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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > herSailNet > Just had a "break-through" with wife
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Thread: Just had a "break-through" with wife Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-20-2010 07:42 PM
sck5 I dont think it is manipulative to try to understand that what SHE might find attractive about cruising arent the same things that I might find attractive. Trying figure out what's in it for your partner and then trying to give it to them is good advice for anyone on land as well as on the boat.

For my part, I was very upfront with her. I told her I was obsessed with sailing and would love it if she learned to like it too. Being a total landlubber, it was never going to be something she came up with first. I asked her what she thought sounded good and what she was afraid of. I told her I would NEVER try to push her out of her comfort zone but that if she would give it a try I would do whatever I could think of to make it a good time for her.

I dont know. Maybe that was manipulative. I certainly said things like "The cruising guide says there are good shops for summer clothes at the next port so I am going to bribe you by giving you money to buy some" She could (and sometimes does) say things like "Thats great but what I really want is not to heat the boat up by cooking dinner on board tonight" Nothing I did was ever a secret plan but it sure as hell worked. It turned out that what she really wanted was to be warm in the winter. I could certainly live with that though my original idea was cruising closer to home. Her fears were real - she really was completely ignorant about sailboats - and getting over them just took time to familiarize herself with how boats work until she got to the point where she knew that nothing bad was going to happen when the boat rocked, or heeled or whatever.

At the end, my wife's dream isnt really the same exact dream as mine. But there is enough overlap that we are both going to be on the boat cruising in the Caribbean. We both win.
04-20-2010 03:59 PM
nickokelly I appreciate what you are saying. "Get" does have a connotation of manipulation doesn't it. In my book, I use that term ironically because you can't GET someone to buy into The Dream-which is exactly what needs to happen-you both MUST share The Dream for this cruising thing to be a successful venture.

Gary's story is not unique, unfortunately. It is the predominant reason that perfectly good boats lay bobbing in their slips.

Whatever we can do to facilitate communication will surely help with problems like this.
04-20-2010 03:39 PM
remetau
Quote:
Originally Posted by eryka View Post
Nick - it's no one post, or I would have linked to it. Instead its just the overall vibe here. (Don't worry, it's not you) As far as relationships, I think even more than the generalization and stereotype, what's getting me is the implied lack of transparency. All the manipulation, scheming advice to "get" your S.O. to do what you want - what is wrong with simply, transparently, saying to your spouse/partner/best friend, "This cruising thing is really important to me and I'd like to do it with you, how can we make that work?" You might find out that its about the sailing, or the drama and "yelling;" or it might be about being away from the grandchildren; or having to sell the house. Any of these can be tackled once you know what they are ... but as Gary's post so heartbreakingly makes clear, a marriage shouldn't be a mindreading test! Just state what you're thinking for goodness sake!!!

Then again, maybe I don't understand what the fuss is all about, after all, I'm out here cruising, an equal, excited partner. Neither of us had to convince the other, we *both* wanted this life as soon as we were able (finances and skills)

Eryka,

I couldn't agree more. Open discussion about it all the way even if you don't get what you want. You have to take her part in it too unless you aren't really partners. Remember, living on a boat is a total commitment in very close quarters.
04-20-2010 03:31 PM
eryka Nick - it's no one post, or I would have linked to it. Instead its just the overall vibe here. (Don't worry, it's not you) As far as relationships, I think even more than the generalization and stereotype, what's getting me is the implied lack of transparency. All the manipulation, scheming advice to "get" your S.O. to do what you want - what is wrong with simply, transparently, saying to your spouse/partner/best friend, "This cruising thing is really important to me and I'd like to do it with you, how can we make that work?" You might find out that its about the sailing, or the drama and "yelling;" or it might be about being away from the grandchildren; or having to sell the house. Any of these can be tackled once you know what they are ... but as Gary's post so heartbreakingly makes clear, a marriage shouldn't be a mindreading test! Just state what you're thinking for goodness sake!!!

Then again, maybe I don't understand what the fuss is all about, after all, I'm out here cruising, an equal, excited partner. Neither of us had to convince the other, we *both* wanted this life as soon as we were able (finances and skills)
04-20-2010 11:55 AM
nickokelly
Quote:
Originally Posted by eryka View Post
Why is this whole thread beginning to weird me out? There are some pretty major sex stereotypes in play here - I thought those went out with the 60s. You, the (strong? smart? logical?) man trying to manipulate your (silly?) wife into going sailing/cruising? Its for her own good, try it you'll like it - reminds me of coaxing your kid to taste broccoli.

What am I missing here?
Which post(s) are you referring to? This "QUOTE" button is so handy for forum discussions.
04-20-2010 11:44 AM
SW329xl
Quote:
Originally Posted by eryka View Post
Why is this whole thread beginning to weird me out? There are some pretty major sex stereotypes in play here - I thought those went out with the 60s. You, the (strong? smart? logical?) man trying to manipulate your (silly?) wife into going sailing/cruising? Its for her own good, try it you'll like it - reminds me of coaxing your kid to taste broccoli.

What am I missing here?

Nothing, you nailed it. It is weird.
04-20-2010 11:33 AM
eryka Why is this whole thread beginning to weird me out? There are some pretty major sex stereotypes in play here - I thought those went out with the 60s. You, the (strong? smart? logical?) man trying to manipulate your (silly?) wife into going sailing/cruising? Its for her own good, try it you'll like it - reminds me of coaxing your kid to taste broccoli.

