Homesteading & spouse insn't supportive?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Quiver0f10, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    Anyone else going through this? My Dh wanted to move up here becuase we both wanted lots of land and to live in the country. But, other than that he just isn't interested in living the homestead life. I wanted an older farm with little mortgage. Something we could fix up as we go, we ended up buying a house with a pretty high mortgage. Granted, I absolutely LOVE my house, but hate writing that bank check. I would LOVE to live off the grid, and be debt free. He wants to buy new "toys".

    I want to raise as much of our food as I can. Not only for cost but also because its so much healthier. He thinks its a waste of time; " why grow it, when you can go to wal-mart and get it off the shelve"? I bought 24 chickens, he thinks they are a waste of time.....<sigh>

    Can anyone else relate? I am hoping in time he will "get" it, but I am not holding my breath :rolleyes:
  2. limhyl

    limhyl Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2004
    North Carolina
    HI Jean,
    I can totally relate to everything you said and will be waiting to see how people handle this because I don't have a clue. We have been married almost twenty years and granted my 'back to the land' attitude has come on gradually. I have taken small steps to get us more independent and he just does not understand why i work so hard. The answer is that there is an incredible feeling of self actualization by doing for yourself. You know that when the chips are down that you can provide things for your family. And just walking outside and looking at what your own hands have accomplished is something that is priceless. I'm at a loss as to how people, including my husband, don't understand that simple concept. And I'm sure that eventually it will lead to resentment when I am doing all of the work and he refuses to help with anything because it doesn't make sense to him. I'm pretty strong but there are some things that are just easier with a man :eek: . Or at least an extra pair of hands! Theresa.

  3. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    central idaho republic
    Everything is a give and take, one gives and the takes.....

    nothing in life is a waste of time, for time itself keeps on ticking into the future no matter what you do to try to stop it. Knowledge is the most valueable asset an individual can have, a person who ceases to learn something new each day ceases to live and eventually will shrivel up to be dependant upon someone else for EVERYTHING.

    That said, i do not believe there is any one thing a person can do to get the other on the same page, comparison maybe will start a person towards the page, chicken grown vs chicken bought for taste, size and so forth..... off grid is a whole nother picture......

    Toys, we have have wants, and nothing is more short term satisfying than working towards and getting that new toy...... then the next one and soon we become slaves to the toys, and need to build a bigger barn cause we aquired so many toys...... my wife cringes cause i say i want another rifle, or vehicle, or something else to play with forawhile..... so i quit getting, and now we are working towards getting rid of the mortgage, playing with the toys we have and the kids we have and perhaps ther is light at the end of the tunnel.......

    My wife and i share different goals and expectations for the homestead, but close enough that things should be workable..... if only now i could get her interested in thegardening more.... next year.

    Keep doing what you can, and I pray your husband will not belittle your efforts, as Alighty God has a plan for all of us, and as He stated in Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...... So keep the faith, and keep working towards your goals one day at a time.

  4. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    May 26, 2004
    i completely relate, my second husband was like that, he spent us , and me into debt !... thats part of why hes my ex ....

    you will have to do it on your own , dont expect his support.
    talk wiht him, get down to the reasons why you need "STUFF"
    my ex husband grew up poor, and he needed "stuff" to feel sucessfull... unfortunately he wasn't
    he bought a new truck ,it was under the loan , well, we were backwards on the loan , and then what happened he neglected to put oil in it , andblew the engine, so we had a 10,000 piece of junk, and to the point when the finance company sent someone to repo it , they wouldnt even take it , cause the engine was blown...... i wanted 2 horses, he bought 5 cause it wasnt "worth it otherwise" , but man did he grump every month when we had to buy hay and grain ...
    i wanted goats, he said no , finally he relented, but i had to have them in the back barn so they couldnt be seen from the road ....
    same with the chickens
    peacocks were ok , guineas and ducks were "rustic", and it wasnt till he was treated for lyme that he relented on them ....
    fresh garden veggies were fine, but home canned wasnt .....
    home raised pig cow and chickens were fine to eat, but not if he had to help butcher or process....
    he was willing to hunt, but had no clue how to process the deer, and gave me the 55.00 to process it at a meat plant, i stashed the money , and cut her up myself, he never cooked, so was never the wiser ....

