Prepping With A Reluctant Partner
Adam, Do you really believe you are not doing the things you should be doing because of your wife's social anxiety? Being a stumbling block would be understandable if she just plain disagreed with you, but she is creating obstacles because preparing might make her look 'all weird?'
The real issue here isn't even about preparing it is about having a histrionic reaction to the very idea of losing social ground. You need to get that sorted out. Whew. Hard for you.
Its not about social ground. She's not a socialite (quite the opposite)
I described her social anxiety to explain what I believe is an issue related to her discomfort about having a husband who wants to store food.
I probably misrepresented her a bit. She isn't off wasting money on shoes. She is actually relatively practical in the traditional sense. But not a peak prosperity sense.
Okay, I am confused. I thought Adam posted this. Sorry. Secondly, I was born with an anxiety disorder. Was hospitalized with it as a teen, so I understand anxiety, shyness, etc…very well.
Perhaps the term 'social ground' was the wrong term. I am using it very broadly. There is nothing in your post that indicates your wife is a shopaholic socialite and I am sorry if I inadvertently insulted you.
People who are socially anxious, like I was when I was younger are generally afraid of losing social ground, as in …looking stupid, not good enough, creepy weird. An over the top, or histrionic reaction to social embarrassment needs to be addressed, usually through counselling as it isn’t conducive to happiness. It seemed to me to be the primary problem.
Perhaps I'm overstating this social anxiety thing. In my medical opinion (as a salesman), she doesn't have a disorder that is crippling, although it probably does affect her overall happiness. The issues we deal with are pretty standard I think. She doesn't want to invite friends over unless the house is spotless because it reflects on her as a homemaker. She doesn't want people to think we are different or weird. She even makes me call to order the pizza because she prefers not to talk to someone on the phone if she doesn't have to. She's not incapable (she worked in marketing for 10 years). I think she is a little more socially conscious than most, but not far outside of the bands of normal.
I do think it's something she can work on to be happier. But with two kids under 3, 'ain't nobody got time for that shit.' (Having fun with the quotes).
I should also say that social anxiety isn't the ONLY reason she thinks prepping is stupid. She genuinely thinks I'm overly pessimistic. From her perspective, the world keeps turning, people go to work, have kids, and live their lives regardless of geopolitics, or the stock market. Maybe this is a failure of imagination that the generations alive today currently suffer from (what could happen?), or maybe it's a lack of historical empathy (the inability to imagine yourself in the shoes of a late 18th century citizen in Paris.
Anyway, not looking to extend my spotlight here. Just wanted to explain.
Having a partner who disagrees is common. And how I chose to deal with it isn't necessarily right. I would be interested in hearing what others have done to prep without permission.
I suppose it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission 😉
I understand this too from a different perspective. I was raised in a small community. Then I graduated mid-term Senior year, went to Boot Camp MCRD San Diego. Came home in time to graduate with my class.
Then uncle Sam ships me off to be a “UN Peacekeeper” in Beirut, Lebanon. Things were completely the opposite of what I experienced growing up. Anxiety set in and has never left.
Here I set this morning 50+, been working full-time since I was 15. I do not have two nickles to rub together. Was framing for a Contractor in 2009 near Fishers,IN. Building a house for one of the Colts Players. (What single guy really needs an 18,000 sq ft house on the water??)
I am a 4x Combat Vet USMC, serious back injuries that VA will not address. Give me more Oxies and send in the next stooge.
My worst anxiety centers around my PTSD. I was a Recon Marine. I am not proud of things I have done or the puppeteers that pulled my strings. We the People, must speak up now or everything is lost.
Chris, I would love to come to Rowe… but if I can't convince my wife that buying a little more gold is necessary, there is no way I'm going to convince her to fly to MA for some conference she thinks is bologna. I probably couldn't even talk her into letting me fly out by myself (leaving her with two kids to deal with while I'm sitting around a campfire with my crazy prepper friends).
Let me know if you ever wind up in Chicago for a talk.
Before the economic crisis and before I discovered Peak Prosperity my wife almost ended a friendship with a couple who were among our best friends because the husband was into prepping, including being armed. A particularly awful argument during a dinner ended with my wife's accusation of "Well, when the world ends, and I come up your driveway with our children looking for food are you going to shoot us in cold blood?"
