Reasons to Stay Together In Tough Times

Sharon December 6th, 2008

Note: This is another re-run, slightly revised for circumstances, but I’m kind of fond of it. I actually wrote this for the old Running On Empty list in response to a serious discussion of marital differences about peak oil, and then reprinted it on my blog.  I’m going to do a post about dealing with relationship stresses of tough times at some point, but for now, I thought we needed some comedy.  After all, one of the logical consequences of the economic crisis is that the grass ain’t always greener anymore.

1. Gives you something sustainable to do during those rolling blackouts (sex and fighting would probably both fit the bill, actually.)

2. You can’t afford dinner and a movie, much less romantic gifts for your mistress or new sweetie anyway.  You might as well stay with someone whose expectations have already been lowered by exposure to the real you.

3. Lowered economic expectations mean that even if you are no longer motivated by staying at home for the sake of the children, you still need to stick it out for the sake of the pets - kibble is getting pricey.
4. Loving partners will often pretend interest in things like the rate of oil extraction in the Ghawar and the carbon impact of driving vs. flying when others begin yawning and wander off.

5. Romantic evenings with spouse may already consist of offering to be the one to cook dinner *and* do the dishes.

6. Newly met potential partners are often turned off by birth control discussions that require low budget home vasectomies or or craft-your-own condoms.

7. The only new people you are meeting are collection agents in Bangalore, and you can’t afford the flight.

8. Huddling together for warmth with a damp spouse who has just come
out of the barn is marginally more pleasant than huddling with a damp dog who has just come from the same place. Usually.

9. Since he’s already spent tons of money restoring his bike or collecting the complete back episodes of some anime series, you can legitimately tell him to piss off when he complains about you buying bulk toilet paper and dried beans.

10. When your unbearable sister in law and her three obnoxious children move in because of the crisis, the only person who will put up with them is the person who knows that if he/she doesn’t, his/her demanding, drunken parents will be out on their behinds. Moreover, the absence of cable can be much compensated for by lengthy discussions of whose relatives are more horrifying.

11. Spouses/partners may come to find your true hair color/hairy legs (face?back?)/chronic allergic snoring/tendency towards simultaneous wrinkles and zits endearing after you can no longer locate or afford products intended to conceal them. One hopes.
12. Once the peak comes, you know that you’ll have each other forever, though thick and thin, good times and bad, through all the great exigencies of life. After all, divorce is too expensive and you are conserving ammo.



24 Responses to “Reasons to Stay Together In Tough Times”

  1. Jyotsnaon 06 Dec 2008 at 6:12 am

    LOL! I have no other comments.

  2. Steven Earl Salmonyon 06 Dec 2008 at 7:15 am

    Dear Friends,

    The human-induced predicament visible in our time to the family of humanity makes one thing clear: people with eyes to see, ears to hear and no speech impediments have got to speak out loudly, clearly and often now. Silence, the greatest power the rich and powerful possess, cannot be allowed to prevail. The reckless way a few people with wealth and power maintain a “golden” silence, one that protects their greed, gluttony and hoarding, is dangerous and cannot longer be endured because a good enough future for our children and coming generations is being mortgaged and threatened by these leading elders in my not-so-great generation.

    Regardless of whether or not other human beings choose to accept the “answers” to one question, I believe we must ask ourselves, “Can we teach one another to live within limits?”

    It is necessary, I suppose, for human beings to recognize and affirm human limits

    and Earth’s limitations

    To do otherwise and, by so doing, choose willfully and foolishly to ignore the practical requirements of biophysical reality runs the risk of putting life as we know it and our planetary home as a fit place for human habitation in peril, even in these early years of Century XXI.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  3. Nunoon 06 Dec 2008 at 8:14 am

    I like that you said “sex and fighting” (maybe the other way around?)and not “sex or fighting”.

  4. Bellenon 06 Dec 2008 at 8:30 am

    AND it’s too hard to break in a new one!!

  5. Judyon 06 Dec 2008 at 8:42 am

    Thanks- I needed this one.

  6. Greenpaon 06 Dec 2008 at 9:07 am

    Too much time on your hands!!! Whoda thunk.

    For those contemplating the sex direction, there’s a new warning out there:

    And Sharon- is it possible this is the reason for your offspring? :-)

  7. Devin Quinceon 06 Dec 2008 at 9:32 am

    “Since he’s already spent tons of money restoring his bike”

    Wait, I hope you mean motorcycle and not bicycle, as the bicycle will be a well used tool in the near future and I have a garage full of them! Oh and I guess it helps that it is my only form of transportation to and from work, as we are a 1 car family.

  8. […] economic turmoil boiling over onto survival. Then today she (humorously, really!) recounts why the stresses will keep families together. 12. Once the peak comes, you know that you’ll have each other forever, though thick and thin, […]

  9. […] Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » Reasons to Stay Together In Tough Times This is another re-run, slightly revised for circumstances, but I’m kind of fond of it. I actually wrote this for the old Running On Empty list in response to a serious discussion of marital differences about peak oil, and then reprinted it on my blog. I’m going to do a post about dealing with relationship stresses of tough times at some point, but for now, I thought we needed some comedy. After all, one of the logical consequences of the economic crisis is that the grass ain’t always greener anymore. […]

  10. Green Beanon 06 Dec 2008 at 11:46 am

    Definitely need the comedy this am. Thanks for the laught!

  11. Evaon 06 Dec 2008 at 12:25 pm

    and as a recently separated friend says- it’s hard to explain this crisis/peak thing to new people, they often find it off putting.

  12. Philon 06 Dec 2008 at 1:11 pm

    “The economic crisis is straining people’s relationships and leading to a steep rise in couples seeking help, a leading counselling service has said.

