I think my husband and I have a pretty great marriage. Sure, we disagree at times, like everyone does. But we never spend days angry at each other. A lot of this is applicable to any relationship, no matter where you live. But living in a tiny home will put an extra strain on any one living there. We have two adults and a toddler living in 250 sq ft, so trust me, I know!
I have yet to see the way space constraints can affect a marriage talked about. So I thought I’d put this out there for anyone who wants to take up this kind of life. Living in a tiny home can be hard on you and your partner, and it takes some getting used too! Luckily I’ve done 2 solid years of research on this living out here with my husband, and I’m happy to share what I know 🙂
So what tips can I share for having a great marriage in a tiny home?
Say you love each other.
Mean it and say it. Often. Kyle and I probably say “I love you” a dozen times a day, at least. Both to each other and our daughter. It should be just as easy to express love as it is to vent frustrations, so affirming our love every day helps keep our relationship strong.
Touching is important.
Not much for cuddling at night? That’s okay! Hold hands while you watch TV, sit next to each other while playing video games, or snuggle up and read together. It should be easy to find ways to touch living in a tiny home. Heck, sometimes I can’t walk through the house without bumping into Kyle! Even if you just stop for a hug now and again, physical affirmation of your feelings is important!
Do chores together.
This is probably where Kyle and I struggle the most. He has handled so much of the hard physical labor out here thus far, while I handled our newborn daughter. Now she is old enough to get geared up and explore outside while we work. It helps that we both kind of gravitate to doing chores if the other has started something. So I’ll cook and he’ll wash dishes, or he’ll start picking up the floor and I’ll sweep. Doing chores together, even if we aren’t working on the same thing, helps it to feel like things are being done fairly.
Don’t keep score.
Not of chores, or fights or anything. Being married means you’re a team, you share the same score!
Allow yourself, and your partner, to be mad sometimes.
I know everyone’s advice to newlyweds is to never go to bed mad, but I think people need to on occasion. Not every issue needs to be solved right now. Sometimes I just want to say that I’m mad, and then be left alone for a bit. Kyle is definitely a talk it out right now person, whereas I need some time and space to put my thoughts together. Now I’m not saying go to bed mad every night! Just that people are complicated and sometimes we piss off our partners. It’s okay not to rush into fix it mode immediately. A little space to figure out why you/they are upset can be a good thing.
What ever you are feeling, let your partner know. If you’re mad the dishes didn’t get done, say something. (Trust me, this is a huge deal when dishes from one meal clog up the entire counter!) Frustrated because your partner has hogged the remote all day? Tell ’em! Going stir crazy because you need more space to spread out? Talk about it! Seriously! Communication is a big deal in relationships. Just because you’re married doesn’t make you mind readers. Talk about everything.
Don’t use the words always or never.
These words are most likely to come up in an argument. They will almost always be an exaggeration. If you’d like your partner to do something more, don’t say “you never do this!” The only thing a statement like that does is make people defensive. It’s much easier to hear “I’d appreciate it if you’d do this more.” Always and never will only get hackles up and create a worse argument.
Once you’re done with an argument, be done with it.
I know it’s tempting to bring up the past in a fight, but once you’ve settled something let it go. That’s not to say the subject is suddenly forbidden, just make a point not to rehash things over again unnecessarily.
Yup! I said it. More physical affirmation of your love for each other. Regular sex is important in most relationships. There is science behind skin to skin contact and your brain releasing happy love hormones. Plus, feeling good together just makes for a happier couple. And having good sex makes you want to have more sex. Its a vicious cycle of looooove. So wait for the baby to nap, or send the kid(s) outside for a bit. Make time to make love!
People are complicated, therefore our marriages are too.
Really, not doing one of these won’t break your marriage, just like doing one won’t make it. And maybe some of these tips aren’t for you and your marriage at all. I do think they are a good place to start for having a great marriage though, in any sized home!