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Old 05-05-2007, 10:47   #1
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Family Issues

How have you handled disgruntled family? We've recently been told that we have no purpose in life, that our lives are empty if we have to work this hard just to have fun. Sounds silly, eh? But my wife's family is taking it out on her and consequently me too..

Anyone else dealt with this?

They're also quite angry about crossing the ocean to go to Europe...which we've NEVER EVEN MENTIONED OR CONSIDERED... talk about overblown...

We communicate by phone/email almost too regularly, maintain a blog site, send they're not left out or uninformed...

Any good suggestions?

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Brian & Heather
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:14   #2
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Originally Posted by Holding Pattern
my wife's family
The scariest words in the world .......I am sure you are not really expecting an answer, cos' in my experiance their isn't one - either she is capable of dealing with her family in a way that does not impact on your family or she is not.

IMO the answer should simply be "F#ck Off"........either she is doing something she wants to do (even if her family dissaprove), in which case these two words are aimed at her family OR she is doing something she does NOT want to do (with you) , in which case these two words are aimed at you!



PS if only life was that simple!

Any good suggestions?
Marry an Orphan. and then make sure you are living in a different country to the rest of the family (just to be sure). I am

IME, not talking to any family just saves a lot of unproductive blunt words - you can choose yer freinds, not yer relatives.

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Old 05-05-2007, 11:16   #3
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You need to tell them that this is your life and you'll run it the way you see fit.

Not to be snobby, but people have different personalities. You sound like the "A" type that likes to work and feel the gratitude in what you accomplish. They sound like the "C" type that just kick back and let the world go by.

It usually takes an "A" type to deal with boats. They can't see through your eyes. Be nice to them but "keep your distance". It sounds like they want to run your life their way.

There is a lot more to be said, but this is the basic format!. .........................._/)
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:55   #4
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Brian, I have kinda a similar situation, but it's my family(mostly my Grandparents) that has the problem, not my wifes side. Only you really know how to deal and answer this. It is different for everyone. For me, I just have to bite my lip, or I will say something I will regret and in my situation, it is better for me to keep quite than to cause any other grief.
Not everyone likes the water and being on it. That's a blessing for us ones that do like the water and being on it. Or it would become to crowded out there. So I guess we need to view those that want to live on land and view us as "strange", as being a blessing to those of us that want an uncrowded ocean.

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:35   #5
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My folks are pretty out to lunch too. I'm a big This American Life (radio show) fan, so you might like the last part of one of their shows called "babysitting". This American Life

A lot of it really rung true for me, because they're talking about a family that although is dysfunctional, still loves you and tries to the best that they know how, even if it's totally not working.

To me, at a certain point you need to redefine the dynamic. With my folks, it got to the point where if I was over at their place, and my mother started in on me, I would just excuse myself, say good bye, and walk out the door.

Do your thing, treat them with respect and love, but don't entertain their delusions, or allow their insanity to affect you. You can't let your personal happiness be bound in anyway to the behavior of another.
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Old 05-05-2007, 16:03   #6
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Where did this come from?

I read your blog and really I can't see where they are coming from.

All I can pick up is that some of them might wish they were with you.

P.S. You do have safety harnesses, correct length tethers and proper jacklines/attachment points?
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Old 05-05-2007, 16:38   #7

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Unfortunately, I have a TON of experience with this. My wife's family disowned us completely when we moved aboard. They had some idea that we would be living on some boat that looks like the one from Gilligan's Island called the "Leaky Lemur" and that we were "throwing our lives away."

They created all kinds of friction even with my family. I was out of communication with mine for the better part of 2 yrs. Only now are we starting to talk again.

My wife's family are a lost cause.

After a couple of years pondering this, I'll give some advice that has worked for us that is drastic:

Just stop talking to anyone who is angering you or upsetting you. This includes friends, family... anyone. If they care about you, they will re-initiate contact, but don't let them behave in the old ways. Pull away if they lay into you about the boat, while at the same time be nice to them about everything else. They'll learn.

Life is too short to waste on being stressed out over jerks. Eliminate them from the picture (by not talking... this isn't the guns thread!!)
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Old 05-05-2007, 20:07   #8
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When I started a circumnavigation on my catamaran, there was resistance from extended family all around. I was told that I was wasting my life (I should be practicing my profession), my children would not get a good education, my family was going to die at sea - in short - I was doing a very stupid thing throwing away my future. I was a member of the idiot club.

