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Dealing with a spouse / significant other who thinks prepping is nuts

Hello!  I wanted to reach out to this community to:

a) see if anybody else has a spouse or significant other who thinks you’re crazy because you’re a prepper?  (I can’t imagine I’m the only one *eye roll*).

b) hear how you all handle this dynamic in your relationships.

My husband thinks I’m nuts.  He calls me a hoarder, he calls me crazy / insane, he things the entire thing is absolutely bonkers.

He also thinks COVID-19 is completely overblown and it is a constant struggle between us because he wants his family to come up and visit constantly from out of state without quarantine or testing.  His family does very little to protect themselves from being infected – I’m shocked none of them have gotten sick yet. 

I feel the complete opposite from my husband and want to do everything I can to keep my kids, my husband, myself and my family and friends safe and healthy.  I don’t want to get this thing, even though our age doesn’t put us at high risk.  There is so little known about this virus – it is unpredictable in how individuals react to infection and many people are “long haulers”.  To me it comes down to self control (which my husband and his family completely lack) – this isn’t the end of the world, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I want all of us to emerge from that tunnel healthy and whole.  And if that means giving up some things for a bit longer, I think that is totally worth it.  

So to be fair, I guess I think my husband’s crazy as well? HAHA  At least the feeling is mutual?

I guess this post turned into a bit of a vent, but mostly very interested to hear how others deal with this in their own personal lives.  Curious if there’s any wisdom I can adopt to better deal with the friction between my husband and I related to COVID and prepping in general.

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  • Comments (32)

    • 5

      My husband is definitely annoyed with my prepping even though he’s a bit of a prepper himself, with two major differences:

      I was raising the alarm with everyone I knew about covid a full month before it was on anyone’s radar (in the US) as a threat.

      our son has an autoimmune disorder that would make catching covid very very bad.  

      because I was right about covid and got dismissed (I still get about 1-2 text messages per week of people slowly coming to terms with this virus saying “I thought you were crazy”, “we made fun of you”, “I didn’t believe you when you said this would last for years”) and because I am on top of developments, my husband has sort of let me lead our approach wrt covid. Prior to this he was extremely annoyed with me stockpiling freeze dried food.  

      because our son has an autoimmune disorder that specifically affects his respiratory system and He has a great specialist, i stockpiled about six months of his prescription respiratory meds in mid February. This caused much grumping from my husband about having to pay out of pocket.   As you can probably guess, these are medicines that are not available now and have been in and out of supply for nearly a year.  I have been able to keep my stockpile at about three months.  

      The rest of my family is so anti masking they gather on purpose just to prove a point.  With your husband, you won’t change his mind immediately , but if you keep exposing him to information about covid (it is now thought to cause male infertility) maybe he can be swayed.  Bringing up information in a non accusatory or smug way can help people who are in denial. Best of luck!  

    • 5

      LMNOt and Frenchiepants, I am sorry that your family has been on a different page about prepping and covid than you are. It is only natural to at times let in those feelings and thoughts of “Am I crazy? Am I going too overboard?” The Prepared’s articles about sane prepping sure has helped me to personally feel that I am doing the right thing for my family and myself. 

      Luckily, my wife has been onboard with me for most of my prepping, but especially since covid hit and we almost didn’t have food there for a bit when there were rushes on the grocery stores. Sometimes it takes a disaster for people to wake up. 

      Hopefully you’ll never come to the point where a disaster hits and the food storage that you stocked up is the only thing keeping your family from starving. You’ll probably want to rub it in your husband’s face and say I TOLD YOU SO!, but keep your cool and just know that everyone has different ideas, beliefs, and interests. Maybe one day they will come around and see things as you see it, but if not just be content and happy with the decision you make.

      I would recommend against showing news articles and other resources to try and convince them to change their mind and join you. While the news article might make so much sense that there is no way that anyone in their right mind could possibly not be a prepper because of it, others just don’t think that way and in my experience won’t see it as you do. Unfortunately i’ve had to just accept that I can’t convince certain family members of things and change their mind. I’m just going to enjoy prepping on my own, be a good example to them, and if they ever need help then I will offer it to them. I’ve been hurt and made fun of too many times to be actively trying to “convert” people to the religion of prepping. 

    • 4

      I have been fortunate to be in a circle of fairly like-minded people when it comes to COVID response, so I’m afraid I don’t have any advice/wisdom to share in that regard, but I have found that I have had to change the way that I talk about preparedness (and the reasons to prepare) around friends and family who struggle with anxiety. While that’s not the same sort of friction, not being able to be open/on the same page with loved ones is definitely tough, so I can definitely relate to a degree – hang in there!

