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Old 13-08-2012, 01:52   #46
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Re: Reluctant Wife

Just some thought on what seems to be working for me.
My wife has always known What she would be getting herself in to when she married me. In saying that, Happy Wife Happy Life.
Recently I bought A 40ft Yacht to start warming up for the big Cat in a few years time.
My current boat has needed some work and money spent to make her seaworthy & safe. Part of this expense has been doing sailing & Skipper courses for myself & mainly for my wife (us blokes don't need instructions & can figure it all out as we go along) Words to live by, just got to convince my wife.
So far each time she completes another course I notice that she gains confidence and enjoys the sailing a bit more.
I am starting from a better position than you, as my wife is scared but prepared to give it a go, so working from that basis I am getting as much training as possible for her & myself in order to sneakily trick here into thinking that we are ready to go to sea. (hope she doesn't read this). What I meant to say is. We will soon have the skills & confidence to safely take our boat offshore.
The other important point here which is a big advantage in doing these courses is that it is not me doing the training and telling her what she needs to do, if you get my drift.

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Old 13-08-2012, 02:08   #47
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Re: Reluctant Wife

Get a proper motorboat so she won't feel so "close to the water." If that doesn't work, either abandon boating or wife.


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Old 13-08-2012, 03:45   #48
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Re: Reluctant Wife

I don't think there is any compromise to be made in this, she plain doesn't want to cut tries and go cruising.

All that leaves is a lose-lose or a win-lose situation where either neither gets what they want or, one gets what they want and the other doesn't.

You have to decide which it is going to be.

stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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Old 13-08-2012, 05:26   #49
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Re: Reluctant Wife

I don't believe it can't be win-win. Our oldest will go off to college in a year, the youngest
in three. I just got an Alberg 37 and plan to spend the next seven to eight years cruising the Great Lakes (home region) on short three day to three week cruises. The A37 is going to be setup to single hand. She has indicated that she cruise to the Caribbean with me, but She will meet me in Argentina, New Zealand, Hawaii (she **Might** sail back from Hawaii, TBD). I would have done all that it my Bristol 27, but I wanted her to at least come to the Caribbean and meet up with me from time to time ;-) You aren't going to get 10 years to tour the world with her on a 50 foot Tartan, but you might get what you need on a 40 year old classic plastic and revised expectations. BTW - you can spend years cruising the Great Lakes (lower UV) and still not be tired of them, plus be very close to good airports and hospitals (for now).
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Old 13-08-2012, 05:57   #50
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Re: Reluctant Wife

How about a compromise? She likes chartering in the caribbean. Put a boat into Moorings/Sunsail charter, use the 12 weeks (or whatever) owners time together in different places around the world. Move to second-tier charter company when the 5 year Moorings plan ends, continuing the revenue stream to pay for boat or bring it home, sell it or maybe she will have fallen in love with the cruising idea and off you go. Granted, this is not cruising, but some version of this might be worth considering.
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Old 13-08-2012, 06:05   #51

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Re: Reluctant Wife

I don’t know if I feel comfort in the knowledge that I am not alone out there with my dilemma or depressed knowing that there is not going to be happy ending.

My situation is a bit worse because I broke “the trust” and just went out and bought a boat without consulting the wife. I was going to surprise her at Xmas when the house was paid off but in one of our heated discussions about boats and retirement the secret came out and she went bat sh*t crazy!

It’s me or the boat she said. Luckily since I got the boat at a great price I was able to quell the situation by saying we can make some money by flipping the boat. But I was being disingenuous. I have no intentions of selling her hence the dilemma.

BTW, it doesn’t matter to her that we are fortunate enough where we don’t have to downsize the house or settle for one or the other. We can have it all.

So, do you stay true to your dreams, and mine is just coastal sailing and the Bahamas or jeopardize the marriage? At least the boat is large enough for me to live aboard if she kicks me out….

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Old 13-08-2012, 06:06   #52
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Re: Reluctant Wife

Has she been reading these posts?
Does she know that you posted something this personal? (BTW, you are not the first to do so )
We don't need to know the answers, but it might be an eye opener for you.
She may draw the line at sailing, but be a keeper in so many other ways.
Hard to cuddle a sailboat
so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 13-08-2012, 06:11   #53
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Re: Reluctant Wife

First let me say I have no answers but I do understand. I have been sailing, talking about sailing for 20 + years. The last few years I started learning more skills, getting a bigger boat so we could go cruising. When I started talking about it with dates to leave attached, she acted like it was a new idea!

People would tell me to take her on a week cruise to see if she liked it. Did that several times and we both had a wonderful time. She was reluctant to leave the job she loves and her freinds.

I started seeing people at work get cancer and die or have heart attacks. I feel as though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is a big freight train to run me down.

Anyway, I'd try to discuss this with her. I'd talk and she'd nod her head, not much of a discussion really. One day she was interested in cruising and the next didn't want to go. And I know you can't do this half hearted because living on a boat is difficult compared to land life.

So I felt like I was in a bind with no way out. Stay put and give up or watch my marriage dissolve and go cruising. If I stayed I would be angry and blame it on her. I started saying I could take summers off and cruise locally and she could keep working. She didn't like that either, me having a good time while she worked.

Finally I realized that she wanted this good, mythical retirement where we have financial security for the rest of our lives. Her father did have that by the way because he worked at GE until 62 and managed to die at 76. Had he lived longer inflation would have hurt him financially.

I coldy brought up that to pull off security today, we need to work until we are 65, travel a couple of years and then die in a few years because there is almost no way to guarantee security today. We have to work until we are too old to travel much and then die.

