It is Fall. A beautiful season of changing colors and attitude on the farm. Most farmers are starting to prepare for winter. I like winter because it is a great time to show some love to the people in your life, especially your spouse if you are married.
Over the years I have shared many thoughts and tips on maintaining a healthy marriage on the farm. Today, I wanted to share five of my favorite articles on the subject.
The first article and I suppose the first step, is Finding a Life Mate. Choosing whom the right person to spend the rest of your life with is a big decision. I share not only what you should be looking for in a life partner but what you need to be doing to make yourself a great person to be committed to, as well.
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Many of you spend hours researching equipment and crop inputs. How much time are you willing to invest to find and be a better partner?
Finding your life partner may be the easy part. Marriages are filled with challenges, including How to Love a Farmer. I tell my clients, “counseling is about recovery, but coaching is about discovery,” and that is precisely what any relationship or marriage should be about. It should be about discovering what makes you and your partner happier in your relationship, both as a couple and as farm partners. That is why anyone in a farm relationship should be reading this article.
Those folks Marrying into the Farm have a whole different set of challenges. This article is based on a podcast I did with Shaun Haney’s Mind Your Farm, where we discussed the effects of a new daughter- or son-in-law in the farm family business. I share three characteristics everyone adding new members to the family need to consider: everyone has a voice, love and respect, and acceptance of people’s identity.
As a farm coach, many of my clients come to me with issues in their marriage resulting from outside factors that they simply cannot control. Stress from a bad harvest, family conflict – it all weighs heavily on a marriage. For those struggling with conflict, I point to my article Managing Your Marriage in the Muck for help where I share four important questions partners need to be asking themselves about their spouse. The pending answers to these questions are the first step in healing your marriage.
The last article I want to share with farmers and their spouses about a healthy marriage on the farm is How to Prevent Divorce on Farms. In the last fifty years, the number of divorces has significantly increased, and it has become one of the greatest threats to farm family legacies. 2018 is coming up, and it is a chance for new opportunities and developing a stronger, healthy marriage. You just need to put the time and work in to make it happen.