After I finished the circumnavigation with my wife and kids still alive and well, I suddenly became a member of the genius club. My kids turned out good, they got a good education, I still can practice my profession, and for eleven years, I lived my dreams.

I summed up this experience on my web site in a captains log called "Grand Schemes and Other Important Things." If you want to read the whole log, you can go to: GRAND SCHEMES AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS

Here is an excerpt from that captain's log:

A long time ago I learned that what other people think of me is none of my business, and I focused on doing what was important to me. Life is an inside job that works best when I start from the inside and work my way out. When someone tells me that I shouldn't be doing things that are important to me, and that I'm wasting my life, they are really saying that my dreams don't count in their scheme of things. My dreams aren't important, and instead, I should live dreams that make sense to them. These people are Outside-Inners because they are taking their outside dreams and trying to cram them down my throat, and that doesn't work. It's the recipe for anger and frustration, and is a terrible way to make a life.

In the grand scheme of things, my grand schemes are supremely important to me and to me alone. I have a choice. I can either live my dreams, not worrying about what other people think, or I can forget my dreams, and let them wither. If I do that, my spirit will wither as well. Joy will no longer spring up in my heart, and each step I take will echo the dull thud of dread I feel in my heart that results from not living my dreams.

The handwriting is on the wall, and the message is clear. There is simply nothing more important than living my dreams. Even if I don't rock the world, I can still rock my world and that's what counts.

Someone much smarter than me said, "What you do isn't important, but it's important that you do it." Those words have the ring of truth, and you can build your life on them. So fire up your dream machine and have a few grand schemes of your own, because that's why you're here on planet earth.

Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 05-05-2007, 20:55   #9
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LOL, 4 separate couples on my inlaws liveaboard, they were more excited then we were.

Honestly, unless you're spending their money, I don't see how they have any right to say anything about how you live your lives... they are just that YOUR lives, not there's. I wish I had the time to figure out what everyone around me should be doing with their lives, must be nice.

i've found there's no amount of explanation that can convince a landlubber they don't have it all figured out.

That said a failed marriage and a gaggle of insane meddling inlaws and i never did figure out how to deal with them (from my first marriage, i love my inlaws now they rock). If i agreed with my ex, then I got an ear full about how i hated her family, if I disagreed i wasn't supporting her, so i supported finding a new place to live in the end

The reality of it is, you probably can't do much of anything without putting yourself in the middle.......which is not the place you want to be.. your wife is going to have to be the one to solve that equation.

Good Luck
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Old 05-05-2007, 21:08   #10
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to quote allen watts life is a dance
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Old 05-05-2007, 22:52   #11
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Ha ha - 8 years ago my parents told me the Dream of Sailing around the world was "just a phase" I was going through. Last year I bought a sailboat. I dont think its a "phase". My husbands family thinks a nice local "houseboat" would satisfy our addiction? We get asked "Dont you like your job?.... what about kids?..... (they think I've brainwashed him and they definitely dont approve of me draggin the family offshore) We remain vague when we talk about our goals to family and friends who try to convince us to stay on land because of all the dangers - (They also dont get invited out for day or weekend sails! hee hee)
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Old 06-05-2007, 00:00   #12
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Get caller display on your phone and ignor them.
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Old 06-05-2007, 00:44   #13
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We (but mostly Maggie) had to put up with the same sort of opposition (er, loving advice) from my mother.
About two years in, she showed my mom a before (we went cruising) picture of me, saying: “This was your son - look at him now.”
The improvement, in my apparent health/happiness, was so obviously remarkable, that my finally mother “shut up” (didn’t change her mind, just relented a little).
Gord May
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Old 06-05-2007, 00:46   #14
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mmm, not a wind and sunburned dried prune from too much sun and surf and rum
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Old 06-05-2007, 00:53   #15
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Should of done what I did the day we got married. Tell the inlaw to shut her mouth, keep out of mine and her daughters business and live your own life. Worked well for me, haven't heard from her for over 19 years! No regrets for me or my wife.

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