How Buying a House Affected Our Marriage

Becoming homeowners has been a crazy adventure. It's still sometimes surreal to me that this is our home, but I love it more and more every day and with every project that we finish. We started on our endless list of projects in May and for every one that we finish, we add a few more to the list. It has been a constant process, but honestly, what good would an adventure be if you weren't learning along the way?

We have three bathrooms, or I guess will have three bathrooms when all of the construction is finished (we still only have one toilet right now). It will be the first time in our three years of marriage that we have more than one bathroom and I can't tell you how excited we both are. Joe will no longer get kicked out of the bathroom during his precious news reading time because I need to use it, and I will no longer have to pester him twice a day to use smelly good spray because I'm going to be in the bathroom right after him (these are real life problems people). I can't wait to have my own oasis and Joe can't wait to have his own "man cave".

We have a dishwasher again and this is probably the biggest game changer of all. Going without one for an entire year might not be that big of a deal to some couples, and we honestly didn't think it would be a problem for us either. The majority of our arguments over the last twelve months revolved around cleaning, particularly whose turn it was to do the dishes or how long we let them pile up because neither of us wanted to do them. From the minute we signed the paperwork making an offer on our house, Joe started telling anyone that would listen that we were buying a house and it had a dishwasher like it was the most important feature we'd been looking for! We've used said dishwasher three our four times already and with each use, I'm pretty sure our marriage gets stronger. I know, we're pathetic.

We have learned to compromise on both the big and little things. Joe gave up his desire to have the downstairs TV in the more convenient corner location and I let his home network become a top priority before move in. We've learned to pick our battles and decide which things are really important and which aren't. The things that don't really matter aren't worth the fights that they can cause if you care too much, but with two stubborn people, disagreements are inevitable.

We haven't gotten much quality time or gone on a good date for a few months. When we haven't had prior obligations, all of our free time has been spent at the house working on projects.

Quality time is both of our top love languages, so this makes for a really unhappy husband and wife. Now that the craziness of moving in has started to subside, we're trying to spend distraction free time together every single day.

We have been dealing with a stressed out wife who has a hard time when she can't be in control of everything. And by we, I really mean we. Joe has had to deal with "grumpy wife" more often than not, and I'm constantly being asked, "Are you grumpy wife or happy wife today?" I've had to deal with the stress I cause myself, the anxiety I feel when nothing is going the way I planned, and trying to keep my grumpy mood under control. It has been no bueno and I'm glad things are starting to settle down. (Sidenote: I really think I'm supposed to learn patience this year because I keep running into situations that really push me to be patient and patience is not a virtue that I'm good at so it's been difficult.)

We have a puppy who has anxiety when he doesn't get enough attention, and because we haven't gotten much quality time together as a couple, he hasn't gotten quality time with us either. Moving boxes out of our apartment was rough because he'd freak out and cry any time we got beyond the point that he could follow us on his rope, even if he could still see us and we told him to wait. If he was not a curious creature who we know will run as soon as he sees another human or animal that he wants to be friends with, we would let him follow us everywhere and it would be fine. But when he doesn't have the freedom to follow us wherever we go, he throws a tantrum that is heartbreaking and unpleasant. I think he's happy to be settled back into a routine and our new house.

Have you ever bought a house? What did you learn about your marriage through that process?