Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus...revisited : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I don't know about the rest of you married people, but my own marriage has been put under a lot of strain the past few months (during my attempt to "wake up" my husband) until just recently (we're finally actively preparing.)

There's a good article just posted on Y2Ktoday discussing just that:

I'm still not totally happy with my husband's views on preparation, but at least now we're doing something. Understanding men and women's differences helps me be calmer and more understanding with my husband, re-adjusting my aproaches when discussing Y2K with him. I've read the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" last year. I recommend this book strongly if you haven't read it yet, even if you're not worried about Y2K, it will only help enhence day to day communication and relationship with your partner.

-- Chris (, October 17, 1998


I also saw the article you referred to. The book really should be called "Why People from Mars Marry People from Venus". Because I have witnessed first hand-wives who believe in y2k with husbands who don't, and vice-versa. I know one couple who both believe. It is NOT a male thing or a female thing. I know of women who hide canned goods in the closet so that their husbands won't get mad, and I know men that order supplies in secret so that their wives don't moan,"Pass my smelling salts honey, I feel faint." It's not a "Christian thing" or a "nutcase-militia-thing." It's not a "rich-people-don't-get-it-,but- poor-people-with-no-life-anyway-do-thing." It's not a "generation x- ers-don't-get-it-but-older-people-that-remember-the-depression-do thing". I've seen it go both ways on both sides. I did not write this to criticize or disagree with you-honest!!! I just wanted to share my own experience in that it appears to go to a much deeper level than all of those afore mentioned "groupings". It stops every human being up short, to realize how indestructable we thought we were, and how fragile a tower we put our trust in. Frankly, I know more men that believe in it than women.

-- madeline (, October 17, 1998.

(A caution to the reader. This post is a bit long.)

I have not read the book but I have had personal experience with this issue that I'd like to share.

I have always been a voracious reader (science, computer text books, fiction, newspapers, magazines, etc, etc).

When I first became aware as to the extent and depth of the Y2K problem (Ed & Jennifer's Time Bomb 2000), my first response was total disbelief. But because of my respect for Ed Yourdon's work in the information sciences, I thought further research to be prudent and began attacking it in the way I attack any subject with which I want to gain familiarity - I began reading absolutely everything I could get my hands on: GAO reports, Sen. Bennett, Sen. Horn, De Jager, Yardini, etc. etc. The more I read, the more convinced I was that I was seeing small pieces of a much larger puzzle and that the potential for serious side effects of Y2K was being compounded both by the very short time remaining and our collective lack of willingness to face the problem square on. While specific prognostications were difficult if not impossible due the lack of verified information, the potential for serious disruption was obvious to anyone who cared to spend several hundred hours researching the issues.

It was clear to me that at least some action was prudent. First thing: convince my wife. Now Mrs. Rimmer is a very intelligent human but she simply does not have the same insatiable appetite for reading that I do. But I knew of no other way to get her to understand the problem than to present her with the same material I had read. This was not realistic on my part and yet I couldn't just ask her to accept such a serious issue on my word alone. That's just not the way our relationship has developed over the past 18 years.

Still though, I brought her books and hundreds of articles/testimony etc. that I had printed from the Internet and asked her to read them and draw her own conclusions (Me believing that the conclusion - i.e. at least some preparation is prudent - was obvious to anyone willing to do the research.) Stacks and stacks piled up. But she was not willing to do the research and while a few articles and at least one book did get mostly read, the vast majority were left untouched. Mrs Rimmer is not illiterate in any sense of the word, she just has difference interests than I do and until now, this had not been much of a problem.

But she could see that the more I read, the more I read still and the more concerned I was becomming. She became concerned not because of Y2K issues but because she could see that my already voracious reading habit had suddenly gone into overdrive and it was taking me away from other leisure activities I enjoy. I would respond with a thousand facts and figures, questioning each as to its accuracy, reflecting on its motives and believability, and considering its implications. I would explain how embedded systems are everywhere and for the most part, invisible. I would tell her how unrealistic that I felt many of the 'don't worry, we'll be there statements' were in light of my 20 years of software and systems development experience. I would tell her how prone to error the software/systems development process was. Her response: "You're just going to go on and on about this aren't you?"

