During busy harvest, farm couples should
make time to connect
Eileen Yager, Communications Officer, Extension & Ag Information, University of Missouri, firstname.lastname@example.org
Long hours in the field mean little time for anything else during harvest season. Although many things can wait until the crops are in, the relationship with a spouse should not be among them, said a University of Missouri Extension human development specialist.
“Effective communication can reduce stress and enhance the relationship,”
said Nina Chen. “Talking about your emotions, fears and concerns
can provide a feeling of relief.”
Chen’s advice applies to all couples, but it is especially appropriate
for farm couples as farmers work through another challenging harvest
“It’s surprising the number of couples that don’t talk,” she
said. “Couples need to talk and share their dreams, emotions and
concerns. It’s so easy to have misunderstandings or conflicts.”
While it may seem impossible to squeeze in one more thing, even
just a few minutes of talking can help minimize stress, she said.
“Evening meals are an ideal time to share and process the day’s
First thing in the morning over a cup of coffee or just before
going to bed are other times couples can share, Chen said. Running
errands together is another way for couples to have time alone.
Chen said couples also should make a point of carving out at
least one longer period of time for themselves each week. “If the
couple can have a regular time to deal with issues, they will be
more productive,” she said. “A lot of things become issues because
couples don’t have time to talk.”
Couples that share their goals, dreams, fears and concerns have
a deeper understanding about each other and are more likely to achieve
their goals together, rather than apart.
Source: Nina Chen, (816) 876-2781
Last Updated 11/09/2009