I love my husband. Truly. We’ve been through a journey these past 10 years together and I’ve made quite a few lifestyle changes without letting him have too much say in the matter, especially these past few years. I know I can have some pretty lofty ideas and he is usually wildly supportive of me, even if he does think I’m a bit crazy at times.
Three years ago, I did all kinds of research into how to create a simple, sustainable life with recipes, tips, ideas, how-tos and I was dead-set on transforming our home. I was hooked. Obsessed. So when I had big plans to declutter our lives, he maybe did look at me like I was a bit insane and naturally resisted pretty much anything I told him. Like when I said I wanted to give away all of our possessions and live a minimalistic life in an RV. Or something like that.
There are signs he’s coming around…he affectionately refers to me as his little hippie 🙂 But I know him better than anyone and I have learned a few tips for getting someone on board who it a bit resistant to change at first.
Ease into it.
I’m an all-or-nothing person who wants results immediately. My husband…not so much. Pushing a new idea on someone out of the blue naturally encourages push-back to change. So I wouldn’t suggest going from wearing Gap jeans to sewing your own organic hemp parachute pants in an evening. Baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day and transforming your whole lifestyle takes time, practice and research.
Start on yourself first.
You can learn a lot about the process by starting on yourself first. Declutter your kitchen, empty out your closet, have a garage sale and clean out the basement. Start with things you can control – your personal cosmetics, cleaning products and household items – and use it as a trial and error period. If you do the shopping, focus on the produce area, particularly the organic produce. More than likely, your husband won’t even notice you’ve made all these small changes because none of them will really affect his daily life.
Actions speak louder than words.
On paper, some of my ideas sounds completely foreign to my husband. Composting? Making our own toothpaste? Vegetarian cooking? My husband is a visual person and does much better by seeing the benefits of these types of unfamiliar things than talking it through. He doesn’t always get my vision but if I show him how easy it can be and all the wonderful health, environmental and life benefits simplifying can have, he’s all for it.
Be the leader.
If this is your idea, make it easy on him. If he’s got to put forth all kinds of effort for something he isn’t completely behind yet, he might grumble and complain through the whole thing. Show him by example how using cloth napkins instead of paper towels is easy, simple and makes such an impact. Be the one to take reusable totes grocery shopping. Plan out whole food meals for the week and healthy snacks for the kids. Eventually he will make your habits his habits without even really realizing it (my husband rarely realizes that he eats my vegetarian recipes).
Do research together.
I’m not going to lie – documentaries on Netflix are my best friend. My husband and I alternate who gets to choose the movie on movie nights and mine is usually some sort of environmental/animal cruelty choice. These documentaries can visually communicate what I try to speak to him but in a thousand better ways. They are my best friend in trying to get him on the same page as my vision and educating us together in making more conscious decisions for our family. He always feel more invested in this lifestyle when he can see first-hand why I’m so passionate about it.
What are some ways you get loved ones on board with change? I’d love to hear your ideas below!