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HOW DOES IT AFFECTS THE RELATIONSHIP OF SEAFARERS WITH THEIR FAMILIES?
Several factors can adversely affect the relationship of seafarers with their families. Among them, the first and the most prominent factor is the “lack of communication”. Lack of communication is one of the important factors that contribute to misunderstandings, fights, relationship issues, and even divorce.
Research has proved that lack of communication is one of the main reasons for marriage termination in most of the couples. This lack of communication doesn’t only come from long distance but many other factors also trigger it. According to the spouse of one of the seafarers:
“He didn’t talk too much when he returned home from sea”
“My husband has become very irritable and quite”
Such factors can cause distress in the relationship that can result in horrific things such as separation and divorce.
Another factor that can contribute badly towards the relationship of seafarers with their families and spouses is the lack of sympathy, trust, and respect. Due to long-distance, many couples fail to understand each other that in turn leads to a lack of trust. Many couples explain it is:
“Inability to restore trust”
Thus, living away can result in such hazardous results for the seafarers and their families.
Working in the seafaring community means living apart from each other. The seafaring couples fail to grow and transform together alongside each other. They spend a large part of their lives living away from each other. Thus, things are far away from reality when you a seafaring couple. This factor can create tension and anxiety and can be fatal for the relationship.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE RELATIONSHIP?
The managers need to know about the personal challenges of seafarers as well as their issues. There should be a counseling session with the seafarers as well so that they can vent out the challenges they are facing with their professional and personal lives. Managers should also take the necessary measures to solve their problems by any means. It should be understood that the first few months of a long-distance relationship are not much difficult. However, according to a recent study, as the period hits the four-month mark, the situation becomes very critical. This four-month mark is considered as the hardest and the peak part of any long-distance relationship. That is why managers should give their employees a break from work after three months. That way, they can visit their families and can save their relationship. Many companies are also offering a three-month contract to seafarers which is an excellent as well as sensible initiative.
The consequences of a poor personal and family life are not only disastrous for the seafarers but it is harmful to the company as well. When the employees don’t enjoy a good marital life, it is unlikely that they will perform well at their workplace too. Hence, to keep the company working in a good manner, managers must take care of the personal needs of their employees.
It is important for the manning companies to know that their workers are dealing with harsh conditions, that too away from their families. Thus, it is necessary to keep them engaged, happy, and satisfied.
RESULT OF GOOD AND STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH CONSTANT BOND
Although advancements in technology have indeed made long-distance relationships easier than before, it is also true that nothing beats a physical closure. Being physically close to your partner is a different side of the marital picture. In any case, manning companies and managers must always make sure that seafarers are in constant touch with their families. This step will help to ship in the long run. A good manning company must keep an eye not only the signing on and signing off of their employees but also on what happens in the middle of this period. As a result, they will witness a more efficient and happier workforce onboard!
Dr. Singh is also on a mission to revolutionize the world of seafaring and making it enjoyable and happy for the community. His book on the needs and welfare of seafaring will be out soon and we are positive that it is going to be a great deal of help for the entire community!