Prepping With A Reluctant Partner

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  • Thu, Mar 30, 2017 - 05:29am

    #31

    SagerXX

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    No, you wouldn’t…

…want your wife to see it.  

But it is a worthy diversion.  Mr. Shannon was in another movie last year (same director) where the viewer is challenged to decide if the protagonist[s] is[are] crazy.  (Midnight Special)  Then again, in the latter film, his wife is of the same mind as he is.  Different kind of story.

Viva — Sager

  • Thu, Mar 30, 2017 - 12:33pm

    #32

    apismellifera

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    I heartily agree re: “Take Shelter”

"Take Shelter" is of my favorite recent movies, (and not just because of the subject matter). The acting was terrific, especially Jessica Chastain. 

  • Thu, Mar 30, 2017 - 06:20pm

    #33
    macro2682

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    Take Shelter

Just watched the trailer and read the Wiki spoiler… there's no way I'm suggesting that one for movie night.  

It's so frustrating to me that the Hollywood analogy is to bring in the mystic stuff (visions of a storm, fantastical blood-like rain, and a protagonist with a history of schizophrenia).

people that think like I/we do are not crazy. And I don't say that from a defensive position.  We don't have visions.  We are not predicting anything epic or spiritual.

The standpoint at Peak Prosperity (as I understand it) is one of pure factual concern and practical preparation.  Debt IS (by definition) future consumption taken today.  Exponential growth IS (by definition) impossible with finite resources.  Having a deep pantry is perfectly practical and cost neutral.  Having a few weeks of fresh water is a no brainer.  Solar panels, smart budgeting, good insulation, building community, practicing resilience… these are all low opportunity cost exercises!  The ONLY reason one has for not pursuing them is social anxiety and/or cognitive dissonance. 

If you can't afford it, fine… start with budgeting better or trying to increase your income (also very practical things to be doing).  If "prepping" (really hate that word) takes time away from your job or kid, then by all means get your sh*t together (your job is probably your biggest asset, so don't take risks with it).

But if you've got an hour each night to watch the Real Housewives or Bachelor in Paradise, then there's really no reason you shouldn't let your husband take up the hobby of making practical improvements to your family's safety.

 

 

 

  • Fri, Mar 31, 2017 - 04:08am

    #34

    sand_puppy

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    WaterDog mentioned “Tribulation”

I took that as a recommendation and downloaded Tribulation to my Kindle.   It has an awesome start.  Oh Yeah!  I was hooked by the end of the first page.

Of course I remember how it happened. Every one of us who was alive back then remembers exactly how our world ended. We had for years expected every day to be just like the last one, and then one day, just like that, it was the last one.

Surprised? Not really. No more than a 100-year-old man is surprised when death comes, or a deer when the headlights finally arrive. We knew it was going to happen, and spent our whole lives acting as though it were not. Hoping that we would be dead before it came. Age-based optimists, we called ourselves. Gallows humor. Every one of us who lived through it knew, instantly – the second we grasped the enormity of what was happening – that we were the ones who had done it. We had lived lives of depraved indifference, of luxury unimagined in eons of human existence, apparently believing (if we thought about it at all) that the bills would never come due. We had allowed ourselves to become fatally distracted from reality.

 

Brian called early that morning, the day it all started to come apart. It was a beautiful mild day in late spring, about this time of year but not as hot as it is these days. We used to have slower springs, and gentler rains.

 

Dad, we’re on the way to the Farm. You should come, too.”

“Really? You mean to stay?”

“Listen. They just released the latest computer models for the hurricane. And they all agree, it’s coming ashore west of New Orleans and tracking straight up the Mississippi River.”

“Damn.” I stared out the window of my little retirement bungalow on the PGA golf course in New Market, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and thought about Brian heading west on I-66 from his place in Northern Virginia.

“You’re in the car?”

“Yep. Me and the kids.”

“No Kathryn?”

“Of course not. I tried to tell her how this thing could take out the Old River Control Structure, break the Mississippi clean out of its bed. Tried to explain what that could mean. But when it comes to this stuff, she just will not listen.”

“Well. No doubt she’s thinking of the last time.”

“Oh yeah, she brought that up. ‘You’re absolutely sure,’ she says, ‘like you were sure that when Iran closed the Strait Of Hormuz, it would crash the economy? You holed us up at the Farm for nearly a month that time. Took the kids out of school. Damn near lost me my job and yours too.’ Yeah, that was embarrassing. Nobody thought they could reopen the channel that fast.”

“So how’d you leave it?”

