HELP!!! I need a Y2K marriage counselor!greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The Wife and I had the biggest argument of our 10 year relationship yesterday... all over my preps for Y2K. I know it's silly to mention on a public forum like this, but where else could I go for help? I am not a doom and gloomer, but I WILL have a years supply of sundry items stashed away in case of natural or unnatural disasters whether she appreciates my efforts or not. Over the last few months I have been slowly indoctrinating her on the issue. Initially she was fairly supportive, however now she seems to be sticking her head in the sand and raising the fur on the back of her neck (figuratively speaking of course) anytime I come home from Safeway with an extra load of canned goods. She flipped out on me when I asked her to read the Senates OWN reports on the issue..... she thinks all of this internet stuff is a bunch of crap. Frankly, if it were not for my Kids I would be out of here, but I cant bear to leave them alone in what has the potential to be " The biggest crisis this Country has ever faced"-- whatever that may mean. I keep hoping something will happen to get her attention, but as of yet nothing serious enough to warrant her concern. My parents are the same way-- and they are 78 and 82. I'm not sure there is much anyone can do to help, but any serious, helpful comments would be greatly appreciated. If I dont convince her of the seriousness of the situation soon, she might up and leave me, taking with her the one thing in my life that is of paramount importance to me, my kids. Thats enough whining for now. Charlie P.
-- Charlie P. (email@example.com), March 02, 1999
I am so sorry. I know others will have better words of wisdom for you, but I will pray for you.
This is a very hard situation, and one that many of us are going through in one degree or another.
-- Mercy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
Charlie, I don't even want to try and be a counselor/psychologist/etc, but I will share some of my own experience. My wife & I see eye-to-eye on the Y2K issue, however, we did have a similar experience when I became a Christian. She thought I'd gone nuts and a real gap grew in our marriage.
What got me/us through it was prayer and me being patient & loving her. You need to understand where she is at and lead her with love and compassion -- the same way that Jesus leads us.
Love your kids by loving their mother.
-- Dave (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
Get help now. It is insane to lose your marriage because you cannot make a reasonable compromise. When y2k turns out to be only moderate problems with the economy, you'll look back and wonder why the hell you lost your wife over it. Talk to her and agree on a fair middle ground. Truth is, if y2k does hit the one in a million worst case scenario, there's nothing you can do to prepare for it anyway. Otherwise, if you have some groceries and water you'll be okay.
Remember, some of the extremists here don't give a damn whether you lose your wife or not. And some are so ultra-scary-religious that they will tell you that maybe it is Gods will that you lose your wife.
Be sensible. Get out of here now. And work it out. If you're going on the faulty assumption that you know it all and your wife doesn't, there's no wonder things are falling apart.
-- makessense (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
Of course the following are only a few ideas that MAY help, but:
My wife is mildly supportive and my 4 children 4 to 16 think I'm nuts. So although I don't intentionally deceive them (much), I don't parade everything under their nose either. As I get my food supplies I put them in a locked cabinet/pantry when they're not around. Secondly, I have said its not "just" Y2K - we're going to have a little conv. store in our home and its just a good thing to do. The kids HAVE appreciated it when I was able to supply fresh batteries from my stockpile. And the wife appreciated not running to the store for gravy, spaggetti sauce. Of course I replaced those items later.
Also, I am taking this weekend off to take her away for a night so she feels special (I know that sounds chauvanistic, but I also know she likes it) - Y2k preperations can make you forget other things you shouldn't. And if she wants to go shopping when we're out and I scout around for more "supplies" to buy later , well .............
And give DGIs a little time, sometimes pushing your wife, a teenager, or any stubborn person is counter-productive.
It still sounds like shes a little oversensitive - why wouldn't a person read the report - maybe shes just scared.
Good luck and I hope someone is here with more/better ideas than mine.
-- Jon Johnson (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
Fights occur when people care. There is hope for you both. Would be worth you both finding out what you both care about.
I respect your preps but would suspect that they may be intruding on other people's ideas about what money should be spent on. Where preps are discretionary spending living with a DGI or a DWGI is possible and may be the only option for lots of folks here. Where preps intrude on other essentials then you buy a fight.
