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  #11  
Old 08-24-2001
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MikeMoss is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

This could have been my wife 26 years ago.

There is no hope. I am still the same. She just sit''s back and lets me do everything.

She got to pick the new cushions however.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2001
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WildPony is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

Thank you MikeMoss for your reply. Although, I want to do more then just sit back. I suppose I''ll have to be patient and persistant at the same time.....least your wife got to pick out the cushions...I''ve yet to be able to do that!

In October, will be the first time I''ve ever lived on a boat. I love sailing and have an eagerness to learn everything that there is to it. As I give away some of my belongings today I feel an excitment for our new life ahead of us. No matter what storms via real life or marital, I''m up for the task of making this work.

Thanks again for your reply and I guess it''d make my husband feel better that he isn''t alone being like he is....shssheeeshshh

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  #13  
Old 08-25-2001
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MikeMoss is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

In your case just be patient. Watch him and figure out how you would do each task that he does now. For instance he may be bigger and stronger but as long as you are even a little agile you can do the same things your way.

So wait for something to go wrong and then help.

I have to admit that I single hand the boat even with guests on board. The only help I accept is when one particular friend is on board. He owns the same model boat and is really good at sailing as he has been crew on many winning offshore races. Others just get in the way.

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  #14  
Old 08-25-2001
JeffH
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On board conflicts

I think that resolving on-board conflicts depends heavily on the two people involved, and their love and commitment toward each other. Living with anyone on a small boat can create tensions. There are bound to be traits and issues that you don''t notice ashore but in the close accommodations and ''no-where-to-go-ness'' of a boat underway, can really become irritating.

My wife and I met through sailing. I was campaigning my boat in the rather aggressive Laser 28 one-design fleet. I needed a foredeck person. Laurie had been racing on J-24''s and did foredeck. She came highly recommended.

We hit it off right away. Laurie had not done much cruising but was an experienced sailor. Things worked well for us in our day to day lives, on the racecourse and at first as cruisers but over time we began to run into ''issues''.

Before Laurie and I had gotten together I had single handed my boat a lot and most of the woman I had dated were non-sailors so it was more like single handing with passengers.

As a result, I had typically I just sailed the boat the way I felt like and basically did everything on board. Over time, as the blush was off the rose, and Laurie and I more time sailing we began to have friction. When we got together we were sailing on my boat. Now we were sailing on our boat and it took a while for that to sink in for me.

Finally things erupted and Laurie verbalized her resentment that I did not involve her in sailing the boat when we were cruising. We talked about this over the course of a long weekend and I came to understand where Laurie was coming from and she where I was coming from.

We tried a number of things. We took turns skippering. One day Laurie would decide where we were going, would do the navigation and make the decisions, and another I would. We also talked about how we would do things. Before this conversation I would simply say, we''re tacking and throw the helm. If I Laurie did not move to handle the tack, I simply handled it. To me it was no big deal but after we had our chat, we began a different process. If one of us thought it was time to do something, they would say what they were thinking of doing and why they were thinking of doing it. The conversation typically went something like, "I think we ought to tack and out of the deeper part of the channel during slack tide and before the current is against us. What do you want to do here?" (Or "Do you mind breaking the sheets?") This is not a hard thing to do once you get in the habit but it engages the other person in the process and allows them to voice an alternative idea.

We do a lot with ''passwords'', words that have special meaning to two of us. For example, there are times when Laurie just feels like being a passenger. This is done with humor and a password. She''ll typically say something like, ''Time to go be a boat bimbo'' which roughly translates to "I am going to lounge about the deck and leave you to sail. Where do you want my weight?"

Some are a matter of necessity. Such as when things really get difficult with weather or other problem on board. I actually have a lot more years of boat handling and skippering under my belt and at those times by mutual agreement I take over and we work as a team but clearly I am the one making the decisions. When things are really dangerous, like the time we got caught in 65 knot winds, I need to be able to stay focused on the situation and I can''t always take time to talk or listen for that matter. Laurie like most people in that situation wants to talk almost out of nervousness. We have a password for that situation as well. I typically say, "I need to be able to think." From conversations that we have had at calmer times this translates into something like "I am suffering a bit of sensory overload so only pass along information that you think is highly critical."

One of our best working passwords came out of a pre-marriage class that we took. We had an inter-denominational wedding and Laurie''s wanted a priest from her church to officiate in the Christian part of the wedding. (He was a neat guy but that is off the point.) In order to do that we had to go through a pre-marital course at her Church. We''d each been married and divorced previously and so approached this course with the feeling it was just another box to be checked like getting a wedding license. When we got into the course we actually both found that it was very helpful. One of the most helpful hints came from a gentleman who''d been married for more than 50 years. He said that when he and his wife had a dust up, as soon as he knew he was right he apologized profusely.