Needless to say, when I began to see the importance of being prepared I had to take small steps. Initially, I began by making sure we had days, then increased to weeks, supplies of the food, water, medicines and things we used every day. Then I moved into trying to learn skills that would be important. Eventually my wife caught on to what I was doing and we had to have the "discussion". She finally accepted that this was important to me and therefore she would grudgingly let me continue. Reluctant allowance eventually grew to acceptance, the highlight of which was allowing me to purchase a property, which we use as a summer retreat, but which also has the capability of being a secure "bug out" location. Since that purchase she has agreed to a number of projects to make the place more secure, sustainable and livable, even if the grid collapses.
The discussions to get to this point were not always easy. We are not wealthy so the aspect of having to choose between "normal life" projects and prepping projects is always present. Our trust of each other, grown over a thirty year relationship, was the cementing bond which made this work. She had to trust when I said "this is important, we need to do it" and I had to trust when she would say "this is enough for now, we have to focus on something else for the moment."
We have come a long way. I still have projects in mind that she thinks are too far "out there." But on the other hand, when I began talking about trying to get a concealed carry permit (very difficult in our jurisdiction) she not only agreed but has been poking at me to begin the process.
I understand your position Macro. I am very uncomfortable speaking about other folks relationships but I will venture onto thin ice here. Continue the preps in a way that does not upset your wife. Many things we can do are actually prudent planning for the future, collapse or not. The only advice I would venture to give, is to love your wife, support her, and your children. Let her see that you are there to encourage her, protect her, console her in her fears. Continue to give her reasons to understand that she can trust you and depend on you. From that trust many doors can open.
Thank you for sharing that. The best thing we can do to counter the petrodollar propaganda is to hear from brave and ethical people like you. Thank you for fighting the real battle and helping us to see the truth.
Wow. This discussion hits home. I feel like I've been swimming against the tide for quite a while. I am 71, and live up north in Vermont. I was part of the "back to the earth" group in the late 60's and so got a great headstart on selfsufficiency with the emphasis on SELF, as the only source of support for us hippies was the Whole Earth Catalog, progenitor of the internet. Fresh out of college, all I knew was how to learn and thankfully, there were still enough of the old time yankee farmers around, so I laid myself at their feet to learn a new way of life, one that I'd never been exposed to. I will say that some of them were highly amused, but patiently withstood my questions and became fast friends. We rallied, built a house and out buildings and grew most of our food, raised chickens, turkeys and pigs and hunted deer. We heated with wood and had very few expenses. Local friends taught us how to slaughter and butcher the meat and how to can and preserve the vegetables. It was a very satisfying way of life and a good introduction to a way of living that I knew nothing about. Children on the way made us realize that we actually had to earn some money, so I got a construction job pounding nails. I followed a long held desire and went to blacksmithing school in Santa Fe, learned welding at a community college. Working from my home, I considered myself pretty self sufficient. The only problem was not knowing what I didn't know. I had no savings and had to start out again after a divorce. Thankfully, my first two children were well on their way having benefitted from a close family lifestyle with both parents present. Though I had practical and intellectual capital and 30 years experience, I knew nothing about saving money and how to prepare for older age (not retirement) or deal with an aging body that wouldn't do what my mind wanted, so I went on a self driven crash course and eventually found this site which suits my needs well. But to come back to the present discussion, I find that almost no one wants to face the reality of coming hard times. If ignorance is bliss, there are alot of blissful people out there. I've become a silent and stalwart prepper. My wife doesn't understand the real reasons for my preparations, but actually recently thanked me for what I've done as she can see value in it. I'm stacking all the PMs I can get my hands on, as it gives me comfort and I've been working on the deep pantry concept for a while. I have few people to compare notes with and come to this site often as it fulfills that need and keeps me on track. Thank you Chris and Adam, what you've built here is a great community service, perhaps greater than you know.
[quote] Many things we can do are actually prudent planning for the future, collapse or not. [/quote]
There will always be ups and downs even when things are "normal".
Ancient wisdom tells us to use the good times to prepare for the lean times.
Keep at it, one project or purchase at a time, and your progress will add up.