To not care enough about the environment(16 Posts)
Interested in what other people think because DH and I have argued about this so much now I've totally lost perspective. I've also nc'd because a few people in RL might recognise me.
DH and I have a pretty good relationship otherwise, but recently we've been arguing a lot about the environment. Basically he thinks I don't care enough, and I think he's trying to get me to make sacrifices that I can't deal with right now (cleaning out recycling, not using any plastic, not using the car unless there is no public transport, not replacing things around the house unless they break even though some are really old and don't work very well, eating all of the food before we buy new food etc). Plus I love shopping, buying new clothes makes me happy. But - he thinks I'm wasteful and need to care more.
As not to drip feed I'm also in a fairly bad place MH-wise at present too, I witnessed something fairly traumatic at the end of last year that I still get flashbacks/anxiety about and my best friend has cancer. I'm ok much of the time but also feel like I'm in survival mode a lot of the time so looking for an easy life. Being nagged about the environment and having to do things like catch a bus when a short drive would cover it can make me feel much worse some days. I'm not spending money we don't have and I don't think I'm overly wasteful compared to most other people.
I suspect he's in the right but can't help it - I just don't have the emotional energy to care as much as he wants me to.
Are you planning on having kids?
Maybe in the future, but he'd only ever want two (replacement theory)
It sounds to me like there is some middle ground here. Lots of public transport options can be very stressful with the symptoms you described but little things like cleaning the recycling or finding one thing you buy each month in plastic and finding an alternative can make you feel good.
He sounds like a knob. If he wants to make environmental choices then that's up to him but he shouldn't be pushing you into doing the same things. It sounds like you need support now, not chastisement for driving somewhere.
You're not being unreasonable, I'd be furious if my husband was trying to get me to take the bus if I wanted to drive
He has to do him, you have to do you and he can't force his views on you.
That sounds like a controlling and unsupportive relationship. Sorry OP.
Maybe time to have a proper discussion with him about the future of the relationship?
Whilst being as green as possible is commendable, it’s still a personal choice and no one wants to live in an eco dictatorship.
If your DH really cared he wouldn't want children as they are the worst thing for the environment.....
I don’t honestly think washing out something before sticking it in the recycling bin represents a huge sacrifice frankly, nor is the thirty seconds or so that it takes likely to have a big impact on your mental health.
Some of the other things that you mention could, conceivably, be regarded as slightly more impactful / arduous.
I personally agree with your DH; we should all try and take on a modicum of responsibility for the future of our planet and can’t stand things like food waste or excessive consumption but, equally, I can’t stand people who try and enforce their views unilaterally. So 🤷♀️
There are compromises to be made I'm sure, depending where you live would a bike be possible? Good for the environment and potentially good for mental health (as long as the journeys aren't stressful with traffic).
Meal planning and buying only what you're likely to need should help with food waste (and household budgets).
Ultimately you need to find a common ground for both of you, without him trying to control your entire life, no matter how good his intentions.
Surely he can do the washing out and recycling of plastic containers or does he melt if he puts his hands in water? Also what's stopping him looking in the fridge and working out what needs to be eaten? Meal planning doesn't require a vagina last time I looked. Why does he have a right to dictate how you live?
I find bloody pious eco-fascism really annoying. Tell us about all the contributions he is making and lets see how he stands up under judgement.
From your OP it doesn’t seem like you don’t care about the environment. It seems more like you are super stretched right now mentally/emotionally and any extra jobs (however small) are extra stresses on top of an already overloaded plateful.
I don’t see why he can’t wash out recycling etc etc and find small eco adjustments in the family without adding extra burden to you.
Sorry you’re going through a tough time
Is he offering any kind of help in you doing these things or is he just ordering you to follow his standard? YANBU either way if he's having a go at you a lot, but he's even more so if he's not offering to help. It does sound unsupporting and controlling. Your well-being is also important.
Going on about how you don't care 'enough' about it would be a big hit mental health wise to me. It's one thing to suggest trying out other more environmentally friendly ways to improve your mental health over shopping (which from what I've read tends to be a limited boost followed by a greater fall for many) like walking, some get a boost and sense of accomplishment from doing the research and writing to companies or MPs or councilors about the issues or organizing their house maybe with a place for recycling that needs more care to wash (like peanut butter jars, those are such a pain to clean for me, I buy it far less in part due to that) if that's a struggle for you that he can do things like that. With shopping maybe researching greener alternatives to buy when you need basics like toothbrushes and things. It's quite another to hold certain tasks over you as a barometer of your worth and amount of good-enough-caring.
The biggest environmental costs in ordinary people's lives are having children and air travel, and it sounds as though you're not doing either right now.
I'm sorry you're struggling, and I'm sorry about your friend, it really sucks.
Could you buy clothing that was vintage/second hand, so you get something new to wear, but at a smaller environmental cost?
And honestly, I just rinse the milk bottles, wash the jars with the washing up. It takes so little time, if you just make it a habit.
It's like healthy eating you know it's important but sometimes your mental health can only cope with junk food and biscuits if they are your comfort foods. Someone who doesn't have those issues may not be very understanding and will say come on you will feel so much better if you eat a few salads etc.
This is the same you are only just keeping your head above water and don't have the mental energy to make changes and give up your comfort activity of shopping.
I think you just have to tell your dh to focus on his own environmental changes and you are willing to change things around house only if it doesn't impact you (e.g. leaving the recycling for him to wash out) and you will probably start making small changes as your MH improves. If he still carries on fussing at you then scream at him he doesn't care a damn about you and strop off ok maybe that's just me. Have an adult discussion about boundaries
As adults we make choices in our personal lives according to that which motivates us because of things we have learned or experienced. Not because people tell us to. I am an environmentalist but realistic with it. I get very down about the state of the environment but know I cant solve the problem on my own. The authorities need to step up with pressure from the people. In the meantime I do what I can manage day to day. Mooncup, cloth nappies when the children were in nappies, reduce , reuse, repair, recycle . But I drive to work three days per week and recognise that this is contributing to our pollution. I agree with the other posters. Do what you need to do to keep sane and do the actions for the Environment that YOU want to do.
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