I've been obsessed with the idea of Remodeling lately, and for two great reasons:
- LadyBeck wasn't thrilled when she arrived for her first stay at my (our) house a month or so before she first moved in.
- I recently taught myself to use sketchup, a most excellent and user friendly 3d rendering program, and promptly re-designed my house.
From the get go it was clear that Ladybeck and I had different design aesthetics, and I foresaw conflict. We've all heard horror stories of home renovation projects leading to divorce. I personally know more than a few couples who fight about almost nothing, but battle bitterly when it comes time to update the kitchen, or redo the bath.
After some early signs, I decided to adopt the thinking man's approach to peacefully Remodeling in collaboration with my mate.
Here's what I've come up with to date:
Disclaimer: It's a test
Remodeling will test your relationship, reveal it's strengths and weaknesses. My suggestions that follow are just that... In the end it's about you and your partner, and your joint willingness to come the the table and open yourselves different points of view.
Step 1: Turn compromise into collaboration.
Let's assume the goal is harmony, collective happiness. "Great," you say, "but how does one marry a man cave with a powder puff palace, or styles that just seem completely incompatible?"
Frequently when compromising, the Dream Kitchen in your head succumbs to mediocrity, as this color and that fixture fall in sacrifice to peace. Isn't this just the nature is of compromise? Perhaps not...
Enter collaboration, where two or more people Dream as one... The vision doesn't need to be watered down if it's shared from the moment of conception! Sounds wonderful, no? You may say, "Easier said than done, Jeff Beck". To which I would reply, "Granted, which is why I have taken the time ruminate and offer my observations, in the hopes of making it easier for me and you."
Understanding the subtle difference between compromise and collaboration will prime your mind for a harmonious and successful partnership. If you are thinking about sacrifice and compromise, that's what you'll get. However, deciding to make your Design a group effort that encompasses multiple goals and points of view will transform both the process and result. What might have been a divisive nightmare, will become a joyful project that brings you and your mate closer than ever. To be continued...