I’ve always heard that building a house stresses a marriage, but what about buying the house of your dreams?
That decision of which house to buy was so much simpler 33 years ago when we signed the contract on our first house. What could we afford on two beginning salaries? Nine years later, when the company moved us, we stumbled onto our “dream home.” It stretched us financially, but we never regretted the decision–the whole five years we got to enjoy living there. When the company transferred us back, the goal was to find a decent house to raise the kids. Our first pick was found to have serious foundation problems. That same day, our oldest broke out with chicken pox. The incubation period for the other two kids landed on the very day the movers were scheduled to pack us up and move us back where we came from. So, we pushed the date back a few weeks, and Hubby hunted for a better house on his own while I took care of some itchy kids. I wasn’t worried. Our taste in houses had always been pretty similar. And after being forced to leave my dream house, what did it matter where I lived?
Eighteen years later, we find ourselves once again looking for the house of our dreams. But now we’re wondering what happened to those tastes that used to be so similar? Maybe the decision is harder because, without kids to consider, the choices expand. We could live in town, or out in the country. A historic home, or a new one? Ranch or two-story? Brick or siding? Victorian or not? Close to the job or close to the lake? Normal size lot or something with a bigger back yard? Pool or no pool? A scenic view or smack in the middle of a neighborhood? A fixer-upper or ready to move in?
Who knew there’d be so many choices?! Working through them has sparked a few marital fireworks, along with a chance to practice our communication skills. But in the end, it’s bringing our dreams closer together. In the course of thirty-plus years of marriage and raising kids, dreams tend to drift in different directions. Sometimes, we realize we’re looking at different sides of the same coin (but at least it is the same coin). Sometimes, we discover something new about the other. And occasionally, we learn something new about ourself. Something that brings us a little closer together. A little closer to a shared dream. And a little closer to our dream house.