diy projects for couples

Jennifer reads to me from the Aubry-Maturin series while I paint the living room nook blue.

I’ve seen a lot of relationship stress accumulate when couples tackle home improvement projects together.  As Jennifer and I started to work on the house together, we developed a plan to stave off any such unpleasantness before it got the better of us.

Our problem was this: Jennifer works extremely long hours in a very stressful, professional environment.  And when it’s time to tackle a diy project, especially when we need to paint — a skill she admits she has no coordination or patience for — like in the above photo, sometimes she’s just too tired from work to put on her work clothes and jump in with a brush.  And this makes her feel terribly guilty.  But I don’t mind in the least.

I’m happy to just have her in the room chit-chatting about nothing in particular, or better yet, to have her read to me while I do something quiet like paint a room.

She has the most beautiful reading voice, and after so many years as a professor she reads aloud with such precision and inflection that its like listening to a book on tape, only a hell of a lot better.

In turn, I do all the cooking and house cleaning during the week, but on weekends, when It’s time to work on installing moldings or painting, Jennifer puts one of her fancy aprons on and feeds me with the most sumptuous meals you can imagine.

So that’s the system we’ve worked out, and it works perfectly.

home made spice rack

Jennifer preparing new spices for her weekend cooking projects.

Do you have techniques as a couple that help you get through home improvement together? Let’s hear about them in the comments section below.