‘I’m home!’ came a thrilling voice from the entryway. My wife swept around the corner, a huge smile on her face – a smile that quickly dropped away as she saw me and our son, sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for her.

‘What is it?’ she asked with a frown. ‘Is somebody hurt?’

‘No, Lynn,’ I shook my head slowly. ‘But we do have to talk.’

‘What is this?’ she scoffed. ‘An intervention?’

Neither of us answered her.

‘We’re worried about you,’ our son piped up. I put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

‘Seriously?’ she rolled her eyes. ‘I don’t have a problem.’

‘How many, Lynn?’ I asked her, holding back hot tears. ‘How many?’

‘How many what?’

‘How many times do you need to redesign our kitchen?’

Silence was the only answer she gave, breaking her eyes away from me and her child.

‘I–I… I thought you liked my custom kitchens?’ she eventually said, sinking into a chair across from us.

‘The first one,’ I nodded. ‘Maybe even the second. But there’s been too many, Lynn. You need to know when to stop.’

‘I can stop any–’ she began to say, reflexively, then cut herself off.

‘I might have believed you,’ I sighed. ‘After the third. The fourth… but it’s been too long now.’

‘We miss you,’ our boy piped up, tears in his eyes. ‘You used to have time for us, before you started tearing the kitchen apart every week.’

‘Don’t you see I’m doing it for you?!’ Lynn asked, suddenly angry. She stood up, sending the chair flying backwards. ‘I want you to have the best kitchen design around! Melbourne is full of mothers who don’t look after their family, but when I actually build

‘That’s enough, Lynn,’ I said sharply, cutting her off. ‘It’s time to stop.’

‘What if I don’t want to stop?’ she shot back.

‘Then…’ I said sadly, with a sigh. ‘Then you need to find a new kitchen. A kitchen with a stronger foundation.’

She glared at me through her own tears, then grabbed a bundle of tile samples and stormed out of the house.