14 Tips for How to Prevent Divorce on Farms - Elaine Froese | Canada’s Farm Whisperer | Your go-to expert for farm families who want better communication and conflict resolution to secure a successful farm transition

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14 Tips for How to Prevent Divorce on Farms

by | Aug 18, 2020 | Uncategorized

how to prevent divorce on farms

Each year is a new year of possibilities. Though there may always be struggles, there are also opportunities to create a stronger marriage in 2020 and beyond. With that in mind, today I’m going to share 14 actionable tips for how to prevent divorce on the farm.

The Threat of Divorce to the Farm Family Legacy

My parents married on December 27, 1955. My brothers each chose to marry that same week in 1984, and 1990. I, being the rebel, got married on Independence Day, July 4, 1981. Wes and I have outlasted Chuck and Di who married the same year, the same month.

Divorce is one of the biggest threats to farm family legacy. We need to start talking more about how to prevent divorce & breakups and create more make-ups. (Feel free to tweet that!)

[Tweet “#Divorce is a threat to #farm family legacy. Here are 14 ways to prevent it:”]

14 Tips for How to Prevent Divorce in Farm Families

As I write this I am thinking of neighbors, friends, clients of all ages, and stages who have struggled to stay married over the years.

Now, here’s my “how to prevent divorce” list:

1. ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED. LOVE DOES NOT READ MINDS

When I want a hug I ask. When I need quiet time alone I negotiate the volume of the TV. My coaching career demands travel and time away. That is okay!

2. LISTEN TO THE NEEDS OF THE OTHER AND ACT

Marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100. You are committed to serving your mate with a servant attitude, and they serve you.

How can you be a better listener? How can you act on what is requested for change?

When I talk too much Wes will squeeze my knee under the table as a loving signal to give others air time. Can you start paraphrasing what your spouse said to make sure you received the message correctly?

3. BE KIND AND RESPECTFUL

Honey is more appealing than vinegar.

When it comes to how to prevent divorce, one of the first things we need to consider is how we treat our partner.

Every morning we get to choose if we are kind or nasty in our approach. Grouches need to get checked out by doctors for depression. Most in-laws would never even think of leaving the farm family IF they felt they were respected.

By the way, I discuss more about my journey with depression in this post: Dealing with Depression: Reflections from the Quiet Chair.

What does respect look like to you? Look each other in the eye and ask “How can I show you more respect? What would you like me to do differently?”

4. WALK IN THEIR BOOTS, TAKE ANOTHER PERSON’S PERSPECTIVE

Young farmers are craving work/life balance, a chance to read bedtime stories.

Do you remember what it was like to be 35 with young kids? Young moms who work off-farm are exhausted.

How can you share the load?

5. ADAPT AND YIELD WITH “YES, DEAR”

Wes hates putting up Christmas lights, but he still helps me do it. I know he appreciates hot home-cooked meals, so I am happy to vary the menu.

There are many ways to accomplish the same goals, which is why I am thankful for frozen stir-fry meals when I am away.

Check-in with your mate to see if there are other ways to adapt to what they desire. This ability to adapt to one another’s needs is a critical step in how to prevent divorce.

6. BE PHYSICALLY STRONG AND CONNECTED.

Yes, we are talking about sex here, and being in shape physically to enjoy the age stage you’re at.

Many folks are open with me about their sexual frustration; I guess it comes with being a good listener. We all need to love and be loved. Meaningful touch with hugs, kisses, shoulder squeezes is also part of the mix.

Don’t talk about farming in the bedroom after dark. Play with each other instead.

Take a look at these 10 tips to keep the sparks alive for farm couples.

7. MAKE QUICK REPAIR

Conflict is normal. Abrasive fighting is bad. John Gottman’s book “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” is a great read.

He emphasizes the need to keep conflicts short and small, then fixes them quickly. I say “extend the olive branch, and reach out to be part of the reconciliation.”

If you need more tools for this, take a look at my 10 Tools for Talking About Tough Issues.

8. BE THANKFUL AND COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Our farming friend has a disabled wife in a wheelchair. They are amazing how they show love to each other. They also remind us that we need to stay committed to each other in sickness and in health.

Wes has already proven this to me when I spent most of 1984 in a psych ward with severe postpartum depression. Work on your mental health, and choose a good attitude every day.

