Home Renovations a Common Cause of Divorce

Written by Jonathan Breeden

March 2, 2016

Couples may choose to file for divorce for a variety of reasons. In some cases, spouses may grow apart due to differing beliefs about work-life balance. In other cases, a spouse may simply decide it is time for a change. Surprisingly, recent polls indicate that small things, some of which may seem otherwise inconsequential, are some of the leading causes of divorce. Specifically, surveys indicate that many couples choose to get divorced after having to deal with the stress of a home renovation.

The website Houzz.com, which provides information about home improvement and design, recently distributed a survey to couples asking them about their experiences with home renovations. Over 50 percent of those surveyed reported that the renovation process caused a significant amount of stress in their marriages. In fact, approximately 12 percent of those polled indicated that the stress of renovation caused them to consider or pursue divorce or separation.

Surprisingly, about one third of those who reported experiencing marital stress during renovations said that differing opinions on matters of style were responsible for conflict. Indeed, relationship experts point out that if one spouse’s opinions or preferences are ignored in the renovation process, it can create unhappiness and lingering feelings of resentment. A related problem: approximately 20 percent of those responding to the poll said that they had disposed of their spouse’s furniture, artwork and other items without them knowing.

Experts recommend that couples who are considering renovations to their homes consider setting aside rooms for each of them to decorate individually. This takes some of the stress out of the renovation process because couples are not forced to attempt to mix their personal styles. Typically, when couples attempt to mix personal styles in the same space, one spouse feels as if he or she has been asked to make too many concessions, which can make the affected party feel ignored or set aside.

As with other activities, communication during the renovation process is essential for couples not only to prevent marital strife, but also to ensure that they get the kitchen, living room, or other space that they want. Before beginning a renovation or decorating project, couples should speak frankly about their likes and dislikes, as well as their expectations for the project’s completion.

Of course, no matter what some couples do to prevent discord, their efforts are unsuccessful and splits occur. It is also important to remember that it is possible to live happily alone.

If you have questions about your divorce, contact North Carolina family lawyer Jonathan Breeden today at (919) 661-4970 to find out how we can help you.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden