Post-divorce, my dad is remodeling the house and I'm upset?

My parents announced they were getting a divorce half way through my senior year of college. It's been a little over a year since it became official now, and I've been handling everything fine because I tend to approach life with a "if you can't change it, don't try to fix it" mentality. Instead of feeling sad and fighting it, I just tried to learn how to keep living my life in a new way. Blah blah blah. Since my graduation I've been living at home and working and will be here probably until the end of this year before my move for a different job. I live in my childhood home with my dad, which I love, but he's started changing everything and I'm noticing it getting to me. Last summer he repainted the house a different color and I could live with that, but then he painted all the doors, these shelves in the basement, got a new roof, adding a brick patio in the backyard, the list goes on. He's hired people to put in wood floors all over the main living area and repaint the living room and kitchen and is talking about painting or re-staining the kitchen cabinets as well.
I know it's not really my house, I'm an adult, and I'll be moving out soon anyway, but it's still my childhood home and it feels like he's trying to erase all touches of my mother ever living here. I also know that it's just things and it shouldn't matter, but tied in with my emotional state and attachments, it feels like more. I'm a little overwhelmed by it all and I don't know how to say so to him. This is the first time I have ever really felt affected by being a child of divorced parents and I'm new to the whole idea - never saw it coming. I could really use some advice or just some reassurance.


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  • You know, he very well may be doing that or he may be doing home improvement that has been long deferred. But let's first assume that he's doing it for the reasons you implied -- to remove all touches of your mother. Yeah, the divorce was emotional for you, but it was emotional for your parents too. Maybe he needs this to move on and while I understand the emotional attachment that you have to your childhood home, but you're correct in saying that this is just a "thing" and if repainting a thing helps your dad be a better, healthier person then so be it.

    Normally I'd end it there, but I wanted to talk about the other side too. You see, I live in an area that has a very, very active housing market and as such, people tend to do lots of home improvement because their house tends to be a disproportionately large asset. Because of this, I too am also slanted towards home improvement and given that you're talking about your dad changing aspects to your home that have been there since you were a child, I immediately also assume that those things that he's changing are extremely dated and are in need of an update. I mean, just the wood floors alone seems so reasonable to me because how old was that carpet? Have you ever been involved in a carpet removal? It's unbelievably filthy! Two tons of little bits of food and dirt have accumulated to the base of the carpet -- carpet that you probably sit or even lay on at times! It was time for it to go.

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