Cryonics -winning over a mate

From: John Grigg (
Date: Sat Dec 29 2001 - 17:50:55 MST

Hello everyone,

Robert Ettinger, one of the "fathers" of cryonics, wrote this perceptive post on how a cryonicist can win over their mate on the matter of actually being put into biostasis. I think it would be very worthwhile reading for some of the people here.

best wishes,


Message #18243
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 12:38:17 EST
Subject: wives etc.

A few more words about reluctant spouses--mainly wives--of members of
cryonics organizations.

First, any mixed marriage--Republican and Democrat, Protestant and Catholic,
whatever--has extra hurdles to clear. Nevertheless, there are a great many
mixed marriages, and many of them do all right. (Every marriage is "mixed" to
some extent, since no two people are identical.)

Second, there may be special problems in the cryonics case. The reluctant
spouse may not have had advance warning. The unpopularity of cryonics makes
negativity easier. Money is involved. There may be family and social

Yet the actual statistical experience is hopeful. I don't have exact figures
handy, but there are many times as many spouses who are tolerant, or even
convert, as with random individuals. I don't know of many cases in which the
spouse's reluctance actually resulted in failure to freeze.

This clearly stems mainly from three factors. First, the love relationship
predisposes less automatic hostility and toward loyalty; she probably wants
to give you the benefit of the doubt. Second, the spouse is exposed to much
more valid cryonics information than the average person. Finally, it is
usually more unpleasant to break up the marriage, or allow a continuing
irritant, than to be tolerant at least--it is rarely a big sacrifice.

As to tactics, the following seem to be usually helpful:

Don't ask permission; just explain your choice. If she is reluctant, be firm.
Make it clear that, regardless of your love, you will not sacrifice your life
for her, and that there is no chance of your being persuaded to give up
cryonics. Take it or leave it.

Avoid confrontation or reproach. Pressing the issue, raising your voice or
questioning her intelligence won't help.

Make it clear that, if necessary, after revival you will make a new life
without her--but it would pain you deeply to lose her, and you would be very
much happier if she could share your opportunity.

Occasionally, if it isn't too blatant, implied bargaining can help. Give her
something she wants, without explicitly demanding any quid pro quo. Be extra
considerate, which is usually a good idea anyway.

If your growing children are available as allies, or other friends or
relatives or acquaintances, use them. If she can meet other cryonicists, she
is likely to be impressed with their quality.

Be patient, if there is no likely early emergency. Time is on your side (even
though nobody knows how much time he has). Her continued exposure to
cryonics information, the stream of new break-throughs in science and
medicine, and the slowly receding public negativity, should have a cumulative

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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