Back off a bit, reinvest in your relationship, maybe get off the net for a while. Take her out for dinner without the kids. Logic and reason will not win the day here but a little TLC might. Post Y2K will be easier with a couple than with a single especially with kids to look after.
Find another way of releasing your tensions than fighting with your wife. I have seen a lot of knotty trees turned into good firewood rather than domestic arguments. Got any shared recreation, got any interests outside job, kids and Y2K. Cultivate both, you will need them post Y2K.
Keep your balance in this thing..
-- Bob Barbour (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
Charlie, maybe you can approach it from an economics standpoint? That worked for my sister with her husband. Even without Y2K, things are going to "tighten up." (Actually, they already are. Layoffs are in the news everyday.) Anyway, she told him that having extra supplies on hand would be good if work slows down, etc. He could agree to that.
Most people can also see the extra supplies as a type of savings account, if the items are something that you would use anyway. (You mentioned canned goods. That is something you would eat anyway, right? So you're not throwing away money, you've put it into a "savings account" to be used later.) Just buy things that won't go bad, that you would eat anyway. No money wasted.
-- Gayla Dunbar (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
Be sensible. Get out of here now. And work it out. If you're going on the faulty assumption that you know it all and your wife doesn't, there's no wonder things are falling apart.>>
makessense- odd, I haven't seen that type of "extremist" here at all. Or that type of "ultra-scary-religious" either.
You are a big help......not.
Hang in there, Charlie, and ignore the detractors.
Blessings and continued prayers.....Mercy
-- Mercy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
I agree with the TLC approach. Back off a bit then catch her later in a quiet moment. Pour your heart out in a quiet, loving manner so that she understands that your real concern is your family and not for what she sees as some half baked idea. If the conversation starts to go downhill back off and wait for another opportunity. At this late stage I honestly don't think you will convince her of the seriousness of Y2K. The next best thing is to convince her that you have your family's best interests at heart and that your "strange behaviour" will come to an end in less than 10 months.
If she distrusts what she reads on the Internet then show her the government report in a news magazine or newspaper.
Do not, I repeat, do not count on some outside event to convince her of where we are headed. We could easily slip right through Dec 31, 1999 before the vast majority of people begin to wake up. If you set your sights on some external event that fails to materialize you do your credibility a lot of damage.
Good luck! And be sure to get back to us down the road. There are others in your predicament and, good or bad, they might be able to learn from your experience.
-- Bob Benson (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
Dear Charlie, Had pretty much the same situation at my house when my husband opended the bank statement and found out I had put ALOT of money on our line of credit. He doen't want to read or hear anything about it but has resigned himself to the idea that he would rather say "I told you so" than see our kids be cold or hungry. The only reason we swithced our major appliances to propane is because I figured out how much money we would save in the long run and my dad paid for half. Some things I've learned are: 1. Don't ever bring up Y2K more than once a week or so. 2. Don't let spouce see you buying large quantities of anything they consider rediculous. 3. Don't lie to her but don't offer info unless she asks. 4. Lighten Up! This is not to you personally, just something I had to learn for my own sanity.
God Bless and Good Luck!
-- Kimbo WA (aliveandwell@WA.com), March 02, 1999.
Hi! I'm new here, normally just a watcher, but I know I need to get more involved. Anyway...As a female the approach I initially used with my husband was that preparing for emergencies was a constructive hobby, one which would serve a good purpose for bad weather, etc. I also explained that this was better than me doing generally non productive things, or even chasing after another man like my female cousin was! I also tried to make him as involved as possible in my decision making so that when he would make suggestions on purchases, I made them a priority. Letting him continually know that his opinions and ideas were important helped. He is now as deeply committed to Y2K preparations as I am, although I do all the work on it. I hope somewhere here is a gem of wisdom you can use. Give her a lot of love. Sincerely, Apple
-- apple (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
I agree in general with the trend here - be gentle, ease up a bit on yourself - then on her, try to arrange it so the things you do don't intrude into her little circle, reduce expenditures a bit if possible (mentally aim yourself at what would be needed for the first 6 months instead of the whole year - that way your mental target becomes more easy for her to grasp. Example - if you focus on getting into summer, then you can add planting and gardening products and maybe less pre-packaged food - get that later (for fall) after things quiet down a bit.
