Do you live with an “off-the-grid” guy? Does your man live in his own little world—a world where he tries to do everything himself? Maybe you’re the husband of an OTG gal. How do our spouses put up with us? I think my wife has found a way to put up with me, using a combination of love, planning, and patience.
The first few years we were together, I’m sure my wife weighed her options many times. She is my rock, my realist, my gentle bubble buster. She holds down her job so we can have insurance, while I use my creative juices to make us more self-supporting each day.
It’s not an easy job, putting up with me and my crazy ideas, but I sure am glad she keeps me around. If I were her, I probably would have kicked me to the curb early on and cut my losses. So, for you spouses having to live with people like me, I asked my wife to give you all a few pointers. She will take it from here.
Hello OTG spouses! My name is Christine, and I’m a survivor. Below are just a few tips for living with a “self-supporting” partner.
Tip #1: Never mention an idea to your OTG spouse and leave for work without explaining in detail exactly what you want. I once stated it would be nice to have a “pass-through” in the wall going from the kitchen to the dining room. When I came home that day, Bob had taken the reciprocating saw to my kitchen wall, cutting through our wiring and more importantly, ripping out a support post, dropping our kitchen ceiling about a half inch. He was very proud of this hole, but didn’t really know how to fix the ceiling. I blame myself for this, as I should have explained Newton’s laws to him before leaving for work.
Tip#2: Always make a drawing of your project before approaching your OTG spouse with said project. Try to include dimensions, tools needed, and a material list, complete with simple step-by-step pictures before leaving them alone. I’ve seen everything from doorways off by three inches to barn gutters redirected into our pool. Do you remember the board game “Mouse Trap?” That is exactly what some of his projects look like if I don’t map each step out.
Tip#3: Always listen to your OTG guy or gal when they are explaining how they “fixed” something for you. The other day I had to drive Bob’s truck to work. I was picking up all the trash that fell out when I opened the truck door as he was explaining the creative ways he saved money by not fixing what he called “minor problems” with Old Blue. If I had been listening, I would have known the inside door handles were under the seat, and I wouldn’t have been late for work just because I couldn’t get out of the truck. If I had listened to his advice never to turn left in the truck, I would have known that the engine kills and you have to dump the clutch to get the power steering to work again, something that becomes very important if you are turning left.
Tip#4: You must learn to be very patient when you live with an OTG person. I love Bob, but when he tried to use my washing machine to wash dishes, I must admit I had to take a breath before speaking to him about the broken glass I found in my underwear while sitting down for a board meeting.
Tip#5: You must always remember, OTG people are very caring and conscientious, and they are truly trying to help the world with their ideas. They are just a bit… misguided sometimes.
With these tips, you too can keep your OTG spouse happy and productive. With any luck, you too can be a survivor.