Steering a Course in Marriage

Several years ago, I left big-town suburbia and moved to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.  It was a huge lifestyle change.  Even though I lived in a town, my life felt very rustic.  So my mom bought me a subscription to Country Living.  I was excited about that at first because I thought I would learn about how to live “in the country.”  But I was disappointed to discover that it’s actually a decorating magazine aimed at people who want to look like they live in a farmhouse while actually living safe and secure in a city.

Then I met the man who would become my husband.  He had spent much of his youth actually living out in the country, in Kansas, no less.  He knows how to do things like hunt rabbits and butcher chickens.  I don’t want any of that going on around me (I’m not THAT much a country girl wannabe), but I’m so impressed that if we NEEDED to ever “live off the land,” my husband would know how to do it.

However, we don’t currently have land.  We’re living in a smallish town adjacent to a mid-size town that’s pretty much a stone’s throw from a major metropolis.  We’re very happy where we’re at, but when we looked at some plots of land for sale a while back, it quickly became clear that both of us would really like to live in the country.  Moving right now wouldn’t be practical, but it’s something that we want to work towards.

While we were looking at land, I got swept up in the concept of becoming a proper country girl.  I even subscribed to a wonderful magazine called Living the Country Life.  But this magazine isn’t for shabby-chic decorators.  It’s a practical magazine for people who actually live in the country (or for people like us, who are planning and plotting).  My husband started reading the latest issue before me, and he mentioned how there is an article about how to prepare for the winter.  He clearly enjoyed the concept, saying how much he would enjoy living on our land, and how he wished we could be preparing for winter like that right now.  This surprised me.  I had no idea he thinks about things like that.  But the idea of preparing for winter someday on our future land is immensely appealing to me, too.

I think our specific visions are a little gender stereotypical (I think about canning food and getting out the big, fluffy comforters, while he’s thinking about building a formidable woodpile), but this was a good illustration of how we share a common vision of where we want to steer our lives in general.

Actually, my husband and I see eye-to-eye on most things.  We don’t agree about everything, of course, but we’re usually on the same page.  And the value of that cannot be overstated.  I suspect that many marriages end because of a lack of common vision.  Life would be so tiring and tedious having a spouse who constantly wanted to steer the boat in a different direction.  Sometimes my husband and I navigate by different stars, but how wonderful it is to be sharing my life with someone who is charting the same course.

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