I don't see sailing experiences as goals. It's more simply a way to live, pass time in nature or new surroundings and get away from the limitations and rote of living on dirt. I can do it alone but prefer to have the company of my wife who has no interested in passages. Years ago I needed to get my skills up to speed and so one might say I had to pass technical hurdles or milestones. No more.
We loved sailing in Maine. It's 400 miles from where the boat is moored. I've sailed the boat to Maine and wife has taken land or air transport to get there and we cruised locally and then sailed home together. She didn't have the time do do then entire trip. We've done variations of this a number of times. I also spend weekends on the boat and she remains home for any number of reasons... usually it's grand daughters.
Understood. I think you are saying In your case the sailing is a lifestyle. In your wifeís case itís not to the same extent. You seemed to have worked out the arrangement that you are apart for extended periods of time. You each do your own thing. You live separately some of the time. Obviously she wants to do that also. That makes your arrangement successful.
My wife and I have a couple who are good friends. He was a Ohio class nuke submarine commander, retired now. Throughout their marriage he was underwater 6 months of the year. The both like sailing .After he retired he outfitted his IP and they cruised two different times through the Caribbean, we were very close to them . The second trip they came back without their boat. They sold it in Florida.
While she liked the daily weekend occasional 3 week sailing trip, she wanted a more balanced life including larger amounts of time with their family, cultural, community pursuits. Being disconnected from all of that while cruising was not her idea of a marriage.
She had always dreamed that when he retired , they would spend more time together as they were best friends. It wasn't his job to be away anymore. She had thought that he would do things and travel with her. They werenít joined at the hip certainly, but being married was living together not apart.
He suggested that in the future he would take the boat down to the islands where she could join him. But she balked at that saying that they were not together for long periods of time if he did that.
They came to us to discuss this as they needed perspective. Normally we would not get to involved with this, but our friendship made it possible For us to just ďlistenĒ as they worked this difference out. There were lots of dynamics in place.
Her points were that she wanted his company/ friendship/ love and that he was happy to dole that out in time periods when he was present. She commented that his lifestyle became different than hers in pursuing the cruising. He felt she was restricting his dreams. She said she didnít want a part time husband. Someone who was not emotionally available because of the choices he was making in being apart. She said while it was his career she was willing to accept it, but never thought it would remain apart in retirement. She didnít want to be smothering, but also she felt his choice was a selfish pursuit somewhat that didnít include her.
It was painful to watch them work this out . They had been married 30 years at that point. Both highly educated . Both had had careers. There were now grandchildren.
Donna , my wife, and I watched this play out. It hit home as we were approaching our retirement in upcoming years. We had talked about selling Haleakula and buying a larger 43 ft cruising boat . We looked at boats and almost bought first a Bristol 45.5 and then a Mason 44. We were going to keep our house ( we had already downsized) but take off from Nov to March to the Caribbean and southern Florida. We also communicate well.
We this happened to our friends it refocused our discussions. It brought to the forefront the prospect of her being alone if she didnít want to be on the boat continuously. She didnít want to ruin my dream, but she also didnít want to be apart and disconnected from her friends and grandkids. She envisioned in retirement we would mostly do things together.
I got married this second time ( 15 years now) to be connected with my wife. That also meant physically present most of the time. I had to think carefully what I wanted for us....and what I wanted for me. Because of this, we modified our retirement plans. We will sail more in the spring through fall months in the Chessie and north, with no time restrictions, but buy an RV to travel when the weather got unsailable here. Weíd charter at least two weeks in the winter. This way we were mostly together. Weíd be around for the grandkids and friends and our community projects. We could continue to grow by taking college courses or other pursuits. One of her points was that living on the boat while cruising the islands was one dimension able. I had to recognize that what she was pointing out was mostly true. That the cruising would limit our activities and growth as well as limit the variety in our lives.
More to come