Are you vegan now but your spouse is not? If so, here are some tips on how to make your relationship work if your partner isn’t vegan yet.
People change throughout their relationship/marriage. They alter their beliefs, adapt to new standards, and switch to new lifestyles. So, there is a good chance you weren’t vegan when you married or got into a relationship. Perhaps you were a vegetarian or an omnivore.
Then, somewhere down the line, you decided to opt for a plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, your spouse did not.
Now, is it possible for you to make your relationship to work when you have such conflicting outlooks on life? Absolutely.
Of course, it may not be easy, particularly since both you and your partner are dedicated to your diet and lifestyle. However, with some helpful hints and a little work, you can both start moving in the right direction for a strong and healthy marriage.
Don’t Spring the News on Them
A fair number of people end up being blindsiding their spouses with their decision to go vegan. This is because many conversations you have been having regarding a plant-based lifestyle may be with other vegans. Or, you may be mulling things over in your head.
Well, when people have big news sprung on them, they can have a knee-jerk reaction. And, more often than not, it isn’t a positive response. So, if you do go down this route, your partner may be opposed to this idea.
What you should be doing instead is inviting them to go on this journey with you. Talk to your partner about how you are considering going vegan. Tell them your reasons so that they can better understand your logic. Include them in the steps that you are planning to take – a steady process of cutting out meat, eggs, dairy, etc.
When you gradually ease your partner into this decision, it is more likely that they will support your decision. After all, they love you and want you to be happy, no matter what choices you make.
Allow Them to Make Their Own Decisions
There is no denying that it can be difficult to live in a household that follows two different lifestyles and diets. This is especially true since veganism has an ethical, moral, and emotional component to it. Due to this, you may find it tough to continue to be in a house that buys and cooks meat and other animal-derived products.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t push your spouse to go vegan as well. This is a decision that they need to reach themselves. Many spouses will often reduce their consumption of meat when their partners are vegan. So, this is something that may happen naturally.
It is also not fair to push them to change their lifestyle. You probably wouldn’t like it if they tried to force you to switch back to an omni diet, would you? It is important to respect their decision, particularly if they respect yours.
At the same time, don’t bombard them with news, images, or documentaries about animal abuse. If they show interest, share these details with them. However, don’t push it on them as they may begin to feel averse about the entire movement.
If you feel isolated due to your switch to a vegan diet, try to find vegan friends and comrades. This way, you will still be able to share your passion and find ways to improve the lives of animals.
Come Up With Rules
When you are living with someone who eats meat, dairy, and eggs, there are several issues to workaround. For instance, are you okay with sharing the same refrigerator? Or, would you prefer it if each of you had separate sections? This way, your vegan items wouldn’t come in contact with meat.
What about pots, pans, and cooking utensils – do you mind sharing them or do you feel that you need your own set? The same can be said for food storage containers as well. Thus, you need to figure this out ahead of time.
If you have children or are planning on having children, you need to discuss how they will be raised as well. In case your kids are old enough, you may want to leave the decision up to them or adopt a largely plant-based diet.
In case you are the sole cook in the house, things can get tricky. If you don’t want to cook meat for your spouse or children, be upfront about it. This is not something you should have to do. Your spouse and older kids can agree to make these foods by themselves.
Keep One Meal a Day Vegan
Families and couples need to share meals. This is especially true if you don’t see each other for most of the day. So, have one meal a day where both of you sit down and eat together. Ask your spouse if this meal can be vegan. This is a great way to introduce them to vegan fare as well.
Naturally, it would help if you cooked the meal as you may be more well-versed in this arena. When cooking, figure out what foods will be appealing to your partner as well. Stay away from foods they don’t like or are unfamiliar with – let them test these foods out at a later time.
Don’t Let Your Lifestyles Divide You
Although your different diets and lifestyles may seem to create a gap between the two of you, this doesn’t have to be the case. Rather, try to understand and support each other, regardless of the decisions you make. At the end of the day, the person you married is still right in front of you.
You should also focus on engaging in activities that bring you together, particularly if your diet appears to be driving a wedge between you. This will show that there is still a great deal you can accomplish together. You just have to find new common ground.
It is possible for you to have a happy and loving marriage, even if your spouse isn’t vegan. The above guidelines will show you just how you can manage this.
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