How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

How To Deal With A Reluctant Spouse

reluctant_spouseAll 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”

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4 Responses to How To Deal With A Reluctant Spouse

  1. My wife is not a prepper. We have been grocery shopping and she is like, “Why do you always get 5 cans of one veggie when we still have 3 at home?” It has gotten to the point she thinks I am wasting money and that need to get “approval” to purchase everyday home items. I got her once though. It was during the holidays and we ran out of cooking oil and of course all of the stores, except Walgreens, were closed. I said to check the pantry and sure enough there was an extra bottle. I did a, “thank God I have this crazy prepper mentality”. I sort of got the evil stare. But I do have to say time does help. She is not so questionable about having 3 large boxes of Minute Rice any more or the 10 cans of chicken.

  2. Good post. I originally had to start prepping alone. My husband might have thought I was nuts but he just left me alone about it. Then as he started following the news more closely, he got on board with it. We just rendered tallow for the first time yesterday.

  3. This article has to hit very close to home for many of us. Lucky is the Prepper who’s spouse preps too!

    The tough part is the realization that your spouse may never get on board. As obvious as it seems to us, some people refuse to acknowledge that anything bad might ever happen. And regardless of what goes on in the world or the conversations you have, they continue to stick their head in the sand.

    And perhaps, those are the people that need us most.

  4. My hubs isn’t a Prepper, he also isn’t the shopper. I have always done the grocery and household shopping. We have a big family and he’s used to seeing large quantities come in because even before I decided to really do food storage I shopped sales and with coupons to save money and stocked enough of one thing to gets us to the next sale. It took one shopping trip of us together me with 3 overflowing carts of groceries to his one half full to drive my point home. I spent the same amount he did for 6x the amount of groceries and household stuff. He hasn’t ran out of shaving cream in 2 years and won’t for another 3 and I haven’t bought any in 2 years.
    We did discuss prepping and while I got that are you nuttier than usual stare we came to an agreement. He does like guns and men love their toys. So he is responsible for any guns, knives, archery equipment and hunting supplies. He gets to pick them out provided he stocks my minimum amounts of ammo and such. In return I get to spend the same amount of money on things I want to “prep” for example his recent crossbow purchase gave me leeway to buy the kerosene heater I wanted and the canning pot. We save for the large purchases and discuss before we buy and he knows that I constantly pick up other things here and there cheaply and in return for his lack of whining he gets the video games and movies he wants when they come out without my complaint.
    He still thinks I’m nuts but he also has seen it pay off for our family many times over in many ways. He was out of work for several months once and then it took a few paycheck a to catch up on bills and in the mean time we never had to run to the store for anything because we already had it. We also frequently have people drop in on us to visit unannounced and its great knowing I can make enough food or even put out a full spread without running to the store.
    He’s come around more recently after listening to a few conversations I’ve had with other like minded friends and family and realized its not as crazy as it sounds to want to be prepared for anything and everything that life throws your way. Then again I have always had the prepared or and expect the worst mentality, that way I am never disappointed and I am occasionally pleasantly surprised. I will say that the #1 key to getting someone else on board is communication and not the doom and gloom apocalyptic talk. You could always let the bathroom run out of TP for a few days and wait until they run out and buy a few econo sized packages realizing they never want to run out again lol!!!