    its a struggle
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    if someone really isn't into it, it might be hard. Of course you might play the testosterone card and need his "manliness" to shoot a pig and butcher it like a real man? Have you ever done anything like homesteading, butchering etc before? Who does the cooking? If you do... then it might be easy to control the "quality" of the food and show how much better home grown is. It's hard to argue with good food, and if he wants the real stuff after getting a taste for it, you might be too tired to do the butchering and serve microwaved store bought?
  6. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    My DH used to be that way, but over the years, he's come to accept that life is better this way. I think I was born a homesteader & was fortunate to marry somebody that was willing to let me "homestead" if that was what I wanted. As long as he didn't have to garden or milk a cow, he didn't care if I wanted to. He even bought a tiller & a Jersey heifer & told me to "have fun".
    As time passed, he learned to like homemade butter & yard eggs & fresh garden stuff & meat from our own calves, & before he knew it, he was a homesteader, too.
    The best advice I can give you is to not try to push him into something that he doesn't want. Just do the things that you can & have fun & let him share the benefits, & maybe he will kind of get pulled into it before he knows what is happening.
  7. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    GA & Ala

    My first thought is give him a tv dinner, you know the el cheapo kind (ha!!). Am afraid you're in for a long haul though, if he isn't into homesteading except to brag that he has a "farm or place in the country", then you'll have to accept it. I've found that badgering someone into something usually works for the immediate need, but doesn't make a worthwhile convert to the cause.

    I do most of my own stuff myself, if I need an extra pair of hands, I press the issue, but usually it is only a five or ten minute task. Thankfully I have learned ways around most of the hard stuff and buying a tractor was the best thing I ever did for those days when I can't lift the harness on the draft horse.

    You got all those children, are they interested in homesteading? If so, well now, there's a passel of help right there. Give them their own little projects and help them be successful and before you know it, you'll have 9 little 'worker bees" to help you. I presented things to my girls in small steps, like gathering the eggs, then teaching them to feed the chickens, then asking if they'd like to incubate some eggs and hatch the chicks, then asking if they would like to make some extra money selling the chicks and before I knew it, I had some real enterprising little girls that would have made Cagles proud (for those who don't know -Cagles is the local big corporate chicken processors around here).

    They graduated to goats and earned extra money selling orphan kids and could recite pedigrees like no tomorrow. then it was on to horses and showing and bringing young colts along and selling them, which they got to keep part of the money after expenses. taught them a whole lot about expenses vs. profit too, so they learned to make do with older saddles and tack, and go to schooling shows instead of the big $$ shows to get their projects seen.

    That might be a way to get your husband interested as well, if he's the odd man out and all the children and you are doing the homesteading "thing", maybe he might take an interest.

  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Well.. let me first say I feel your pain :( and, having said that, address the toy question. My husband is a toy guy. The bigger, the noiser, the more black smoke, the better. I'm a hand tool kind of person. So we harvest all our own wood, about 6 cords a year or so. With hand tools this would be an impossible full time job. With a tractor, equipt with a logging winch and a chipper, a chainsaw, and a log splitter, this is only a part time job :rolleyes: but to be fair.. it is a doable job. We have around $4000 invested in logging tools alone, but amortized over the life of the machinery (approx 15-20 years or more) that's $200/year in depreciation. With wood selling for $175/cord... while I'm not crazy about the power tool fetish, I have to admit it works.

    In the garden, however, I win. A tiller is a big expense when the value of vegetables is fairly low. Even so, I've slowly built up a garden which grows a significant portion of our annual vegetables.

    But given half a chance my dearly beloved would spend us into the poor house in the quest to own the next great (and so necessary :rolleyes: ) power tool. This year it was a bigger truck with a plow on it. Whooee. On the other hand, if he keeps the sheep gate plowed out this winter, I'll probably complain less.
  9. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

    Aug 28, 2004
    NC Arkansas
    My ex was just like that. I knew it wasn't going to work when one day he said, "I can't wait to get to the farm and do nothing all day." :no: He found plans for a 4008 sf house he wanted to HAVE built! I ran like the wind!!! :haha:

    I met mtman several years ago and our dreams were so much the same that it was obvious that we belonged together. (Boy, that sounded mushy, didn't it?)
  10. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2002
    Fl Zones 11
    You can't change him, you can only change you.

    Kids and I did activities with Pack n Paddle and Florida Trail Association for years. Grandfatherbear didn't. We did activities with the Astronomical Association and the Folk Club and GFB joined us.
    I becoame VERY active with Boy Scouts. He gave us a ride to the airport to catch a plane to Canada for a canoing trip.