    • 7

      I think it good to use the current pandemic as a reason to prep.  As bad as we think this Covid is, it is actually not all that incredibly dangerous… as pandemics go.  The mortality rate for this pandemic is hard to figure, with so many infected people showing no symptoms.  But most agree the mortality rate is well below 1%.  Don’t get me wrong, that amount is horrible but because so many folks aren’t really impacted by Covid symptoms, many don’t take it seriously.

      But, this pandemic has shown everyone how vulnerable mankind is to pandemics.  So when explaining to folks why they should prep, I say what happens next time when the morality rate is 25%?  50%?  In the 14th century, the black death (bubonic plague) killed around 60% of Europe’s population. 

      My family used to joke about my prepping.  Joked about my food stores.  Joked about having cases of n95 masks & other protective gear.  Joked about all my guns and thousands of rounds of ammo.  They don’t joke anymore.  Not only have they used my masks, especially at the beginning when there were none to be had, but my son now has my Remington 870 & lots of buckshot at his apartment.

      A few years ago, I got my wife onboard.  I had her read the book One Second After, and when she finished, she told me we didn’t have enough food in storage.  She never joined in my prepping efforts but no longer thinks it is foolish.

      • 4

        I too feel so bad for those affected and who have lost loved ones through this pandemic. I don’t want to downplay that at all either, but want to look at some of the positives that have come out of this. 

        I am glad that covid has not been an incredibly dangerous pandemic and has a low mortality rate. I see this kind of as a beginner or introductory pandemic. I am seeing that people are gathering data, implementing procedures, getting into prepping, growing the infrastructure for many to work from home, improve telecommunications, and other things. All of these things will better prepare us as humans to react faster and be more prepared for the next pandemic, which may be much more deadly. Sure there will be those who will just be so burned out from this one or think that the next pandemic will be the same as this and it isn’t any cause for alarm, but I think the general population will be a bit more prepared mentally and hopefully physically for the next one. 

        I hope that governments and organizations learn from this and stockpile and store supplies to keep things running and not rely on same day deliveries for so many things. I doubt it, as this is not cost effective, but imagine a future where hospitals store enough supplies to run without a shipment for a month or two. That sure would be something.

      • 3

        I have read One Second After (as well as the other 2 in the series) It is what started my interest in prepping. I recommend that EVERYONE read that series. It is well written and I occasionally go back and read it again. If you think prepping is “hoarding” read this series. It will change your mind

      • 2

        I listened to the audiobook of the first one and thought it was interesting. But you say the others are good as well? I have been doing a bit of spring cleaning today and looking through my preps and I do feel like a hoarder. I hate having so much stuff right now, but know that if the stores closed down, I will be so grateful. It’s a balancing act!

      • 2

        There were good. Maybe not as good as the first, but they show what’s it’s like once their society starts coming back and how they adapt with no electricity. Worth the read I think. 

    • 2

      Re a; Until retirement we lived in developing Asia so there’s less static re preparedness less stockpiling bottled water.

      Re b; Quietly and in a bland manner, I use the CASA BLANCA movie theme: “Oh, Rick, you’ve got to think for both of us; for all of us”. (Full disclosure: I used to date Ingred …… well, at least I have a sheet of commorative postage stamps blessing her !) Illustration: Madam was going out to town and I said something like: “Take this flashlight with strobe in car”. Recently there was an afternoon blackout here in this rural county involving some injuries.

      COVID-19 has 2 parts: the medical issue and the national responses. Your husband is actually wrong that this ailment is overblown. It is being used to transform and restructure the world’s societies. Skyscrapper buildings are losing value.  There’s less civil aviation flights. Rural hospitals … All this changes private citizens’ situation.

      Actually, the COVID-19 lethal infections are predictable. Group living among the aged with pre-existing conditions starts the chart.

      This early AM typing practice is not posting wisdom.  Marriage frictions have more to do with the new nuclear family arrangements when the extended family was ditched circa post WWII. 

    • 5

      I have family members that too think that covid is completely overblown, they never wear masks, they teach their 5 year old daughter that masks equal oppression and that they will make you feel uncomfortable if you wear one, they think the covid vaccine has microchips in it to control and track you, and the government is making covid up to control us and put us in our places. I hate interacting with them and being around them. Every conversation ends up into some conspiracy theory, and pointing out and mocking people who are trying to stay safe by wiping down surfaces or using hand sanitizer. They just aren’t pleasant to be around.

      When this all started, my wife and I were concerned for her elderly parents and told her siblings that we want to quarantine to protect mom and dad and that we thought it would be a good idea if they did the same as we didn’t know how bad this virus could get. They just went off on us and yelled that we can’t tell them what to do, that they will not be hiding in their house like a scared dog, and they will continue to go out and do whatever they want.

