Movers: Better Than Therapists at Saving Relationships

We heard yesterday that there is a potential issue with our closing date. The seller has not owned the house for 6 months and there are laws against “flipping” (when someone buys a house, fixes it up, sells it for more) that require that ownership time frame minimum. Most lenders don’t have an issue with this but apparently ours does. We specifically went with a broker so we could have access to different banks and now we’re potentially in a situation where we might have to switch loan officers to get this deal done in time. We should know more today or by Monday. Best case scenario, our broker figures this out with the bank. Worst case scenario, we have to switch loan officers and banks and maybe not get the rates we’ve locked in. Buying a house is stressful! (Not a newsflash!)

Meanwhile, the seller is fixing all the things we asked (which includes a new roof!) and we while we are waiting we are buying furniture. I can’t help myself! There’s nothing to do during this time but dream up home decor ideas and waste countless hours on research ideas Pinterest. I’ve been looking for bargains because I know we’re going to need furniture. Do the math: we’re going from a one bedroom apartment to a four bedroom house with two living rooms.

The other day while perusing Craig’s List, I came across this gem:

And I bought it. Two guys helped me load it into my car and for the rest of the week I drove around with it, not wanting to deal with moving it. But last night Mr. Darcy and I finally pulled it out, got it onto the driveway, and promptly got in a tussle about the best way to move it. There was a freezing wind whipping about and as we stood there staring at the dresser with our hoodies zipped up tight, we came to a standstill on how we should move it from the driveway to all the way around the building and into the storage room.

I finally ran and grabbed the dolly so we could have some leverage (Sizzle good idea: +1) and Mr. Darcy suggested using a blanket to cushion it (Darcy good idea: +1). But then we stood there freezing our butts off and arguing back and forth about the best way to load the damn thing onto the dolly, both so afraid of scratching it. I’m telling Darcy to just MAKE A DECISION and he’s trying to accommodate me and we’re getting nowhere so we turn the dresser on its side and get it to the other entrance where we managed to get it down 2 steps, through a doorway, down 2 more big steps and into the storage room (which is technically the building’s maintenance room where the water heaters and miscellaneous supplies are but is currently where we are storing all our future-house purchases).

We did it! Hallelujah!

But then I started thinking that if this was some sort of pre-marital test, we had failed. We don’t collaborate very well when it comes to things like this. Hell, we had many back and forths about the Christmas card design which made me hesitant when Mr. Darcy said he wanted to design our wedding invitation- not because he’s not super talented (he is!) but because we tend to see things very differently. The fact that we agreed on colors for our wedding in a 1 minute conversation still astounds me.

All this prompted me to tweet: If moving that piece of furniture from my car to the storage room was some sort of pre-marital test, I think Mr. Darcy & I failed.

To which Mr. Darcy replied: I beg to differ. No scratches, no dings, no damage. And the furniture is fine too. 🙂

Which is one of the many reasons I am marrying him.

And why we are hiring movers.

Many on Twitter agreed that moving and moving furniture specifically has tested their relationships. My favorites are: Abby who said everyone gets a free pass when moving or assembling furniture, or making gravy (Gravy! I love it.) and Badgerreader who said that wallpaper was her parents undoing (besides packing).

That got me thinking about what set my parents off and I distinctly recall the culprit being: Christmas lights.

What about you? What seemingly mundane or trivial thing sets off an argument in your relationship? Or what was it in your parents relationship?

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19 thoughts on “Movers: Better Than Therapists at Saving Relationships

  1. It’s not a true house-buying experience unless there’s at least one crisis! The week before we closed we got a call from our mortgage officer that there was an issue with one of Kevin’s student loans. We figured it out but yeah, stress! It will all work out 🙂

    p.s. Hiring movers = very, very smart!

  2. When I bought my first condo, I was sitting in the bank lobby during what should have been my closing appointment, waiting for the final number (dumbass mortgage broker and his office staff couldn’t get their shit together). Looking back, it was no big deal. At the time, it almost broke me.

  3. Hiring movers is the BEST idea. We were able to do it the last time we moved, and it was by far the best investment we could have made with the couple hundred dollars it cost. While moving was pretty painless, something that causes undue bickering is navigation– I am happy to listen to the GPS, while GP is more interested in finding some as-yet-undiscovered shortcut. We always get where we need to go, but sometimes it’s more of an adventure than it needs to be.

