10 Things That Happen When You’re a Non-Amish Woman Married to an Ex-Amish Man

As is common around my area, my husband was Amish for the first ten years of his life. His family then left the Amish and moved to a different school where we met in the fifth grade.

Three out of my four grandparents were raised Amish but neither of my parents were so I really didn’t know a whole lot about the Amish culture until my husband and I started dating.

Like any couple, we didn’t know how our childhood would affect our relationship until after we got married. Now that it’s been 3 1/2 years since we said “I do”, I’ve started noticing a few things that seem to come up often in our life together.

So without further ado, here’s 10 things that happen when you’re a non-Amish woman married to an ex-Amish man.

1. He Talks Dutch in His Sleep

There have been multiple times that I’ve woken up in the middle of the night to my husband talking in his sleep. I’m always intrigued by sleep talk and love how funny it can be but the problem is, his sleep talk is only in Dutch which I don’t speak. So not only do I get woken up, but I have no funny story to tell in the morning because I have no idea what he said.

2. You Disagree on Your Sleeping Habits

Speaking of sleep, there’s probably nothing that my husband and I disagree on more than our sleeping habits. I truly do love sleep and in general, I prefer to stay up late and sleep in. But when you grow up Amish, you are taught the value of the old saying “early to bed and early to rise.” There are chores and animals to take care of first thing in the morning before going to work or school. Even though we don’t currently have a farm, my husband is still accustomed to waking up before the sun, working all morning and then relaxing in the evening which is the complete opposite of me. I wish I could be more like him and I’ve tried multiple times to change but let’s be real, it’s just not in my blood.

A non-electric washer and dryer that an Amish woman uses to do laundry.
A beautiful, simple, non-electric laundry space ♥️

3. You Constantly Wonder If You’re Doing Enough

If you don’t know much about the Amish let me tell you that Amish women




I am constantly baffled at how they manage to cook three full meals each day, do the laundry without an electric washer or dryer, keep a squeaky clean house, maintain huge gardens, sew all their clothes, preserve their harvest and mother a handful of children at the same time. Meanwhile, I feel like I run in circles all day and nothing ever gets done. Even though my husband is completely gracious with me, I still can’t help but compare and wonder if I’m doing all I can for our family. Maybe if I just woke up earlier….

4. Your Husband Wants to Take “Off Sundays”

One thing my husband and I differ on is our expectations for Sundays. I was raised in a family that went to church every single Sunday so to me, Sunday isn’t Sunday without it. But the Amish only have church every other Sunday and use their “Off-Sunday” to truly rest. So while I may have a tendency to feel guilty for missing church, my husband thinks complete rest is an equally important part of the Sabbath. This is a new concept for me and one I’m still wrestling with but I can see the beauty of it and those Sundays that we’ve taken to rest have been truly refreshing.

5. He Calculates Travel Time by Horse and Buggy

When it comes to how early we need to leave the house to get somewhere, my husband is the King of the phrase “hurry up and wait.” Granted, I’m not necessarily the Queen of being on time but there are instances where I am just baffled by how early he wants to leave. This is especially confusing to me because if we get there early, he usually likes to circle the block until it’s time to go in. But the other day it dawned on me that perhaps deep down, he’s thinking of his horse and buggy days and basing his calculations off of that. This makes so much more sense!

Dressing in Amish clothes for an Amish wedding
Dressing in Amish clothes for an Amish wedding

6. You End up Sitting in Darkness

We have electricity and lights in our home for a reason but sometimes my husband prefers not to use them. As evening comes, he loves to let the darkness fill our home until we can’t see anything at all. This drives me crazy. Furthermore, at Christmas brunch, my in-laws all voted to keep the lights off while we ate. They all loved it. I suppose it would be quite lovely to be more in tune with the Earth’s natural rhythm of light but my eyes simply do not agree.

