A MARRIAGE STRUGGLES THROUGH A CHARLESTON COTTAGE RENOVATION
Charleston, SC – October 2019 – Marriage comes with the struggle of making life work—but with a promise of home, a place to rest, to be who we are in all our mess, to feel loved and accepted in the truth of who we are. Opening up our mess means adjusting to our anxieties, habits, and struggles.
In A House with Holes: One Marriage Journey in a Charleston Renovation (Mountain View Press, October 2019), author and therapist, Denise Broadwater shares the challenges and successes of the restoration she and her craftsman-architect husband embraced after their purchase of a 1920s Charleston Cottage that was slated for destruction. Oddly enough, the project began to mirror the ups and downs of their empty-nester marital relationship.
We all know marriage can be tough. Marriage requires commitment and flexibility, allowing for each spouse to develop his and her own gifts, to work together through challenges, and to communicate in a way that draws the couple closer through any issues that arise. The same can practically be said for renovating a house—especially an old house.
Through this intriguing memoir describing the architectural style and details of their historic home on Congress Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, Denise shares her struggles and disappointments during the six-year upheaval. They lived with open holes in the floors and roof, wild critters, and in an old neighborhood that was unsure of their intentions. As her attitude changed with her living situation, Denise discovered her marriage rising to meet the challenges they faced and this struggling community opening to become a place of belonging.
“All marriages have holes—that’s a given,” Denise says. “The holes are places you disconnect: a container for selfishness, for disappointment, and for addictions as people try to find alternatives for unmet needs. Intimacy opens up the holes. Growing means making small movements toward each other, coming together to reduce friction.”
Principles and questions about marriage have been worked seamlessly into each chapter so that readers can “shore up” their own relationships and grow in understanding while vicariously watching the progress of the Charleston Cottage through the eyes of a seasoned DIY renovator.
The Broadwaters’ experience of doing life in the midst of a major house renovation demonstrates marriage recovery, and her expertise as a counselor shapes lessons for married people everywhere in an honest, easy-reading, and relatable telling.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise Broadwater has been a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina for ten years, treating anxiety, depression, life adjustments, and marriages. She has an MA in clinical counseling and began her career as a family therapist working with at-risk families and youth. Additionally, Denise has an M.Ed in education administration with several years of teaching experience in private education. She is a wife and the mother of three children and recently added “Nana” to her list of titles. She enjoys rowing at the gym, cooking new recipes, sewing quilts, and blogging at Life Lights Blog (http://emptynestmarriage.com) and
Charleston Renovator Blog (http://www.freedmanscottagerenovation.blogspot.com).
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