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lost at sea

I think my husband loves his boat more than he loves me. When he first got it a few years ago he was thrilled. He spent the whole first summer out on the water. I don’t really like it, I get queasy on the water—but I thought it was an infatuation for him that would wear off. No. He’s spending even more time with it. New this year are his overnight trips to Canada. He goes up there and anchors someplace, sleeps below deck, and returns in the morning.

Last weekend, he left straight from work on Friday and didn’t come home until dinner time on Sunday. He told me he was going, but then he gets out there on the water and he turns his cell phone off because the rates are too high. So I can’t even reach him. I told him I didn’t appreciate that, and he said I was being too clingy.

I know how much he likes his boat, but is it too much to ask that he gives me some attention? I am his wife, after all.


The Omniscient One says: If you give your husband a difficult time over his boating, you’re going to create resentment. If he spends time with you because you demanded it, time that he wants to spend out on the water, it’s going to be miserable time for both of you. You’ll be much better off, and so will your marriage, if you embrace and encourage his hobby. If you can’t get on the boat because you get queasy, you should try one of several seasickness pills available. If you just don’t enjoy being on the water, then find your own hobby to engage in when he’s boating. These type of activities are good for the soul. You could do a lot worse than having a husband who enjoys boating. There are many wives dealing with husbands spending an enormous amount of time in gambling casinos, strip clubs, or the corner tavern.

Strictly Classified says: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your husband’s attachment to his boat. I do think it’s wrong that he turns off his phone. He should keep to areas where he gets good reception (and no roaming fees), or invest in some other form of communication (like a good marine radio).

The Sales Guy says: Arrggh! The call of the sea is strong with this one. It sure sounds like he’s obsessed with his boat. However, there is also the possibility his obsession maybe more than nautical in nature. Any chance your hubby could be swabbing the deck with another woman? Gone the whole weekend sounds like it could be a cheating scenario. I suggest you surprise him by going with him at the last minute and not giving him a chance to make a call. Could be enlightening, matey.

The Straight Skinny: It’s quite possible that your husband does loves his boat more than he loves you.

Does that hurt your feelings? Okay, put it this way—he loves his boat differently than he loves you. And, if there were a way to compare apples and oranges, then the apple that is his boat is bigger and better than the orange that is you.

This doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. He just loves something else, too. Better a boat than another person, or heroin, or NASCAR.

You really can’t join him in his hobby? That is the best solution and one I imagine he’d be very pleased with—because men are creatures who appreciate accumulated pleasures, like a sandwich and a beer and a good movie on the TV and that weird picture-in-picture feature tuned to another channel, so I’m sure your husband would love to have both you and his boat at the same time. If you really can’t get around your discomfort on the water, then what you need is a hobby of your own to occupy your time when he is out occupying his. A hobby that you can love differently than you love your husband.

Dining Out says: Your husband’s Ernest Hemingway-esque adventures at sea sound like a midlife crisis to me. If he truly knows his solitary boat time and disappearing acts are hurting your feelings and causing you great distress, and he still hasn’t stopped, then he should probably think about packing his belongings and moving onto a houseboat.

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