A low profile - not dishonest or hiding, but lower, would seem to help take the abrasive rough edges off. I think economic hits are coming earlier than predicted. Keep planning ahead, but plan to keep your head and to keep your family ahead first. make sense?
-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
I agree with the crux of the above posts, but let me add one thing.
It may work best to not be too logical about Y2K! In general, men tend to deal with facts, figures & logic, but woman prefer a more touchy-feely approach. Try to talk in terms of what you are feeling, and listen to what she is feeling. She may be more willing to make concessions to your "manly needs" because she loves you, then she might be to agree with your predictions of the future.
-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous.com), March 02, 1999.
I agree with the above posts. My husband DGI fully. We had a definite disagreement about Y2K & various things the gov't. is doing or not doing. He's a real sweetheart but thinks with his heart not his head many times. I had to really back off and approach him with reassurance of my love and common ground that we did agree about. Thankfully one common ground we have is our belief in God.
Also, I would suggest look at your spouse's interests or motivations and work with those. The end result of me getting prepared for Y2K means that I (who is normally a cosmopolitian soul) is more open to his hobbies: animals, living in the country,etc. I'm very fortunate since living in the country naturally leads to gardens, raising livestock, being self-reliant.
But I would like to get a generator - my husband may like some other toy....but he wants a welder for fence work, etc. so I point out the need he has for a generator for the welder. He already has a ham radio license & a 2 meter radio. I ask him if he'd like a 10 meter radio & set up a station? Sure! he says -
I guess boys (and girls) just wanna have fun. So figure out how to make Y2K fun. Your wife more than likely loves your children just as much as you do. Make it say a planning a garden a family education project.
One more thing & I'll shut up. I think the poster above who said: "Love your kids by loving your wife" said it all. It's awful hard for a woman to refuse her husband's sincere love. Remember your the leader for your family...walk in love & peace and quietly continue with buying a little here & a little there. I think sometimes the mood at some sites is: buy everything now - it'll be gone tomorrow. That may be true for some things like a wood stove or generators but basic household stuffs & food I think will be well stocked. And it doesn't take much money or many packages of paper towels or tp, for instance to get a year's supply.
P.S. Pray for God's guidance & patience.....
-- Texan (happyTexasIndependenceDay@ranch.com), March 02, 1999.
Sometimes you need to step back and look at your situation from a new perspective. My husband died of cancer 5 years ago, leaving me to raise three kids alone. Be thankful that you have someone who can carry on the day-to-day responsibilities so that you may take the time and energy to prepare for eventualities. I have to try to fit in my preparation plans between being Mom, Dad, taxi-driver, bread winner, cheerleader, confidant, housekeeper, teacher, etc. It sounds like a luxury to have someone to bounce ideas off or pick up the slack on the bad days. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, just stating the facts. Be grateful for what you have and every day that you have it.
-- Still Preparing (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
The wife and I don't see eye to eye on Y2K. But we've compromised. If she's right and it's all just a money churning scheme by computer companies and it turns out to be no big deal I eat one big helping of crow (gladly), and next year (and the two years after-interest you know) are hers. If it does turn out to be a problem, she'll thank me for being stuborn, and when things get back to normal, that year and the year after are hers.... Either way I see lots travel in our future...
-- john hebert (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
While I am still up for any more help, I wanted to say thankyou to everyone who took the time to post a reply to my Q. Some very good suggestions. I will keep working. Incidently, my wife mentioned a article on MSNBC I might want to check out concerning Y2K. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me. Again, thank you all :-) Sincerely, Charlie P.
-- Charlie P. (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
Do you think your wife might be worried what her relatives and the neighbors think? So many people think all Y2K preparers are loonies, she might just be embarrassed in case people find out. Reassurances about, in fact the NECESSITY for secrecy should handle that. Maybe it would help if you were to tell her you're so afraid of taking even a small chance on seeing her and the kids suffer--it's not for you, you see, you can take just about anything, it's the thought of seeing the people you love most in the whole world want for something--you'd just rather be safe than sorry.
