Although I survived Y2K and the Great Economic Collapse of 2008, when my husband became obsessed with prepping and survival techniques, I didn’t know if I would. His words made sense, but already depleted from the day-to-day care of our two children, the new passion unraveled the stabilizing thread in my heart.
Intense Fear and Anxiety Over Children’s Future
He didn’t understand the unending multifaceted thoughts in a woman’s mind let alone the unfortunate reality: There isn’t a shut off. What will happen to our kids when this happens? How will we survive? Exasperated by news and social media, my struggle to harness my thoughts and thwart a growing end-of-the-world scenario anxiety was futile. Unintentionally, he continued to infuse a perspective that was toxic to my mind. Intense fear and anxiety over our children’s future resulted.
Changed My Perspective Forever
Despite the wait for the unprecedented chaos outbreak, image still mattered to me. As reality shows popped up on television documenting the life of preppers, I was certain I didn’t want to be lumped in with that crowd. Although the books belonged to my better half, I aimed to avoid the paranoid freak and crazy prepper labels. Before friends came over, I’d be sure to nip and tuck rogue books from Forstchen, Rawles, and the like. His obsession wasn’t an endearing or lovable flaw. However, his patience and ability to delicately bring survival topics up among people he felt might relate changed my perspective forever.
That carefree spring evening, laughter spilled out the open windows of our home. Nothing beats dining with friends and the joy of children enjoying the extra leash distracted parents provide. As that vibrant night of playing cards with friends wound down, we broached topics normally taboo, and a new path was charted for my husband’s obsession as well as my fears.
New Strength Began To Grow
Initially cautious with words surrounding survival and prepping, a conversation gave way revealing our friends were closet preppers. Like me, the wife wrestles with anxiety, but she bravely sat and contributed to the discussion. She shared her journey to freedom from anxiety and an appreciation for her husband’s fortitude to follow matters and care for their family. As she and I picked up debris proving a night well spent, we continued to talk. A new strength began to grow in my heart.
Fast forward four years, I nearly lost a friend because of the mutual desire my husband and I now share to be prepared. When my husband passed along one of the first fictional books that changed his perspective to this friend’s husband an obsession was birthed. Pregnant with their second child, she remarked to me that her husband’s passion for prepping unnerved her. In addition to the physical and emotional toll of child rearing and pregnancy, she was equal parts annoyed and afraid. In that moment, I saw my former self– the fatigued mom at the beginning of a survival prepping journey. As I recalled what encouraged my heart, what fed my soul, and made me braver, I spoke in hopes of the same for her.
Dear husbands reading this, please take heart of my story. Be tender and patient with your wife. Your shoulders must be broad as she grows strong.
Dear Wife Friend
For you, dear wife friend, I hope your husband shares this article and that you don’t wave it away (as I often did). The sky will fall, but you will not, and you do not need to live wrapped in anxiety as I once did.
1. Give a Long Leash
It’s a good measure in general to give a long leash but especially when your husband is delving into something new like the survival world. Give him space to enthusiastically research and digest survival information. There will likely be added time on YouTube; don’t hold it against him. Accept the reality that he’ll be sucked in, it will be intense, but the learning curve is steep, fast, and therefore not forever.
2. Remember: Our Husband’s Intentions Are For Us, Not Against Us
He’s in this for you, be in it for him. You don’t have to read the books he’s reading or subscribe to the media outlets to be a sound board. Consider the mindless conversations we have as women about the mundane and our superficial exchanges through social media. Remember your partner for life needs to talk some of these concepts through with you, the greater YOU.
3. Be Agile, Flexible, and Acrobatic in Your Thinking
There isn’t a single right way to go about this survival and prepping business, so be agile and flexible. We must be willing to consider many options and opinions before determining the right path for our families. Let your mind stretch, twist, and turn when discussing this with your husband.
