From The Memsahib: The Doom and Gloom Rule

I have observed that my husband and his male friends like to spend quite a lot of time discussing what we call “Doom and Gloom.” They talk about the falling value of the U.S. dollar, the threat of dirty bombs, the immorality of popular culture, uncontrolled immigration, hyperinflation, and the like. They actually seem to be enjoying themselves as they discuss the collapse of western civilization and the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). In fact, talking about it somehow seems to bond them. And I have even observed doom and gloom conversations lifting their spirits.

Naturally, Jim wants to discuss these topics with me as well. But conversations about the aforesaid topics only serve to depress me. I have been told by other women that doom and gloom conversations depress them as well. In some cases it has stressed the wife so much it has affected her health. Yes, really!

When Jim talks doom and gloom his perspective is from a national or even world wide one. But, when he mentions the falling value of the dollar I immediately think of my elderly aunts who are on a fixed incomes. What will they do? When he mentions dirty bombs I immediately worry about the safety of my siblings who live in a major metropolitan area. When he talks about the immorality of popular culture I think of my nieces and nephews who attend public schools. I’m sure that you get the idea. With every doom and gloom subject my mind immediately jumps to beloved family members who will be sure to suffer when things get bad.

To Jim, doom and gloom topics are abstract ideas. To me (and I suspect to other women also) doom and gloom is very personal. Because of our differences we have come up with the Doom and Gloom Rule which is: That there will be no mention of gloomy topics after 8 p.m. at night. With this rule there is enough time between the depressing conversations and bedtime. There is enough time for my mind to focus on other things and my depressed mood to lift before going to sleep. Before we instituted the Doom and Gloom Rule, I had difficulty getting to sleep, and/or had bad dreams.

For you husbands out there, please keep in mind that a woman’s mind is wet-wired very different than yours. You may be barraging your wife with just too much doom and gloom. She finds it depressing rather than enlightening. Be sensitive to her feelings and you will be more likely to have a wife who will be a partner in your survival preparations.