This of course lead to mounting tensions and I was at wits end trying use my approach to convince her. During this period, I had to agree to take no actions which were either major in cost or risk or which were irreversible.

Our major breakthrough came one evening when, on a completely unrelated matter, the subject of tornados was mentioned in passing. Here is a paraphrase of the conversation:

Me: That's a good point and it kind of applies to this Y2K thing.

Her: What do you mean?

Me: Well, you know how when the local tornado sirens go off in the middle of the night when we're sleeping and you literally push me out of the bed, grab the cats and demand we immediately head for the basement?

Her: Yes

Me: What if one night the sirens went off and I slept right through them and by the time you got me awake, they had stopped. And what if I said to you, Honey, I don't hear a thing, you must have been dreaming, let's go back to sleep.

Her: I'd march your butt right down to that basement.

Me: And what if some night the sirens went off but I tried to reason with you saying "Look, we've lived here in this house for 10 years and in that time the sirens have gone off several times in the middle of the night and not once, in all those years, has a tornado ever hit our house. Statistically, it's unlikely we'll be hit tonight so can we go back to sleep?"

Her: Forget it, buster. You'd better be heading for the basement when that siren goes off.

Me: Well, for me, Y2K is lot like that siren going of in the middle of the night and for some reason, I can't convince you that it did indeed go off. And I can't conclusively prove that the Y2K tornado will hit us either... but I've heard the siren and I'm concerned for our safety and I think it's time we headed for the basement.

There was a lot of silence after that and I let it drop for the night but very soon after that, she began reading more (though nowhere near what I read) and soon, she become a 110% partner in preparations. The tension between us has eased considerably though we still deal with a shared concern for the events which will unfold. But whatever happens, we are now facing it together.

I hope those of you who in a similar situation will find your own methods for getting past what can be a most difficult hurdle. You need your partner's cooperation and help. You may find, as I did, that you need to take a different approach. Best wishes.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 18, 1998.


Can I use your post? It's excellent. My wife is on her way to acceptance. She knows how troubled I am. But, your post can help to convince many of those I've been trying to reach that "it's time to go to the basement."

Excellent words Arnie. I wish you and your wife all the best.

Mike __________________________________________________________________

-- Michael Taylor (, October 18, 1998.

Arnie, you described what I went through EXACTLY, it's eery, I could have written your post! Except that I'm the wife. My husband acted the same way, with the piles and piles of articles I printed, had the same retorts.

Your tornado analogy is perfect. But where we live there's no tornado/hurricane sirens, we don't have earthquakes either. You hit your wife's trigger bone with that one, obviously she fears the tornadoes in your area and is well prepared for them and will never risk it by being complacent no matter how often the siren will cry wolf.

As you say, it's a matter of finding what the trigger bone is in your spouse to bring them to understand the situation and the need to prepare. In the case of my husband, what finally got him to go along with preparations with me is my incessant talk of Y2K, insisting he reads articles, placing articles in the bathroom's magazine talk talk till he fell asleep...I even threatened divorce, which I seriously considered (the safety of my children is priority). The 2 articles that took away any remaining resistance were the CNN transcript and Bennett's one where he admits his daughter is stockpiling.

Still, a lot of heartache, shouting, frustration and misunderstanding could be avoided between couples during this emotional Y2K time of awareness and decision making, if they understood each other's "style" of communication and socialization. This book shows you why your wife or your husband reacts a certain way by the -manner- in which you're telling her/him something, not so much the message itself. It explains the priorities of women and men in life (women's are the home and the community, men's are the "provider" and "protector" for the home. These are inborn instinct, reinforced by society.) Ect...

But I concede that when one is in denial to protect his/her mind (the reality is just to painful and scary to face), no book will pearce through that. Only a tornado-like analogy and/or persistance might ;)

-- Chris (, October 18, 1998.

Mike (and others):

If you believe that anything I've said in these threads could help you in any way with your own situation, you have my permission to reprint, translate, copy, publish, photocopy, record, email, re-post or otherwise reproduce anything I've said on this forum without any restriction or limitation.

How's that for a blanket release?


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 18, 1998.

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