Great topic. I'm a mountain girl myself, and my husband, when he moved in after we were married 13 years ago, came from a town/city lifestyle. He sold his house in town and moved to the country. I owned this place already, and had a vision for where we would be today, which is pretty much accomplished. Making our homestead the beautiful space it is now required a lot of work on both our parts, but I held the vision, while he dragged his feet.
This went on for years, yet we managed to stay married. It was PAINFUL. Finally after 13 years he has joined in fully in the vision, and we can enjoy this place which requires a lot of work daily to maintain. Gardens, horses, llamas, fencing...trail clearing, cutting wood. We both also work so you can imagine. We also hosts woofers and permies each season to share what we know. I'm still in charge of the vision, the animal doctoring, the garden mulching as he hasn't fully learned what he needs to know, but he's getting there.
What I'm saying here is, the bottom line, in my opinion, has nothing to do with being married to a non-homesteader, but is more about the fact that the area you live in is unaffordable for the vision you carry. I suggest you look around farther than the next town, and find yourself a piece of land you can afford to purchase now while you have the funds and the vision. Continue to rent and know that you have your piece of land. What type of work do you do? Can you afford to find another job in the future?
You may or may not ever get to homestead it, but at least you will have your future plans in place. I can see why your wife is attached to her mom, especially with a toddler (does mom babysit?). Not having running water while building the homestead on a dime in an area where the land costs are out of your budget seems to me not financially feasible. Her attachment to her mom may never end, which leads you to your plan and your future. AND the future of your son, who will appreciate having an inheritance in the country.
You have made a critical decision that I fully agree with. You have decided to NOT GO INTO DEBT for a house you do not want. I know people who have done that for a spouse and regret it later as they are still paying for the house and their dreams are shattered. Hold onto your dream. You may or may not remain married in the long-term, but chances are your vision will remain. IF your wife never ever gets around to wanting to homestead, and you continue to carry your vision in the years going forward, you may part ways. It happens to the best of us.
I had to move away from mom finally for good at 29 years old. I disliked (hated) the town where I was raised (Lawton, OK) and relocated first to the West Coast, then to the great Northeast, where one can still afford to find land with water, grow gardens in the front yard, enjoy a wonderful organic movement, and get a good job. I have held my vision my entire life, and my first husband shared my vision. We split after 9 years, but I kept the land and house (and I paid the mortgage, he filed a quit claim). My husband of 13 years never had my vision, but yet here we are, living in the same place I originally bought with someone else. And in case you are interested, this place was not even remotely paid off, so I assumed the debt, and paid for it myself. My ex did not.
Follow your dream, and don't sell your soul. If you have a chance, find a house in the country in an affordable area and purchase it. The land/town with shady people where you live now may not be in your future.
Think outside the box. Find another job in a state where you can afford to follow your dream. Move forward with your vision.