Does the Dream Home lead to a nightmare? Comes word that Dean and Lynae Fearing are splitting. (But I love the way they are handling it — absolutely possible for grown ups to end a marriage and remain friends!) In August of 2009, they moved from their Devonshire digs to a larger, more expensive home in Bluffview. This Hill Country-esque beauty has four bedrooms, three and a half baths, is nestled on a half-acre yard lot and pool, and has a great kitchen. The home was listed at $1,095,000 when they bought, and it didn‚Äôt take the Fearings long to sell Purdue in Devoshire, which was listed at $715,000 and sold for $690,000 even in 2009 before the first-time homebuyer’s credit.

But you have to wonder: how much of a role did a new house play in the demise of this marriage? I recall a very painful time in my own marriage, when we moved into a larger “dream” home that needed constant repair and maintenance, and it was extremely stressful to my marriage. The marriage counselor ended up costing more than the remodeling. Reflecting back, I see the role I played: that of a total spoiled brat.¬† (No, he was not perfect, either.) There were many times I wished that we had never bought the house, never upgraded because the step-up for our portfolio was looking like a killer for our relationship. But then you cannot remain static. And if a relationship cannot sustain change and all the ebb and flow that comes with life, well, maybe it’s time to move on.

Sometimes the relationship needs the nudge so it can grow, and test itself. In this respect, I love how our homes become the laboratories of our lives.