    Relate said it had seen calls jump from nearly 5,000 in October to November last year to more than 7,500 for the same period this year - a rise of 59%.

    It said job insecurities and money worries were putting an extra strain on their callers’ relationships.

    One divorce lawyer said she had seen an “exodus” of people from relationships. ”

    Timely advice, Sharon :-)

  13. Wendyon 06 Dec 2008 at 3:26 pm

    That’s awesome! It’s good to keep things in perspective and remember that in the toughest of times, laughter is often free … and it’s good for what ails ya, or so I hear ;).

  14. KathyDon 06 Dec 2008 at 5:13 pm

    It’s all fun and games until someone gets their eye poked out. :-)

    I have a mixed marriage. I’m a doomer with the whole farm, food, energy, water self-sufficiency going on. My husband has no tolerance or imagination for such things and is promising our 4-year old twin boys a four-wheeler– to help with the cattle ostensibly.

    Our different views cause a great deal of conflict. He is disgusted at my food storage– although it is already coming in handy when we run out of stuff in the cupboard. He actually thinks I’m nuts and that all will be well. I do have to laugh out loud sometimes at the look on his middle-class, college-educated, church going face when I say things like “that culvert could come in handy to store a cache of supplies.”

  15. virginiaon 06 Dec 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Hilarious post. My favorite is Reason #7!

    Mine: Most any silly argument will be forgotten when the irritating spouse is providing delightful body heat in our freezing cold bed.

    Also, the family dog makes me mad sometimes, but he gets a lot of bonus points for tolerantly sitting still while I warm my numb hands under his furry front leg “armpits”.

    Sorry if that is too much information….!

  16. Jenaon 06 Dec 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Sharon! Hope all is going well for you. I really admire what you do here so I’d like to pass along the Lemonade Award. If you’re interested you can get the whole scoop over at my blog. I know you’re very busy and won’t be hurt at all if you don’t take the award, just thought you’d appreciate the praise! :)

  17. SurvivalTopics.comon 06 Dec 2008 at 10:50 pm

    “You might as well stay with someone whose expectations have already been lowered by exposure to the real you.”

    That is a great statement, you made my day!

  18. AppleJackCreekon 06 Dec 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Laughed until I had tears in my eyes … the last sentence caught me totally off guard! “Conserving ammo”! Oh my!

    I tell my wonderful husband how lucky I am to have him over and over and over … he may laugh at me sometimes for worrying about ‘the end of the world’ coming soon, but he really does love the self-sufficiency we are building and he is very good-natured about it all.

    Thanks again, Sharon, for reminding us of all the blessings we have … and that we need to to save the ammo for where it matters most! :D

  19. KatJon 06 Dec 2008 at 11:49 pm

    I am so relieved to be able to access your blog again, as I have become a bit of an addict since I discovered it! I checked earlier today (I haven’t been able to get it at all this week, and was afraid you were off the airwaves or something.) But there you were tonight and I read all of the blogs that I have missed. Yay!! Thanks for caring about all of us. You can be my other mom if you want - I don’t mind (even though I suspect that I am a few decades older than you). Can’t have too many moms. Today’s blog was hilarious! Thanks!

  20. Jennon 07 Dec 2008 at 1:42 am

    Awesome list. : ) But I think “you don’t feel inclined to show someone new how to plant squash, feed the chickens, use the grain mill, preserve food, manage the composting toilet, harvest potatoes, knit socks, make cheese, hang laundry, turn the compost, and milk the goat” could fit on there as well.

  21. Pangolinon 07 Dec 2008 at 7:54 am

    That should be titled “Reasons to Stay Together In Tough Times” (for women). As most men already know their marriage is pretty much synonymous with their paycheck. If the latter goes the former isn’t far behind.

    Women understand that ditching a medically or economically distressed partner immediately improves their situation. Improves their chances of getting social support and frees them up to troll for another income-bearing partner. The shattering impacts of divorce are particularly hard on men who find themselves with “pay-or-go-to -jail court orders they may not be able to satisfy.

    You might want to add to your list: 13) It beats taking the kids to daddy’s funeral. Men, faced with no-win futures, are increasingly committing suicide.

  22. Sharonon 07 Dec 2008 at 9:12 am

    Ouch, Pangolin. Could we maybe admit that there are two sides to this coin - that it is true that some men get hosed when the shallow women in their lives blow them off? But it is also true that it is women who overwhelmingly get poorer after divorce, who often get left to raise the kids, and that some men leave women for cuter models? I’m a woman, and maybe my balance is off - but I think yours is too - there are some real assholes in each gender, and some really great people as well. Let’s not demonize one sex.

    Jena, thank your for the award. I don’t know how to post the graphic, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pass it along, but I really appreciate your kind words!


  23. Green Assassin Brigadeon 07 Dec 2008 at 11:19 am

    While I stopped collecting comics a long time ago they have value. I can teach kids to read with them and have a hell of a good time teaching them a revisionist history.

    “Once, great and powerful people walked amoung us until evil governments taxed and litigated them out of existence.”

  24. Kation 09 Dec 2008 at 1:51 pm

    *snort & chuckle* Thanks for the laugh. I esp. liked number 11, as the SIL truly IS unbearable and she DOES have 2 (soon to be 3, once the youngest hits toddlerhood) obnoxious (putting it nicely!) children and NO hubby. But, it’s also my inlaws that are the drunken & disorderly ones whom we’d actually be STAYING with, if worst comes to worst. (And, having 10 years of equity into our tiny little home in a close-knit neighbourhood, we’re hoping we can hold onto it.)

    *grin* Thanks again for the reminder why I can’t go pick up a new boyfriend when the hubby’s aggrivating me to no end. *wink*

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