Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are looking to move out to the country and have chickens, and a few other livestock (goats, ducks) once we learn what we’re doing. He’s incredibly excited and has started planning. And while I don’t begrudge him for his planning and excitement, he also has a job where he is away for three months at a time.
That would leave me to take care of anything he brings into this equation. I feel like I have some veto rights since while he’s away I have to take care of everything. He got upset and said I can’t tell him what he can and can’t do.
I agree with that to a point, but at the same time I feel like marriage is a compromise. At what point do I have to back off because it’s also his homestead too? – Feeling a Little Chicken
At what point does he have to back off because it’s also your homestead, too?
Actually, I’m turning around the wrong one of your sentences. This is the nut:
He can’t tell you what you can and can’t do while he spends three months on the road.
Both of you know this, which is one of two red flags unfurling in your letter: When he pulled his petulant you-can’t-make-me!!! stuff, why didn’t your mind go straight to calling him on the fertilizer in his logic? Why did it go instead to wondering whether you’re wrong and he’s right?
Pardon the phrasing, but you sound cowed by him. Red Flag 1.
The second one is that your marriage has left the “ours” phase and entered the “mine” vs. “yours.” Yes, a strong marriage must be flexible enough to accommodate the evolving interests of its members – but that’s not the same as saying the marriage needs to serve up compulsory, uncompensated farm labor to the member who decides to become a farmer.
If you and he can achieve a sufficient level of calm, then please discuss this crucial distinction; if not, then suggest taking it to marriage counseling. Use your veto power here.