Creating a Home Together
In my last blog, I mentioned the kitchen ceiling turning into a waterfall with water streaming down from cracks that came through to attic insulation, soaked through the drywall, cracked and had plaster falling from the ceiling. It wasn’t good, to say the least. To make matters worse, D was out of town for work until the following Tuesday, and he was determined to fix the ceiling himself.
The project officially started Friday afternoon. D found all of the leaks in the attic and sealed them all. Saturday, he began installing the new drywall. Next was mudding and taping. Sunday, we began painting. Finally, on Monday, D installed a textured wall because, might as well while we’re doing everything else, right? Last, the trim was put up.
Through all of this, the limits of our relationship were tested. Julie said to make sure to have a bottle of wine on hand for home improvement projects, and she was 100% correct! The drywall was damn near torture to install, and all we had was the two of us to do that, and EVERYTHING else. Mud got dropped all over the kitchen floor, which I repeatedly ran to wipe up and dodge incoming mud from the ceiling. The first attempt at taping failed, which we learned when trying to put the first coat of paint up. Halt all painting. Time to re-tape, and then wait for that to dry. Painting commenced, and it RAINED textured flecks of sand with every roll of the roller. Trim was cut, and re-cut, and measured twice, and cut, and HOW DOES THAT NOT FIT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
We made plenty of mistakes. We knew what needed to get done, but didn’t know 100% how to do it. We figured it out - mostly D - and in the end, the kitchen ceiling looks pretty damn good, as does the textured wall. There was a significant amount of frustration and a lot of “We will NEVER do another home improvement project again, EVER!” We definitely raised our voices to each other, more than a couple of times. I’m sure you can imagine. But through all of the frustrations, dropped mud, paint flecks, and yelling, we ended this project with “I love you” and “I appreciate you”. Both of us recognized the need to vent frustrations, the need to listen to frustrations and allow them to come out, and the difference between venting TO someone, and venting AT someone. I knew that what D was saying (yelling, screaming) was not directed AT me, but rather directed TO me. As a result, I did remind him that we don’t talk to each other like that, but also that I understood his frustrations. I think it’s tremendously important to understand when your partner, your friend, your family, or a co-worker needs to vent. It’s equally important to communicate when venting frustrations, that you are not venting AT who is listening, but TO them, to release the frustrations and anger, and get back to that “good” place.
After the long weekend of home improvements, I hopped in the shower Monday evening, only to have it interrupted with D telling me to hurry it up, because a pipe in the basement started leaking. Plumber comes tonight so I can continue showers throughout the week (thank goodness!). These are the joys of home ownership, and the joys of recognizing exactly how healthy your relationship(s) is/are. I wouldn’t have it any other way with D, and how he was able to persevere through the difficulties to fix the ceiling AMAZES me! What events have lead you to realizations about your relationships?