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Renovating your marriage, start with the kitchen.

2 Heart it! Paula Taylor 611
October 5, 2018
Paula Taylor
2 Heart it! 611

Have you ever seen a marriage on the brink of dissolving only to be miraculously repaired with a kitchen renovation? You’re laughing because you do…you know that couple. One day they seem to be on the brink of disaster and the next a new farmhouse sink has renewed their love partnership.

The couple that can’t participate in the adoring conversations about their spouse, they don’t want to play together, they aren’t excited about each other’s life successes and they certainly don’t ache to for time at the end of the day together, in fact they are secretly hoping for alone-alone time. You’ve seen the discourse and the withdrawal, maybe they’ve discussed with you if their partner’s behaviour didn’t change they were going to leave but you didn’t believe their resolve. You can feel the tension, they communicate with long held sighs, hushed words and you know that one partner is constantly compromising parts of themselves while the other rolls their eyes behind their back. They’re the ones that you visibly can’t see let alone feel any connection between them besides their children and it seems obvious that’s the only reason why they are staying the course, that and they are attached to the comfort of co-dependency and the fear of a lifestyle change.

I don’t proclaim to be a marriage expert but I can tell you that I’ve renovated 3 kitchens now; one of those I continually renovated over four years until it was perfect; and then we sold that house to find another one with even more square footage crying out for my creative touch; and in that I learned no matter how many rooms I renovated it didn’t fix all the things in my marriage that weren’t ever going to work.

It’s not to say there isn’t love within your marriage or that you’re not great people worthy of love or that once upon a time it wasn’t timely and heavenly, but I do believe that somethings you simply don’t fit in anymore, no matter how hard you try to squeeze into your favourite pre-pregnancy jeans they just won’t ever fit like that ever again, nature has morphed you into a different shape. So if you’re piling more energy and interest into the looks of your house, or your jeans instead of the insides of your heart than you are already more focused on the charade than any possible remedy.Sure, some kitchens do actually require renovations and sometimes you need to upgrade that house but it is to say that if you feel your marriage is failing, making something else pretty isn’t going to fix it. It will only prolong the inevitable. It’s a band-aid on a stalled engine, it’ll burn right off.

The kitchen renovation is a distraction, it’s a project, it’s an ideal but the feeling of atonement will only suffice for so long. The kitchen renovation can be replaced by a fancy trip, or sparkling carats or something that drives really fast- just depends how affluent you are… but I guarantee filling your emotional void with Carrara Marble is a cold hard replacement that compromises your authenticity as a human being and steals the true joy away from not only you but your spouse.

What is a successful marriage anyway, is it the couple that merely pushed it to their 25th or 40th anniversary, grumbling and complaining about each other with nothing but regrets and long-lost desires. Congratulations about that! You get a gold star for living a half-filled life so you could keep the address, the pension, the social group and the kids under your control.

I believe a successful marriage is the one in which your grown children can share the most beautiful stories on how they’ve modelled their own marriages after your blessed union. When they can exclaim with pride about your love shining so bright it couldn’t be hidden even in the darkest times. That they saw you dancing in the kitchen at night, working together through deep, tough conversations, stealing kisses in the hallway and laughing, a lot with each other. They saw you truly champion each other, care in the deepest and often most invisible ways and share the load of life together as a team not as two individuals co-existing.

Maybe it isn’t possible for everyone to have someone to dance with in the kitchen at dusk, perhaps I am a hopeless romantic and in the event of that possible truth, I will model a strong, sensitive, humble, unafraid of admitting her mistakes, independent woman who recognized she was renovating instead of addressing the foundation of authentic living and I am willing to sacrifice my egocentric needs to that.

When you stay in a marriage for the sake of your kids you are dooming your children to the same loveless fate, Robert Fulgram said ‘Don’t worry that your children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.’ You are showing them you don’t deserve more than existing with another person in a home rather than flourishing with and through a partner in life. Do you want the looks of the kitchen or your social media to be more important than truth, because they will replicate that.

I am not delusional either, marriage is hard, and it takes continual intentional work from two dedicated, interested, self-aware parties it’s not all roses and happiness. Can you fix a failing marriage- unquestionably but you both must do it, you both must be invested, you both must to love yourselves so deeply, profoundly, radically that that love overflows onto the outside of you in a way that and it can’t help be absorbed by the other and returned back woven in a more complex and complete way. You can’t come from a place of lacking and hope your partner’s love will be enough to fill you and make you whole again because it’s not that person job to fix you, they will eventually run dry. Marriage is a union of the overwhelming abundance of two people’s self-love that it fuses together inspiring the other to love even more and no sooner than that can happen, can a marriage thrive as successful, honourable and whole.

Can you do that and renovate a kitchen, sure, but you can’t just put a bow on it and hope that that will fix the lack of connectivity in your marriage, you can’t fake chemistry no matter how many elements you add to it. So good luck with those renovations because you’ll be pleased with the brand new aesthetic, but your soul will be unsatisfied and the issues with you and your spouse will still be there… growing exponentially until you hate yourself or them for what you’ve both become but, wow that kitchen is envious! And if you’re worried about what your divorce will look like to everyone around you’re not fooling anyone those are the same people who thought of you at the during the opening line of this article.

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2 Heart it! Paula Taylor 611
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