not wanting to move my stuff or have to sleep somewhere else? I don’t think so.
And note, when I say be “ready” I don’t mean be without anxiety, fear, worry, or trepidation. I mean be prepared to lean into the unknown. If you wait until it is a good time (i.e. you don’t feel anxiety, fear, worry, etc) you are going to be waiting a long time.
Getting out of your comfort zone is required for personal growth and marital healing. If you are not ready to get uncomfortable, then you must not be ready for that new kitchen…er, I mean…relationship.
Bonus tip #4 Hire a Contractor (er, I mean Therapist)
Some things are DIYs (think fixing the toaster) and major overhauls are not. Find someone who is skilled, trained, and specializes in relationships — just like you would remodel your home.
If you are ready to remodel that relationship, give our Client Ambassador a call today at 720.457.3342 ext 0. She will help you find the right therapist for the project and get your relationship on course today! Or schedule a session now with Cara (top links on the right) -- She is ready to help you now!