How did your relationship change you?

I’m thinking about this some because my DH has gone away hunting and left me to hold down the fort.

When we first got together it took awhile for him to realize how badly I wanted to be outside working with him on projects instead of keeping house.  I wasn’t really feeling my domestic duties.  Years later, I’ve found myself taking care of the house more and more.  In exchange, I like it that hubby does most of the outside chores.  Especially now that is is getting colder outside.  It sounds like I’m taking the sweet end of the deal but he wouldn’t want to trade – that’s for sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fresh air.  I love working in my garden and Brian won’t touch a hoe or a seed packet.  I can watch the chickens.  For hours.  In spite of that, when I come home from work at the end of the day I’d much rather put dinner on and curl up with a book than don Carhart’s and trudge out to chip ice off of buckets.  I usually help whenever he needs anything but that’s not everyday.  I think I’ve gotten a little spoiled and…well… lazy.  I can always justify it by saying that I keep a decently clean house and I carry a lot of the mental stress of running this farm.  I toss and turn over every little problem while he falls asleep at the drop of a hat.  We both carry our own weight I guess but I’m sure not the worker I used to be.

I can step up when I need to, like now that’s he’s away.  After a little bit of a temper tantrum yesterday and feeling overwhelmed I see now that this isn’t that bad.  I used to be so independent and take such pride in doing “guy” things: building things, making projects, overcoming physical barriers and wielding tools most girls wouldn’t touch.  I’m still no sissy but I kind of like having a honey to do my honey-dos instead of struggling through things on my own.  Today I put up a new pen for the sheep and moved them to it.  I know for sure that I would have waited for Brian to get to it if he was around.  It felt good just to do it my own way.  🙂

Are you different now than you were as a single person?  How?  Do you follow the classic roles of husband and wife or do you switch things up a bit?


12 thoughts on “How did your relationship change you?

  1. Julie

    No way am I the same person…but I’ve been with my husband since I was 18 and married him when I was 20. I’ve grown up a lot since then. I think I’m an a LOT less spoiled, I’ve learned how to do without…and be happy that way. I prefer simple things and I’d rather make things myself than buy them. That’s not how I grew up at all. There are certain parts of me that were in the making back then, but I feel like at 18 you’re pretty much still a kid and you don’t know who you are yet. You know that song something about thank God for unanswered prayers? My life is great, but not at all what I would have chosen for myself and so often I think “thank God for unanswered prayers”! lol!!
    We usually play the typical roles. Steve is totally fine with that. If anyone ever “crosses over” it’s me. lol! Pretty much I do everything except mow the lawn, snowblow the driveway and car stuff. I always stack our wood, but I don’t mind because he has a bad back and if something happens to it again that would be bad. He needs to be able to work and bring home $$$. Getting Steve to do anything domestic, well, it’s just not going to happen!!! I don’t expect him to…although bringing the laundry down would be nice. I really don’t like feminine guys, so while I think a guy SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE A FREAKIN’ PBJ SANDWICH (lol!!) I’m happy to do it for a hug. If he vacuums the living room twice a year I’m impressed. He DOES make a good breakfast burrito when he puts his mind to it, though. =) Oh! He’s great about going grocery shopping for me if I can’t get out or he’ll stop at the store on his way home if I need something. I guess it’s just whatever works for each couple. No two people are the same and we all have different abilities and expectations.
    Another thing is that early in our relationship I made an effort to listen (and understand) car/truck talk and now it seriously makes my brain freeze. It’s just SO not interesting and I just don’t care. We keep it lighthearted, but I wish he’d call a friend to discuss the pros and cons of the truck he wants to buy or the cool tractor he saw or whatever. Seriously, I just can’t take it. lol!!

    1. marriedtothefarm Post author

      That’s really great that you guys have been together that long. It sounds like you have a strong marriage! Lol, yes I agree about the PBJ sandwich. I don’t feel so bad about not doing all the things I used to do because Brian has changed a lot too. He lived alone before and so he can cook (man food) and used to do his laundry, etc. He has only used our new washing machine twice in the year and a half we’ve had it and had to ask me how both times. He will help me clean a little bit on the weekends if I really beg but I’ve figured out it is easier to do it myself than redo after him. I’m not downing him, just saying! And he probably thinks the same way about me doing “his” chores. I feel you on the tractor talk. I smile and nod and try to sound like I understand/care because he is so patient when I talk about budgeting or knitting or relationship stuff. Maybe someday I’ll throw in the towel on that one. 😉

  2. Farmer's Daughter

    Girls were always expected to pull their weight in my family, so even though I’m not stronger than my brothers now, I was as a child since I was older. My grandmother runs the farm market and would never dream of asking someone to lift something for her. When I wouldn’t let her lift a big pumpkin a few years ago, she was so mad. A few minutes later, I saw her picking up an Atlantic Giant. I definitely have some of her stubbornness there!

