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Prepping when your spouse isn’t a prepper
Prepping when your spouse isn’t a prepper. How do you prep when your spouse isn’t a prepper? I’ll be honest with you. I still struggle with this issue. Nathan isn’t a prepper at heart. He goes along with things and some of it makes sense to him, but we still have very different mindsets on it.
I’ve faced a lot of opposition for my lifestyle choices. Most of the time I don’t really care. But it isn’t always easy either because I have trouble explaining why this lifestyle makes so much sense to me.
There have been times in the last couple of years where my “crazy” prepping habit has paid off. Trust me when I say that I’ve made sure to bring that point home every single time. But it still isn’t an easy thing to do with such opposition.
Here are my tips on prepping when your spouse isn’t a prepper.
When your spouse isn’t a prepper like you are, it takes a ridiculous amount of patience to fight through the opposition. Usually I pick something relatable to explain when asked why I’m doing something. Power outages are the easiest in the winter. Extra blankets and warm clothes are essential. Alternative cooking methods like a barbecue are incredible. I may freeze to death in three feet of snow, but I’ll do it while eating fillet mignon.
House fires are another relatable thing, and the need to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go. Same goes for our cat. I’m not leaving Tigger in the house or just letting him run out. He goes with me, so let’s work to make it an easy process.
Nathan and I are competitive with each other by nature. Having the opportunity to throw out the “I told you so” is beyond difficult not to do. By exercising patience, I can carefully word that to say, here’s why I did all of these things. We can get through the hurdles because of my prepping. Being nice versus bragging makes him more open to what I have to say.
Compromise is required on both sides, and that isn’t always easy. What feels like common sense to me might as well be a foreign language to Nathan. One of the best agreements that Nathan and I have made centers around space. I need more, and lots more for everything I want for preps. But we’ve agreed that if we don’t have the space for it and are already allocated, we don’t buy it. Very simple agreement, and those are my favorite. Because when I do have space and he tries to argue with me, I feel like I’m winning. Again, the competitive nature.
Nathan clearly played Tetris as a child, because he can maximize a space better than anyone I know. Whenever I am going out of town, he packs my vehicle. Or he will pack away my preps when I bring them home from the store and help me determine what else I have room for and how much. This also goes back to the compromise aspect, when we decide that so I’m not exceeding my allotted space.
Another great aspect I’ve found is my freeze dried food. I ask Nathan to try it with me every time a new order arrives at the house. His opinion is important to me, and I’m not making anyone eat food they don’t like. So I need to know in order to change my orders each month.
Being involved in prepping together shows each of you that you care about each other. For me, showing Nathan his opinion matters is important. He shows me that being involved in my passions is important to him.
What doesn’t work
Because I’ve learned what does work, I’ve also learned what doesn’t work.
Spending too much money
Prepping can be an expensive lifestyle, and it is easy to destroy the balance in our bank account. I have a wishlist of things I would love to have, but my bank account tells me no.
This is also a major cause of fights with all couples. Prepping can be done slowly over time, so not to overspend. But it should be something that is talked about too. Be honest with each other.
Nathan and I still discuss all purchases, no matter if he agrees with them or not. There’s no keeping secrets. Sometimes I’ll put my foot down and say I’m doing something no matter what. But I’ll never keep it a secret or lie about it.
Don’t keep secrets
I just talked about this in the previous section, but I think it deserves a section all by itself. Because keeping secrets is just a bad practice to ever get into. I don’t believe in lying, especially about something that is important to me. Building the trust through involvement is a much more productive use of my time.
Working toward prepping together is my goal. Keeping secrets doesn’t advance that goal by any stretch of the imagination. It can make a spouse more resentful toward you and the steps you’re taking to be better prepared.
Don’t be a jerk
Everybody makes their own choices. Don’t belittle your spouse because they don’t quite understand your need to prep. That’s honestly ok that they don’t quite get it yet. In time, it will make sense. Right now with the Coronavirus going on and shorages, it is pretty easy to explain. But that may not have been a reasonable conversation six months ago.
Also don’t throw scenarios that are not likely at someone who doesn’t prep. The end of the world scenes play in every preppers head. But talking to someone who can’t imagine that just turns them off to prepping in general. Use circumstances that will make sense to the person you’re talking to.
Prepping when your spouse isn’t a prepper isn’t an easy task. In my mind, I’m doing the absolute best thing I possibly can for my family. But it is seen as crazy at times, or paranoid. I’ve had people call me paranoid many times.
It is difficult when something makes complete sense to me, but is viewed as crazy by everyone else. But that isn’t a reason to stop doing it or to allow the opposition to control my choices. That’s why I started slowly and tried to explain my choices in ways that make the most sense.
This is always a learning experience for me, but I feel like I’ve grown as a person from it as well and I love that.
How do you prep when your spouse isn’t a prepper? Tell me about it in the comments. You can also read more prepping tips here.