  4. 1) Mortage rates are at all time lows right now, so if you have to switch that might actually be a good thing! My broker friend was just saying she has gotten people 3.625% in the last week!
    2) YES, hiring movers is awesome. We will never again move ourselves.
    3) For us, 3 years post-marriage has been the sweet spot. It took us that long to figure out what petty things we argued about and to stop doing it. I’m loathe to jinx it, but we haven’t had a petty fight (or a real one) in a loooong time (minus the petty arguments that were very clearly hunger induced! Never have discussions when one of you is starving!). 🙂

  5. We lived in three houses last year. And it started just ten days after christmas. December-January we moved. May we got married (whole other ball of stress). August we bought a house a year earlier than we were initially planning on (incredible stress). And September we moved into our third and final house. We fought all the time. Over packing, over trips, over letting the dog outside, over paint colours, even over who drank the last of the much-needed vodka. Everything set us off. But we still managed to always remember that ultimately we chose each other, we chose this life and after all those stresses, it would be totally worth it.
    And it has been. We have been incredibly happy in our new (could be only) home. I am a German’s daughter and I learned how to fight really well at a very young age; we still fight, but without the incredible stress level from last year, so it doesn’t seem as bad.
    Good luck!
    -K

  6. Good job for having movers. We once helped relatives move. The worst part was when the u-haul truck we rented got wedged on the steep road coming off the busy arterial, with traffic whizzing by around a curve toward us at 50mph. The back wheels were suspended in the air above the gutter, the truck resting on the back bumper and the front wheels. It took six people 20 mipnutes rocking the truck back and forth to get it unstuck. After that exhausting and terrifying time, we then had the fun of unloading all the furniture! I made my husband swear that if ever these relatives moved again, we were going to be unavailable!

  7. Oh man. I am sure the lending thing will work itself out, but damn if that isn’t stressful! I have a great Seattle mortgage broker if you need a name in desperation.

    Moving was super stressful for us too, we were of two different mindsets: I thought it was a great opportunity to get rid of stuff I didn’t need and he felt like it was too much to think about that *and* moving at the same time.

    We often bicker over finding parking on a busy street. Stupid? yes. But hey, we aren’t fighting about the really important things!

  8. Me and my bub are currently at year 11 of marriage (15 years of being together/living together) and we don’t fight often. We bicker quite a bit, but generally it’s kinda like a point system — he says something, I say something, then we’re even. We never “fight dirty” and bring up lousy instances from the past over and over — we forgive and forget and move forward. That being said, we’re both relatively nice people and don’t have a lot of issues within our marriage. There’s BOAT LOADS of drama from our families, which has actually brought us closer; it’s us versus them. So we are pretty dang stable. Honestly, the last disagreement that I can think of was about where to go to dinner because neither of us cared, so it was a “no, YOU pick!” situation which is both stupid and sad.

    I think the one thing that brings up bad times is money. Always. Specifically, the lack of it. That’s across the board with everyone, though. When times are tough, it’s human nature to want to point fingers and assign blame. Even then, we keep it on a point system, so that we don’t fly off the handle and go crazy. So I can say “well, if you didn’t buy that SANDWICH we’d be okay!” and he can say “yeah? Well maybe if you didn’t buy that eBook, we’d be okay!” and then we let it go. Best to band together and weather the storms. 🙂 Decide when times are good that you’ll carve it in your heart that the other person is doing their best and will continue to do their best. And if they don’t THEN you can kick ’em in the shins, because, hello? Get off yer butt! 😉

    Moving is another stressful event, but honestly that’s just a spin-off of Money Stress. It costs a lot to move, including time and energy, and that wears everyone thin. If you’ve already set aside for movers, you’re WAY ahead of the game. Our last move was so awful (everyone we knew was out of town so it was just the 2 of us to move everything in 2 days, the landlords ripped us off for $3,000 so we were broke) that we can’t even joke about moving again. It’s been 5 years and I still get anxious thinking about it! 🙂 SO! You’re doing right by yourselves by getting help who aren’t friends. Friends are wonderful, but friends & moving shouldn’t mix (separate rant!).

    You guys are definitely off to a solid start and well ahead of most people. Even when you’re ‘winging it’ know that you’re still on stable ground and always choose happiness. Yes, you COULD get irate about underpants on the floor or you can roll your eyes and move on and not let it affect you.