      All of this, along with the nasty politics of 2020 sure have driven us away from trusting, wanting to be with, and relying on our family members. And it is hard. 

      I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. I know that at times we feel alone when we have the best intentions behind our actions and are ridiculed for those good desires. Especially from our closest friends and family members. Know that you are not alone. I have read how many other people are going through the same things that we are going through. 

      I had a nice neighbor give me some good advice the other day. He said that everyone is so confused on what to believe and do. We all are trying to understand it in our own way and someone’s opinion and what they do with that may be different from our own. We need to just learn to accept and love them and know they are doing their best to understand and cope with everything going on. 

      Through all this, I’m trying to learn to have extreme patience, learn to love others unconditionally, and understand that we are all so different. I’m trying to be the bigger person, but at times it is hard. I really wish you the best.

      • 2

        Very wise words and a kind and considered reflection on life when you really care about others but you do not necessarily choose the same paths.

    • 2

      One thing to add to all the excellent comments so far is that it sounds like you and your husband are quite different and often when we’re kind of complimentary couples rather than being similar personalities, it’s harder when we disagree.  I do think that it can often make for a really strong bond, and perhaps some of that unconditional love, mentioned below is the key to help ease the friction (from both perspectives).  Also perhaps thinking about the values that you share that cross over with prepping might help to explain why it’s important to you  – perhaps if he discussed why he thinks it’s crazy he might have a good point about certain kit or an approach or rationale about the Covid response that’s worth hearing – but maybe the first step is to have some fair and thoughtful conversation, listening both ways, rather than reacting would help.  Often easier said than done!  It’s hard, I feel your pain – there is so much division out there at the moment without having some at home.  Best of luck.

    • 5

      Can I just say that I’m loving how respectful these comments are? Lately when there is a difference of opinion – especially between spouses or family members – the vitriol and UNhelpful comments fly. Also useful info and suggestions here. I don’t have any other tips as I am just starting my prep journey. I’m learning so much just by being a member of this community, so thanks everyone. 👍❤️

      • 3

        That’s something I really enjoy about the community here, everyone is always so helpful, nice, and not judgmental. Quite a difference from other social media and forum sites that i’ve been on. 

        Jules329 – Congrats in starting your prepping journey. If you don’t mind me asking, what got you starting into prepping?

    • 2

      An idea to acclimate sponse / significant other in re preparedness;

      Preface;  This is only an idea for tailoring.  We have a broad segment of the preparedness population here … and this includes geographic differences.

      Instead of getting into mild confrontations in re prepping via loading up on canned goods and multi tools, consider collecting and filing ON THE KITCHEN TABLE some forms and pamphlets related to disaster prep.

      Log on to fema.gov/assistance/individual.  At blue bar – I think it’s blue – “Assistance for individuals and households” and at blue bar “Steps After Applying “, print out a form that could be pertinent to your environment and anticipated situations. When appropriate tell partner that you’re filling out the basics in case of……

      Log on to hhs.gov/about/news/index.html read the current 28 Jan 21 news release.  Show partner.  

      Hold off on the life rafts and snow mobiles and refocus household efforts to practical, nil-cost efforts to prepare for changes to routine.

      It might work. Otherwise, at least you know how to max out with FEMA programs not covered by your own programs like house insurance.

    • 4

      I was engaged to a man long ago who thought prepping was foolish. We had just moved across Canada to Vancouver, BC. Our resources were diminished from the move and set up in the new city. He came to me at work one morning and told me the company where he contracted had just lost a major contract. We had to move again and fast.

      The day we moved the weather conditions were bad. They were predicting blizzard conditions through the Coquihalla highway, a treacherous mountain run. He fought me about moving my preps. I stood my ground and told him I would load that truck myself if necessary. The preps were moved.

      We headed for the interior of BC to the Okanagan Valley. He contracted with another company. I wasn’t able to transfer with my company, but within 2 weeks of moving they called with a part-time job offer. It was contract work and I didn’t have the benefits I had previously, but it was a job and I took it.

      He had to work for over a month before he saw any earnings. Before that could happen, he landed in the hospital with back problems. He had no income. My part-time income from where I worked was enough to pay rent, utilities and have a surplus.

      The preps I insisted on moving made the difference between “doable” and disaster. I had enough surplus to get the parts and fix the transmission on his Harley in my spare time.

      He arrived home from the hospital and after a bit of reflection, told me that I was right to move those preps. I never married him.

      Your spouse may relate to prepping if the emphasis isn’t on Covid-19 and on prepping as a form of insurance. 

      I told someone who laughed at preppers: “You have house insurance?” They replied “Well, yes, of course, I do.” I asked, “Do you look both ways before you cross the road?” Again, they replied “Don’t be ridiculous, of course, I look both ways.”

      Then I said, “You have insurance in case something happens and you look both ways before crossing the road in case there is a vehicle coming, so don’t laugh at people who want to protect their families and do what they can to keep them safer in case something happens.”

      With respect to Covid-19, I can tell you what happened to me and my husband.

      I used to think “oh, it’s just a flu, but I didn’t realize that viruses are not well understood by those outside the science and medical community. Some of us have found out the hard way. I have survived two flu viruses with long term effects.

      The first was a flu virus that was around in the 1980’s. I was working long hours and really stressing my immune system. I got sick.  After the flu passed, it took 9 months to clear my lungs. I later was told that it was what caused chronic fatigue immune dysfunction. 

      The other virus that hit my central nervous system in the early 2000’s. I never fully recovered from it. It affected my ability to walk because my legs would give out. I lost the ability to read for close to 3 years. Today my reading speed and retention is still only half of what it was. There were other effects, all of which were difficult to accept for someone who had been as active, tough and athletic as I was. It has been a long, tough road back. My husband got the same virus and also had long term effects from it, though not as severe.

      What I know now, it that viruses of any kind are nothing to fool with. These particles that infect organisms are a part of living on this earth. With travel, viruses now spread much faster than they once did. To make things more challenging, we now have to understand new terminology such as virus variant, strain, mutation, and recombination.

      What works for me, is that I accept that not everyone will have the same experience or understand the dangers of Covid-19 or viruses. It’s a lot to learn and understand.

      I treat staying safe during this pandemic like proactive or safe driving: I prepare, anticipate and defend or avoid, even if it is the other person’s responsibility.

      As others have already said, Covid-19 is a good way to garner some respect for prepping from your spouse. You are also welcome to share with your spouse whatever parts of my account above that might help out. 

      You are not crazy. 

      You are a concerned and loving mother and wife who only wants to protect her family. 

      • 3

        A real good experience to develop valuable insight you’re sharing here.

      • 3

        Thank you, Bob. I’m glad to help out and grateful for everyone here who shares their knowledge and wisdom. 

      • 2

        Time and reflection is a great thing. You sure went through some hard difficulties there Ubique, and in the moment you probably thought they were stressful and you wished that they would be over. But now you are able to look back and see what you were able to overcome, and the lessons you learned during those experiences. The moments, trials, and challenges we have overcome in the past, gives us strength to help others going through similar ones, and also for ourselves and the future.

        Thanks for sharing!

        -Be Prepared-

      • 2

        Hi Robert and thank you for your kind response.

        It’s funny isn’t it, how the experiences in life that seem to be the very worst at the time actually contain the best lessons?

    • 4

      So if you or your spouse has  CAR insurance, Life Insurance , Medical Insurance, Travel Insurance or House Insurance, Guess what You are already preppers.

      We generally have the insurances above BUT we dont intend on crashing, dying, getting ill, getting stranded abroad, or burning the house down.   But we have those insurances none the less, JUST IN CASE. That is PREPPING.

      If you have a domestic first aid kit, pain killers, house fuses, spare light bulbs, spare house and car keys, a clean shirt or blouse or uniform for work  YOU ARE PREPPING.

      Prepping is simply taking sensible insurance precautions to the next level. You MAY get snowed in, you MAY get a power cut, you may have to flee a mudslide or firestorm destroying your house, you may face fuel shortages, industrial action, acts of terrorism, food shortages or even unexpected unemployment.  Any precautions you MAY undertake JUST IN CASE is PREPPING.

      Prepping is simply COMMON SENSE and its what all our grand parents did every winter in the days before supermarkets and online shopping.

      The FOOL is the dude or dudette who says NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO ME. if you happen to be married to one of those I reccomend a good divorce lawyer.

      • 5

        I totally agree with you that prepping is a form of insurance. Tough times will come. And while the likelihood of a SHTF end of society disaster isn’t likely to come anytime soon (my opinion), prepping for your own personal SHTF is why many get into prepping. 

        Just like Ubique said above, they were struggling with employment and hospitalization. But their preps were able to get them through.

        I do also agree with you that many are proud and arrogant and think that they have a good job, can get whatever they want from the store at a moments notice, and say exactly that “Nothing will happen to me” (I’m not a big fan of those people). However, many are just uneducated, ignorant, inexperienced, and don’t know any better. We live in an incredibly blessed and fortunate time where many of us have gone our entire lives without any major setbacks or disasters. Even during many of our parent’s lifetimes. I’m sure that many are just unaware of the dangers that could possibly happen, as that is all they know and they don’t know any better.

