Maritime career and family life/relationships?


#1

Howdy!

So- I was talking with someone on here and it got me thinking…

How has your career affected your family/personal life?

Adversely? Positively?

If you could go back- would you still chose working in this industry?

My last captain told me he and his wife got a long better when he was gone for a month straight- and that he cherished the month he had with his kids.

But usually- I hear lots of people talking about their most recent divorce.

I’ve avoided getting into a relationship knowing I’d be gone most of the time.

Any thought/advice for a young guy?:slight_smile:

Mahalo-Anthony


#2

I speak only for myself.
I work on a wire boat, 14 days on - 14 days off with occasional extra time being picked up.

Being away 14 days CAN suck but I offer this:
EVERY time I come home it is essentially a mini-honeymoon.
While my children (3 Girls-8, 6 & 18 mos) do miss me while I am out I am 24/7 when I am in and could I think successfully argue that I STILL spend more, quality time with my children than those with ‘real’ jobs.

I make an effort to live within my means so any extra time I do work is MY choice.

Of course it DOES take a special woman to make this work and without MY Wife this lifestyle would be impossible.


#3

[quote=Ordinaryseaman;11385]Howdy!

So- I was talking with someone on here and it got me thinking…

How has your career affected your family/personal life?

Adversely? Positively?

If you could go back- would you still chose working in this industry?

My last captain told me he and his wife got a long better when he was gone for a month straight- and that he cherished the month he had with his kids.

But usually- I hear lots of people talking about their most recent divorce.

I’ve avoided getting into a relationship knowing I’d be gone most of the time.

Any thought/advice for a young guy?:slight_smile:

Mahalo-Anthony[/quote]
Most of the burden of running the home falls on the one who stays home, (I was going to say the woman, but these days you never know) Though it sucks being gone for a month at a time we get into the routine of the job so, for me anyway, time goes by much faster.
When I fished for a living the longest time that I was away from home was 14 days, though most of the time it varied between 8 and 10 days. Not long in Merchant Marine standards, but I’ve seen many relationships go by the wayside in just that short time. I was blessed with an outstanding Lady who raised two boys pretty much on her own and I’m not the only one. There are “partners” out there who can take the separation, they might not exactly like it but they deal with it. Myself, I can’t imagine not coming home to somebody. If I had any advice to give I’d say find someone who understands what you do and why you do it. There will still be tear filled phone calls, but then again most of the time you will start talking about the time when do you get back home. And, oh yes, the reunions are awsome! Good Luck.


#4

Hey Anthony,
I have been married 19 years to the same woman and 2 kids. I have worked deepsea(120 day hitches), 7&7, 14&7, day boats where I was home at night, and now 28&14 for the last few years.

I agree that it takes a special lady to deal with this lifestyle, but I think most important is that you are already working on boats when you meet someone. That way they know what they are getting into and not having the rules of the relationship change once a committment has been made.
good luck


#5

I would have to agree that it is important to be doing what you want to do when you meet a potential wife. I met mine my first day in Alaska 10 yrs ago. Dated long distance for 3 yrs. Got married did a short stint in the Army. Now that I am home more it seems I am not as pleasant as when I can get away and work some. Like they all said before me…takes patience, work, and the right woman. I would say our marriage is better when I am not home for 90 days with nothing to do. Man it is harder to leave my little daughter though. Don’t try to be or offer something your not.


#6

[quote=Jolly Tar;11391]I speak only for myself.
I work on a wire boat, 14 days on - 14 days off with occasional extra time being picked up.

Being away 14 days CAN suck but I offer this:
EVERY time I come home it is essentially a mini-honeymoon.
While my children (3 Girls-8, 6 & 18 mos) do miss me while I am out I am 24/7 when I am in and could I think successfully argue that I STILL spend more, quality time with my children than those with ‘real’ jobs.

I make an effort to live within my means so any extra time I do work is MY choice.

Of course it DOES take a special woman to make this work and without MY Wife this lifestyle would be impossible.[/quote]

If you don’t have at least 95%(the other 5% is workable):confused: support form your wife–you will be under
so much stress, your body will shut down and consume it self form the inside out. You’ll be a “million” miles from home and can’t do a dam thing about it- but bum a smoke- and huddle up:cool: on the fan-tail and cry you eyes out. “BEEN_THERE_DONE_THAT”:o


#7

Thanks everyone:)

Wish I could have made this a poll- I wonder what the results would have been…


#8

“but bum a smoke- and huddle up:cool: on the fan-tail and cry you eyes out. “BEEN_THERE_DONE_THAT”:o”

:rolleyes:

Sounds like almost every bosun I’ve ever had:D


#9

Maybe someone can help me.