    I am waiting to see how semi retirment works out. The kids have left home. He has not accompanied me on this last move (after promising and encouraging me to take the job!)and after 3 months of being a weekend wife, we talked- rather- I had a nervous breakdown on the phone and he hauled himeself out here and we talked.
    I don't think he'll ever move. I've requested to work 4 /40 so we can at least share 3 days togather. If it comes through I'll I'll give it a few months and then see,.
  11. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Jun 8, 2004
    I just sat here griping about my husband, then erased it all.

    He has built a chicken house/rabbit barn to my floor plan, strung field fence where I wanted it, planted every tree I've asked him to, swung the hatchet when we butchered...and more.

    However, I've come to realize in the last month that we have some different outlooks on life, and they're never going to change. I consider him impatient, and good at 'sucking the fun out' of everything. He thinks I'm slow and lazy. What we have recently discovered...after 23 years of marriage, mind you, that he only enjoys looking back at accomplishments, while I enjoy the 'doing'.

    So, he builds what I want. He knocks it out, and gets to look back on an accomplishment. Sure, I help. But I don't enjoy working with him.

    I do the daily care of the animals. I find the 15 minutes it takes me to feed three cats, two geese, 65 (or so) chickens and 5 goats is the most relaxing time of my day, and I'll often stretch it to 30 minutes. Going to gather eggs can turn into another 30 minutes, if I pick up the goat brush where Rosie can see it! He's fed on two occasions. Once when I went to my parents overnight to get Dad's milking stand, the other two days this week while I've been sick. He didn't enjoy it at all. :confused: I'm the one doing the garden, too. Too slow and tedious for him. But he fenced it, and built one concrete block raised bed, (20 feet long!) on my request.

    I wish we'd figured out this difference years ago. It would have made for a smoother marriage.

    Where I'm going with all this babbling, is that there's probably some other couples out there that have a similar problem. It may be as simple as this one, and so close under your nose, you don't see it, either.

    Now, this hasn't solved everything. Chris still hates that we can't go on vacation...and doesn't understand that I feel having my homestead IS a vacation! We'll keep working on that one!

    Best of luck to everyone!
    Meg :)
  12. DawnAnderson

    DawnAnderson New Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    I can relate to this. I want goats and chickens, and to have fruit trees and gardens, but my husband thinks I'm nuts. Any money having to spend to raise or grow our food is a waste in his eyes. Just recently I was given a Sweater hen to raise by a neighbor, my DH just can't understand why I spend the time with it. Maybe with just a little more time he will come around...
  13. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    From my personal experience, I had to just go on ahead and do it by myself. I got tired and frustrated trying to convince DH that homesteading was the way to go. You have to do this for yourself. I know it would be so much better to have his support, but you can't force that. I have to look to others for support and advice, mostly on this forum. My DH doesn't see the value in doing all from scratch like I do, but I don't care, I just go on. Even though he just recently agreed to move to the homestead with me, doesn't mean that he is a big help.
    I have the benefit of his "loving his job in town". It gives me some financial support. It means that I will soon give up my "town job" and be able to stay home and keep the home fires burning. I have to get creative to get some heavy work done.Sometimes I just have to hire it done. But at least I am living the life that I want. I grow most of our food and I would like to continue becoming more and more independent. I realized one day that I really have this lifestyle because I love it. I wouldn't want to live any other way.
  14. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    May 9, 2004
    Zone 8a, AZ
    Jean I sure hope your DH comes around. But even if he does not you can sure life the homestead lifestyle you have always wanted. You can raise your food etc without help from DH. But he may pitch in once he tastes the difference! Good luck to you both!
  15. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    May 9, 2004
    Zone 8a, AZ
    I know what you mean Meg! My DH helped me build a green house, and helped a bit on the chicken coop but these are definately my thing not his. I am bound and determined to make this little bit of a farm pay for itself inspite of DH wanting to travel and play. He always comes back home to me so if we are both happy that is what counts in my humble opinion. I also want a fruit orchard (zone 3-4) to sell fruit at farmers market. Have customers for eggs which will be produced in November and on and on I go with my plans by myslef and lovin every minute of it!
  16. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    My husband grew up on a farm working hard (and for a year lived on a foster care farm where he worked even harder) and he just doesn't "get" the homesteader lifestyle...

    He begrudges every penny I spend on dog wire to build fences or stuff like that. I now have 40 laying hens and two goats I'm hoping to raise to dairy goats. He built the actual new chicken house (but I built basically all the fence including the large corner posts) and he built the roof for the goat house but I built basically all that fence.

    He built the bunny barn for me about five years ago after one of my bunnies got killed by a strange dog....

