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Old 02-01-2015, 20:57   #1
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Marital counseling

Ok here is the whole story. Eight years ago I started talking to my husband about buying a boat to cruise on with our family. Money was tight but we set a budget and started to look. At the time the passport 47 stuck out as the ideal boat. So we went to the dealer and looked at one. Beautiful, but we just couldn't make it work financially. While we were there they showed us the 51 that my husband fell in love with. He has been working on large ships his whole life and wants more room than the 47 offers. The price tag being much higher we decided to wait. Then he offered if I moved to Angola for two years we could afford the boat. Cool, so off to Angola I went for not two but five years! We transferred to dubai, the city of bling and now he wants the 60 footer!

I have several issues with this. First is I am tired of waiting, next and more important is would I be able to handle the boat in its raw form should something happen to him. It has electric everything, which I trust not at all, and I am only 5'2" and not made of complete muscle I think a boat this size is ridiculous for two people.

He wants a boat full of electronics and I am starting to think I want a boat more like a hans Christian that is more stable in rough weather. He wants a spinnaker and the ability to race. I want peace and quiet. Is there no happy medium?


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Old 02-01-2015, 21:14   #2
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Re: Marital counseling

How to talk sense into someone whose head is in the clouds...I don't know if I can help much, except that all those extras, as well as cranking the boat up to 60 feet, from a much more (and very substantial, wonderful boat, the Passport) make me think this man may be a candidate for spoiled brat dreamer of the year (no offense meant). It just seems like he would never be happy because the reality of a great, solid, sensible boat is no longer the dream itself.

But, what do I know? I think the Hans Christians are simply incredible and if I could get one I would want of nothing. Not even a Passport.
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Old 02-01-2015, 21:30   #3
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Re: Marital counseling

A wife that wants to buy a boat and go cruising now. Dump the guy and you will have forum members standing in line to marry you.

Totally kidding but still have you seen how many threads have been on the forum about husbands whose wife won't sail? Fortunately I'm one of the lucky ones.

Of course there are compromises. You don't have to have a traditional, heavy cruiser to be comfortable at sea. Also, just because you have a spinnaker and a fast boat doesn't mean you have to go full speed ahead every time you leave the dock. Most boats, if sailed a bit less aggressively will suffer a lot less rocking and rolling and will be more comfortable. In fact an old friend told me a story about this.

When he was growing up his father was very active in the local yacht club races. Father and two sons would go out on the weekends bashing and crashing with the rest of the boats but never did well in the races. Finally convinced mom to come along one weekend but had to promise to reef early and make the sail more fun and less bashing. So they put up less sail, kept the boat more level, less bashing and crashing and for the first time they won the race. The point being, one can go fast and keep some measure of comfort at the same time.

I do agree that getting up to 60' is a lot of boat to handle. Even with electric everything working it could be a handful, especially if the weather kicks up a bit. If the electrics die then you could be SOL. I had a 63' boat and it was a lot for three strong men to handle the sails. The main was so large that two of us could barely lift it. Big is nice and size does matter. My 63 cut through 6' waves with barely a bounce. The 32 I had before was a lot bumpier. Currently have a 42 and I'm pretty happy with the size. Even if I won the lottery I wouldn't want to go much bigger than that.

But at the end of the day, all the advise in the world is not going to do a thing. Up to you to work it out. But you already know that.
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Old 02-01-2015, 22:37   #4
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Re: Marital counseling

Your instincts and priorities seem correct. I don't know what else to say about it.
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Old 02-01-2015, 23:22   #5
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Re: Marital counseling

If you have the resources and wherewithal, and are prepared in all other respects, to get a 51' cruising boat and go cruising, and yet your husband chooses instead to keep working because that boat isn't big/perfect/grand/hi-tech/whatever enough, maybe he isn't really in love with the idea of the sailing or cruising at all. Perhaps he is in love with something else. What that something else might be....I'm sure you would know better than I.

But the question you need to ask yourself.....is the size of the boat the real issue??

Or is it possible that he doesn't want to go at all and the constant moving of the bar is just a stall? And/or could the promise of the boat and going cruising be his bargaining chip to get you to do whatever he might like you to do that he fears you might normally object to (case in point, 5 years in Angola). Again, only you would know.

Do you have a boat now? Belong to a sailing club? Charter? Go out on other people's boats? Does he seem motivated to sail as often as possible or is it just something you discuss as you save for that increasingly elusive dream ship? Does he know, or has he undertaken learning about navigation or weather (as it pertains to cruising)? Does he ever talk about the sailing, the adventure, or the travel or does he only talk about the boat and the toys?

If his interest only seems to be in the size of the boat and not in any of the other aspects of sailing and cruising, at this point I would be questioning whether or not the cruising is going to ever happen. There are 70' boats, are there not? The bar could get raised yet again. And if that is the case I guess the question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you love him enough to be happy living in Dubai with a broken promise, no boat, and no cruising. And again.....only you would know.
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Old 03-01-2015, 00:46   #6
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Re: Marital counseling

I was lucky - I met a wonderful woman, who agreed to sail with me to Mexico aboard a 20 foot boat.

For six months.

We even weathered a gale in the Sea of Cortez aboard our Flicka - no problem.

When we returned to Los Angeles, we bought a Catalina 30 which the two of us lived aboard and day-sailed for two more years.

The 30 is definitely more comfortable, but I wouldn't trust her in a gale. The harder the wind blows, the more difficult she is to manage (I stupidly got the tall rig). Her Bob-stay snapped a couple of years ago, and the skinny split back-stay looks dodgy. She creaks and squeeks and groans in 15 knot wind-chop.

The Flicka is just the opposite. The harder the wind blows, the more stable she gets, and she's solid as a rock. Never a peep out of her structurally.

The point is, we went cruising. The two of us. On the boat we had, even though it was small.

...and it was great for our relationship.

You see, there is nowhere to run away from the inevitable fights and squabbles that come up in any relationship. We were forced to work things out. Our lives depended on it.

That experience created a very strong bond between us. Back in civilization it's harder to maintain that sense of interdependence that fuels good relationships.

I think every young couple contemplating marriage should take a 6 month ocean cruise aboard a 20 foot sailboat to a place where they don't speak the language.

So my marriage counseling advice is to just GO. Charter if necessary - you certainly have the means to spend a few months chartering around various cruising grounds.

You'll probably find that enormous boats are a PITA to manage, and limit your options. Something between 30 and 50 feet is a PALACE for a couple.

Otherwise, book a cruise ship like most people and be done with it!


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Old 03-01-2015, 01:09   #7
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Re: Marital counseling

Thanks to all that replied. I do think he keeps moving the bar just to stall, not because he doesn't want to go but rather because of his fear of not providing a comfortable life for his children. The boys are just getting to college age with our first going in the fall. He wants to provide for this first. He thinks cruising is something to do when we retire. I beg to differ. Anyway we are in the process of joining the local yacht club, I just completed the RYA day skipper course and plan on working toward my coastal skipper/ yacht master. Work dominates his life and keeps us moving around the globe. I just don't get the point of all this money if you can't do the things you want to do.

So my plan is to talk him down in size, not because I think it will get me sailing sooner but rather because I think it is safer for me.


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Old 03-01-2015, 02:46   #8
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Re: Marital counseling

I come from a different school of thought.
You made an agreement.

He reneged.

Tell him its not acceptable. You will not be accompanying him to fulfil his ideas of acceptable marriage and parenting anymore.

Problem solved. He wil have tobe honest with himself or lose what he has.

Life is short.
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:07   #9
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Re: Marital counseling

His kids, huh. You're impatient. They're not your kids, too. Frankly, whether or not he reneged, like weavis says, I think you also need to look at what you may be renegging on. It is only yourself that you get to change.

Weavis' suggestion, however, has this going for it: it will clarify the situation.

On the other hand, you might consider real marital counseling, as opposed to asking a forum, all of whose members (including me) have their own axes to grind.