I’m trying to find an article (or just a webpage) that I was reading about 3 months ago. The basis was on the merchant mariner and the effects of being gone on family, relationship, sex, etc.

I cant for the life of me seem to find it.

Also, if anyone knows of any studies done or good articles on the topic let me know.

Thanks


#10

From the other side…

My father was a ship captain. He spent most of his life on the water, far away from home. Now he is retired (does any captain ever retires?)
Influence on our family? Let’s say in this way, he is happily married for 33 years with my mother, they never had any big problems with that, they have two kids (adults now :)) .

Before you marry a woman there are just few rules, be sure that she is very strong, independent, capable for living alone, and on the other side be very honest about what you really do and how hard that is. Not to mention that she has to be “old school” woman, very devoted and faithful (same rule for you I heard about all adventures you can find on your way).

General statistic is not good. From all my father’s friends, who had similar job like him, only two families stayed together. It has very strong and it has not good influence on family friends too.

Your future wife has to be prepared, seriously prepared, and very rational, you have to be brave to, before ask her to marry you, to ask her to understand that you will not change your job, and even when you get kids that, you will stay what you are. That is a hard bargain and a gambling too. My father did that, he openly asked my mother and he never regretted.

As for a kids, boys are better with dealing with that, my brother was very ok, but girls are a little bit more sensitive. What to say, my father is a ship captain and I am naval architect, that is how girl misses her father.
I am always optimistic, it is hard, but it is possible.
Aurora:)


#11

The effects are all over the place Anthony…For me, I’ve been either a trucker or a sailor my whole adult life…I just like to travel…

I had an early marriage that didn’t make it…my current one has gone a little over 16 years…The reason is , that I married an independant woman…Sometimes too independant…She gets use to running things then I come home and want to have a say…I’ve learned to pick my battles…lol…

The quality time I have at home is 10 times better on this 14/14 than when I was gone 3-5 days in a row…But also it has alot to do with me being happier on the water than I ever was on land…Doing what you want to do is a big part of the success…


#12

Thanks again for the varied opinions.:slight_smile:

I agree that it takes two very committed people- and a lot of work and sacrifice.

Then again- doesn’t any relationship?

I could never see myself NOT traveling- I love the water, waking up in places I’ve never been- and may never see again.

I think if I do get married someday I’ll have to come ashore and get my traveling “fix” by going on lots of vacations with my wife.

That way I can have my cake and eat it too (hopefully without too much nagging from the cake;))

Just gotta buy a few more properties so I can afford it:D


#13

It’s simple; the key to a lasting relationship (no matter what the obstacles are) is that ya’ll both have to want it to work, period!


#14

Speaking as “the wife” of 35 years, it takes a certain amount of gumption, intelligence and initiative, plus a good sense of humor. Inevitably something falls apart/kid is sick/major or minor disaster. Deal with it and move on. Fortunately, cellphones and email have made it easier. The most interesting dynamic is working out who is “in charge” when both are home again and both think they are the boss of the house. Working out the “Partnership” takes give and take on both sides. At least it is better than the Navy with their long stations at sea.


#15

Life is like a box of chocolates


#16

I think it must be much harder to have a real family life for the women who are working offshore. I suppose it has a lot to do with the traditional roles people play. I have known a lot of women who worked offshore and gave it up even tho they loved it in order to have a family. I don’t know why more men are not willing to stay home with the kids (after they’re old enough to be off the breast-feeding!). I have also had so many experiences with men who just could not handle the fact that I work offshore and I do not want to change my profession (yes, I told them what I do for a living from day 1). So… I am still single. I am coming to think that unless a man also works out here (or maybe used to) he will never be able to deal with a woman who does. I choose to do what I love and if I can never have a “relationship” because of it then that is sad but I suppose that is a choice I have conciously made. If I get lucky and can get both then that is even better. Maybe I will just wait til I get too old to go to sea anymore!:slight_smile: