unwilling partner

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by puffdog, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. puffdog

    puffdog Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    ky
    Any ideas on what to do if your spouse is uninteresred in the homesteading way of life ? Anyone else have this problem if so how did you work it out ?
     
  2. Herb.

    Herb. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Layton, Utah-for now

    Haven't come up with one yet. Tried getting her involved, tried pleading, tried threats, tried suicide, nothing will budge this lady. My new angle though is to have my therapist talk to her, let you know how it goes.
     

  3. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,898
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    MO
    So did you not discuss your different life-style desires before you got married? Or have you changed? Have you tried discussing some kind of compromise? I could see some city-fied people not even considering the dirt, the back-to-nature, the lack of good shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the folksy people. Is that your situation? Maybe you could introduce your spouse to some country people, slowly introduce the idea. Some city people make excellent country people, but there's a lot of adjustment and back-sliding. It takes patience and understanding---on both sides. Try a lot of kindness and honey.
     
  4. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,600
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    This is one of those things that I think you just start working on your homesteading skills right where you are. Research and plan your vegetable garden. If you don't have the space to have a row garden, think 'square foot garden', or plant a few vegetables among your shrubs and other flowers....live in an aprartment? try container gardening.

    If you want to homestead and love the life, just do it! If you can't raise livestock, then raise rabbits. Build a small garden shed in the corner of your yard, build a small hutch and put it behind your garage, raise them in stackable cages in your apartment. Start out with 5 cages, 2 does and 1 buck. In no time you will see why you have the extra 2 cages. There is a rabbit forum further down on the main page as there is a gardening page also.

    Learn to preserve the fruits or in this case vegetables and meat of your labor. Buy meat and produce on sale or when it is in season and learn to preserve it. Man or Woman, anyone can learn to can. Rumor has it a canning site is coming soon to the Cooking and Crafts area..but go there and ask away. Start with something simple like perserves for your toast! --Fruit, Sugar, Lemon juice, jars and a stock pot with a lid is all that is needed.

    If you smoke, quit, if you drink...make your own!

    You don't need a spouse involved to just start...and someday when you move out of the city and are on a homestead, you will already have those skills required.
     
  5. RAC

    RAC Guest

    How about offering a month's "vacation" in the city of your spouse's choice every year? Paid hotel, etc., whether you go or not. If your spouse has relatives who live in the city and can stay with them, so much the cheaper.

    And people talk about the country being isolated--well, you can actually have the same issues living in the suburbs too. They combine the bad parts of both country life and the city--no museums, or other cultural events, no public transportation worth taking, but truly substandard roads, too much regulation, etc.

    What are your spouse's true objections? Are you moving too far away from an airport so that visiting relatives is more of a hassle? Does your spouse hate driving when formerly used to living within walking distance of shopping, entertainment, and so forth? Is the spouse going to be giving up a job when moving to the country and becoming a stay-at-home spouse?

    Will you be giving up some activity that you both enjoyed when you move to the country? For example, if you lived in the city or the suburbs, you would make an effort to go backpacking, but if you live in the country, well, you're already there, so you don't "go" anywhere anymore.

    Just some things to think about.
     

  6. Well maybe you didn't have the answer but you sure made me smile about the whole thing .


    Thank you
     
  7. Mmmm, well I convinced mine to move outside town...so much cheaper..better for the kids....he could relax more after work! Didn't say too much about what I wanted to do at the new place. Gradually dug a plot here and there and then made them bigger. Neighbor kept asking about giving me some chickens...first year I said no, after all who'd want them (not me ha ha), second year she gave me some (prearranged gift)..what could I say!!!! So it grew. After 5 yrs dh was as ready as I was to move on to something bigger!

    Good luck!
     
  8. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    Ever watch Green Acres? It usually doesn't work out good if one is against it. The cases I've seen like this it usually takes a LOT of money to keep the city person content.
     
  9. Herb.

    Herb. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Layton, Utah-for now
    Hi Gang,

    We both spent time growing up in the country and city, with no negative country experiences. We married in our twenties and our life styles were very similar party, party, party. The biggest conflict was she was a conservative, I was a liberal (I know, I know, mixed marriages never work), but she opened my eyes and I found the light. Now we are in our fifties, and has luck would have it we have both changed. We have mostly lived in the country, we once bought 10 acres of bare land, developed it and put a mobile on it. Our kids were small then and some of our best memories are from those three years. She became disenchanted (I guess) with it and we sold it. We moved to a small town, animals were restricted but it was a big lot and I did have a garden, after I think it was four years, I took a different job and we moved. My new job reguired moving about every six years, but we were always able to buy or rent something on small acreage. The problem only become a problem about 17 months ago. We were getting ready to retire and we had been making plans for a couple of years, the plan was to buy a small place on three or more acres around Lewiston Idaho, or anywhere else to her choosing, I am not that particular where it is. Two weeks before the big day she says, can we stay here for two more years, I have a goal I feel I need to accomplish. Now it was not a goal she could not have met anywhere else, so I told her if it was that important to her that she do it here of course we would stay (she met her goal several months ago).
    There is a light at the end of the tunnel, just last night she says to me, out of the blue "What do you think of a small place in Southern Arizona or New Mexico". So it's back to the old search mode for me, any one know of a very affordable area in those two states? Our savings are gone and our only income is my retirement and her disability, so getting financing will probably also be an issue (no downpayment).

