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kadence blevins
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Location: SE Ohio
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I have been in my relationship for about three years now. Talking for about 2 months, dating just less than a year and engaged.

I have hit a fork in the road. He wants "normal" and is happy to just be in the very less than ideal situation we have been living in for just over a year. I am not. I have the farm/permie/selfsufficient bug. He has the oh-look-what-video-game-came-out-i-got-it-yesterday-and-already-beaten-it-twice bug.

Its difficult to figure out how to step from here. The decision to jump ship or go down with it seems to just come down to "how the hell do i jump from here knowing all i invested in this".

Makes me wish i had the $25 to spare on Pauls relationship podcast just to hear. Hahaha.
 
Joe harrington
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I was in almost the exact same situation recently. My girlfriend of several years thought that homesteading and permaculture are silly and had less than zero interest in them, also she didn't want children.

Having a big homestead family one day is really important to me so having someone who is incompatible with that just doesn't work. I already have a small farm and off grid house mostly set up, she refused to even visit it with me. Depending on what it is you want to pursue and how flexible he can be, it might not be as big an obstacle as you think.

If you are anything like me, this issue is eating you up inside and upsetting you at a deep level. It was so traumatic to end the relationship but I feel like I have a new lease on life and I have been doing lots of positive things.

If you want mutually exclusive things in life there is no way around it. It won't be easy but you are not being fair to yourself or him.
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
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I've never been in this particular situation. But I know how discouraging and disheartening it can be to be with someone who doesn't support or understand one of your biggest passions. I hesitate to give any advice because I obviously don't know you or your partner.. But I do know life is too damn short to be with someone who doesn't get super excited for you when you're talking about your dreams and goals.
 
chip sanft
pollinator
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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I've been married for ... a fair number of years. Some thoughts:

I'd suggest the most important thing is to know how you're feeling overall. If you're feeling happy and fulfilled overall and this is a worry that's on your mind, that's one thing. But if you're not really happy overall, that's something else. And from your message, I wonder about this.

If you are happy overall, I don't think there is a problem having some different interests that your partner merely tolerates. You should talk to him about it and he ought to respect and value your interests as your interests, which is different from sharing them.

Because a healthy long-term relationship requires compromise and mutual accommodation, it might be possible for you two to find a balance. For instance -- and this is just an example -- maybe a big lot and his support for you to plan and manage the yard could be one approach.

But if you feel that your values and lifestyle and desires for life are too different, so that you're not satisfied overall, then that calls for a different sort of taking stock.

My wife and I don't have the same attitudes toward, say, gardening. She likes a nicely weeded and efficiently used space. I don't mind weeds (within certain broad parameters) and I don't care particularly about efficiency for its own sake -- more important for me is that the space finds a balance and takes care of itself as much as possible. So we have our separate garden plots and it works. Where to live is something else. I would prefer to live in the country and she likes the city so here we are in town. It's a bit of a sacrifice and I turn it into a positive because I can bike to work instead of driving. But overall things balance out.

If you're ready to go, then delaying doesn't help. A compassionate, honest, and firm statement of your decision might be the best approach.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Kadence not sure if you have seen this thread but it might shed some light on a possible future?

http://www.permies.com/t/42437/homestead/normal-Permie-marriage
 
Stephanie Meyer
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Location: West Michigan Zone 5
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Speaking from experience, if you want to make permaculture a lifestyle you need to find someone who shares that vision. If you don't mind having it as a hobby, then you can go the compromise route. As prior posters have said though, if you are passionate about something life goes a lot easier if the people you are sharing it with at least "get it" . My life is good but I find myself thinking a lot about how much better things would be if the person I married shared more of my interests and passions.
 
Dan Boone
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kadence blevins wrote:I have the farm/permie/selfsufficient bug. He has the oh-look-what-video-game-came-out-i-got-it-yesterday-and-already-beaten-it-twice bug.


This made laugh (in sympathy, not "at" you) because I've been an avid computer gamer for pretty near thirty years now. In the course of that time I've swung through several different cycles of gamer intensity. At times it's been "the only thing I want to be doing in my free time." At other times it's been "the social thing I want to do with friends but not otherwise." In low times of my life it's been "the only thing I want to do at all, except for drinking booze, which I can do at the same time." (Don't ask me about the winter of 2001-2002 unless you want to hear the word "EverQuest" and the phrase "Long Island iced tea".) And when my life has been happy and full of good work and fun relationships, it's usually been "something I do late at night a few nights a week because it's fun and that's the only time free for it."