What am I missing here?
04-20-2010 12:15 AM
nickokelly Gary,

Listen man, you are not in as deep a pile of doo-doo as you think, and here's why: you know and are willing to acknowledge that there are issues outside of the boat that need to be worked out. Here are a few things to consider about this boat and your wife:

1. Unless it was her idea to buy the boat, this is your dream and not hers. Buying a boat does not automatically get her to buy into The Dream. They are two completely separate things - and this is something that many of us (me included) get confused about. The time to get her buy-in is wayyyy before you start talking about boats.
2. She doesn't trust the boat. You said "problems" which can mean a wide variety of things. To be honest with you, if I couldn't swim, I wouldn't want to go out on the sturdiest and most capable craft.
3. She doesn't trust you to captain the boat safely. You hinted that you might know why, but I doubt it's as simple as your bro got the dough or your business never took off.

Here's the solution: work on your relationship before your boat. In fact, if you love your wife, forget about sailing this boat for a while. Show the kids how it works and give them the joy of sailing. You might even consider just giving them the boat as long as those "problems" aren't too serious. Go out with them every once in a while for a smile, and let your wife wave from shore and join for supper afterward. Whatever you do, take the pressure OFF of her completely for now. The pain of lost money is only once, the pain of this boat just keeps going and going and going...

Now, to have greater influence over your wife and her happiness, you need to be more likable. To do this, you need to do the following:
1. Be there. Spend as much time around her as possible. Doesn't matter what you are doing.
2. Find common ground. Doesn't matter if it is peanut butter sandwiches or tennis or the children. Focus on what you share.
3. Use reciprocal affection. We tend to like those who like us. Tell yourself you're just getting the upper hand or whatever you have to do; fake it until you can make it but LIKE HER! She won't have any choice but to like you. I swear this is foolproof. Seriously.
4. Make her feel good. We like those who like us. So do it, yes, you know what I'm talking about, "honey, that sweater makes your eyes look great." Again, fake it until you can make it, but I'm telling you it will work.
5. Get her to help you do something. Anything. That's right, get her to do something for YOU. Her subconscious will tell her, "I must like this guy, otherwise I wouldn't be doing this."
6. Smile at your own mistakes. Be humble, man. Not saying you're not, but I am saying that it is the key to effective leadership.
7. Stay positive. We all like to be around happy, positive people. They have greater influence over us. So no matter how bad you think things have gotten between you two, start looking for the bright spots. They are there, so find them and focus on them. Be happy you have someone in your life at all. Many don't.
8. Develop your own strength and confidence. I'm not saying your not. I don't know you from any other anonymous post on the internet. But years of perceived failure in business and comparison with your brother would sure as heck shake my confidence if I were you. So how in the heck are you going to do this? Set some goals and attain them. Lose ten pounds. Run a 5K run or a 10K. Set a fun goal like you want to be able to carry your wife piggy-back for a mile.

Here's the big one: never give up. I mean never. I mean "no f'ing way I'm giving up." You are in your 50s? We met a couple on our first cruise who were just finishing an 18 year circumnavigation. He was almost 90!

The trick is to not skip over the obvious hurdles and don't pretend their not there. If you want your wife to GET ON BOARD, you need to work on the relationship first. That starts with you, not her.
04-19-2010 09:22 PM
GaryHLucas Two years ago, my wife and I took a vacation to a bed and breakfast in the Florida Keys. It was our first vacation in about 6 years. I sold our Hunter 27 so we could buy our house, 25 years ago. Now the house is paid for, the cars are paid for, the daughter's college is paid for, and we havea grandson. It seemed like a good time to own a small sailboat. I had been looking at sailboat ads for sometime. When we got home from vacation my wife cashed in a CD that came due and gave me the money for a sailboat.

I bought a boat with her in mind, it's comfortable small cruiser that is unsinkable, an Etap 26, she can't swim. The boat had a bimini and a dodger, which makes for a closed in feeling in the cockpit. I thought that would make her feel safe. I spent only half the money she gave me, and planned on using the rest for upgrades. I bought a tillerpilot so she wouldn't have to steer if she didn't want to. My daughter and grandson were thrilled. Unfortunately the boat had a number of problems I missed, and didn't even get in the water last year. I've spent a lot more time and money on it than I intended. But none of that really mattered.

The day I bought the boat she stopped sleeping with me. She stopped talking to me, unless it is to tell me what I am doing wrong. Apparently I can't do anything right, unlike at work where I am respected for what I do so well. Valentines day was our 30th anniversary. She didn't mention it, and neither did I. She says she will never go on the boat. As soon as I realized the boat had problems I suggested getting rid of it. She went berserk over how much money I might lose doing that. I would sell the boat in a minute if it fixed things between us. Apparently the boat money was just a test, and I failed.

The scary part is that we are in our mid fifties, our parents are in their mid 80s and we MIGHT live that long! I actually understand where her resentment comes from. When I was 30 I walked away from the family business, where I was doing very well. I gave it to my younger brother whom is now a muti-millionaire. The new business I started didn't work, and I spent a lot of years trying. I finally just gave up and got a regular job. It would be nice if she could forgive me, but that doesn't look like it is going to happen. So I am just a miserable old bastard with a sailboat that needs a lot of work.

You have no idea how much I envy you guys that have found a way to get your wife on board!

Gary H. Lucas
04-19-2010 07:51 PM
cardiacpaul I may be a cranky ol' besterd... ok, I am.

I also know that if thecuban is uncomfy, she'll either be comfy soon, or make me wish she was.

On one of her first sails, she says "is this it", "does it go any faster?" "wow, its quiet, I could get used to this"

and she was hooked.
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