Still there was no progress but I got lucky. They started reorganizing her work and took some of the fun stuff away. Some of her coworkers got cancer. Still she was unsure.

I quit asking, I knew it was dangerous and could lead to divorce and we had been married 30 years. I said I was going cruising, she was wlecome to go along if she wanted. I was planning to take the 2013 summer off and cruise locally. Still she was unsure. Then I got lucky again, more reorganizing at her job, more pressure and not fun any more but she was still unsure.

Then the ultimate discussion that made the difference. I described in detail how long it took to save the money we have, how I had planned to spend it crusing and work part time to suppliment it. I then told her to the dollar how much we had saved and then said: "So you are going to keep working while I travel on the boat and spend the money...... are you crazy?" From that point forward she has been interested in going.

I had three of my friends predict that she will leave me within a year if we actually leave. Who knows, I just know I've worked all my life and don't have much to show for it and the clock is running down. When do I get some freedom? Or am I a slave to this system we seem to think is so great?

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Old 13-08-2012, 06:27   #54
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Re: Reluctant Wife

Lots of good advice here especially from Ex-Calif, but as one person noted it is all (even from the women) likely to be pretty biased. Go to, buy the book "Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior." Realize that part of the bad behavior may be your own. READ the book. Then READ IT AGAIN. Don't imagine what your partner is thinking, then imagine why they are thinking it, then get all emotional about the whole story you have made up in your head that may or not be true, get defensive or resentful and ruin the rest of your life when there is a logical best solution to this problem. Learn to communicate effectively! Even if you end up alone, poor and in a little 24 foot sailboat you will be much happier if you learn this skill which is very rare. Sadly, she probably doesn't want to sell all of her stuff, leave her friends and family, and go cruising full time for three to five years but maybe there is a compromise that can be made to make everyone happy. She doesn't want to cook and you don't want to go out so you order pizza delivered!
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Old 13-08-2012, 06:28   #55
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Re: Reluctant Wife

Can you get the kids sailing?
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Beware cut and paste sailors
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Old 13-08-2012, 06:48   #56
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Re: Reluctant Wife

First off, as you well know, there are no solutions to be found here in an anonymous Internet forum. Only you, and she, can solve this one. But for what it's worth, I can say that as a male in a long-term relationship (nearly 25 years now) I've learned a few important lessons.

#1. Communication. Clear, honest and two-way. Don't assume she knows what you are thinking (and vice versa). Talk, and more importantly, listen. I gotta say Davie J., from your description, I suspect you could have done better here (and probably still can).

#2. Compromise. Sharing a life with someone else means just that: sharing. That doesn't mean giving up on everything that makes you you -- there are core values which cannot be compromised. If you hit these, then the relationship has ended. But there are vast numbers of things both partners must compromise on to sustain a relationship.

#3. Don't assume that things don't change. A good relationship involves a constant discussion. People change, especially when the time span is years. Just b/c she was into sailing a few years ago doesn't mean things haven't changed. Kids, grandkids, parents ... these are real things.

#4. And perhaps most importantly: Be quiet. Listen. Be patient. Don't try and solve the problem. Jumping in to actively solve problems seems to be a largely male characteristic (although certainly not exclusively so). We see a problem (in this case, getting your wife to move onto a boat), so we go about trying to solve it by creating scenarios, options, plans... I've learned I can't solve all the problems. Sometimes I need to wait, be supportive, and let her work things through. If the relationship is based on love and caring, she will want to find a solution that works for you as well.

In the final analysis you may have to make a difficult choice, but don't rush. There are interim steps that many have suggested. If you love her, she loves you, and you both cherish the relationship, then you will both find a solution that works for both.
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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Old 13-08-2012, 06:55   #57
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Re: Reluctant Wife

I think you got it Mike.
Often hear of marriages that end because of problems unsolved.
Rarely hear of marriages ended because of solutions reached.
so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 13-08-2012, 07:09   #58
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Re: Reluctant Wife

I might be the luckiest SOB on the planet.
Long ago , while hauled out ,singlehanded, I was struggling to slip my bowsprit back into position , balancing on a ladder with the sprit on my shoulder , in St Barts , no less.
A gentle voice from behind me asked if I could use some help.
We celebrated our 29th anniversary last week, 14 years cruising.
I always had said that a boatyard is no place for meeting women.
Sorry for the gloat , this is no help to you , but it only takes one .
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Old 13-08-2012, 08:07   #59
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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking
Has she been reading these posts?
Does she know that you posted something this personal? (BTW, you are not the first to do so )
We don't need to know the answers, but it might be an eye opener for you.
She may draw the line at sailing, but be a keeper in so many other ways.
Hard to cuddle a sailboat
I think this is the perfect place to get feelings out. And I didn't think it was all that personal from my perspective. It's anonymous & you get feedback from others who understand. You get ideas from many people & find what has works for them. I have not had anyone to talk to about selling the boat-and when I did I felt better.
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Old 13-08-2012, 08:28   #60
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Re: Reluctant Wife

They dont call them the "ole ball and chain " for nothing. Fortunately I escaped my first marriage after 6 years of imprisonment. The plan was to sell the house and buy a boat a few years before retirement. I saw the writing on the wall as time went by plus she became mean and nasty so it was an easy choice but very costly.

Now I live on my boat. It is smaller than originally planned but everything I need or want for now. I am a few years from retirement now and have a girlfriend. She wants to get married and own a home. I absolutely understand her dreams and have even been open to a compromise of having a home base somewhere. Maybe a seasonal rental property where we can escaped to for a break. However, for me marriage is off the table. Getting the government involved in a relationship is not for me after giving up part of my pension to the ex

Don't give up your dreams for a woman. You will regret it. Compromise or shove off on your own.

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