June 10


Crumbling Foundation

Completely random thought: I am not a movie buff. I don’t hunt down all of the newest flicks and I tend to watch the same kinds of movies, even with the same actors all of the time.

But there are a handful of movies – well, probably more than a handful – that, even within that same circle of films that I watch and re-watch, that stick out to me.

Rather, what usually sticks out to me are certain quotes from the film.

This is the case with the movie The Money Pit. Remember that one?!

In case you don’t, it starred Tom Hanks and Shelley Long (like, where is Shelley Long these days?). Long story short, a couple buys a dream home at a discount price and then everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – falls apart, including their marriage.

In the end the house gets fixed and is as beautiful as they had hoped. The soon-to-be ex-couple is standing at the now grand staircase with one of the contractors, who remarks, “I didn’t think we were going to pull it off. But the foundation was good. And if the foundation is good, then everything else can be fixed.

You can guess where they go with that one.

We talk a lot in this space about setting up a solid foundation for your relationship. We discourage the u-haul. And that’s because building a solid foundation is soooooo important.

It’s not based on things that will come and go like finances, or parenting responsibilities, careers, having things in common or even sex (gasp!).

A good foundation is built upon things like openness and trust and honesty and sensitivity and awareness and hard work. And of course, love.

If those are in place, all of those other things can be fixed when they go wrong.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about spotting red flags. In that post, I mentioned that there’s a thin line between a nuisance and a red flag.

You know what the real red flags are?

The lack of the elements that make a strong foundation.

The presence of these elements is the difference between, for example, one partner’s nudging the other to be her best self being seen as something to be resented vs. as an opportunity for growth.

It’s always in the perception. And the presence of the elements of a good foundation gets you that much closer building the relationship that you want and need and deserve.


And go watch The Money Pit, even if you’ve already seen it.


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