Personal Marital Issues faced by few Seafarers – On Maritime Manning


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Good manning does not end with putting people onboard a vessel, in fact that’s only the beginning. Any good manning company has to efficiently handle the seafarer’s signing on, the signing off and everything else in the middle of this time! It’s very important for managers to not only understand but also feel the seafarers’ challenges and issues and discuss with them as politely as possible and help them resolve it.

Every problem has a solution and a good manning company is directly responsible for dealing with seafarers in sympathetic manner keeping in mind the harsh conditions they work in, that too away from their families for long period of time.

Here are a few reasons for marital discord situations that have become increasingly common for seafarers on ships.

  1. Lack of Communication: Lack of communication is one of the primary reasons for divorce, which makes sense as this is historically a research-based root of marriage termination. According to a Seafarer spouse – her husband “didn’t talk so much,” when he returned home from sea, which led to the development of distress in the relationship over time.
  2. Lack of sympathy, respect, or trust: Lacking these basic relationship qualities is another reason for divorce, with many spouses (both husband and wife) explaining that an “inability to restore trust” or “irreparable breach of trust” drove them to end their marriage. Some cited the “loss of respect” as a primary factor in their divorce, which is intriguing considering that some psychologists say that respect may be even more crucial than love in relationships.
  3. Growing apart: In an ideal world, partners would harmoniously grow and transform alongside each other, but as a Seafaring couple, spending a large part of your lives living apart, most of us know that this is far from reality.

For Seafarers, a variety of marital issues specific to this profession can lead to challenges or even hopelessness for one or both spouses in a marriage. Gaining a sense of hope and direction often requires understanding the underlying issues and relationship patterns which may have led to the crisis.

The first few months of a long-distance relationship may be an optimistic time, but a recent study pinpoints the four-month mark as being the hardest part of the relationship. No wonder a three month contract offered by companies is most sensible and most popular.

Advancements in technology have not only made long-distance relationships possible – but even practical. And while nothing will beat being physically close to your partner, connectivity on board ships definitely helps cement a long-distance relationship and help shipping in the long run.

In my book ‘The Art of Maritime Manning – My Insights’, I have shared structures and anecdotes that aspiring young people can benefit from by inculcating within them the habits and the tools which I believe to have helped me.

Know more about the art of maritime manning and how to be more positive, productive and efficient in Dr Binay Singh’s book ‘The Art of Maritime Manning – My Insights’
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