    In our house, we tend to do things by gender role. I keep house, but he helps and has been picking up the slack since I got pregnant. Ed mostly builds stuff because he has the talent and I don’t! I do all the cooking, but I enjoy it so it doesn’t usually feel like work. I know I still do things that a lot of my girlfriends wouldn’t know how to do or care to do, and kids at school have been surprised to see me use a hammer or screwdriver, which is a basic skill I think everyone should have!

    I’ve hated not being able to lift as much as I used to, so asking the custodians to help me get bags of soil up to my classroom greenhouse on the third floor, or admitting to Ed that I can’t lift a big heavy box or help him carry an old plywood table into the basement have bothered me. I’m not used to this helpless feeling, but my doctor has told me not to lift more than 20 lbs. (I have when I’m alone, carefully, don’t tell!)

    But I’d say overall that being pregnant has changed our roles more than just being married, because instead of having a preference of what to do, I really can’t do some stuff.

    1. marriedtothefarm Post author

      Oh, so that’s why you’re stubborn!? Lol. It is really interesting about the pregnancy changing things more. I never thought of that. I’ve wondered how Brian will be when that time comes for us. I think he will be a great Dad – he is really compassionate and good in that way. I’m not so sure when it comes to taking care of ME. When he’s sick he’s not one to cry about it and he doesn’t expect me to either. My Mom always really spoiled us when we were sick and sometimes I miss that. Of course he wouldn’t want me doing too much but I doubt he’s going to be very sympathetic about morning sickness and that type of thing. Anyway, good for you for choking down your pride and asking for help. You’d better take care of that baby or your whole family will kick your butt! And no more lifting missy, even in secret. 😉

      1. Farmer's Daughter

        Oh, I forgot I wanted to mention that when Ed and I had been dating for just under a year, he went on a 2 week hunting trip to Newfoundland. I CRIED myself to sleep every night, and he actually convinced his dad to come home a few days early because he missed me so much. Turned out he had already bought my engagement ring and wanted to give it to me when he got home, but held back and waited until Christmas.

        I bet Brian will be protective of you and the baby when you’re pregnant. Ed usually just expects me to suck it up, too, but he’s been saying things like “Drive safe!” or “Buckle your seatbelt!” which is so cute.

      2. marriedtothefarm Post author

        Lol. That is so sweet that you missed him so much, I bet that made him really happy. Brian came home early from hunting the first year we were together… he said he knew then that he really loved me because he’d never come home early for ANYONE! Too bad the honeymoon’s over, haha. I bet he’ll be gone the whole time this time unless he gets a big buck right away. This weekend was okay, it was nice to relax and do my own thing, but I wish he was coming home today.

  3. Julie

    That’s true, too…Steve’s been really understanding about my doing less since getting pregnant. Like, easier dinners and stuff. He doesn’t help, but just letting me not feel so pressured is really nice, though he really takes pride in when I make great stuff from scratch. =) I know you’re not downing your husband and I hope I don’t come across that way either. Don’t throw in the towel about the tractor talk just cuz of me. lol!! We all need to give and take (or talk and listen) and I could do a better job and humor him more.

  4. everydaywomanusa

    Wow, Jena, you got me thinking! I’ve been married longer than I was ever single, but remember, I was pretty much a “child bride” at 19! Sure, marriage has changed me and it has made me who I am today. Fortunately, we grew up together, instead of apart!

    I think we are pretty traditional. I was so fortunate to be able to stay home to raise our children while my husband worked all kinds of hours. But we all worked in our family businesses, and still do. Now, I work my *ss off, in a different way, and love it. I love to know that my family’s health insurance needs are taken care of through my career, as well as day-to-day bills with regular paychecks. Have two family businesses, it’s different, and that’s something many people don’t realize when it’s your own business. You pay everyone else before you pay yourselves and there are plenty of months you DON’T pay yourself, so my after-child-raising career has brought a new sense of security. Plus, I LOVE what I do!

    As far as traditional: the guys usually take care of the outside work on the farm and I do all the cooking and laundry, I’m also the only one who takes out the garbage, I’m the “pool boy” and I do the gardening. They just have so many demands on them. It would be nice if, ever, the guys in my family take a trip to the grocery store!

    You always make me think and reflect! All in all, it’s “ain’t” bad!

  5. April

    We have a “later in life” marriage after each of us went through long, difficult years married to other people who did not share any of the home loads, so I am coming at it from an “older” (and I hope wiser!) perspective. Because I am self-employed and my husband holds a day job (plus is self-employed), we have discovered that I do more of what we would call the homemaking side of things. That’s because I am around during the day to throw the laundry in, cook, grab some groceries, and so on. Otherwise, we try to share pretty equally, although he does all of the major home projects (remodeling type). I though am the gardener in the family and did most of the canning/freezing this summer!

    1. marriedtothefarm Post author

      Nice to “see” you here. It sounds like you have found a way that works in your relationship. I can definitely see how the person who is around the home more may end up doing more of the house chores. We’ve talked about me staying home someday if we have children and I’m a little afraid of all the things hubby might find for me do if that happens! 😉


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