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Has anyone elses marriage suffered under the strain of doing up a house?

(11 Posts)
sandyballs Wed 07-Sep-11 13:58:06

We're five months into extending and completely renovating our entire house, we spent three months sleeping on the lounge floor and have only just managed to return upstairs after decorating and carpeting etc.

I feel me and DH should be happy and excited that our dream home is finally being sorted out but instead we are snappy and tired and stressed out with no time for each other. I have spent the summer hols removing the kids from the house so DH can decorate and get on with stuff so I feel like a single parent, and he feels that I haven't helped enough, but if I had stayed home the kids would have got invovled and he only repeats any DIY I attempt as he is such a perfectionist.

The builders are now doing downstairs so it all starts again. Maybe I should have put this in 'relationships'.

sandyballs Wed 07-Sep-11 14:00:38

We've been together 24 years and I've never felt so distant from him sad

fresh Wed 07-Sep-11 14:16:29

Don't panic, doing up a house is an incredibly stressful thing to do, especially when there are kids involved. Give each other some slack, talk about it, and hang on in there. Don't worry about what you 'should' be feeling. Try and take some time off together (difficult I know as men usually want to finish everything before they draw breath). You'll have years ahead when you can bask in what you've done, this is just a short, horrible patch!

sandyballs Wed 07-Sep-11 16:27:35

Thanks Fresh, it is very stressful, much more so than I thought it would be and it just seems to be endless. I'm going to try and arrange a babysitter so we can go out alone and talk .... hope we don't sit there in silence like the couples we used to giggle about, or argue!

fresh Wed 07-Sep-11 16:57:08

Good luck. Make a pact that you can talk about anything apart from what colour you're going to paint/where the radiators are going/floor tiles etc practicalities! smile

RedorLead Wed 07-Sep-11 17:40:09

Dh and I are fine - it's the kids who are very unhappy about life not revolving around them - they miss my attention and I am so incredibly busy.

jamaisjedors Mon 12-Sep-11 20:13:29

God I called our patio/terrace the "patio of divorce"!

DH built it himself from scratch, so cleared the flower beds, did all the digging out and levelling and then laid the slabs and did the joints.

We were exactly like you two - I was taking the kids out for the day and then he thought I was off on a jolly. I felt like a skivvy running round cooking for him - he was working so hard on the patio that he didn't even pick up his own plate and take it through to the kitchen.

I would honestly rather pay someone to do any of the DIY jobs because they always end up like this (DH is a perfectionist like yours).

Actually we paid a friend to put in the downstairs loo but it was crooked and so DH ripped it out again and it took longer than it should have done - I think he was cursing me all the time because I organised the friend to do it...

Sorry it seems so endless with you - with us we are not renovating but it's a big house/garden so there are always jobs like that to do so the issue comes up frequently.

Sounds like you do need to go out together and talk about how you feel about it (and other stuff too!). Good luck.

thereinmadnesslies Mon 12-Sep-11 20:25:37

We did a massive extension last year and we are still finishing off the decorating/snagging etc. It definitely put our relationship under pressure, there was next to no couple time and we were constantly discussing the build, arguing about tiles and paint colours and stressed about money.

It gets better and I think we are stronger for going thru it.

SparklePrincess Tue 13-Sep-11 00:38:36

Major renovations etc are a recipe for divorce. sad I wont bore you with my DIY neighbour from hell ex husbands exploits.... Hence I am now about to buy a property with a man who would rather spend more time with me & the kids & use his annual leave for family stuff rather than DIY. smile

LemonDifficult Tue 13-Sep-11 10:28:09

My previous relationship suffered hugely from this. ExP was a property developer and we lived in the properties. And sometimes where we lived came quite low down on the priorities and so we'd live very unsatisfactorily for ages. ExP was just like his dad - in fact his parents divorced partly as a result of their dream house always being worked on and never finished. Too stressful.

The P before that was also a property developer but didn't live in the properties. Much easier.

How long do you have before completion of the works?

Fizzylemonade Tue 13-Sep-11 10:30:51

It is incredibly hard when you are in the middle of it all. We did our old house bit by bit so the chaos moved around grin but there were breaks of a few weeks between each project.

I was heavily pregnant at the point we did the bathroom so could only do light duties, so I tended to go all 1950's housewife for DH, keep the children out of his way, bring him drinks, biscuits, lunch. Accepted that he needed to go to builder's merchants again

I just tried to ignore any negative comments he made as it would lead to an argument whilst inside I was seething, but knew it was just from the stress.

I tend to do most of the legwork in deciding stuff, ie I love looking through catalogues and on-line for stuff. I would narrow down the stuff I liked so Dh got to make the final decision from my short list, meaning he chose something I already liked wink

He is also a perfectionist which can be incredibly frustrating. Our last house was an experiment of sorts to see what jobs we could tackle ourselves and what jobs to leave to the professionals. Hence our double garage conversion where we had the builders in for the whole thing except decorating.

When will the project end? Christmas? Maybe you can start making plans for when it is all finished. Big family meal or having friends round to show it off to. <hopeful>

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