One of my favorite shows on HGTV is Fixer Upper. Joanna and Chip Gaines are a designer/builder duo who are not only partners in business — but in love, marriage and family as well. Throughout the show we see this dynamic and gorgeous couple working together, and from time to time we get a peak into their personal life. It’s like a picture: The beautiful kids and the family farm. It’s ideal, and the feeling you come away with is how lucky these people are and how happy they seem.
I also love what they do on a professional front. Chip and Joanna find houses in desperate need of TLC, and transform them into stunning homes for their clients.
If you’ve ever watched the show, you know Chip is hilarious and loves to joke around. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, even though he’s serious about his work. Joanna, on the other hand, is the grounding force of the relationship and playfully responds when her husband acts like a big kid. In one of the episodes, Chip says, “I think I was your first Fixer-Upper.” It’s cute, and it works.
The balance of these two is something to pay attention to. They work together (I know first hand how challenging it can be to work with your husband) and they do it with ease, grace, laughter and love.
From a Matchmaker’s perspective, they’re the perfect match. They have a profound amount of respect for one another, and yet, they have a unique and playful banter that would make anyone wish for this type of wonderful relationship.
Which leads me to a question:
Is your Relationship a Fixer-Upper?
There are houses that are in major disrepair and need to be knocked down to the foundation. Others still have strong bones and charming character, but the years have stolen some of their natural beauty. These are the houses that Chip and Joanna find. They know their value and what lies underneath the creaky wooden floors, dust, rust, and boarded up windows. It’s their job to reveal what once was, and make it even better than before.
This is why they are perfect together — not only for this show, but to teach us something about relationships.
All relationships can lose their sparkle after a while. It’s inevitable, and if we aren’t careful, the light will dim for so long that we won’t be able to see the love, joy and connection that inspired us to to be together in the first place.
Relationships can and do improve, but it takes two. It takes two people who are motivated to communicate, connect and build a stronger foundation. You cannot do this alone. People, just like the walls of a home, need strong support to survive and thrive. I know you feel like you could hold up the world with your dainty beautiful hands, but when it comes to love, your strength and devotion is not enough.
So, what kind of relationship are you currently in?
Is it a Fixer-Upper? Or a house in need of demolition…?
Both are completely valid answers, but I beg you to be honest with yourself. I see too many couples ditching truly good relationships simply because work needs to be done. It’s too exhausting for most to roll up their sleeves and put some elbow grease into the relationship. After all, the world is moving fast and we live in a culture where there’s always another train at the station.
If you’ve spent months or years complaining about your relationship and you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, just know you haven’t done the work. Sure, you’ve jumped up and down, begged and pleaded, yelled and cried, but what have you done to make things brighter or better? As Dr. Phil says, “You can’t earn your divorce until you’ve tried everything to improve your situation, and complaining is not trying.”
Think of the man in your life right now. Sure, he could use a new coat of paint and maybe the hall closet is a mess, but what does he bring to your life that you need? Is he loving, kind, supportive and loyal? Don’t underestimate how important these qualities are. No one is perfect but you must decide what is most valuable to you.
Focus on your needs over your wants and you’ll find true happiness.
On the other hand, if the man in your life is not offering the basic and most needed traits, then stop trying to fix him or the relationship, and have the courage to walk away. Starting over is not as daunting as it seems. It could quite possibly be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Only you can know what is right for you. I only encourage you to be strong enough to stay and make things work or brave enough to walk away and find your joy with another man who is better suited to you.
No matter where you are right now in your journey, please remember…. You’re closer than you think.
Hugs and love,