If none of this thread's suggestions work at all, I'm afraid I'd have to suggest that perhaps there's a deeper problem than Y2K. All good luck, Charlie, just strive to be patient.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
Charlie, all good advice so far. I just want to add that my husband too used to be more supportive; he agreed to buy a vacation home/y2k retreat last fall, in a remote small town, we started stocking it and stocking and preparing our main house at the same time. He bought me the best franklin fireplace stove insert etc. The past month he seems to have turned around, and we've had huge arguments, he started to call me crazy/lunatic again (as he did all summer when I first brought y2k to him.) We've just had this big fight over how many cords of wood we should order for next winter.
What I've been thinking is happening is that he's feeling scared and in need to go back into denial; I've been presenting him with distressing news a lot this month, printed articles such as the USPO audit report etc., and there's been a lot of serious Y2K coverage on tv and the newspaper, and I've been discussing it a lot more again with him(or should I say pointing out more, since there's never really been any deep discussions on Y2K between us.) I had been quietly preparing and not mentioning Y2K since last November, to keep the peace.
I think there are people who just can't handle thinking of the future Y2K paints, and they protect themselves with denial, and become very angry when we poke through that shield of protection. I know he loves me deeply and wants nothing but the absolute best and safest future for our kids and me. I think it's killing him to think that that is in jeopardy and there's nothing he can do about it (the contry's stability that is.)
Your wife is not weak, stupid or selfish, no more than my husband is. She simply needs to feel more confident and in control of her future.
I believe little doses of Y2K and preparations at a time, coupled with mega-doses of love and support, will help her maintain control and confidence. And I'm going to take my own advice, again.
-- Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
Take some time to remind yourself why you married your wife - it's probably closely related to what's driving you nuts now! Tell her why you love her, too; she is likely feeling threatened. Also, she may have some problem that she feels you are minimalizing with your Y2K concerns, if so, listen (without trying to solve) to what she's worried about - she'll be much more receptive to your concerns when you share hers.
So says the "expert" - HA!
-- Tricia the Canuck (email@example.com), March 02, 1999.
Rent a storage space ($20-25/mo x 10 months = $250 tops) Stockpile there (extra $30/week) Total spent $1500. Results food and supplies for a year. Sneaky, yes. Will she be thankful 10 months from now, yes.
-- Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 1999.
My experience mimics yours in some ways. My husband is not concerned about y2k. It has been a source of friction between us. He does not want to read anything about y2k. However, i explained my concerns and told him why i had them. He has agreed to prepare for 2-3 months. I consult with him a discuss major prep issues. I do not attempt to get him to assist me in preps. I have been careful not to let the preps cause us financial burden. I have found support and the ability to share my concerns with people at the following chat site www.y2knews.com/chat.htm
I am very close to my husband. I do not want anything, even y2k, to interfere with my marriage. I have found that loving my spouce during the rough patches is hard, yet very productive. If you show someone unconditional love, it is harder for them not to return the favor. For me, that means showing them not my own love, but the love of Christ. For you, it may mean digging deep down inside yourself. It has worked for me.
Perhaps, you could also take some breaks from y2k prep and do things as a family. Share some good times, play and do some fun things together. Too much of anything is bad for you.
Take care and God Bless,
-- kay (y2kay@been there.com), March 02, 1999.
An additional thought: there is a site called CFCMINISTRY.COM which has a section on resolving Y2K conflict in families and churches.
It has extensive links to other help. Its a good site run by Larry Burkett. If you're interested, you go to the site and scroll down on the left hand side column and then click on the Y2k conflict icon and go from there. You don't have to buy anything or register, but you can contact the site authors if you want personal help.
This guy is very practical and insightful.
-- Jon Johnson (email@example.com), March 03, 1999.
Woa, I feel for some of you.I found out about y2k last summer.My honey came home from work, told him all about it, he opened up his wallet, took out 2 $100 bills told me to make a plan and go shopping!! And I have been ever since.We have two kids and I refuse to allow my babies to be without. We live out in the country on ten acres and have always grown our own vegetables. I know that we are so much better off than a lot of people. His parents however are DGI'S bigtime! Oh well, we keep trying but my honey is getting to the point that it's gonna be "to bad, to sad" for them. They are mega-wealthy so it's not like money is a problem. He told them last week on the phone that he was not going to come and get them if things got real bad because they should prepare and his first responsibility was to me and the kids (I love my man!) They live about 3 hrs away from us in a big town. Well good luck to everyone, maybe they will change and your loved ones will too! turtle
-- turtle (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 1999.