This might not apply to everyone, but it is relevant to me and likely a real struggle for many out there in the prepping community.
I have been reading through Glen Tate’s 299 Days series. In truth, I am still on book 1, but enjoying it. In the first book, 299 Days – The Preparation, the main character Grant struggles with something all too familiar: discussing prepping, the coming hardships, and what to do about it with your significant other. Grant has his awakening to the facts and sees the writing on the wall. During his initial reaction, he tries to talk about his concerns and predictions with his wife Lisa but she responds with anger (and likely fear), literally covering her ears and yelling “SHUT UP!”. That was the end of that talk. There are a few times (in as far as I have read) where he tries to gently bring it up in a way that won’t upset her but all attempts fail. Grant laments the fact that he can’t talk with her about any of his preps, training, or concerns. In fact, she is in the dark on all of it.
My own experience was similar. Mrs. Townsend and I were not married when I first started. I had been a long time prepper, growing up in an area prone to certain disasters and crime. I had my awakening in 2008, which gave my prepping a focus and direction. At the time, I did not have many preps. Just a pistol, AR, a few weeks of food and water, and some camping gear. No real organization or thought put in to it. I started buying a few more items. Mostly ammo, weapons, and some basic gear. At this time, Mrs. Townsend and I had been dating for a while and had moved in to an apartment together. We were poor and had our priorities in the wrong place. That was my fault. I was doing a little here and there. I knew it would be a difficult conversation and avoided it. Like Grant, some purchases I kept her in the dark about. It was my money anyway…we weren’t married. Other things I didn’t hide, like pistols and knives. She knew that I was a gun nut and had a conceal permit and carried frequently. I was just trying to keep things calm. I am not the best conversationalist and when I try to verbally explain things, especially abstract and theoretical ideas and concepts, I have a hard time. Not worth the battle yet.
Eventually we were engaged to be married. I knew that I needed to have “The Talk” before we were wed. I had guilt over holding out as long as I had and further worried that she would feel blindsided that she married a “crazy” if I waited until after the wedding. Trapped by a tin-foil hat wearing nut job! One evening, while we were pulling in to our parking garage, I told her that I needed to tell her something. She looked worried. Our wedding was a few weeks away. Maybe I was going to tell her that I had a child with another woman or wanted to break it off or had some kinda of crazy debt or something. I could almost hear her heart racing. I don’t remember my exact words but I began to explain that I felt an uneasiness with the way our country was headed and was anticipating very hard times ahead, either due to financial collapse, social unrest, or some combination of the two. I told her that I was a prepper and was “stocking up”.
She looked at me like I was an idiot. Not for what I had just said, as she would later explain, but for my timing and scaring her. She thought I was going to break some terrible news that would damage our relationship or cancel the wedding. She said thats fine, lets focus on the wedding and we can talk about this later. “Whew”, I thought, “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be”. Still needed to have the rest of that talk, but the seed had been planted.
Fast forward many months, a wedding, a honeymoon, a job change, a move. I sent Mrs. Townsend an email at work. “I need to talk to you about something when I get home” I said. I should have learned my lesson. It was immediate worry. I knew it would happen but I didn’t want to just surprise her with it. Oh well. I had a whole presentation made. Data from the Fed, graphs, images from situations like Zimbabwe and Argentina, reports on Belarus, detailed explanations and diagrams of fractional reserve banking, relationships between debt, bonds, interest rates, etc, historical and current bond buying trends from world powers, and more. Irrefutable evidence. She would understand, after all, I married her for her brains on top of her looks. When I got home, I pulled out my notes and evidence and sat down with her. I started explaining things, what had happened over the last several years, what was currently happening, and where I thought it was going. She understood what I was saying. I had again made her worry and stress, lessening the success of my talk. Lesson learned. She got it though. She could see what I was saying and how I arrived at my conclusions. She didn’t agree with me completely nor did she think we were heading towards anything serious but she saw the benefit to having a little set aside just in case. We agreed that I would do some minor preps like a little food, water, and essentials. I could live with that. A few weeks later, the US credit rating was downgraded (as I had told her it would be). We had the TV on and I was in the other room while she was watching the news. I poked my head around the corner, smiled with an “I told you so” grin, and went back to what I was doing.
The talks weren’t easy. We have disagreed on many priorities and goals relating to prepping. We still don’t always agree on it. But I have been blessed with an understanding wife who supports what I am doing and has come to feel the comfort of having the preparations. She even makes suggestions or request for things. What a woman!
The point is, I know it is tough. Its hard to have that talk and convince others, especially your significant other. It can cause strife. But it is so worth it to have your partner on board. I really encourage anyone who hasn’t had that talk yet to do so now before it gets worse.
Do me a favor and take the poll below. I am curious about others out there. If you have not had “The Talk” with your significant other yet, please comment and let me know why, if you plan to, and how you will go about it. Others, feel free to share your experience with this as well via comments.