    So take heart Puff Dog, and don't give up it will happen. Lots of good people here to offer some real good advice, and they really do care.

    By the way, the route I have used on some of our anti-rural female friends(males seem to be a lot harder to sway) is small animals they can't have as pets in most places, rabbits, goats, etc. Just something about small animals that gets to them and remember, their hearts rule.
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    14,890
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    Sure.

    DH has a degree in City and Regional planning, no less. He now works in the department of transportation, looking at proposed plans.

    We agreed to live an easy commute to a city.

    This put a bigger crimp in my plans than I expected, as land was expensive and every time we got some money put by something unexpected happened and we had to use it. But, we persevered and about 13 years ago we bought an acre with a house just outside of town.

    I wasn't allowed animals, but I did put up a greenhouse and a "shed" (a chicken house with a few contraband chickens). I have 3 rows of blackberries, a garden, and fruit trees. I had a hive for a while and I will have another this spring. I have sold the excess so I have some practice in marketing.

    I continued to save money to apply to a bigger place, but life happened some more and it was a while before I had a down payment again.

    Last summer we were finally able to buy 5 bare acres just 20 minutes away. We will move when we can afford to get a house up, as our bank account is rather flat after putting down a good down payment. City water won't be available for 3 years anyways. I would prefer a well, but DH is a city boy and he wants city water. Fine. I want him to be comfortable.

    As my DH says, he is glad that I have the land, he feels MUCH better now that his promises have been fullfilled, and he says I just have to remember that HE IS NOT A FARMER, and he LIKES it that way!

    I kind of figured as much. :p

    And, since we have unexpectedly needed money in the past, I figure I will get something established on my land with a good resale value. Like about 20 hives of honeybees. Because by now I EXPECT things to go wrong from time to time, and it would be a BIG help if the land produces income!

    What do I like the best about the land? It is gently rolling grassland with rich soil and a tiny, spring fed creek that runs year round. :dance: Do you know what DH likes best about it? It is less than 1 mile to a major artery, so he can get conveniently to town. :rolleyes:

    So, yes, mixed marriages CAN work out with both partners dreams coming true. It just takes more work and a bit of creativity and a LITTLE compromising.
     
  11. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Compromise and live in a suburb townie enough for them and rural enough for you. One selling point is to include retirement planning in the proposal. Rationale is by the time you get ready to retire the city will have grown up around your land, making it more valuable and the proceeds from its sale to a developer will help fund your retirement.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  12. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    California

    Beings IM female... Ill let you in on a little hint... Its not the "small animals that makes us go AWWWWWW, its the BABIES LOL Take a bunny for example. Ya they are cute, wiggly ears, twitching nose but its just a rabbit.... BUt a BABY bunny is instant lovebug. tiny body, big eyes, curious, and innocent. And who can resist the stumbling eager steps of a young puppy? Or a newborn colt or calf? And it takes a heart of stone not to crumble at the sight of anything baby that needs help...
     
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    well, I promised her a quiet country life with sceanic views, not many neighbors and she could decorate the house any whay she liked.
    that worked till one night a pair of raccoons got in a 30 min fight in the subfloor right under our bed....

    she started planning her escape that morning.
    then the cat proudly presented her with a half a rabbit he either found or killed, and that realy got her plans in overdrive.
    then the rat ran acros her foot in the bathroom one night (in my defense which she doesnt believe that is the only rat I have seen here in years... I have 12 cats, a few skunks and a clan of opossums, so rats dont stay long) and she was packing her bags and bewailing how she was araid to come home...
    city folk... go figure.
     
  14. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    VA
    My hubby wasn't exactly willing to become a homesteader. He was forced into it by circumstances and a smart wife :haha: !


    You see, he kept coming up with financial excuses. I saved money for a downpayment without his knowledge so that he couldn't dip into it for some "emergency". Truth is he will spend up to his income.

    We got his social security statement and I told him right then that we wouldn't be able to afford a home on his benefit amount. If we were going to buy a house, we had to do it soon.

    Found a place we could afford, didn't like it and didn't want it but he said it's my 'deal'. I said we could use it as rental property. It grew on him.

