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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Our Biggest Fight Ever

Sara: I can’t stress enough how difficult pregnancy has been on both Justin and me. Because I become tired so much easier, Justin has been picking up a lot of the slack in our house. Cooking, dishes, mowing, and more have unofficially fallen as Justin’s duties the past few months. In addition, we’ve have more responsibilities now as homeowners than when we were renting an apartment.

As our July 23 due date comes closer, I’m starting to stress about all the items I want done before Baby Kraft arrives. One of these items I’ve had on “our” to-do list since buying the house is painting our living room, dining room, and hallway. Once this project is complete, we can put up all the pictures living in our guest room so we’ll have a place to put guests once baby comes.

So, a while ago, Justin and I started to discuss paint colors for the living areas. Unfortunately, we couldn’t agree on ANYTHING. Justin likes dark, fall colors, and my favorite colors are the bright, spring colors. In addition, our living room has a beautiful brick fireplace that both of us really wanted to complement with our paint color choice. After about two weeks of arguing, tears (on my behalf), and frustration, we asked a friend to come over and help us decide. After poring over our paint samples, which probably had more comprehensive color choices than some paint stores, she finally told us to throw them all away, wait a week, and start from scratch.

So, we did. We took pictures of our living area with my cell phone, and asked the home improvement paint employee for his perspective. After taking the paint samples, we waited a few days, and then bought a small sampler of paint for the accent wall. Once we determined we liked that color, we tweaked the other two colors and were ready to go.

About halfway through the project, Justin became uncertain of our neutral color. Of course, this made me cry. We had already bought the paint, and he spent five hours painting our hallway on a 90+ degree day.

Justin: Actually the first day I put the neutral color on the wall, I hated it. It was supposed to be a brown or cream and it looked yellow. I was sick to my stomach that I hated it so badly, and yet I did not want to tell Sara because I knew how upsetting the whole process of picking paint had been to her. Fortunately, the brown tones appeared as it dried. I am still not sure it is the color I would have picked if I knew how it would turn out, but now I can at least live with it.

Sara: Thankfully, as the paint matured, Justin decided the neutral color “wasn’t bad.”

Justin only has about half the paint on the wall now, but we both really like the way it turned out. I got my green wall by the fireplace, and Justin got two small brownish red walls in the dining room. I really think it modernizes our living space verses the white walls.

This fight taught me I need to be both more appreciative of Justin. He has already put hours into painting these living spaces, in 90 plus degree heat. He knew better than I did just how much work this painting business would be, and he simply wanted to be certain it was something both of us would be happy with for the next few years.

Justin: With some of the early colors we considered, I could tell that Sara was unconvinced that she liked them despite the fact that she was upset when I refused to agree to them. She would latch onto them just because she wanted the job done. I did not want her to choose a color because in some corner of her mind we could not bring the baby into the world with the old paint on the wall. I wanted to stand fast to make sure she got something she liked, even if it was slightly against her will. I think she is glad that I did stand fast now.

Sara: When he wasn’t certain of the paint colors, I should have been willing to listen to his concerns. Instead, I was frustrated because he wasn’t giving me what I wanted when I wanted. As our friend said, I wasn’t being my normal self – you could definitely tell I was pregnant while insisting on what I wanted. Thankfully, all is well that ends well – and even though I don’t always think it, I’m lucky I have a husband that is just as stubborn as I am!