When you first start prepping, there are usually a lot of things that slow you down and cause you to have some issues; lack of knowledge, lack of storage space, lack of financial ability, etc. All of these things can seriously inhibit the ability of a new prepper to start making inroads and getting things prepared.
Unfortunately, one of the most common issues new preppers face is a spouse that has a differing opinion on the necessity of prepping or worse yet, has a downright negative attitude about it. Perhaps your spouse watched an episode of Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo and thinks preppers are all nuts, or perhaps your spouse simply doesn’t believe anything requiring prepping will ever happen to them. Most commonly, it is more of a lack of understanding than a genuine dislike that keeps spouses out of the prepping movement.
So how do you get a reluctant spouse to get involved in prepping? This is the million dollar question! By the way, if you use the answers I post here and you want to give me a million bucks for helping you out, just email me and we’ll talk! 😉
It’s Preparing for a possible Emergency/Disaster, not for the End of the World
One thing that keeps spouses from being interested in prepping is a lack of understanding as to WHY you are prepping. I was already a prepper when my wife and I met, but she never really paid any attention to it. Although we never discussed it, I later found out that she thought I was a little cuckoo to prep like I do. As it turns out, she was planning to sit me down for a serious talk but never got the chance, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. We weren’t there, we are up near Chicago, but she watched as the people looted stores in water up to their chests trying to get water and a bit of food. She listened to the news stories about the violence at the Super Dome and saw the video of the people on top of their roof begging for rescue. She looked at me and said “I get it now.”
It’s About the Family
One way to get your spouse involved in prepping is to make it a family event that everyone will enjoy. Make up “Getaway Bags” for your kids and family and use them to make a quick getaway for the weekend to rough it outdoors! One of the best ways to get your spouse to back you in something is to make it enjoyable and to incorporate it into “family time”. There are also a lot of other benefits to this approach such as increased family cohesion, increased family happiness and the chance to have a lot of fun!
Your Spouse’s Opinion Counts
One great way to get your spouse interested in prepping is to start asking their opinion on things prepper related. If you are simply issuing orders or handling everything yourself, your spouse will never get the opportunity to get a feel for what you are doing. If your spouse has never been involved in prepping, you should start with important family questions. Questions like “If you had to eat one of these two MRE’s, which would you want?” are probably not going to get your spouse involved. However, questions like: “In the event of an emergency, where you or I am unable to care for the kids, who should take them?” will definitely get some attention. Letting your spouse help decide where in the house you will bunker down in an emergency will also go a long way to bring your spouse into the fold. Once the questions start coming in, your spouse will either join in and start prepping or tell you they still aren’t interested. Hey, it’s not for everyone.
Give Them Time
Although my wife gained a lot of understanding about prepping watching the drama of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she still wasn’t actively participating. I certainly didn’t get the dirty looks or the loud sighs when I bought stuff, but I also wasn’t getting any help. When I decided to write my book, Plan and Prep: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, I asked my wife to proofread it from time to time and asked for her opinions on the concepts in the book and how I have delivered them to the reader. This gave her an opportunity to not only read about prepping, but also to take that information and process it into her own words. After a while, she was coming up with her own ideas on things that should be in the book or ways I could write things so that a non-prepper would understand them better.
Now I know not everyone is writing a prepper book, at least I hope not because that would really kill my sales, but this is an avenue that may help you get your spouse involved. Take articles from American Preppers Network or books like mine and find parts of the book that you can ask your spouse to read and give an opinion on. Something like “Honey, can you please read this and tell me what you think it means?”, or “I read something really neat in this book, can I show you?” can slowly bring a non-prepper around to the dark side.
It’s Not for Everyone
Although in a perfect world your spouse will come around and start prepping with you and enjoying it just like you…that may not be the case in the real world. Prepping is like any other activity in human existence; some people just don’t like it, don’t care for it, don’t enjoy it, don’t understand it or won’t even give it a try. For some it may be the fact that to start prepping is to start thinking of possible scenarios that are unpleasant, others don’t like the sense of not being in complete control of their lives. Maybe your spouse thinks it’s a waste of time or energy because of a belief that nothing bad will ever happen that necessitates the prepping lifestyle. For whatever your spouse’s reasons, trying to change that opinion will possibly just push your spouse further away. Instead you will need to embrace that opinion and continue prepping on your own.
Years from now, if you’re lucky, your spouse can look at you and wink and say “I told you there was no reason to prep”. When that happens, you can smile back and know that although nothing happened, you were always prepared.