    But he gripes the whole time he is building and acts like he's hating every minute of it....

    I do all the animal chores...he had to feed and water everybody (at that time we didn't have goats) when I had to have an emergency hysterectomy two years ago but I started back feeding them as soon as possible....And he took me to Tennessee then and bought me an Ashford traditional spinning wheel like I had lusted after for four years! But......

    At lot of times he will do things wrong if I ask him to do when I was sick he wouldn't make sure the chicken watering can was LEVEL so the water wouldn't just all leak out on the ground....even tho it is really simply to just have to sit it carefully on the little "floor" of bricks I have there for it....just small things like that....when doing it right the first time would be so much easier....

    He likes living in the country but doesn't like much of any of the rest of it unless there's something in it to "make" money....

    I don't know of any solution...but you're not the only one with this major problem....wish I could be of help to you....just do what you can, and NO MATTER WHAT, DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM!
  17. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    ROFLMAO!!! Yep. I know what you mean. Once you start putting it all on 'paper' it seems kind of moot, don't it? LOL!! I found as well, that my hubby is pretty neat after all!! LOL!! (Thank GOD he isn't the 'toy' type and my biggest gripe is.. he is only here on weekends!!!) I'm pretty fortunate. But I WOULD appreciate a guy with painting and weedeating obsessions!!
  18. Ditzyblond

    Ditzyblond Active Member

    Apr 20, 2004
    Well, I feel like I am reading about my own life over and over again on this thread! I am very into my animals and gardens and my husband, he is well, not interested. However, I found that he loves using his tractor so I take advantage of that and can get him to do various things for my projects.

    He does help me out with building things too (while complaining the whole time). I try to do the things he likes to do and keep us balanced out that way. Also, if I want something new, like the goats I just got today, I try to do something nice for him to say thanks for letting me have my lifestyle and not making a big stink about it.

    Alot of times though, you are just going to have to do things yourself. I never thought I could build a chicken coop by myself or do fencing. I just got sick of waiting for him to find time to help me and went out and did it myself and was quite surprised. Aint the most beautiful creations around and my husband just cringes to look at the back yard with all my funky looking crooked fences and things but hey, my animals are comfortable and safe so who cares! I just say, well if you would have helped me out a bit, it might look better out here.

    Its all about meeting in the middle. ( and a bit of manipulating..such a bad word but its true). My husband gets into this lifestyle more and more as time goes on but he will always want his executive style house (you have to see my house vs. my yard.....its hysterically funny. Beautiful house with chickens hanging out on the front porch!) and his toys, vacations and all that. Wait til he gets a whiff of that billy goat out there.......I didnt tell him about that part. Ouch.
  19. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 12, 2004
    SW VA
    Sounds like the story of my life! Nice to know I'm not alone.

    Jean your mortgage may be higher than you'd like but at least you can enjoy your home. My husband and I always wanted an older home individually and when we got married persued that dream together. Only problem was after a year or so of working on it he lost all interest. I lived in an unfinished house, desperately needing repair for 18 yrs! Took so much energy to deal with the ensuing emergencies and half done fixes it was ridiculous. I finally moved on. He's still at that other house trying to fix it enough to sell it since we can't hold the mortgage on it and in its current condition no one else will either!

    Yard work..not his thing either. But when the other house sells I'll bet I can get things done by encouraging him to have a tractor...boys and their toys.

    Surprises do happen though, like how much this guy loves little chicks. He'll play with them, cuddle them and tame them for hours. Makes for much nicer chickens.

    So guys where are your replies about gals that don't like homesteading???

  20. caryatid

    caryatid Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    I married a city-boy computer geek.
    Somehow we managed to compromise nicely. He has his toys, and he made sure all the kids have toys (total of 5 computers in the house. Granted, some are for his work, but still!) And I'm tolerant of his expensive hobbies....

    In return, he bought me a little house out in the country on 4 acres.

    It has taken 4 years of fighting over little things to get our routine. He always said I could have any animal I wanted, as long as I didn't expect him to "do any of that farmer crap." At first he compained about the chickens, then he started watching them, and realised they were pretty entertaining. Next thing I knew, he was naming the rooster. (He did help me butcher the turkeys- mainly becasue I could barely lift it!)

    He is very "hands-off" when it comes to most homesteading things, but if I bat my eyes he will help me lift heavy things. Also, we switched traditional roles. He has no problem taking care of the kids while I"m working on the barn (still in construction). He does a lot of cleaning, and I fix things. I don't make him join me, and in return, he doesn't stop me.