4. Reign in When Necessary
Ironically this idea to reign in when necessary actually compliments the first recommendation. At any point on this venture, perspective can easily be lost. Election season, nuclear missile threats, and civil unrest shove reality closer to the bosom. Yes, the sky is falling and the writing is on the wall. However, there are still sunsets, kid’s birthdays, laughter shared with friends and family, the beauty of rainfall, and the gift of golden rays of sun warming the skin. It’s our obligation to remind our spouse of the blessings that still abound. This is especially important for those raising the next generation of revolutionaries. We must not shackle them in fear or suffocate their hope.
5. Get a Grip on Your Anxieties
There are many perspectives on how to get a grip on your anxiety, but here are two that changed my life:
- What we hold tightly will hold us hostage. Freedom comes when we release our grip and let go. Evaluate what you need to simply let go. The most difficult part is often identifying what we’re holding.
- Nothing can have power over us unless we give it power. Take back the power. Consider kids playing tag. If the kids don’t run, there is no game. We must stop running from fear and anxiety. This part of my journey took my faith deep and led me to question: Who do I trust more, my loving Lord or mankind?
6. Have Tough Conversations
At the beginning, tough conversations with my husband brought out many nervous tendencies. Though I’d shake and fidget with my cuticles, I knew the conversation would end when I hit my end. Be aware of anxiety levels and ability to manage the content of conversations when we become vulnerable and our mind wanders (commonly the middle of the night while everyone’s asleep, while your pushing your kid on the swing or waiting in a long checkout line…). With that as a foundation, engage in the conversation that scares you and be surprised. Muscles grow strong when strained, and we grow strong when we reasonably face anxieties.
7. Laugh Together
Silly cat videos? You bet. Dry Comedy Bar? Yes, please. JP Sears? More, please. I Mom So Hard, parodies, and ridiculous commercials… find something that makes you laugh together. Shared laughter is like a nuke to the dismal that can hover in our homes. Don’t be too busy to stop for a few minutes of giggles or belly laughing. Times are tough for many, so share laughter with the world instead of fueling melancholy.
8. Place Faith in the Faithful
Our lives are limited, and we are powerless to protect ourselves against political shifts, collapses, and takeovers. We cannot insulate our lives from the effects of culture’s growing depravity, hostility, and lack of morality. Nature will hurl a tornado, swirl a hurricane, split at its core, spew lava, and instantly smite thousands of lives. This world offers no hope. But the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob proves time and again that the Lord is for us, not against us. We are small; the Lord is mighty and dedicated to protecting, preserving, and blessing His people. What we believe about Jesus will change our lives and perspective. Have faith.
9. Balance His Need to Protect His Family With Joy
While our husbands invest time in protecting our families physically, we can consciously pause the family schedule and breathe. This is a fantastic way to show that we’re paying attention to survival/prepping by creating fun ways to test practices. Each of us understand what nurtures our families; fuel that. Remember the simplest things in life yield great dividends!
10. Connect With Other Survival Wives
The survival world is elusive and secretive, which led me to feel alienated. As you already know, when I finally met a survival oriented wife, my world changed. Some of us are verbal processors and the ability to digest information with another woman hones our perspective. Find her. Be her.
11. Let Go of What’s Outside Your Control
Don’t spend your time fretting over the potential of civil war, the path of nuclear bombs, when the economy will collapse, which are all beyond our power. Worry only depletes our limited energy and resources. We must live in awareness but invest in what we can influence.
12. Study History
There’s nothing new under the sun, so study history. Understanding human behavior and the rise and fall of past civilizations helps us better understand our place on the timeline. I won’t lie. If your fear and anxiety isn’t in check, this understanding may lead to cynicism. While homeschooling, we listened to Story of the World with our kids. It’s a broad brush of world history from the beginning of time to the modern age. It’s fun, fascinating, and a great way to simply brush up on general concepts. Another fun way to gain perspective is playing the card game Timeline. Choose American or world history, inventions or more. It’s a blast (and would pair well with numbers 7 and 9)!
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.