Amish rules allow people to marry only a member of the Amish church. When an Amish couple gets married they are expected to stay married for life. Divorce is not acceptable, and if an Amish church member should get a divorce (which is not nearly as common as among those who aren’t Amish) they would have to leave the Amish faith, which would result in them being shunned. The spouse of the one who gets the divorce would not be allowed to remarry. The consequences of divorce among the Amish might seem harsh from an outsider’s point of view, but I believe that knowing divorce is not allowed in their church causes Amish couples to strive harder to get along and work through their problems. Some, who are experiencing marital difficulties, will seek help through their church leaders or from a Christian counselor.
In many Amish homes, where a couple is raising a family, only the husband will work outside the house, while his wife takes care of the children and does the household chores. Some Amish women, however, run a business from their homes or in a building on the same property, allowing them to be close to home and their family, while helping with the finances. In the case where there are no children at home, a wife may work outside the home at a job in a nearby town, or they may run a business that is not on their property.
An Amish man is the head of the home, but most Amish women have an equal say in many things, including making decisions that will affect their future. Most Amish men share in the responsibility of caring for the children. I have seen many Amish fathers in church, holding their small children. Amish couples work together to share the load. Some Amish women can be seen helping their husbands in the fields, and some men help their wives with yard work and household chores.
The Amish love to have fun, laugh, and tell jokes, and this helps to keep their marriage strong. A good sense of humor can be a buffer during difficult times, and life is always more enjoyable when one finds something positive to smile and talk about. The strong faith in God that a couple shares also helps to keep their marriage strong. Looking to God for guidance, and praying about things can help a couple through trying times.
Most Amish couples have outside interests. The women are often involved in quilting, crafts, artwork, gardening, and many other creative things. The men frequently meet their friends or family members for coffee and to visit and catch up with local news. Many Amish men like to fish and hunt. Amish couples enjoy getting together with their friends for indoor and outdoor games, such as volleyball, baseball, horseshoes, and shuffleboard. Many Amish couples enjoy traveling and will go on trips, either just the two of them, or with family or friends. A change of scenery, and doing fun things together, can help strengthen a marriage.
If you are married, is there anything special you do to strengthen the relationship between you and your spouse?