How to Help Your Marriage: Don't Be a Jerk

Don't be a jerk in your marriage! Every time I go away, my husband decides it's the perfect time to do major home improvement projects, which makes so much sense since he's alone with four children.

I know I should be grateful because it's awesome to have someone who is so ambitious, but the problem is that the projects never actually get done. The ceiling in the girls' room is still unpainted. Our shower was unusable for a week. And what exactly are the kids doing while he's putting in our closet? Honestly, it becomes more of a hassle than a help.

But since my goal for 2013 is to work on my marriage, I've been trying to change my attitude. And maybe, just maybe, it's working.


While I was in New York City throwing a party, my husband decided to redo our kids' bathroom, and like times before, when I returned, it was still incomplete. No light, no sink, and no working shower.

And like times before, I moaned and groaned, and gave him a pretty hard time about starting something and not finishing it. He apologized and told me that he wanted to surprise me and "Hey, see the cool new hooks on the wall and the nice paint!" to which I looked, then sighed as I always do. 

Basically, I was a complete jerk

After thinking about how I had spoken to him, I realized a few important things:

1. His intention was not to annoy me, but surprise me and make me happy. He was trying to do something awesome.

2. The bathroom wasn't really in use in the first place, except for the sink, and considering we have two other bathrooms, it was a minor inconvenience for the kids to move for a couple of days until he finished.

3. I would probably have never done the bathroom myself, so it was either have him do it and get it half done for now, or me never do it all.

Then I felt really bad for being a jerk.

Now look, there are a few things he could have done as well, like get some help to finish the project, or find a sitter so he could get more done. As incredible as the intention of this is, I think it's important to be realistic and understand the time involved.

But still, I decided that the good outweighed the inconvenient in this case, and told him so with a card. Nothing fancy, just a word of thanks to acknowledge his effort. 

Apparently even though the sink and the light weren't working in the bathroom, the mirror was. Glad I stopped to take a look.

What stuff does your partner do that usually annoys you but really might actually be awesome?

Image via katerha/Flickr

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