Podcast WAHM & Marriage

Seafarers: Life, Family & Long Distance Relationship

Seafarers are usually associated with handsome salaries and their families are considered financially well off. However, this may not always be the case. And even when it is, only a seafarer and a seafarer’s wife understand the overwhelming challenges they have to battle with such a long-distance relationship.

TRUST ISSUES

In reality, even believers are not exempted from the struggle of doubts and uncertainties when their spouses are absent. Our couple guest, for example, has to hurdle a sixty-day interval without communication because the ship treads coasts not covered by telecommunication providers. It is painful for the seafarer, but it feels twice the burden for the one who is left behind. Marriage is supposed to be a lifelong partnership. But when you can’t do anything to reach your spouse on board, you are left with no choice but to face your problems alone. This is especially even more difficult when it comes to decision-making situations.

You only get to feel lighter when you’re finally able to open up with your husband after that two-month interval. All too often, these talks could even lead to heated fights but this outlet could help better things out. At the end of the day, your love for each other serves as a momentary quick-fix for these scenarios. It is important to note however that not only those who are left behind are bombarded with trust issues. Those who are on board are equally struggling. Hence, it is essential to ultimately entrust everything to God. Virtual family devotion, or praying together despite the distance, could serve as a glue that keeps you not only close to each other but to God.

FINANCIAL ISSUES

While many people imagine that a seafarer always enjoys financial abundance, that’s just partially correct most of the time. Most new seafarers have to loan their way to placement. They leave home with a huge debt that’s supposed to cover all of their own as well as their family’s expenditures while they are on board.

Our seafarer guest for instance had to loan his first three consecutive placements and schooling. Emergencies excluded. Consequently, budgeting becomes even more burdensome for the wife with every allotment she receives. By the grace of God, they were able to get out of debt as they decided to stop such a vicious cycle of loaning-spending-paying. Saving while you can be practiced. Good thing, this seafarer prefers saving what he could otherwise spend to pamper himself as he thinks it would rather be more enjoyable to shop with his family when he’s back. Get out of debt and save.

PARENTING ISSUES

Growing and disciplining a child should be both of the parents’ job. It is their God-ordained authority.  Having to grow your child single-handedly most of the time adds to the challenges of every seafarer’s wife. When the seaman is home, it is very important to discuss the parenting style that you want to apply to your child. At times when one disagrees with the way the other deals with the child’s behavior or misbehavior, both parents have to make sure they discuss just between the two of them to spare the child from confusion and playing favorites. You can also discuss this prior to the wedding day.

For anyone who eyes on entering a relationship or marrying a seafarer, our guests give these pieces of advice:

  1. Know the seafarer and his family very well. Allotment often causes disagreement among in-laws. It must be understood however that it should legally go to the wife (first at least). She may share it with whoever they decide to share it with after paying the bills.
  2. Save. You wouldn’t want to spend your whole life seafaring. Don’t plan to retire when you’re already old if you want to enjoy your family and serve the Lord with good strength.
  3. Pray hard.

Being a seafarer or a seafarer’s wife is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

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