    He had congestive heart failure three months later and he's been thanking God for it ever since!!! :haha:
     
  15. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Puffdog, I'd dump her and get a REAL woman. :haha:
     
  16. Swampdweller

    Swampdweller Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Hmmmm....tough situation. Now I usually go out of my way NOT to "give advice", and will adhere to that policy here. But I will share my experience, whether for good or ill....

    I bound and gagged my wife, stuffed her and our bare neccesities into an old beat up pickup (I'd just sold our house, two new autos and a horde of other extras that morning) with a handful of chickens flapping about in the cab, a pig and jersey heifer in the back and a wood cookstove, jumped in, turned the engine over and headed for Alaska. It was about a six day drive, so I had to endure the inconvenience of letting her out to get some air and relieve herself from time to time (a real trick when someone is as hot as she was).
    Having preplanned and made all arrangements in advance--all without her knowledge, of course--I made strait for the 160 acres that I'd purchased which was 135 miles from the nearest town, twenty miles from the nearest state-maintained road, last ten miles of which was across a treacherous bog and then up a very steep mountainside. (gotta love them tough old chev. 4wds) I put a blindfold on her about ten miles before we left the state road and didn't remove it until we stopped at the site. There were absolutely no improvements, whatever. I removed the gag and blindfold, but left her otherwise restrained whilst I threw together a rough lean-to for the night. Being one to avoid unneccesary risk, we made the journey in late April so as to have all summer to acclimate and, of course, build. It took a few hours for the screaming and carrying on to wane to the point of bearability, so I busied myself down at the creek 200 yards down-mountain catching a few fish for supper. By the time I got back to camp, she was just about out of energy. There was one last outburst, fairly weak in comparison to earlier, before she finally settled on full silence. I loosened the bindings just a little, hoping to allow her a bit more comfort, her subsequent attempts to kick me bolstering my resolve not to loosen them TOO much the first night. She wasn't in the mood for fish.

    The rest of the story is rather personal and really has no bearing on the matter, the main accomplishment having been acheived by myself at that point.
    In retrospect, I wouldn't recommend my approach in any but the most impossible situations. But, at the time, I was desperate.

    Good luck,
    Swampdweller
     
  17. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Location:
    North Alabama
    I divorced mine :haha:
     
  18. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    California
    Swamp Oh wow if Only my hubby would do that to me! Id be in Heaven... All that land, no people, that would be a dream come true...
    He likes money too much to "live off the land" He has his boat, quad, enough trucks and tractors to open a dealership. Though we do hunt and fish...
    Your story sounds more like my version of a romantic dream come true LOL .......
     
  19. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    Near Callands, Virginia
    I like the "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" approach. Kidnapping, haul 'em into the woods and let 'em scream till the pass closes for the winter. While it's outside snowing to beat all, just turn on the charm - it makes any transition easier.

    Seriously though, start doing as much of the homesteading thing where you are, get the spouse involved and the 'need for more space' eventually becomes a mutual thing. The key is doing everything together.... like "homestead dating" kind of thing.
     
  20. naturewoman

    naturewoman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon
    The problem I see here is that some of you are expecting Puffdog's spouse (wife?) to want to participate in homesteading just because Puffdog does. It is not something that every person would want to do. There are pioneer types and there are city types...I'm not sure everyone can be turned into a pioneer type. I think some can because it lies buried within them and they just need to be exposed to it, but some people don't have it in them.

    I don't know what your situation is Puffdog. Are you already living in the country, or just hoping to transition to that? If you are still in the city, I think some of the suggestions made to start living the life where you are would be a good way to see if you can encourage your spouse's participation in gardening, canning, making things like homemade soap...raising rabbits for food (something legal in the city), but be aware that your spouse may not be into raising animals for food...they may be more interested in loving animals as pets, or they may not like animals at all. IF so, that's a whole different challenge.

    I raised chickens for eggs even when living in the city (where it was not supposed to be allowed) and never had a problem with neighbors, living in various different cities, because I only had a few hens and no noisy roosters, and my neighbors all loved watching the chickens when they were free in the yard. And the chickens were really good about not crossing the fences, even though in one place they were cinderblock walls, and the chickens got up and walked along the top of the walls, they were afraid to venture beyond the walls, so they never bothered the neighbors.

    Just remember it's not fair to expect your spouse to change to please you...you married them the way they were. If you show enough enthusiasm about homesteading projects you do at home, and they get excited and enthused, that's great, but if it is not their thing, then you should not expect them to change to suit you. You don't have to share everything. If it is important enough to you to pursue inspite of your spouses disinterest, perhaps you could find a compromise as suggested above. You follow your dream and let your spouse follow theirs. That probably means living in an area close to civilization, but with land and zoning that allows you to raise animals or whatever your heart desires.

    Remember, your expectations are just that..."yours"...don't ever expect your spouse to change to please you.