There are a few main setbacks I see holding overwhelmed women back from taking the plunge into the minimalist lifestyle, and their husbands not being gung-ho about the whole idea is probably number one on the list. The reason this is so frustrating to me is because of the misconception that a husband and wife need to be on the same page in order for the wife to better her life. This is so not true!
In a healthy marriage, if a wife is super overwhelmed and needs to simplify in order to be a more intentional person, she should be able to communicate that to her husband and move forward with the things that have an affect on her life, whether he gets it or not.
For example, a few years ago when I first discovered that decluttering was the key to overcoming overwhelm in my motherhood, my husband got tense. He wasn’t on board and was nervous about me getting rid of things. I explained that letting go of clutter was setting me free and improving my life, even helping clear up my depression, and he understood. We came to a compromise – I would declutter the areas of the house that were mine and the kids’, the areas that had a direct impact on how I spent my day, and I would leave all his stuff alone. He could keep the garage and his half of the closet any way he wanted, and I would never purge anything that belonged to him.
We carried on this way for two years or so, with me living incredibly minimal and him hoarding random odds and ends and little things he planned to use for some project one day. Eventually came to see the benefits of minimalism and started implementing it too.
Honestly, I’m so glad Brian is on the same page as me now, but I could’ve gone on that way forever and been completely happy. I would’ve experienced all the same freedom and joy and simplicity in my life as I am now that he’s on board. You do not need your husband to be on board in order to experience the freedom and intentionality of minimalism.
I don’t think you can convince, nag, or force a guy into jumping on board with this, and I wouldn’t try to. When you try to coerce someone into agreeing with you, what usually happens is you push them away and turn them off to the idea entirely, making things even harder for yourself.
What I did worked, so I think it’s worth a shot. Compromise without pressure, and being quiet, living proof that this works and makes life way easier.
There may be some things your husband and you spent money on together for the house or the kids that he’s not okay with you purging. Again, explain your overwhelm to him and offer to compromise some way. If he won’t budge, fine. Let there be a few things like that – you will still experience a lot less overwhelm by purging the other areas in your home.
One way you can compromise is by offering to simply move an item into the garage or attic for two weeks to see if it is needed before you commit to getting rid of it completely. This might help your husband feel less panicked about donating things you spent money on, and help him see that the real waste happened when you bought an item you don’t truly need, not when you decided to let it go for the sake of simpler living.
So much of the time, we sabotage our success by trying to have all our ducks in a row before we get started on something. I know it feels like you need your husband on board with this, but if that’s not happening, don’t let it keep you from starting. Start small, leave his crap alone, and just see what happens. Don’t let a hurdle, big or small, hold you back from improving your life in a way that makes you a better wife and mother, and a happier person who lives on purpose.
Mama, you can make this happen for yourself even through difficulties and lack of support. Things can change on that front, don’t wait around for it though!
A lifestyle of less opens the door to SO MUCH MORE! Start now and let me walk you through every step of the process.