Relationships and Love

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Relationship break up – Your house can be a metaphor for your relationship

House in a messIt is perhaps surprising but true that your house can indeed be a metaphor for your relationship. It is, after all, the centre of your lives together.

Does your house reflect the care and the respect you have for one another? Is the mess upstairs a metaphor for your stagnant relationship?

Are the unpacked boxes a symbol of unresolved issues?

Jack and Paula – Relationship Case Study

Sometimes a rift develops in a relationship. If left untreated, this can lead to a total relationship break-up. It nearly happened to this couple.

Jack and Paula have been married for ten years. They both agreed to have no children – Jack is nervous about being a Dad and Paula works with children and is happy to come home to a childfree zone in the evenings.

The first few years of their marriage went well. They both worked hard and saved enough money to move from rented accommodation into their own house. That was eighteen months ago. But shortly after buying the house, Jack lost his job. Now they are saddled with a large mortgage and Paula has to work extra hours to meet the burden of their repayments. Jack is on the dole and has taken over household duties.

The stress of their economic situation has taken its toll on their relationship. Jack feels really badly about being unemployed. He spends a lot of time trying to find work but has not been successful so far. He buys the food and vacuums the house downstairs, but has not been able to sort out the upstairs rooms. The boxes are still piled into the two bedrooms. Most of the contents belong to Paula. She keeps saying that she will unpack her things but nothing happens.

Because Paula’s boxes are lying all over the floor in their bedroom, and her clothes are piled on the bed, Jack has been sleeping in the other room. This arrangement does not seem to bother Paula too much. She is so tired each evening that she is quite content to sleep on her own.

But Jack is losing patience with the situation. He does not want to harass Paula since she is the chief earner, but he would like them to get back to living together as a couple. The relationship has reached breaking point, he feels. He not only misses having sex with Paula, he also misses the closeness that they used to enjoy.

Relationship Questions

Why is Paula reluctant to help get their house in order?

Is the mess upstairs a metaphor for their stagnant relationship?

Consider your house as a reflection of your relationship. Does it have anything to say?

  • Are there chronically postponed unfinished tasks still awaiting attention? How does each of you feel about that?
  • Does one of you keep the house so pristine and neat that the other cannot relax there?
  • If the house is always in a mess, how do you feel about that? What would you like to see happening?
  • How do you rate your house as a home? Do you look forward to coming home each day?
  • Do you feel comfortable inviting friends or family to your home?
  • Is the atmosphere warm and welcoming for guests?

It was only when Jack said, “Our house is a metaphor for our relationship,” that Paula took note. She agreed to do the Rekindle the Spark – Save Your Marriage program with Jack. They have now unpacked the boxes and re-started their lives together. Their relationship break is over.

Click here to find out how the Rekindle the Spark – Save Your Marriage program can help your relationship.