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Marriage Makeover: “We need to straighten up our house — and our marriage”


WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Tennille-Lynn Millo
Redbook Magazine Logo
Megan and Ken Knoop aren't sure that they — or their messy house — can handle a baby. Can REDBOOK's relationship experts help them clean up their act?

After getting married three years ago, Megan and Ken Knoop moved into the home they've dreamed of owning — a charming beach house in Long Beach, NY. The problem is, they never unpacked. Megan, 30, a catering manager, and Ken, 35, a sales manager, have always led busy lives and pride themselves on making the most of their free time with friends and each other. As a result, their would-be-quaint bungalow is filled with unopened boxes of wedding gifts, undeveloped rolls of photos, loads of laundry that never get sorted or put away, and stacks of bills and papers that have piled up on their dresser. And the couple's lack of organization has wreaked havoc on their lives, not just their house. Both their driver's licenses were recently suspended due to a lapsed car insurance policy that neither Ken nor Megan ever noticed. They're still looking for the $300 in cash they lost four months ago. And when a diamond fell out of Megan's engagement ring recently, they had to pay to replace it because they couldn't find the insurance paperwork that would have covered a new stone.

While Ken takes a more lax attitude toward their situation, Megan lashes out at him for the constant mess. Now, with their first child on the way, the couple is reaching out for help before it's too late. Relationship experts Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., author of Money, Sex, and Kids, and Patricia Covalt, Ph.D., author of What Smart Couples Know, teamed up with the couple to get them organized — once and for all.

"NOTHING IS IN ITS PLACE!"

MEGAN: "Our marriage is a constant struggle of trying to figure out who does what and what goes where. And our lives are so busy with friends and travel that an organized home has always taken a backseat."

KEN: "Between work and finding time to enjoy ourselves, we can't seem to muster up the energy to tackle the things in our home."

MEGAN: "I can muster up the energy, but when Ken comes home and leaves his shoes and jacket by the door and tosses his wallet and keys wherever he feels like it, I can't see the point. The place would be ruined again in a couple of days."

KEN: "I do leave my things around, but Megan is home more than I am. I work 12-hour shifts and have people breathing down my neck at work. I don't want to come home to a house that is a wreck, or have to walk in the door and hear that it's my fault the place is like it is. If I had more time maybe I could help out more, but I don't, and that's not going to change."

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