7. You Must Have Applesauce in the House at All Times

One thing Amish people love to eat is applesauce. They especially like to dip their pizza in it and mix it in their casseroles. My husband isn’t even as big of a fan of applesauce as his relatives but we still have to keep a couple jars of it in the house just in case he suddenly craves it. Sometimes I will have dinner all set out on the table and my husband suddenly disappears only to emerge out of the basement a few minutes later with a jar of applesauce to accompany his meal. Who knew it was such a staple!

8. He Will Try to Get You to Sew

I will never forget the year my husband came home with a sewing machine for my birthday and said “we’re never buying clothes again.” He was joking of course. I think…

Truthfully I had expressed a desire to learn to sew and I did make a couple things when we first got the machine but I’ve struggled to persevere. It just doesn’t come natural to me. Sorry husband.

9. You Are Denied a Dessert Plate.

One thing I was very confused about when I started going to Amish gatherings was that there were no dessert plates. Everyone simply put their dessert right on top of where they ate their regular food (or even mixed it in just like the applesauce). Occasionally, I’ve asked my husband for a dessert plate and he just laughs at me. I don’t like the idea of my sweets mixing with my savory food but then I realized that it’s not as bad as washing all the dinner AND dessert plates by hand like the Amish would have to do. So while I’m thankful for my dishwasher, I don’t complain about the lack of dessert plates when I’m at an Amish ice cream supper.

10. You Get Enlightened

Anytime you mix two cultures in as intimate a relationship as marriage, you’re bound to find out that not everyone sees things the same way you do. While these differences can sometimes be frustrating, confusing, or difficult to adapt to, they can also open your eyes to a new way of thinking. Furthermore, letting a new culture teach you can bring a greater balance and wholeness to your life. And whether we like it or not, this is what makes marriage so beautiful ❤️

Do you have a cross cultural marriage? What are some ways you and your spouse see the world differently?

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The number one thing I learned in my first year of marriage Click the image to find out what I learned in my first year of marriage ♥️

The #1 Thing I Learned in my 1st Year of Marriage

Kevin and I had a great first year of marriage. I will be honest, the year we were engaged was rough. Preparing for marriage without actually being married was confusing and difficult and we ended up just fighting a lot. So far, year number two has the added stress of a newborn and were still figuring out how to deal with that. But year number one was genuinely awesome. We really enjoyed each other’s company, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of our first child, and we just didn’t fight all that much. However, when we did fight, more often than not it was about that M word that seems to infect so many marriages today. Money.

When we were praying about whether or not to have a baby, one of our main concerns was if we were financially ready. We both had mostly steady jobs, a decent savings account, and were fairly responsible with our money but we knew how quickly life can change all that so we just couldn’t know for sure. But we concluded that only God can predict what’s in our financial future so we decided to stand on his promise to take care of us if a baby joins our family.

About 6 weeks into our marriage I started to wake up each morning feeling sick. Sick and very tired. It was too early to take a test but I had a pretty good idea where this was all headed. That same week, one of us (I won’t disclose which one) backed into my brother’s car leaving a good old dent and consequently, a nice debt to pay. Right about that time, Kevin’s job significantly decreased his hours as the factory he worked at headed into its slow season and I got pretty worried.

“You know you’re probably going to find out you’re pregnant now, right?” My mom teased as I told her about the factory. She thought she was being funny but she had no idea that I was already staring that reality in the face. I had already found out that I was indeed pregnant.

I started my prenatal care a couple weeks later and found out just how much the next nine months would cost.
Stress. I was stressed.
I was worried.
I was trying not to be mad at whichever one of us hit a parked car in our driveway.
I was trying not to feel regretful that I had gotten pregnant when maybe we weren’t prepared.
Most importantly, I was trying not to feel totally betrayed by the God I had chosen to trust.
But I did.
And I was scared.
And I was mad.

