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Old 01-04-2010, 00:35   #1
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Challenge: Overcoming Major Hurdle to World Cruise: Convincing the Wife !

This is my first posting ever. Here goes. Any tips out there from the cruising world to help me "help" my wife consider a cruising life? I dont want to push my dream on her although she knows (for 25 years) its what ive always wanted to do. I've tried to show her through travel to exotic places, barefoot windjammer cruises, etc. that theres another part of this journey than concrete jungle work and raising kids (7 and 11) in a "safe suburban" environment but to no avail. She isnt budging guys. She is perfectly content with her comfortable, predictable life here in the desert as it exists. I need to pursue my lifelong dream-hopefully with her. I feel like im 50 going on 30 and she's 45 going on 60. No im not going thru a midlife crises. This has just been going on for many years now with no resolve. Anybony else gone thru this? Thanks guys.

Pura Vida on the Horizon
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Old 01-04-2010, 00:59   #2
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Many men go through this.

Fortunately for me we were not engaged when I decided I would go sailing. I made it very and abundantly clear that I was buying a boat and going sailing.

Nic then considered that I am a man of my word and she would be left on the dock. She then, and always has been totally supportive and very happy with her new life. She knows the alternative.

Women are genetically (or by nature, whatever) made to want a stable home nest. You must make the boat a stable home nest. The only way to do that is to remove the old nest. Or go sailing yourself. Then you have the problem of her keeping the house and flicking you. It all gets down to your money pile and your legal position

Some women we have met crusing are always 'white-anting' their husbands and cruise... they make life miserable till the man gives up and goes home.

So make the decisions clear and up front.

This might not sound like it helps.... but I hope it does


Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 01-04-2010, 01:19   #3
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Thanks Mark. Your advice is appreciated. Stay posted.
Pura Vida on the Horizon
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:41   #4
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Yeah, me too Pura Vida. 'Not the outcome I'd hoped for but then there's always hope. You might think I, of all sailors, should have it made in this regard. Mrs. W. married me knowing my cruising plans and as such, lead me to believe that she was ok with that. I was living aboard at the time and in fact, I continued to live aboard while she lived in an apartment with her two teenagers. That actually worked out great. We'd get together on weekends and then live apart during the work week. Later we shipped one of the kids off to college and we bought a house. 'Saved a ton of money living in one place instead of two. 'Kept the boat of course. Now it's time to cast off and cruise. She's not going. Long ocean passages just aren't her cup of tea. I guess I can understand that. So here's the rub; I want to sail, she doesnt, what do ya' do? Abandon the dream? Dump the wife? Neither. I'm going, She's staying, just like when we were first married. I'll fly home and visit every so often and maybe I can convince her to come to the boat once or twice in paradise. Do you know how many lonely sailors are out there? Lots. You'll have the advantage of a solid and loving relationship to anchor your soul as you travel. If your love is strong, and I'm sure it is or else you wouldn't be conflicted, you'll grow closer being apart. Ours is only the second or third generation in history that can travel the world round in hours. 'Used to be men went off to sea or war for months and years away from wife and family. That didn't break them, it made them stronger. Look up some of the love letters sent home to spouses from the battlefields of times past and present. Our modern age of instant gratification engenders an "all me, right now" attitude. It's not all about you, PV, she's got plans too. The important thing is to make them both work out. Jimmy Buffet sings 'and the walls that won't come down we can decorate or climb or find some way to get around'.Good luck, Fair winds,Dennis W.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:52   #5
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Hey major hurdle!!! Shucks, why try and make your wife happy doing what you love doing, she doesn't want to do it, so make yourself happy and do it! You will enjoy each other more when you are together, maybe?
Anyway, it is very scary for many women and men, to see the shore dissapear and sail off, it's like going into outer space and the boats are dammned uncomfortable, hot, no showers, shocking toilets, smelly and difficult to prepare food in!
I can't get my wife to come cruising in paradise, my daughter came and enjoyed the time spent with her father and the islands we visited but disliked living on the boat.

I don't know how you can convince a wife that doesn't want to cruise to come with you?

I hope that mine will weaken and join me somewhere?

Cruising in Thailand.
Keith, "But I was born very young and grew up knowing little of the world!"
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:04   #6
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Try a couple of charters first

Your wife's happiness is paramount. When she is happy you get rewarded ten-fold. Try going on a couple of charter trips first, say for a week sail. Go to the Bahamas, Belize w just the two of you or invite a couple you enjoy being around to join in. That will help negotiate the hurdle...its practical to think ahead and the old 'count the cost advice' too.
A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again.

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Old 01-04-2010, 05:04   #7
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My wife (now-ex) over the 18 years we were together always insisted that my wanderlust and desire to sail were just a part of my "grass is greener" attitude and indicated significant immaturity on my part. She is probably right.

However 15 years later, here I am still travelling to greener pastures and she is still back on the farm happily being a Taurean with her cats & predictable schedule.

My new partner of the last 15 yrs is one of those rare breed, a woman who likes to sail, wants to keep possessions to a minimum and is happy to look after the boat while I am away working to make the bucks to sail for another 6 months.

