I am sort of obsessed with HGTV.  I an awed by the creativity and thought process of the design professionals.  They are able to see a vision in their head, and then make that idea come to life.  I am also intrigued by the interpersonal dynamic of the couples purchasing a home.  I like to see how they interact, compromise, and get through difficult situations.  Because of this,  I feel that pre-marriage counseling should be in the form of a home show.

It would start with the host/real estate agent giving the engaged couple some fake money in order to purchase a house.  The catch is- they give them 10% less than what houses can be purchased for in their desired neighborhood that match their exact criteria.   We then move on to Stage 1- short answers.

Step 1:What type of house does the couple want?  If they’re both  craftsman, they can move on to step 2.  If not:  Can a sleek contemporary marry a cozy Victorian?  Will she go crazy when he uses her doily as a dust rag?  Will he go crazy when his marble console table is overrun with frog statues?  Can a two story colonial be content with a ranch?

Step 2 Closet space.  Has one partner already claimed the master closet?  Has the other partner commented more than once about the number of shoes owned?

Step 3 Open concept.  How does partner A react when B says…”I know this looks like its a load bearing wall, but just imagine if this wall didn’t exist.  Look how open it would be!  How much could it cost to take down this wall?”

Step 4 The backyard.  Partner A says “How hard could it be to maintain a five acre, sloping yard?  Look how much room for entertaining.”  What does B think about mowing a hill?  And entertaining large crowds?

Step 5 Color.  “OMG look at that gorgeous shade of yellow in the living room!  I’ve always dreamt about living in a room that looks like the sun” says A.  B, dressed in black, thinks what?

So now the couple has completed the first stage of pre-marital counseling.  If they still want to get married, we move them onto Stage 2- the practical exam.

Step 1 Begin by making the couple share a single vanity bathroom for a week.  Frankly, if they can survive sharing a sink , they can face any obstacle life throws at them.

Step 2 Then let them renovate the bathroom together.  Have them remove toilet and trail toilet excess throughout house.  Have one partner accidentally break tub, the only thing they were keeping from the bathroom.  Let them miscalculate how much tile they need, and after laying it down, let them realize they are lacking tiles to complete job.  Then tell them tiles are now backordered for 8 weeks.

Step 3 Let them hire a contractor to fix kitchen.  Have contractor work for a week, enough time to take everything out, then have contractor not come back for two weeks.

This would be the end of stage two.  If the couple survived this, they are lucky enough to make it to Stage 3-timed reading.

Purchase five items of assemble yourself furniture, including a bookshelf that must be secured to a wall.  Leave them in middle of floor. Place instructions in front of them.  Give them one hour to complete.  Use of internet or phone a friend not allowed.

I firmly believe this form of pre-marital counseling would help you decide if your partner is indeed your soul mate.  If you could make it through this, you can survive anything.








16 thoughts on “Pre-Marital Counseling: Renovation

  1. Love it. I too am an HGTV fan, although certain shows are done to death. It never ceases to amaze me that starter homes are no longer considered in a good deal of the country. People want to buy their first home as their “forever home”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So very true! Try working together in a cupcakerie with your husband for 4 years but we did stay together although both of us still have different ideas on the perfect cupcake. When I went to the UAE on my own for a year teaching, I brought to my hotel apartment a chair from Ikea. I paid a man in the hotel a bit of change to put it together. Boy, did I miss my husband who can put anything together and not charge me!

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  3. Funny! I watch a lot of HGTV too, and after seeing some of the couple argue on that show as they are trying to pick out their first house together, it’s a wonder to me they are still married. They both want their way and even talk about “winning” and “losing” as they select their homes…haven’t they ever heard of compromise? Or use the word “we” when they talk about their future house? I think you’re right…they should have to go through this process before they get married!

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    1. I know this might sound horrible, but I have joked that there should be an hgtv recap show at 11 where people can place bets on which marriages will end up in divorce…..honestly, a lot of my post from my anniversary was based on my observations after watching hg….

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  4. This made me smile because . . . many years ago, as my husband and I were readying the nursery for the baby and getting ready to paint, calamity ensued. Husband left the room to get some supplies. I was VERY pregnant, but wanted to help, so I opened the can, stirred the paint, and then place the lid gently back on the paint can. I’m a stirrer. We found out too late that he was a “shaker.” Just as I thought I should mention that the can was open, he picked it up and started to shake it — PAINT EVERYWHERE. We survived peach paint — and will be celebrating our 21st anniversary this summer!

    Liked by 1 person

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