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.
13 thoughts on “Prepping When Your Spouse Isn’t a Prepper”
This is a very thoughtful article. I’ve read similar advice on other topics – e.g. what to do if you are frugal but your spouse isn’t. The advice is quite universal, so I think your post is applicable to many different situations, even beyond prepping.
I especially like how you emphasise not lying to your partner – that’s essential for a healthy relationship.
Based on the recent state of affairs my wife is coming around to the side of being a bit more prepared just in case. She laughed when I bought toilet paper and picked up extra chicken each time I went out but now we are slightly more prepared than others. People, unfortunately, compare prepping with hoarding prior to the pandemic. I believe many more people will be coming over to the side of prepping. It always helps to be open with your spouse though I assume it’s kind of hard to hide the fact that you prep when all of sudden there is a wall of paper towels in the basement. I have really begun to dig deep into your articles of late.
I think any choices can seem ‘crazy” or unreasonable if you don’t know what’s happening. Your post hits the point exactly — it’s so important to talk about it. Helping others understand why you have to do certain things and for others to be open-minded about it and really listen may take some time, but at the end it’s a much easier way to live. Sounds like you and your husband have found a very balanced way that respects both of your perspectives. I don’t think I’ll ever be a prepper in the way you are, but reading your posts have definitely helped me to realize that it’s a good idea for me to pay more attention to having a stock of certain things and preparing in other ways for moments like this.
I feel you on this post! I’m a prepper and it is very hard to not say ‘ I told you so’ after you were right about prepping stuff lol. These points you gave are super true and so timely, especially in this Covid-19 pandemic
Providing both partners have a healthy respect for each other’s viewpoints and recognize rights to pursue what is important to each person, hopefully, this (like any other matter) should be able to be talked through reasonably. So long as you both share the same values about what you believe is fundamental to living and your relationship, there should not be any reason why a workable compromise can’t be reached. I definitely agree that it would be extremely counter-productive to ever mention the ‘I told you’ phrase!
No secrets and discussion are my basics for family life as well. I think it doesn’t really matter if you are a prepper or have any other views for life (including hobbies actually) attitude is.
Wow. This is really good! And I mean it can apply to a lot of things and not just prepping. But I can’t believe that people call you crazy. I’d like to see where those people are right now when you have all the food and paper products you need and they, like myself, are scrambling all over the place trying to provide for our families!
In any case, it’s great that your husband and you consider each other when dealing with different likes and dislikes. It almost makes me want to move in! Lol
Haha I completely get this. I am such a prepper and organiser…sometimes to much so for my own good xx
Great tips! Communication is such an important factor for every relationship, prepper or not. We’re never going to see eye to eye 110%. That’s just not the nature of a relationship – After all, each relationship is made of 2 different people with their own individual personalities and outlooks on life.
Good to know that works too! I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.
It’s always good when both partners are not similar. There can be a healthy discussion and reasoning could solve the disagreement. At this time of pandemic I am sure he will agree more with you without disagreement most of the time. In today’s world prepping is a must to some extent as you never know what is awaiting us in the future.
I had no idea you were in this solo! THAT is hard, I’d agree. I know how much I go round and round with my husband on the things I love that he wants no part of–even things we started out doing together that he’s outgrown–I feel for you. The positive part about being a couple is also keeping hold of your individuality and this is one of those times. Do what’s important to you and if he’s not into it, that’s ok. Sometimes when they see you going it alone, they will migrate towards wanting to be involved…often times it’s simply a battle of wits and a control issue with men in particular. I know this all too well sadly.
I’m sure it takes a lot of patience when your spouse isn’t a prepper, and you are. Both my husband, and I are not preppers, but we have had many discussions on prepping, and being better prepaped for situations. Patience is key I am sure. Of course just being able to discuss these issues, and have a better understanding of where your spouse is coming from would also be beneficial. This is a great post for those who may be struggling with any of these issues. Thank you for sharing.