How To Deal With A Reluctant Spouse
By Rudy Kearney
All too often there’s one parent that catches the ‘Prepping Bug’ and the other parent … doesn’t. If the newly minted prepper is lucky, the spouse will go along with it. For quite a few of you the experience has been a bit different. You’ve gotten reactions along a spectrum of “you want to do what?” to “are you certifiable?” When that’s the sort of response you get, the direct route isn’t going to help. First you have to remember that no matter what, you’re both on the same side. You both have the best interests of your family at heart. Realize that you’re not going to convince your spouse by bullying. You’re not going to convince them by dooming and glooming. The key here is baby steps. And making them those steps their idea instead of yours. Easier said than done!
A great way to go about it is to take a recent occurrence (say Hurricane Sandy) and just have a casual conversation about it. Discuss what the impact would have been if something similar had happened to you. Then ask what your spouse thinks you guys should do about it. And then shut the heck up and listen. Then go do it. As long as it’s reasonable, go do it. Don’t minimize it, even if it’s “we should have a couple extra cans of green beans around” … great idea, go get it done. Have these casual conversations, ask your spouse for their thoughts, and go do it. Together. Several times. Once you’ve done this a few times, then it’s a good time to start making a few extra suggestions. Talk about copy canning, but do it from a financial savings perspective and not a prepping perspective. And so on and so forth.
See often the reluctance is grounded in fear. Fear caused by a natural aversion to the abnormal. Fear from recognizing that things can happen that are out of their control. Fear that you want to be like one of the nutbirds that make the news. But when those extra cans of green beans and the extra bags of rice don’t jump off the shelves, and the news cameras don’t show up, it won’t seem quite so bad. Occasionally your spouse will just shut down and refuse to do anything. At some point you may just have to say “Honey, I believe with all my heart that this is important for our family. I want to do this together, but if you don’t want to participate right now, that’s ok. Let me know if you decide you want to participate.” and move forward with your prepping. If this happens, try to stay low key, but don’t hide it. Don’t go out and spend half a million dollars on a Bug Out Helicopter. And above all, never ever say “I told you so”