Getting a Spouse on Board with Natural Living
Sometimes, married couples journey towards a greener lifestyle together, and I think that’s wonderful. I’m not sure how common it is though. In many cases, one spouse begins learning, researching, and implementing changes that the other spouse may or may not agree with, or maybe they just don’t care that much about it.
In my own case, it definitely started out as a more personal journey.
Overall, my husband is thankful that I’m making efforts to raise our family in the safest, healthiest way possible, although I can guarantee he never would have started cloth diapering or trying to eat real, whole foods on his own. And he’d be the first to tell you that.
My husband, David, definitely doesn’t have the environmental convictions that I have either, but I will say that he is a really good sport. In recent time he has even come to appreciate some of my “hippie” methods (although he will never let me live down my quasi-ban of paper towels).
One thing my husband has gotten completely on board with is the desire for simpler living– less clutter, more intentionality with our stuff, and striving to live debt-free, for example. So for us, finding a common ground to use as a basis for our family choices has been really helpful.
Photo by The Welsh Poppy
Convince with Experience
One of the best methods that has helped me “evangelize” to my husband about a more natural lifestyle is simply showing him how things work and how they benefit us.
Through experience, David has learned
- how much better micro-fiber cloths work than paper towels for simple spills and cleaning.
- how easy using cloth napkins is (and that it saves us money and feels softer than paper).
- that composting doesn’t take much more effort than throwing food scraps in the garbage.
- that using a push mower on our small lawn is not only “green” but also enjoyable.
- that certain whole/organic foods taste better and benefit our family.
- that buying local is a sensible, advantageous choice for all parties involved.
- that using castille soap is just as effective as mainstream soap.
Small Changes Often Go Unnoticed
Aside from his own experience, the other way I’ve implemented more natural methods around the house and into our lifestyle is just by making small changes. And to be honest, they haven’t bothered him because he hasn’t noticed.
David pointed out that switching to soap nuts for laundry, for example, was something small that didn’t inconvenience him that much (and yes, he does help out with the laundry sometimes). It gets his clothes clean and doesn’t cost a lot so he told me he barely even noticed to switch away from conventional.
As long as my changes aren’t costing us too much (many times they are more frugal in fact) or inconveniencing my husband, I’ve found him to be a great sport, even though these are not changes he would have ever made on his own.
And as with other friends and family members, I’ve found that the best way to convince our spouses of our “greener” preferences is not to lecture them, but to model these changes, demonstrate their benefits and ease into them gradually.
Is your spouse on board with all your choices? Has it been a gradual process? If there have been difficulties, how have you “convinced” him/her of your choices? What have been the areas that your spouse was easiest/hardest to get on board with?
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