In the last couple of years since I got caught up in gardening and permaculture and tree growing, my gaming has gotten very limited. Weeks have gone by when I've done no gaming at all. Partly this is because my actual business has needed more care and attention, but mostly it's been because I've felt like I had other things I wanted to do more. Things to do with trees and seeds and -- if it's late and dark outside -- reading about them on the internet.

This is not leading up to some facile advice to hang in there and hope he comes around and decides he'd rather homestead than play computer games. Life is rarely that neat and convenient. But if, say, you marry this dude for lotsa good reasons in spite of his disinterest in your dream farm, it's maybe worth keeping in mind that his level of interest in five or ten or thirty years might be very different than it is today. People don't typically change for other people, but they do often change over time.
 
Rosa Nutkana
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Jump ship. Your paths are diverging and you are operating under a different level of awareness. You are either in the process of making or have already made the shift. Get out now while it's still simple or you will blink and a decade will have gone by, you may have kids, and a whole lot of stuff together, and you will be wondering why the heck you didn't end it earlier on while things were much more simple. Be with someone who feeds your soul. I'm not saying there won't be important lessons and growth on your part if you stay and end up parting ways down the road but if you are having these concerns now...well...listen to that voice. Speaking from experience. Follow your heart.

Jenn
 
Bethany Dutch
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Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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I wouldn't do it. I suppose it depends on how deeply rooted this permie bug is in you - I've had it myself since I read "My Side of the Mountain" at a very young age. I'm now getting a divorce after 10 years (I'm the OP of the above linked thread by Miles) and we have three kids together. We both agreed that we wished we had known that it would end like this before, and not that our time together was a waste of time but in a way, it was.

it's hard to end things for a reason like yours - especially since people can't really understand the lifestyle sometimes and so don't understand what it is you need. Your fiance might not understand why you'd break it off for that reason, but it kinda sounds like you are having doubts about the relationship. Don't feel like you are wrong about how you feel, especially if he's a video game guy (I will NEVER EVER EVER be in a relationship with someone who plays video games ever again).

My husband always said he wanted the mountain/country lifestyle but when it came down to it, wasn't really committed to the workload involved which then fell onto my shoulders. But - before we got married, this was something we discussed and it was one of my "requirements" for a husband. I wanted a self sufficient life in the mountains. I wanted a hard working mountain man. That's what I thought I was getting, but reality showed itself to be quite different after we tied the knot.

I don't think he even still understands fully why it is easier for me to do this by myself (even with the kids!!). And you want to know what? I was thinking about it and I realized, back before we got married I had some hesitations about marrying him because of his lazy tendencies. But I thought I could live with it, or help him work through it. I justified it to myself. I told myself he's a special snowflake and blah blah blah. That issue that was so small at the time, ended up growing, reincarnating several times throughout our marriage, and ultimately ended up being the thing that broke us apart.

So I guess what it boils down to is this - would you rather go through the pain and hassle right now of ending your current relationship for the possibility of a fully-Permie life with someone else (or alone! Which is actually pretty awesome) or accept that you'll always be compromising and possibly have to spend the rest of your life living in a way that doesn't feed your soul? Or is it even that big a deal to you? Just remember, things that are tiny niggling doubts right now are very likely to escalate and blow up into huge deal-breakers.

Personally, I wish desperately that I'd paid attention to those niggling doubts before I got married.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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Dan Boone wrote:"the only thing I want to do at all, except for drinking booze, which I can do at the same time."

This. Me. Permaculture. But booze is expensive so mostly I just end up with the permaculture and shivering in front of a computer burning coal. But its totally bareable because of the permaculture.

Anyway, kadence, I am most certainly not the person to give relationship advice, but I think you got some sound opinions here. Best of luck.
 
kadence blevins
Posts: 601
Location: SE Ohio
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate the comments.
I have been dancing around the niggling feelings in my mind a while and it has turned into i think this is a make or break for me. I am too eccentric about my goals and all for there to be a middle ground. That coming from my mind and what he has said of what he would and wouldnt go with/without.

*Deep breath*
Now to go from here. Well fingers crossed my car gets fixed asap and helps make this immensely easier.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Well, Kadence,
It's about a year since the last post. Where are you now?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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