All I had to do was buy her a nice gas stove to do what she loves - cook. The dog is also good at keeping the lil' woman busy, happy and protected.

My advice to you is - buy a catamaran. A woman is more likely to settle on a cat. A nice stable platform & more space for her to make a home & safer for the kids to career around on. The possibilities of slowly introducing your wife to the aquatic life are limited living in Arizona. Maybe bareboat charter a catin the Carribean.
Good luck, you're going to need it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:36   #8
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Major Hurdle,
One thing you might do is to have your wife join this forum. The folks here have collectively experienced every type of cruising from gunkholing in the Chesapeake to sailing through the high latitudes across the Pacific. I dare say we all love it and we can cite chapter and verse as to why. ( Just look at zeehag's photos -- they would make anyone want to sail into the sunset) There's also enough collective experience here to answer all her questions and allay her fears.
I did this with my wife (Artlady) and right now she's closing down her business we're getting rid of everything and when that's done we're outta here -- figure it will take about 2 years. Admittedly my wife loves sailing, her problem was her type 1 diabetes. But the point is that cruisers here with the same problems showed how she could deal with it. You and your wife have been living the suburban life for 25 years so in her eyes this would be a major, major upheaval. Talking with people on this forum might give her a different point of view.
BTW, you don't say what your kids think about cruising. If they're against it, then it's probably not gonna happen until they're off to college. As for going by yourself, I don't know you or your wife or your relationship well enough to want to go there. For myself, I could no more leave my wife behind than I could cut off my arm -- but that's me.
You also don't say whether you have a boat or whether you and your wife have every been sailing. If you haven't, it's really a leap into the unknown for her.
Anyway, good luck and I hope you can work something out that's satisfactory for all.

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Old 01-04-2010, 05:41   #9
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Having been in this situation, though without the kids, I will give one piece of information I learned. For some the draw to cruising is the excitement of sailing and the proximity to nature. I tried to show this to my wife, but she wanted no part of it, for her that translated into camping on a boat and being wet all the time. After a few years of discussing the topic and fighting an uphill battle, I discovered that I was painting a picture of "sailing" from place to place and not living on a boat in secluded anchorages and enjoying the ability to relocate and move when the desire came up. In other words, for her the sailing is a means to an end and the enjoyment is of being somewhere and experiencing the culture and scenery of the different places we go.

Ask people how much time they spend with the sails up versus with the anchor down and then think about the approach or sales pitch. Present the information from a different angle, but make sure she is excited about the opportunity and not just going to "tag along". If she is not an equal on the boat in all ways then you are just begging for problems on all fronts.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:51   #10
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Ask your wife to help refurbish the boat to make it a comfortable home and assure her that you will be back to visit friends and family and that friends will be invited to stay on the boat for holidays.

Make sure you get a big enough boat. I'm looking at 33 to 38 feet for me and the missus so we can have 2 - 4 guests every so often. It would be cramped for 4 but tolerable for a week (or so we believe).

For my wife, the "draw" is the foreign places. We expect to dock in an area for at least a few weeks at a time, maybe longer.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:40   #11
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I don't know your wife, so I'm of limited help but here's my current thoughts.

You might think about trying something less exotic, or far away as a world cruise.

There are loughts of places to be along the coast of the US. There is loughts of traveling to be done in the rivers of North America. Traveling around the world calls to a certian type of person. It's an adventure. It is also increadably frightening to another. It's unsteady, and there are pirates, storms and reefs, OH MY!

On the other hand, if your not that far from home, then it can't be all that dangerous can it? (Statics don't back this but, but argueing with a women has nothing to do with logic, and everything to do with emotion. Being closer to home FEELS safer.) If your on a river, it can't be that unsafe can it? You can duck into a marina, or a cove, and get out of a storm. And pirates? Who ever heard of the Pirates of the Mississippi River? Next, you hae to sell her on the advantages. The beauteful sun sets. Being in a secluded cove with you. The ability to change location without having to pack everything up.

Where does SHE want to vacation. What does she like to do? Taylor your sales pitch around that.

I havn't convinced my wife yet, but we're making progress. She doesn't mind the idea of hanging up and down the Texas coast, but she still isn't sure about the whole "boat" thing.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:44   #12
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We worked our way into it. A couple of overnights, an offshore trip to New England and spent the Summer there, lived aboard on the Chesapeake, then a rally to the Caribbean. We have now lived aboard for 6 years. She flys home every 2-3 months to see family.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:48   #13
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How about a compromise? You sail the boat to paradise and she flies there and you both gunkhole around. That's how my wife and I'll be doing it.
I love sailing, but not near as much as I love my wife.

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Old 01-04-2010, 09:02   #14
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My sister-in-law does sailing and knows someone whose wife does not like being out of sight of land, so what he does is he keeps no more than a few miles offshore. If a long passage is needed she travels on land (or flies) and meets him at the other end. My sister-in-law crews for the offshore passages.

She cannot wait for us to get equipped boat-wise...
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:49   #15
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My standard answer. Just do it. Go. Deal with the issues as they arise. It's your life. You only get this one shot. You won't know until you go. It might work out great.

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