  9. I don’t know that we have any one issue that will always set us off, other than the typical one of us is a bit tidier than the other. I DO know, however, that hiring movers the last time we moved probably saved us a lot of marital stress. I’ve moved at least every two and a half years of my life (nope, not military family, just restless hippies), and this was my first time using movers. They did in 3 hours what would have taken us 3 days and various friends, and lots of bickering. I’ll never go back to moving myself.

    Good luck to you guys!

  10. I hope everything works out ok for you! As someone said above, rates are really great right now so you should be ok there.
    I’m happy and thankful to say that E and I don’t argue. I guess we both just take the view that there’s nothing to argue about. I got so lucky in the husband department!

  11. It’s strange to hear how different buying a house seems to be in the States versus Canada. We closed on our home sale in 7 days and on our purchase in 5. I feel so awful when I think of the weight of the stress you guys must be feeling – because despite it seeming to be an easier process up here, the stress still looms, just for a shorter amount of time. Hang in there!

    As for arguments – it’s so good that you recognize what you know you need to do to alleviate the problem. It took us what felt like forever to figure out how to stop arguing about money – about 2 years – but once we did it was amazing. I was just mentioning to my husband last night as we were doing our banking that it seemed impossible to imagine how we fought over it all those years ago (we’re about 7 years argument free on the money front!)

    But the biggest arguments came from hanging blinds. I KNOW … ridiculous! But I’m a little Type A but also didn’t want to be the one to do the work in case I’d mess up. Yet I didn’t trust my husband to get it right because there was always something that had to be redone. We finally figured out our sweet spot – I did ALL measuring and marking where he should drill and then I’d leave the room so as to not stress him out by watching while he drills and hangs perfectly. Took us almost our whole 1st house of windows to figure out out, but now in this 2nd house it’s a piece of cake.

    Sounds like you guys are well on your way to a successful marriage – enjoy the ride!

  12. Honestly, we haven’t found a trigger situation yet, but that has nothing to do with me or even the quality of our marriage, it’s all because I am married to the calmest, most patient person ever and he never ever gets upset. It’s a little disturbing. Especially because I am completely insane and don’t know how to understand “normal” people.

    My parents are legendary for their inability to do home improvement projects together. Always a giant fight and a disaster. But their marriage is otherwise fabulous (40+ years now!).

    I think your fiance is right- furniture and people intact sounds like a success 🙂 I’m sure you’re going to have a great marriage!

  13. William and I fight about things like this all the time. And I feel your pain on the furniture–we went from a true loft (1 room, 800 sq ft) to another 1,000 sq ft on top of that last August. Some rooms are still empty. I would love for it to be finished but it takes time and money to make a home. Love your find!! Wm and I have been using Craigslist, vintage pop up shops, vintage permanent shops, and even making some of our own furniture.

  14. Moving furniture can kill a relationship faster than almost anything. We figured this out fast and we had professionals handle our last two moves. You won’t regret a dime you spend. And I speak from experience when I say take your time on filling the house. I rushed through two “bigger” houses and could have had much better results if I had slowed down. An empty room is not a tragedy.

  15. In fifteen years of togetherness, we have fought only when it came time to purchase a car. No issue buying a house and moving 1,000 miles away. Nah. But trying to decide on a car will toss us right off the ledge. Every single time on every purchase. Yelling, tears, ridiculousness! We finally have learned to do our research, get a little buzzed, make a decision, then run like crazy to the dealership and buy it before either of us changes our mind. We’re deep people…

  16. Moving is stressful enough that I think anyone would get into arguments. If we do end up moving, I’m thinking of maybe hiring movers. Pay for the sanity.

    I’m sorry to hear about the broker, but you never know, could be for the best that you get someone new. Sometimes things do work out in very odd ways.

    Just a tip though: don’t buy too much stuff. They can pull your loan if they see you charging to a lot of stuff. I’ve been warned by a friend who use to work at a mortgage office and also by our lender (plus countless other people including our real estate agent). Be careful how much you spend.

  17. I was totally thinking what Mr. Darcy was thinking – sure you guys argued but you figured it out in the end! That’s what matters! Neither person gave up and went inside leaving the other stranded. Where I come from, bickering is just another effective form of communication. 🙂

    We didn’t have too many issues when it came to moving my furniture into Mr. W’s house, however ORGANIZING was a big issue. Mr. W is a disaster and I’m an organization freak. We fought over spatula and spoon placement. True story. And you’re right – it’s good prep for married life!

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