“We’re going for the weekend, I’m under orders to have the kids back Sunday night.”

“Are you going to?”

“We’ll see.”

“Holy crap, Brian, you could get in real trouble,”

“Dad, we are in real trouble. Everything is breaking down. Food, water, electricity. All the systems are right on the verge of crashing. If this hurricane does what it looks like it’s going to do, we’re toast.”

“Pretty big if, Brian.”

“Yeah. So I’m going to do what I gotta do, and I want you to turn on the Weather Channel and pay close attention to what they’re saying about Hurricane Seven. Then I want you to Google the Old River Control Structure, and the flood of 1973. Okay? Will you do that?”

“I’ll do that. But Brian…”

“Not now, Dad. I’ve got to get going. If I’m wrong… again… then fine, I’ll eat the crow. If I’m right, I’ll see you at the Farm."
 

  • Fri, Mar 31, 2017 - 11:09am

    #35
    treebeard

    treebeard

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    The bigger point……

………of course is to live sustainably.  Because we haven't, that is why we are in the mess we are in.  If we're just into prepping, then what is the point?  Survive this mess we have created so we can then start the same crap all over again?

And what is the foundation of living sustainably?  Don't take more then we give, don't exploit the people and the world around us.  Don't live a self centered life, pay attention to those around us, listen and look at people with our full attention.  Open our hearts to the world.  Live with compassionate awareness.

Living in fear of what might be leads to very bad decisions, because fear shrinks awareness and separates us from those around us.  If we can't handle what may happen in the future, how are we going to help those around us face the same possibilities? 

Rather than saying to those around us, "hey, we need to prepare because the world as we know it is about to come to an end", how about, "hey, lets not live a petty small minded self centered life, lets live a life with dignity, love and respect for all the life around us".  We need to transform ourselves before we can think about reaching out to others.  But that is not a process we need to do alone, lets do it together, that changes the dynamic in relationships all together.

  • Fri, Mar 31, 2017 - 11:48am

    #36

    sand_puppy

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    We are both prepping, but towards different visions

Both my wife and I are preparing for the future.

We share many values: and a commitment to each other, to the Earth itself, to our children and to other human beings and living creatures that we have not personally met.

But we each "prep" for different visions of the future.

 

 

 

  • Fri, Mar 31, 2017 - 12:14pm

    #37
    peter31

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    Thanks for a great post

Macro2682, thanks so much for your post.  My relationship with my wife is very similar.  We married in 1998, and until 2008 I barely thought at all about the long term sustainability of Energy, the Economy and the Environment.  That’s really the only way you can hold mainstream views: by not thinking about them too deeply.  When you start thinking about things like perpetual exponential economic growth and depleting oil reserves, you end up going down a rabbit hole of doubt from which you emerge a year or two later, shaken and considerably weirder than when you went in, which is basically what happened to me in 2008.

 

Over the last nine years I have tried to share this with my wife many times, but made almost no progress.  At first I thought the things I could see, like, it’s physically and mathematically impossible to have perpetual economic growth, were so obvious that anyone would be able to see them with a little prompting, but I quickly realised that this is not the case.  When I tried to discuss these things with my wife she either blocked the discussion, changed the subject or got angry.  There’s no point continuing to beat your head against a wall when it’s clear the wall isn’t going to give way, so I have resigned myself to prepping in semi-secret.  What I mean is that when we do sensible things like move to a safe place to live (rural area, low population density, lots of farming and fishing) I say it’s because I like the area, not because it’s safe.  When I grow food and herbal medicines in the garden, I say it’s because I like gardening.  When I join in community events like playing music, I say it’s because I like to play music, not because I’m trying to build social capital.  Those are all acceptable reasons for doing what we need to do without creating arguments.

 

There are some things which can’t be explained away, like buying gold or writing this comment on this blog, and for those I have to adopt an almost paranoid level of secrecy, because if my wife found out she would be furious, not only about what I’m doing, but the fact that I’m concealing it from her.  I would love to be open with her, but that’s not possible right now, so prepping in secret is the next best thing although it’s a very poor substitute.  So I keep any incriminating programs, websites, login details and documents inside a password protected folder on my computer which looks outwardly innocuous.  I clear my browser flush regularly.  I use separate email software, email accounts and Web browsers for “normal” and “prepping related” activities.  I have a separate credit card for prepping related purchases, which I top up with cash.  I keep our gold (because it is hers as well as mine) under the insulation in our loft.  It’s probably like having an affair, although I wouldn’t really know because I’ve never had one.