        And while Covid has been horrible, one of the benefits that i’ve seen is that many of my friends and family members have seen the light and saw that Walmart won’t always have your milk there 24/7. I hope that many are thinking about prepping as an insurance plan, and that a disaster can happen to us, and probably will.

        -Be Prepared-

      • 3

        History showed us all that before supermarkets, 24/7s Amazon etc our grand parents ALL  made preserves, smoked, salted or canned meats, set aside Potatoes, carrots, onions etc wrapped in straw along with apples to ensure they had enough to eat through a prolonged hard winter.

        Our homes at the time had more effort put into having cold rooms, larders, pantries on the north side of the house to keep fool cool and preserved in.

        Those living off the land also had the same plus they set aside hay, straw, turnips, grain etc to ensure the farm critters could eat right through a prolonged winter.

        Many people had their own or shared smoking huts to preserve foods with woodsmoke

        Salt, Vinegar for food preservation was often worth more than gold, There are times when 22 ammo was worth more than many currencies.

        Todays JUST IN TIME global logistics chains for food, fuel, medicines etc is critically vulnerable to every possible type of disruption and I personally believe that anyone willing to risk their entire families survival on JIT logistics is basically to stupid to survive.

      • 4

        Even post WWII, the middle class was still into home economics, civil defense and kids learning basic skills like wilderness hikes, swimming, first aid.  Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs, were so popular they were considered part of kids’ education.

        Along came “In case of emergency, call 9-1-1”.

        The results are in.

         

      • 5

        Well said, Bill. Urbanization has cost us mightily. We have lost many skills. JIT logistics has further eroded the connection people used to have with their environments.

        I think people who prepare value knowledge and pay attention to history.

        People who prepare live with a different perception of their environment. They have an understanding that what we have constructed in modern society is fragile. The current reality of our world is contingent on so many variables.

        Even the agriculture around me is rife with robotic equipment. Farmers are so far removed from actually working the land. The machines work the land. The small family farm is gone. It has now become big business. Rural populations are decimated. Farm women shop for processed food at the local Co-op store.

        Even in the small town where I live, some neighbours laughed at me for putting in a garden. “Why don’t you just buy it at the Co-op?” Today, there are more of us who garden.

         We can lead by example. Not everyone may understand, but some will and hopefully, the extinction of this precious knowledge and skills is halted.

      • 2

        Those who refuse to learns the lessons of history will be forced to have to relearn them the hard way.

      • 3

        So true. We can learn from our mistakes, but history offers us the kindest lessons: from the mistakes of others. History affords us the opportunity to learn from mistakes that we do not have to make ourselves.

    • 4

      One Second After and the rest of the series definitely did it for me, and got me started. Now I’m prepping full bore, including food, secure shelter, water, weapons, and off-grid power. I think internal civil unrest and domestic collapse is just as likely as an EMP or nuclear attack from a foreign adversary. The latest political events and the division in the country support my concerns and preparations. As a physician, I worry much less about COVID, except that it is one element of the NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) threat universe. My spouse is the eternal optimist, and loves babies and comedy shows. She has yet to “drink the kool-aid” as she feels I have, but she will be ok either way. Some things like the internal civil situation and the political party that foments it we have decided not to discuss. I just do what I need to do and she watches her comedy movies. I hope we never have a real SHTF situation, but if we do, we’re prepared. And while we are hunkered down I WILL rub her nose in it. She may eventually choose to take her chances with the hungry hoards outside rather than hear my mouth. We’ll see. 

      • 2

        Try 299 days and  A Distant Eden if you like 1Sec After

      • 3

        Dr. Mac, you mentioned how you are going full bore prepping with food, water, shelter, weapons, and power. 

        Just curious, what are some of the things you are currently working on?

        What will be next?

        I wish you the best in your efforts. While I do love my babies and comedy shows like your wife, I have a bit of the prepper bone and want to make sure my family is taken cared of during a disaster (which will happen). That’s why i’m here, to learn as much as I can and share what I know.

      • 3

        Not much at this point.  Since I am a doctor, I need a little more support for dental emergencies in the field when no dentist is available.  I also built an EMP proof older pickup truck in case “bug out” or hauling supplies becomes necessary.  Also, I became a licensed ham radio operator (general class) to be able to communicate when they flip the switch on cell phones and the internet.  Ham is  a great new experience and very empowering.  All you need is off grid power, a radio, a wire antenna, and the ionosphere.  They can’t shut that off, and I can talk from here to Shanghai and listen too.