5 Ways a Small House Can Hurt Your RelationshipYou hear a lot about all the things that are detrimental to a marriage these days, the Ashley Madison fiasco being just the latest no-brainer revelation. Who would have thought? But one thing you never hear mentioned, despite it being arguably one of the most important factors in marital bliss, is how living in a small house is bad for your marriage.

Oh, there’s no doubt that micro-homes, also known as ‘tiny houses’, are something of a trend these days. Hardly a day goes by without a news story about some intrepid soul shedding the shackles of materialism and living the simple life in a miniature domicile that would once have been considered too small for the family dog. You’ll also notice that most of these individuals are single. There’s a reason for that.

Despite the statistical evidence apparent in the dismal divorce rates, marriage isn’t really that hard. It’s about the joining together of two souls as one, it’s true, but it’s also about knowing when to respect each other’s space. That’s a lot harder to do if the home you share isn’t big enough. Need some specific examples? Here are five ways that a small house is bad for your marriage.

  • No room for separate hobbies. If the husband is, say, an amatuer taxidermist, while the wife enjoys spending her spare time creating fundraising materials for PETA, obviously having separate space for these pursuits is desirable. Ditto if one likes the Beastie Boys and the other likes Beethoven. Headphones can only go so far, and soundproofing is your friend.
  • No room for separate sleeping arrangements. Believe it or not, some of the best marriages depend on being able to sleep in different bedrooms. Perhaps one spouse is an incurable snorer, or the other is too restless. Or something as simple and common as one liking to sleep with the TV on and the other preferring rainforest sounds. Having the option of a second bedroom has saved many a marriage, not to mention many a back from not having to sleep on the couch.
  • No escape from the kids. A major selling point for home additions is to provide the kids with enough room to preserve your sanity. Tension, stress, and frustration from being in too close quarters to the children will inevitably bleed into your relationship. Building on to add a bedroom for each addition to the family, as well as a room devoted to play and sleepovers, is a sure-fire way to cultivate familial tranquility. And face it, the kids need a break from you sometimes too.
  • No hiding from relatives, in-laws, and other annoying people. In-laws and relatives are a fact of life, and they can even be enjoyable, as long as you can keep them at arm’s length. There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than having to spend a whole holiday stuck in the same room being the gracious host, with no place to sneak off and have a nap. And you know, sometimes they move in. Then there’s casual visits from friends, that might interrupt a ballgame or a favorite TV show, unless you have ample room for entertaining.
  • No room for you. You’ve probably figured out by now that the worst thing about a small house can be summed up as no space. Everyone needs personal, private space to think, reflect, and to just relax. Without it, the little everyday stresses and aggravations that would otherwise be minor concerns begin to build up, and before you know it they’ve become major issues. And if there’s one thing married people don’t need, it’s more major issues.

If your home in Montclair or Morristown NJ could use a bit more space, talk to your architect about your options. It might just be the best thing you’ve ever done for your marriage.

 

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