Completing a do-it-yourself project with your partner can be fun and rewarding. In some cases, however, couples may find that working on a project together challenges their patience. Following these six simple steps will help to avoid arguments and ensure that you both enjoy the experience.
Start with a Plan
Before beginning a project, make sure you are clear about how long it’s expected take, how much it will cost, and each person’s responsibilities. If everyone knows what to expect, it’s less likely that arguments will come up in the midst of the project. Take the time to make a list of all materials that will be needed and ensure that they will be readily available. If items need to be ordered, be sure to leave enough time for delivery.
No matter how good the initial plan is, there are likely to be unexpected surprises along the way. The ability to remain calm and a willingness to be flexible will go a long way in making sure that your DIY experience remains positive. Unforeseen costs are very likely to arise, so it is a good idea to proactively add an extra 15-20 percent to your planned budget. When other issues come up, it’s helpful to consider the overall impact on the project and determine whether alternate plans need to be made.
When working on a project together, it’s unlikely that you and your partner will agree on every detail. Avoid arguments by approaching discussions with an open mind and a willingness to compromise. Before arguing about a specific topic, determine whether it’s really important to you and if it will have a major impact on the overall success of the project. If the answer is no, it’s probably better to acquiesce and move on. When important decisions need to be made, the primary objective should be to find a solution that will work for both parties.
It’s important to remember that your partner cannot read your mind. If you need assistance or have input regarding the project, be sure to vocalize it. When a step requires both of you to work together, it’s a good idea to discuss exactly what is going to happen and what will be expected from each person before beginning. If both of you have a clear vision of what your role will be, you are more likely to succeed.
Avoid Placing Blame
When things don’t go according to plan, it’s easy to point the finger or look for someone to blame. Take a deep breath and stop yourself from lashing out on your partner. Instead, discuss the problem and work together to develop a solution.
Take a Break
If the stress gets to be too much, be willing to take a break and step away from the situation. Going out for a walk, making a snack, or simply stepping into another room for a few minutes will help both of you to relax and refocus.