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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Living With a Difficult Spouse

Hi everyone!! If you're here reading this, I'm guessing you're a prepper, either a seasoned one or someone who's just starting their journey. How about your spouse? Are they on board with your prepping or do they think that it's a ridiculous waste of time and money? Well, if they think the latter, you are not alone. I personally have a supportive spouse, but I know there are many people who do not. So, if that's the case for you, how do you deal with it?

First, I would suggest that it not become a 'big, hairy deal'. I don't believe that being supportive/unsupportive of prepping is a deal breaker to a marriage. There are so many other more important things about your marriage relationship. I'm not downplaying prepping at all, but I believe there are ways you can accomplish your goals and keep peace in your home, which should be your main goal in life!

In our prepping, having a well-stocked pantry is one of the main goals. The easiest way to accomplish this peacefully is to do the shopping yourself! That's right! I'm not sure how it works in your home, but I do the shopping for our family, so I get to bring home whatever I want. For me, food preps happened slowly a few cans at a time at the grocery store. What if you're the husband and your wife shops, but your wife isn't interested in prepping? Well, mister, you'd better start doing the shopping! (Men, tell her you want to start taking more responsibility around the house. She'll love you for it!!) That's the only way around it! Don't fill out a list full of prep items for your uncooperative spouse to take to the store! It's going to make them angry, they won't buy what you've requested, and then there's a fight and tension (and NO preps in the house!). Not good! Remember we want to keep the peace in our homes! So, if you're the prepper, you do the shopping! Simple!

Does your spouse love cheese doodles? Do you always forget to buy them and then they're angry because they need their fix? Well, stock up on what they love and tell them you don't want them to have to go without. Let them know that you're thinking of them and their comfort. Then say that beef stew in a can is YOUR favorite food and you just don't want to be without it, so you bought a few extras for you, just in case!! ;) I think that if you show them how convenient it is to have lots of their favorite foods on hand, you can show them how convenient it would be to have a few extra things on hand as well.

Okay, so now you, the prepper, are doing the shopping and you're bringing home extra preps. You're happy, but what if your spouse complains? (I know, how could anyone complain about that, but they do!) Well, my first suggestion is to calmly, rationally, patiently, kindly, try to explain to your spouse why you feel the need to prep. (You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.) If they still aren't convinced that it's important, and they still think you're a dork for thinking it's important, my next suggestion is to hide a few things. No, I'm not advocating keeping secrets from your spouse (although it sounds like it!), but purchasing and 'storing-a-few-items-in-another-location' should be okay! For instance, we have friends who are not on the same page about prepping, so the hubby (the prepper) asked me to buy him some bulk oats and store them at our house. The bucket is in the basement and if/when TSHTF and they come to me for food, I can hand them their buckets o' oats and send them on their way! Obviously, I don't have room to store an entire storehouse of goods for him, but a few items are not problem.

If you're a Christian, I would suggest you pray about this. Pray about your spouse's attitude; pray for understanding, or at the very least, a willingness on their part to 'let it go' and let you prep.

How concerned are you about your spouse's interests? Is that uncooperative spouse reacting negatively to your prepping because you could care less about (or you bash) their interests? Generally speaking, taking an interest in someone causes them to take an interest in you. When you show that their concerns are your concerns, it will sometimes soften them and cause them to be concerned about what concerns you.

There are so many things in marriage that are so much more important than prepping that I would NOT make a bigger issue out of prepping than it is. I know this sounds like I'm saying to downplay it, but I believe that a good relationship in the home is the most important thing to focus on. Focus on the main thing first, and those other 'ducks' will fall in line.

Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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Anonymous said...

What an awesome post! Do you mind if I branch out on your post? I started commenting, and realized I had several paragraphs, so I deleted them. Like you, I don't advocate sneaking, but think I will advocate it to a degree in my post because of the severity of the economic situation the U.S. is facing and no one is immune.

How awesome it is that you are storing food for a friend that will need it in the future. His spouse will thank him later and she may have a renewed respect for him because he looked out for her welfare.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Shelly, definitely branch out! I look forward to reading what else you have to write! (Then I can link to it in another post!! We'll help each other here!! :)) Yes, I hope our friend will appreciate what her husband has done for her.....someday!!

Arlyn said...

My experience has been that disagreement turns serious when it comes to investing money or time into prepping. So get agreement from your spouse in these areas BEFORE you buy something or spend a lot of time on it. Prioritize purchases and projects by how critical they are, but also look for things that have "peacetime" usefulness. That will allow some room for your spouse to compromise with you.

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