My wife and I love to look at homes around our community. Dreaming about the future and seeing the changes in home technology, trends and building materials is fun for us. There is something about a quality built home. But how do you know which builders/contractors have integrity and deliver a good product and which to stay away from? We have even considered getting into real-estate a time or two over the years, but the housing market can be a challenge.
As a therapist for almost 20 years, I have noticed trends in the mental health field as well. Techniques and methods of therapy have come and gone while others have stayed stable and solid. As a culture, people are becoming less and less willing to spend the time and money it takes to invest in their marriages or even themselves.
Now what if you and your spouse have been dreaming and looking in to building a custom home? You have been saving money and building equity in your current home for years. You have done your research and homework on the best builders in your area. You select a builder and schedule a meeting to go over your ideas, as well as when, where and how you want the home built. The contractor has two decades of experience and has built hundreds of homes. He is getting excited about your ideas and vision. He inputs the lot cost, permit fees, foundation expenses, high quality building materials, labor and provides you an estimate of the amount of time and money it is going to take.
When you receive the estimate, you are both shocked at the amount to time and stunned by the cost. The builder can see the disappointment and ask what is wrong. Perhaps, it was something he said. You respond with your disappointment not realizing the amount of time and expense this custom home would take. You ask him if he could cut corners to speed up the process and use cheaper materials. You, with no building experience, try to tell him how to do his job with your limitations and restrictions.
He responds that he could but will not put his quality name on the project. He states that it sounds like you want him to build a custom home with track home materials and a track home budget. This is not what he is willing to do, because he knows the home will not last and meet your expectations. He is happy to refer you to a track home builder and wishes you the best of luck. Disappointed with your dreams dashed you leave and thank him for his time. You realize that you truly do get what you pay for.
This is the trend I have seen in couples seeking therapy for their marriages that are in shambles. They think they know better than the experienced custom home builder and become offended when the reality of the time and expense it takes to build a quality marriage to withstand the storms of life is revealed. A quality home and marriage takes an investment of time and money.
Much like your car engine and maintenance, such as oil changes, breaks, tires, transmissions; it takes time and money. Now, when couples are asked how much money they have invested into the engine of their 30-year marriage, as compared to the cars they have owned, the comparisons are not even close. They then begin to understand why their marriage is on the roadside and needs a tow truck.
I tell couples all the time, “Therapy is always cheaper than divorce and is well worth the investment.” Most attorney’s detainers are $5-10,000 alone, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars of assets being divided. Divorce attorneys go to the bank laughing while driving home to their custom home that you helped them build.
Many clients have been working with a therapist who is in their insurance network but may not be the best fit for them. They may have been seeing the therapist for months or years with little progress. They have thought all along that they have been investing in the custom home and quality materials. However in reality, unknown to them, they have been working with a track home builder use poor construction materials.
Not getting the results you hoped for in therapy? You might want to find a specialist who deals with the issue you need addressed. Most clients do not understand or see the big picture of a small investment in their marriage with an intensive, hard work, some time and money in a quality builder using quality building materials. You too can have a custom marriage, AND enjoy living together in your custom home.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.