Just because you're convinced that preparing for a ‘rainy day’ is a smart idea, it doesn't mean your spouse automatically does. Once of the biggest challenge our students raise is how to get their partners excited and enthusiastic about preparing for a disaster. At its core, the biggest obstacle you need to overcome is mindset, as many survival items come with a hefty price tag. If your spouse things that ‘prepping’ is an unnecessary endeavor, it's going to create a world of tension when you start investing in supplies they consider to be useless. Today, we're going to run through the ways you can convince your spouse of the importance of survival, with tactics to persuade and mistakes to avoid as you breach the subject. It's definitely worthwhile to put in the effort, get them on board and you'll have a survivalist partner who will also help you learn, prepare and survive when the SHTF.
Don't go in guns blazingIf you want to annoy your spouse, head to the store and spend a few thousand dollars buying 6+ months of food. I can almost guarantee this will end badly. The trick is to start warming your spouse to the idea of having a ‘well-stocked pantry,’ so use a soft touch. When you go shopping, buy a little more of the items you normally purchase, keeping the subject light and if you're questioned just say you want to stock up a little, and you're guaranteed to eat it anyway. Doing this regularly will enable you to start building up your stores without the shock a delivery of 15 boxes of MRE's results in.
Pick your moments
Getting excited about survival is fantastic, but you need to remember that your spouse probably doesn't share your same level of enthusiasm at this stage. Don't sit down and deliver a two hour lecture on the benefits of prepping. Pick your moments, and find the right time to bring up your concerns. Perhaps you've been watching the news and a community has flooded, and the reporter is commenting that it's smart to have at least a month's worth of food stored. This could prove a very good opportunity to raise the idea of purchasing a few more groceries each week, just in case.
Tie it back to safety
Throughout the entire process, you'll have the best results if you tie everything back to safety. Safety is fundamental when you're trying to convince your spouse that getting prepared to survive is a good idea, as everyone wants to feel safe. Double points if you can tie it in with a local event, perhaps there was a burglary in your neighborhood, which would be a perfect opening to start making small changes that improve the security of your home.
Let television do your work
It seems counter-intuitive for all the adventurous outdoor lovers, but another great way to spark a conversation about survival is to watch shows or movies with an apocalyptic theme. Depending on your spouse, this may be news reports, documentaries or even content meant to entertain (think the Walking Dead). Find what works for your spouse, and use it to subtly get them thinking about how they would react in a similar situation. Once you can relate it to yourself, if becomes much more real.
Hear from people who lived through one
There is nothing better to drive a message home than talking to a survivor from a real disaster. Perhaps they're a friend of a friend, or someone you've met through a local preparedness group, and take your spouse with you to sit down to hear their story. They may reflect on the things they learnt, or what they would do differently next time, heck there was probably many things they could have done beforehand to improve their situation. Hearing these first-hand recollections from actual survivors will help you drive your point home.
Do not, ever, bring up conspiracy theories
Unless you want your spouse to treat you like a crazy person, never, ever mention a conspiracy theory as a reason to become a survivalist. Despite how strongly you believe the theory to be true (whether they actually are or not is irrelevant), the most probable outcome is your spouse will think you're just being paranoid. This is especially dangerous to your goal of convincing them prepping is a good idea, because they'll discount everything you say and do because ‘oh they're just being paranoid.’
Get your spouse involved
If you've been interested in survival for a few years, you've probably got a whole lot more knowledge on the topic than your spouse, but it's dangerous to think that you know best. One of the most effective ways to involve your spouse is to get them involved. Make them feel like you value their opinion, and they'll slowly start to open up. Perhaps you're re-packing the gear for your bug out bag, instead of following a list printed from the internet, ask your spouse what you should include. The more they feel involved in the process, the more supportive they will be.