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Guide for Wives with Do It Yourself Husbands

Are You Married to a Mr. Fixer-Upper Type of Guy?


Photo: Andrzej Tokarski / iStockphoto
Photo: Andrzej Tokarski / iStockphoto
Are your husband's do it yourself projects creating marital stress? You aren't alone.

Many women feel helpless as they watch their husband's grand schemes turn out poorly. Here are solutions to saving both the projects and your marriage.

Agree on Do It Yourself Project Boundaries

  • When the two of you are NOT in the midst of a frustrating project, talk about how unfinished projects, make do solutions, and procrastinated plans make you feel. Stick to your feelings.
  • Together, make boundaries on do it yourself projects.
  • Agree to limit the number of projects that your husband can have going at the same time. If he has reached his limit, he will agree to not start a new project.
  • If a repair job or other do it yourself project isn't working like it should, then agree that it needs to go to the top of his list of projects. Living with a leaky faucet, squeaky door, etc. can irritate and add to stress to your marriage.
  • Decide together what type of situations will determine when your husband will not tackle a repair job around the house. Perhaps it is climbing on the roof, or working with electricity, or realizing that the job will require too much of your husband's time. Be specific.
  • Discuss and set project priorities. What may be important to you to have finished will not be important to your husband.
  • If your husband is a "good neighbor Sam" type of guy and is helping others with projects before working on unfinished projects at home, he needs to know how this behavior is negatively impacting your marriage.
  • Come up with a plan for getting important projects done in a reasonable time. If a project on the agreed "list" is continually procrastinated, agree that someone can be hired to finish the job.

Things to Consider

  • Although this article focuses on do it yourself husbands, there are do it yourself wives, too!
  • If your spouse procrastinates a great deal and if there are numerous unfinished projects around your home, it is a possibility that your spouse has Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Educate yourselves about ADD and seek a professional opinion if the behavior is chronic.

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