9. REACH OUT TO QUIT YOUR ADDICTIONS

We all need support to quit the bad stuff whether it is workaholism, alcoholism, street drugs, or shopping too much. Find counseling, rehab, or a support group to get you to a better place. Anger that is not managed will destroy you and your marriage.

Get help.

10. FINISH WELL TOGETHER

Have a lifestyle plan that goes beyond the farm as you age together. Play together. Enjoy grandchildren: please do not ignore these precious little ones.

When you die, don’t you want to be rich in relationships? You cannot take your farm shares with you to the grave!

11. STOP TEXTING, START TALKING FACE TO FACE

Social media is fueling unfaithfulness in marriage. No secret emotional affairs for you. Be open with your mate.

12. CELEBRATE THE MILESTONES

Give your partner a special card, supper or night out. Bake a cake or pie to share with friends.

Strong families celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, and engagements.

Cherish the markers of marriage.

13. SAVE SEX FOR MARRIAGE

Don’t live together or “shack up” before you have signed your marriage covenant, i.e. wed each other. The stats for the “almost married” common-law unions are pretty sobering. Those folks who live together before marrying are more likely to split.

Understand the crudeness of the saying, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Your partner may also be happy to look outside your bed for new partners if they did that so easily with you.

14. FILL EACH OTHER’S EMOTIONAL BANK ACCOUNT OR “LOVE TANK”

Make deposits every day into the well-being of your spouse. Find out if they like to be loved with words, meaningful touch, gifts, quality time together, or acts of service. When was the last time you detailed the pick-up truck? If your guy loves to be loved with action, that will be amazing to him.

I have to stop, but I hope you get the picture. Divorce wreaks havoc in all of our agricultural families. I hurt when I see marriages fail. Let’s all work towards encouraging strong unions and how to prevent divorce so it’s not a threat to our farm’s legacy.

How to Prevent Divorce: I want to hear from you!

What do you do to keep your marriage strong?

Comment down below and let’s talk more about how to prevent divorce in farm couples!

You can also contact me today to learn about my farm succession planning and farm family coaching to build stronger relationships and a lasting legacy.

In the meantime, if you enjoyed this post on how to prevent divorce on the farm, you might want to check these articles out too:

How to Build a Strong Relationship: Marriage Fitness for Farm Couples
Maintaining a Happy and Healthy Marriage on The Farm
Managing Your Marriage in the Muck

This article was originally published in 2016, and it’s been updated just for you.

Elaine is not travelling far these days during the GREAT PAUSE, so reach out for some zoom coaching today! She has time!

Follow Elaine on Social for More Helpful Farm Family Advice!

6 Comments

  1. April Anderson

    Love this blog post! Can I add to it? #15. Protect your privacy and your spouses reputation. Just because hired help is at the table, or you are at the local grain elevator does not mean all those people are trusted with your information. Save info sharing for those whom have earned your trust and never speak negatively about your spouse- positive comments reinforce your emotional outlook about your spouse.

    Reply
  2. ASmith

    Great post. I’m currently going through separation and am struggling to plan for the future of the farm. We’re trying to keep things as amicable as possible, but with kids of different ages its difficult to say the least. I’m using http://www.thistoo.co to help do the paperwork – I’d recommend them to any other Canadian farmers going through this. Thanks again for the post.

    Reply
  3. Alysha

    You all know that is not easy to leave a marriage of 6years and forget all the feelings that you both have for each other. That was my problem that i was having for the past 3month now, i was really feeling sick and wanted to take my life but thanks be to drstanleyspelltemple@hotmail.com who help me with a reunion spell to get my ex husband back. My ex husband came back to me with the help of Dr. Stanley spell and now i feel so happy that we are both back again and living happily more than ever before.

    Reply
  4. Tessa

    Have a united front. Only ever support and speak respectfully to each other in public. No sarcastic teasing or degrading. Don’t talk down to or about your spouse. It always amazes (and disgusts) me how often couples will insult each other are argue or nitpick in public situations. It’s disrespectful and unloving. My husband and I try to speak highly of eachother to other people. Only 13 years so far but our marriage gets stronger every year.

    Reply
    • Elaine Froese

      Thanks for taking the time Tessa to add your insights. A few folks are keen to go to a marriage retreat. Sounds like you have harnessed the power of encouraging words.

      Reply
  5. Raymond Kramer

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    Reply

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