My boyfriend and I thought it would be really sexy to buy a fixer-upper and do it ourselves. That was how we jumped into 2020. And then COVID-19 put a major twist in our plans. We couldn’t do any work or get anyone to help with the large issues, and we couldn’t get our hands on any supplies. Those we did manage to procure came at a huge expense.
We weathered the storm and have kept trudging along. But now we’re planning a wedding and having a baby.
We need to finish the house as soon as possible. My fiancé is getting inertia from the stress, both emotional and financial. How can I get him to see that we are on our path, with natural twists and turns, ups and downs?
I need my fiancé to be happy and supportive to help me through this pregnancy and house reno, and waddle into 2023 positively.
Every major construction project, including fixer-uppers and renos, comes with its own set of frustrations. Nothing is simple. The aftermath of COVID-19 saw huge price increases in basic materials and unacceptable wait times for delivery of appliances, furnishings and materials.
Three years is a long time for you to have gone through this, but it sounds like it wasn’t all bad - you’re planning a wedding and having a baby!
Take a day off and help your husband-to-be shake off the stress. Do something inexpensive, like a walk in the woods and fireside hot chocolate at a local café. Reconnect and bond over the upcoming excitement.
Yes, renos, weddings and new babies are all expensive and stressful. But they’re also wonderful, positive milestone moments. Hang on to that.
Dear Readers – Ten days ago I responded to a woman concerned because her wife was claiming to be in menopause, though the letter writer didn’t think it was so. Her wife had been gaining weight and blaming it on menopause, when the letter writer believes her weight gain is due to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. She herself is going through menopause and believes the overweight wife is not.
Though my response was factual and sympathetic, it kept running through my mind. By fluke, I recently discovered a new virtual platform called BRIA - www.betterbria.com - created by two psychiatrists, Dr. Ariel Dalfen and Dr. Bev Young, both with 20 years of experience in women’s mental health.
I contacted Dr. Dalfen to get her take on the situation, and she shared her perspective. The most important issue in the query is that the wife is unhappy, and together the couple need to figure out why.
Very often women experience gaslighting – an intense form of dismissal, in an attempt to make the other person question themselves and their reality – with regards to their experience around perimenopause and menopause. Both of these life stages, which anyone with ovaries goes through, often bring new medical health concerns. During these hormonal changes, when women’s bodies go through a multitude of physical change, both their physical and emotional health can be affected.
Couples therapy might also be a good choice for these women to help them understand how their body changes can affect their moods, which will affect their relationship, and how to keep a healthy sex life through these changes. And help each other communicate without blame and shame.
Clearly something is going on with the wife, menopause or something else. The letter writer needs to listen and help her wife get support, whatever that may be. Clearly, she’s unhappy and she’s struggling.
Struggling with mental health issues is part of the human condition for most people at different stages in their life. For women, it’s often brought on by hormonal changes through pubescence, fertility and conception, pregnancy and postpartum, perimenopause and menopause.
No one should suffer in silence.
FEEDBACK Regarding the grandmother convinced her granddaughter stole (Dec. 7):
Reader – “If any theft by anyone is suspected, don’t ask for the key back. Change all of your locks, on all exterior doors and safety-proof your windows.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the unhappy woman (Nov. 30):
Reader – “As an older person, I feel sad for this girl because she doesn't know how lucky she is. Many folks would be glad to have what she has - family, house, even dirty laundry. This is living.
“May I suggest to her that many a happy connection can be made if the family routinely eats meals together at a dining or kitchen table. Set some silverware and napkins and talk about your day. Turn off the TV, too. Time rushes by, so enjoy the kids and set a nice tradition of family dining before the even busier teenage years.
“It could cheer you up too.”