Adrian starts painting in the middle, but Hannah wants the wall layered methodically. Adrian storms out, and Hannah works alone. The DIY dispute is no anomaly: 35% of British homeowners said in a recent study that home improvements caused domestic rifts. Underlying the debates on paint color and floorboards is a power struggle, marital therapist Andrew G. Marshall writes in the Times of London.
Unlike money or sex issues, half-finished projects constantly remind couples of their disagreement. The bickering can be a sign of passive-aggressive or controlling behavior, but before you call a professional to finish the job, try working through it. Marshall writes that DIY projects offer a chance to practice finding solutions. Focus on each other’s positives, try compromising, and when all else fails, divvy up the work.