Now then, since Laurie and I were each in the room when he was talking this lead to one of our most effective ''passwords''. When one of us notices that the tone of a ''discussion'' gets too heated to be an effective exchange of ideas, that person will quickly apologize. Of course, the other person''s retort is always, ''Don''t you try to apologize first''. It usually breaks the tension and results in a little giggle. By having a ''password'' that suggests, with humor, that we are fighting to be right rather than trying to work through to an mutually agreeable resolution, we are able to stop the pattern that is emerging. We can then pull away from the kind of discussion that can be hurtful to a relationship and find a calmer ground to at least try to understand the other person''s position, see what we have in common in our stance and perhaps come to agreement on whatever we can.

We are both very competent people who are used to making decisions for ourselves. We are also competitive and used to directing other people. Without a way to work through things, respect for the other''s opinion (even when you disagree with them) and an understanding that there is almost no issue that is more important than not doing damage to the other person or our relationship, I don''t think we could have lasted as long as we have.

Good luck with your book,
It is sure needed!
Regards
Jeff
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  #15  
Old 08-26-2001
JeffH
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On board conflicts

Another lesson in resolving conflicts taught to me by my first wife a bit too late to save that marriage is "Its not what it is, its what it feels like." Guys tend to think of conflicts as solely being about solving some problem. So, for example, when a woman feels powerless on board, a guy''s first response might be to try to give her some power, "You can pick the cushion colors." is a real classic guy response.

The problem is that this response really ignores the feeling, in this case ''feeling powerless'', may have less to do with having real powers on board and more to do with how the she is spoken to and involved in the processes on board. In other words less to do with how things actually happen and more about how it feels like they happen.

In my 20''s, I could not get this idea. My immediate response was to try to do a quick fix to the ''problem''. Now I find myself listening for the ''feel'' word, and when I hear it or sense its there somewhere, I stop to ask questions and try to understand if perhaps there is something more than the simple problem that appears on the surface.

So guys the next time you hear, "I feel...." or "I was hurt by..." and you ask in a classic guy way," Give me an example.", don''t focus on why you think you might be right in that case, but on what you may have done to cause you S.O. to feel that way and more significantly look for ways to not create emotion again. The wife you save may be your own!
Jeff
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2001
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A. Russell is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

Dear Marie;
Hi, my name is Anne, I''m a graduate student in Los Angeles studying film, and also crew on a Hobie Cat. My thesis film project that I''m working on is a documentary on gender roles and the effects of competition upon racing relationships of Catamaran sailors. I came across your posting and would love swap some ideas, thoughts, etc with you. If you have any interest in this, please write me at: annecrussell@yahoo.com
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2001
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alwayssummer is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

Take a class or two at a sailing school. My husband wanted to get more involved in sailing and I had zero experience. I decided to find a sailing school and take a couple classes. This was the answer in many respects. 1. My husband has difficulty teaching at any basic level. 2. It''s important to feel confident in your skills and instructors offer objective feedback. 3. You get the hands-on that your not getting with your husband.

The list goes on...make lifelong friendships, gain the skills you need in case your husband can''t step in. ETC.

I am now US Sailing cert. for Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, and will go on to Bareboat Cruising in the spring. It''s been great fun.

Good Luck
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2002
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homelessone is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

I have the opportunity to go cruising with a friend in the near future and although I''m not a sailor, I''m thrilled with the whole idea of it and have no problem leaving my current life to go on this adventure. I''ve known this man for a long time, but the relationship has changed from "just friends" to something more over the past 5 months. We both live alone and are very independent. I care for him very much, but worry that living so closely might be difficult for us. I really want to go and I''m sure he will go anyway even if I don''t. Has anyone been in a similar situation???
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2002
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SandraJohn is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

Hello, I have been married for 34 years and we started to sail 12 years ago on Lake Erie out of Ohio. At that time we had two teenagares with us. Our first trip was to sail to Buffalo N.Y. When we first started everything had to be done his way. The kids and I stopped doing things on the boat. My husband got mad that he had to do it all, and he, the captain, mutinied. The kids and I sailed on to the next port with the captain down below. Maybe we didn''t trim sail just right or stay right on course but we go there. Since the kids have move out on there own, the captain and the admiral(me) have share the duties on the boat. I would not want to be out there if I didn''t know how to sail. He says that I still over trim the sails but we still get to where we want to go. Sandy
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2002
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SeaPeach is on a distinguished road
On board conflicts

Homelessone, I suggest you take as many overnighters and long weekenders together as you possibly can before you commit to cruising together on a long trip.

Do you spend nights with each other now? Is he not respectful of your space? Talking about your need for privacy, even while on the boat, is a priority ... otherwise you might end up throwing him overboard!

P.S. I envy you! A man with a boat. My dream!
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