When it comes to prepping, there are only a handful of things you can count on.
You can count on inflation.
You can count on ammo shortages.
You can DEFINITELY count on your spouse thinking you’ve lost your flippin’ mind when you first bring up preparing for something like a global pandemic or economic collapse out of the blue.
As a prepper, it’s very important to at least TRY to get your spouse on board with preparedness. The benefits of having two people in the same house with a prepper mindset are enormous. However, it’s pretty rare for two people to get “switched on” at the exact same time. Unless the prepper “talk” is done the right way, it’s very easy for prepping to become something that divides a couple instead of bringing them together. In this article, we’ll explain the best way to get your spouse on board with prepping.
Why couples rarely agree on prepping…at first.
Unless you were raised in a prepared household, there was a defining time when you “woke up”. Something happened; something woke you up that finally got your head out of the sand and made you realize just how fragile our modern lives really are and how reliant we are on outside systems of support. More importantly, something happened to make you think “I need to do…. Something”.
You need to keep in mind that your spouse didn’t have the same realization you did. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone who comes to the world of prepping comes to it for different reasons and in their own time. You can’t force it. If you do, you’re just going to drive them away from REALLY thinking about what being prepared can do for your family.
Do you even NEED to be on the same page?
The short answer to this is no. It isn’t a requirement for you guys to have matching bugout bags and his and hers Glocks in order to have a prepared household. That being said, there are several advantages to having your spouse on board with prepping.
· Couples on the same page rarely argue about the expenses of prepping.
· Couples on the same page can develop even stronger relationships and can learn to effectively work together as a team.
· Couples on the same page can play to each other’s strengths and weaknesses, making them much more prepared together than they would be apart.
· Couples on the same page can watch out for each other better than couples that aren’t.
These are only a few of the advantages of having a spouse that is “tuned in” to prepping. Most importantly, couples that prep together usually tend to stay together. Showing your partner that you care enough to take extra steps to ensure that the life you’ve built together will be there in good times and bad is one of the most effective and honest ways to show your devotion to each other.
How to approach the topic of preparedness
For a lot of preppers, digging into the topic of preparedness with someone can be awkward. If you are new to the preparedness lifestyle, you may even feel a little self-conscious approaching the topic with someone outside of “The Know”. Your spouse is the last person you should feel this way with.
First and foremost, be honest with your spouse. Sure, the Alex Jones TEOTWAWKI scare tactics may work on a lot of people and may be able to help you “convince” your spouse to becoming prepared, but this isn’t about “convincing” or “talking them into” being prepper. If you want to have a partner that you can trust to watch your six, they need to really understand where you’re coming from. Being honest is the only way to make that happen.
Your spouse should be your biggest confidant; and asking them to support and contribute to this lifestyle is asking a lot. Give them the respect they deserve and don’t treat them like one of the “Sheeple”.
There are many reasons why someone might shy away from the idea of being prepared. The most common reason is because of something called “normalcy bias”. Our world has been tailor-made for convenience and designed to prevent you from having to worry about even the most basic of survival needs. Nearly every innovation in the last 100 years was made to make life more convenient. It’s absolutely ingrained into our society that somehow, “everything will work out”.
Trying to convince someone that everything they’ve become accustomed to in life could be washed away in an instant, that their entire life could be shattered with anything from a job loss to a global pandemic isn’t easy. The media, government and society as a whole has been telling them their entire life that “everything will be ok”. If you think you’re going to instantly change that just because you’ve woken up is foolish.
The best way to approach the topic of preparedness is to start small. I promise, going into this conversation with your gas mask on and AR strapped across your back is not a good idea! In order to get someone to start down the road of preparedness you need to make it relatable. Start off with issues that you know you’re going to deal with someday.
· As the old saying goes, the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Do you guys have a will? Do you have sufficient insurance? If you had to gather social security cards, insurance information or even just your list of contacts in the aftermath of a disaster, how long would it take? A proper documentation package is a great first step to being more prepared. .
· Virtually every family in the world will go through a job loss sometime in their working career. Do you have an emergency fund and 3-6 months of income saved up to prepare for that disaster? How much easier would it be to deal with a job loss if you had a years’ worth of food stored? If your car needed repairs, could you pay for it without going farther into debt?
· There is no place on the globe that is immune to natural disasters. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires…the list goes on and on. Hundreds of thousands of families were left without power or access to food and water during Hurricane Sandy alone. Joplin, Missouri was nearly wiped off the map due to a tornado. How prepared are you to deal with a disaster like that?
· How many people have been mugged in your city in the last year? How many homes have been robbed? How many homeowners have been assaulted or worse?
Notice that none of these examples have anything to do with a global pandemic, peak oil, economic collapse or roving hordes of mutant biker gangs. Although these things shouldn’t be discounted – ok maybe you can relax about the mutant bikers – but how much more likely are one of the above disasters compared to your Hollywood disaster? How much more likely is it that your spouse will agree that you should be doing “Something” to mitigate these disasters?
Here are two examples of how to approach prepping with your spouse. Which one do you think would be more effective?
“Hey Hun, I’ve been thinking, I really think we need to build a survival bunker in the backyard and stock it with thousands of guns and MREs because when the superflu kills off most of the population we’ll still be ok. Yes your mother can come but she needs to pull her weight when society rebuilds or else she’s out!”
“Hey Hun, I’ve been thinking, with the way the economy has been lately, I’ve been thinking about what we would do if you or I lost our job. What would you think about cutting back a little bit on our expenses, paying off some debt and maybe even putting aside some money and food just in case something like that were to happen?”
Sometimes it just can’t come from you
This won’t be popular, but for whatever reason, sometimes YOU simply won’t be able to explain prepping to your spouse in a way that’s going to get them on board. You may need to let someone else do it. This author did his best to explain prepping to his spouse and failed…miserably. Eventually, I decided to ask her to listen to an episode of Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast (specifically episode 69 ) After listening to Jack, she did decide that we really did need to do ”Something” to prepare for many of the disasters listed earlier in this post. I alone was unlikely to break through that normalcy bias, but hearing it from someone else (admittedly much more eloquently than I) validated what I was saying.
Sometimes you just have to give them time
A lot of new preppers seem to think that if they don’t convince their spouse to start prepping NOW that somehow it needs to be a huge argument until they finally give in. Not only is this incredibly disrespectful to your partner, it’s a horrible survival tactic. Again, you can’t FORCE someone to the preparedness lifestyle. It has to happen on its own. You can educate and you can communicate, but you can’t force it. If your spouse simply can’t be convinced of their normalcy bias in a respectful way then they’re simply not ready. However, there are still options.
You don’t HAVE to immediately be on the same page. Yes, it’s infinitely more beneficial if you are, but it’s not necessary. As a prepper, you need to take care of your family, and sometimes that means doing it without their help, or even their knowledge. Glen Tate, the author of 299 Days (an amazing preparedness book series BTW) started prepping in secret. He used an off-site storage space to store his preps, met with like-minded people on his own and eventually, with the success of his books, got his wife on board.
Ok, so after nearly 1700 words we hope we’ve shed some light on the importance of communicating with your spouse about preparedness and the best ways to do it. If you’ve already tried and failed to have this conversation in the past, try to be understanding. There was once a time that your head was probably shoulder-deep in the sand too. Be honest with your concerns, be realistic with your plans, and most importantly, be respectful. These are troubled times we live in and we’re very likely to see even worse in the future. You’ll need all the help you can get to prepare, and there’s no better partner than your spouse.