I walked around with these emotions bottled up inside me for a couple weeks. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because we were still waiting to surprise everyone with the pregnancy. Finally, one morning at church I had to let it go. I had to just choose to continue to trust God even though I couldn’t tell what he was up to. So I gave it all to Him and in return I received peace and pure excitement for the pregnancy and baby that would soon enter our life. Little did I know that this would allow God to blow us away with His provision in the next couple months.

I’m an avid budgeter and I make sure I know what’s happening with every dollar we bring in. Every month I would look at my calculations and conclude that we might not make ends meet. And yet somehow, every month we had more than enough. I would look at Kevin in astonishment and he would just smile and say “God is good.” Sometimes we were provided with random side jobs that helped bring in extra cash and other times our monthly bills would just decrease for reasons we still don’t understand. But God still had more for us.

When I was 25 weeks pregnant I got rear ended while driving in traffic. I knew immediately that the baby and I were both ok but for everyone’s peace of mind we went to the hospital for monitoring just in case. As expected, everything checked out fine but then the next several weeks were full of insurance headaches for me. I often wondered why this had to happen. The accident wasn’t my fault so I shouldn’t have had to pay anything but I was still prepared to fight the agent when he called me one day to talk about the settlement. I was shocked, amazed, and humbled when he told me that in addition to fixing my car, they planned to send me a check for TWICE my hospital bill to compensate for any discomfort and stress. Part of me was upset that I never ever saw that coming but mainly it was just so great to encounter the God who can do more than I could ask for or imagine.

Soon after that, we also got our tax refund and a totally unexpected check in the mail because apparently we had overpaid on our property taxes the year before. We were completely blown away at how God had provided for us. You would think at this point I would have no reason to be afraid or stressed about money any longer but I confess that when faced with a difficult expense, I still was filled with fear.

At 36 weeks pregnant I was relieved to have completely paid off my prenatal care and the total cost of the out-of-hospital, unmedicated birth I was planning. I was now able to stop working and completely prepare my home and body to bring a child into this world. However, as life would have it, Kevin’s factory started falling apart and he had no other choice but to find another job. Fortunately, he had one right away but this completely messed with our health insurance. I told myself it was totally fine since the birth was going to go smoothly and I had already paid it off but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think about what would happen if for some reason I ended up in the hospital.

I received the opportunity to find out for sure at 41 weeks pregnant when my blood pressure spiked and I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I was sent directly to the hospital to be induced and had to kiss my paid-off natural birth plans goodbye. After 40 hours of Pitocin our precious daughter was born perfectly healthy but my health declined. I ended up staying a total of five nights in the hospital, with 24 hours of magnesium and what felt like tons of blood work. I was so nervous about how much this all would cost and I cried when we got that first statement in the mail. I knew God had provided for us before and I knew he could again but I didn’t know how he was going to do it and that still made me nervous. Figuring out health insurance was a headache and I wondered often why I had to deal with it all. It took a couple months before it was all situated out but to my amazement we received two more refund checks in the mail and our insurance covered way more than what my understanding of our plan said they should have. God has truly blown us away with His provision and has shown me that I never have to doubt him again.

The title of this post may have lead you to believe this was going to be a mushy gushy post about keeping up with date night or something. But what I’ve learned and am continuing to learn is that if I don’t have peace with God in a particular area of my life, such as finances, then I cannot have marital peace in that area. If I don’t believe that God will provide for me, I will put pressure on my husband to do it and I will struggle extending grace when he, I don’t know, mistakenly backs into my brother’s car or something. Our marriage will be full of tension because ultimately, it will be full of fear. Conversely, nothing bonds two people together like being totally dependent on God and then watching him do amazing things. I thank God for every financial challenge we faced this year because money is one thing I definitely don’t want poisoning my marriage. Trusting in God is the antidote and I’m so glad we now have it in our home.

What have you been learning in your marriage lately? Let me know in the comments!

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If you can’t handle me at my worst then maybe I should try harder to give you my best
Click the image to read another important lesson I’ve learned in my marriage