 

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And the future?  I’m not optimistic.  I think, like macro2682, that the more obvious things become, the more my wife will deny them and become anxious and/or depressed.  I mean, they’re pretty obvious already aren’t they – how much more obvious do they need to be?  So I feel I have a duty to prepare on behalf of both of us in case she can’t/won’t do what she needs to do when the time comes.

  • Fri, Mar 31, 2017 - 05:10pm

    #38
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

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    Fascinating! The gender gap is an abyss.

I don't think I have ever been more captivated by a PP/Resilience thread as I have by this one. Over forty years ago, I took my wife kicking and screaming(perhaps I exaggerate) to live in the country. After five kids and a life of killing chickens, canning, dirt turning, composting, patching clothes, repairing used equipment, building a house and other sundry domestic requirements of this lifestyle, would she ever move back to the city? Not a chance. My wife never passes a mirror without stopping to check if things are acceptable, still flings my socks at me when they're on the floor, boots me out of the kitchen when I cramp her style, second guesses me on everything and cries when I do it to her and, in general, can be a virtual pain in the ass. One is more than I can handle, but I don't know what I would do without her. Relationships are like a mismatched pair of socks; they may look out of place, but still do a good job if your feet are cold and occasionally, they have to be mended!  I posit this: is your relationship sustainable or is it sufficient? It's all about attitude.

  • Fri, Mar 31, 2017 - 05:24pm

    #39
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    To peter31

Peter31,
This strikes me as an unacceptable level of subterfuge. If she had reason to be concerned about you in the past, as in you had a mental illness, it’s understandable. Otherwise, it’s unfair.

Many men here seem to be labouring under a sad reality that goes beyond prepping. Women hide behind ‘feminism’ as a justification for creating power imbalances that are tilted in their own favor..

Don’t fall for this. It’s as bad as old style male chauvinism. Establish balance and egalitarianism in your partnerships and demand the respect you deserve. If you are preparing in a reasonable way, without becoming wild eyed and obsessed, you deserve love affection and devotion for doing that. Don’t accept less.

  • Fri, Mar 31, 2017 - 05:24pm

    #40
    macro2682

    macro2682

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    peter31 wrote:So I keep any

[quote=peter31]

So I keep any incriminating programs, websites, login details and documents inside a password protected folder on my computer which looks outwardly innocuous.  I clear my browser flush regularly.  I use separate email software, email accounts and Web browsers for “normal” and “prepping related” activities.  I have a separate credit card for prepping related purchases, which I top up with cash.  I keep our gold (because it is hers as well as mine) under the insulation in our loft.  It’s probably like having an affair, although I wouldn’t really know because I’ve never had one.

[/quote]

My wife knows that I subscribe to a blog, but I sold it to her as a news aggregator that saves me from having to read a bagillion financial articles to stay current.  She knows there's a theme to this place, but I think she looks the other way because at least it's less cynical than ZeroHedge.  But if she knew that I posted details about my life and relationship, yes, she'd be pissed.  And I don't blame her, it's (on some level) disloyal.

I'm careful never to hide money from her.  I'd rather live unprepared than live with a secret that could ruin my marriage.

There are really three reasons why our wives are so against the idea of "prepping."

1.) Thinking about this stuff is a downer to them. It's uncomfortable to prepare for something horrible (regardless of how confident you are it will happen).  This is why so many seemingly smart people put off writing a will, or scheduling a colonoscopy.  

2.) Social anxiety.  "Prepping" has been framed by the media as being abnormal.  And our wives don't want people to think they are abnormal. Its why I get yelled at for inviting friends over when the house isn't spotless.  It's why sometimes women don't want to  go out in public because they are "feeling fat" today.  This isn't just something that plagues women – we all (to some degree) care what others think.

3.) Most importantly… our wives are thinking in binary terms. "Either my husband is completely mainstream, or he is a crazy cammo Duck Dynasty prepper."  They get worried when you buy a few ounces of gold that next week you will want to liquidate the 401k.  They are worried that if they let you put solar panels on the house that next week you will want to build a gun bunker.  

This third point is reasonable… Some people take this stuff too far.  But it's insulting to me that my wife thinks I would be one of those people. It makes me feel like she doesn't even know me.  I am INFINITELY logical, and she knows that.  

Anyway, I feel bad for you having to live with a true secret.  It takes a lot of mental energy to live with that on your shoulders, and nobody will ever appreciate you for it.  I prefer to hide my secrets in broad daylight, so when they get noticed, I'm not persecuted for it.

 

 

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