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Old 03-01-2015, 03:47   #10
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Re: Marital counseling

When I wrote my last comments I did not realize there were still kids at home. That's always a game changer. I guess I should have picked up on it in your initial post when you said "to cruise on with our family."

For us, family considerations also extended to grand kids. We've delayed our plans a number of times because of family. And if we had it to do over we'd do it the same way again. I actually left my job and stayed home to babysit my grandkids for 3 years when they were small so my daughter could go back to work. Those were some of the best years of my life. And when my daughter decided she was missing out on too much and left her job to be a full time mom I was devastated. Of course I was happy for her, but I sure missed my babies. I wouldn't trade that time with them for the best cruise in the world. Yep....kids are game changers, even when they're big.

It's a lot easier now to understand your husband's reluctance and feeling of responsibility to stay and provide, even though he did break his agreement with you.

I agree with Ann, though. If you cannot come to some kind of understanding between you, professional help in the form of a real marriage counselor would be a far better solution than a cruising forum. I have seen these types of threads here before and with very few exceptions most people tend to rally around the partner that wants to go cruising even though they have no personal knowledge of the people involved or the circumstances in their relationship.

Posters tell just what they want us to know. The second party is never heard from. (There's lways two sides to every story.) And most here have a biased view toward going cruising regardless of the sacrifices that must be made.
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Old 03-01-2015, 04:24   #11
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Re: Marital counseling

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post

Posters tell just what they want us to know. The second party is never heard from. (There's lways two sides to every story.) And most here have a biased view toward going cruising regardless of the sacrifices that must be made.
For me, it doesnt matter what the issue is, boating, flying or origami, it comes down to the simple fact that an agreement was made. Both agreed to it.

If the one member keeps changing the criteria, and the other side has fulfilled their part of the bargain, and put in a few extra years, then Im sorry, there is a major problem with honesty and reliability in the marriage.

Yes, he wants to be a good father.......blah blah blah...... then he had no business making an agreement that he did not intend to keep.

Ive been there in a marriage like this. Im no longer in it, and much much happier for it. Ce le Vie.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:02   #12
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Re: Marital counseling

We are struggling also, I want to go now, and have set a firm retirement date of Dec. 2015. Wife "loves" her job and wants to keep working. Problem is we are a pretty tightly bound couple and the money doesn't work well that way.

We've been in counseling for this issue too long. Our first counsellor (may be bake in hell) nearly weprecked us. The second had to repair a lot of damage, but has us working together much, much better.

We went through the fights about commitments, promises, reniging, etc. the fact is, despite best intentions people and situations change. Often the change is for the better, but it sure can upset the apple cart. Folks need to be flexible if you want to stay together.

Good luck. Keep talking. Maybe some pro can help.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:03   #13
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Re: Marital counseling

I am getting the point that this was an inappropriate place to discuss this. For that I apologize. Beginners mistake I guess.


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Old 03-01-2015, 05:05   #14
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Re: Marital counseling

I agree with Weavis..all agreements within a marriage are open to renegotiation but they should be done with openness and honesty. Game playing is akin to lying and removes trust in a partner and has no place in a healthy relationship. We can all understand why people change their minds but who would want to live with someone who won't keep their word. Just because it includes sailing or Grandkids means nothing to me, if I had a long term agreement with my spouse that caused me to make decisions and be moving all over the world for 5 years and she played stall games with no real intention of keeping her word I would be gone because her behaviour would have clearly shown me that she did not have my well being first on her list.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:11   #15
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Re: Marital counseling

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookiesailor View Post
I am getting the point that this was an inappropriate place to discuss this. For that I apologize. Beginners mistake I guess.


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LOL

Yes it is. On the other hand you will receive viewpoints that may allow you to expand out of your current thinking and help you to focus.

As with all things, the choice to do whatever you do is entirely yours and you are the one that will live with it.

We all wish you well and hope that you can work out a favourable outcome. On that, all of us are united.

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