Is your spouse addicted to Nitrogen? Feeling like a dive widow? Here are some ideas.
This one’s for you, the “non” diving spouse. Are you often left on your own at a dive destination for the day while your spouse has the time of their life out diving the big blue? Do you resent the dive trips? The huge money spent on the gear that makes you feel like a dive widow? We’ve seen way to much of this. Let’s nip this one right now.
First. Stop. Don’t resent each other for anything. Figure out a win/win. Here are some ideas.
Let’s start with nomenclature. Do not refer to yourself or let your spouse refer to you as the “non” anything. Call yourself anything but. How about the the “beach babe” or the “snorkeler” or whatever it is you like to do. But let’s get rid of “non”….it’s so…nothing…..
Now. Let’s look at options. They would include learning to dive, enjoying your own passion in the dive location or not joining the trip.
Learning to Dive
Okay. At the moment, you don’t dive. Why? For some people, they are unable to dive for health reasons. For others, they simply have no interest or have fear. Figure out what holds you back from participating with your spouse. Then take a step forward. Try snorkeling first or find a patient instructor to give you a beginning lesson and see what you think. Don’t do this with your spouse and don’t do it FOR your spouse. Do it for yourself. Give yourself a chance to try and enjoy scuba. It really is an amazing sport!
If it’s truly not something you want to do or can’t do…then consider….
Some couples take separate vacations. Let’s say he wants to dive. Great. Send him off with his buddies on a 10 day live aboard trip. Then you go and pursue your passion. Go to cooking school in France or hike in the Alps or visit your grandchildren or go visit Machu Picchu with a friend.
Or…maybe your spouse wants to dive in Indonesia. Then fly over together and while your spouse is diving, you go and stay at a villa in Bali with a friend. You both get to see the same amazing country but in your own way.
How to Share the Same Vacation and Love it
However, some people simply don’t want to spend their holiday’s apart. That’s completely understandable. So the next option is for the two of you to figure out how to share the same vacation and both enjoy it to the fullest.
What are some of your passions? How can they fit within the framework of a dive destination? Here are a few examples of how some of our friends work this out. (names have been changed to protect the innocent!)
Troy loves to dive, Terry has no interest. The first thing this couple does is to plan the year’s vacations together. There is always one dive trip (Troy’s passion) and one trip to Europe (Terry’s passion). They have agreed that the dive trip will always be land based and have certain amenities so that Terry can do the things she loves to do. Terry has a stressful job with long hours and little time to relax. She likes to work out, enjoy a spa and then sip cocktails with a romance novel. So the dive trips are booked to high end resorts with fabulous spas and fitness centers and a good beach or pool. Troy agrees to do two dives a day and Terry gets in a workout, spa treatment and literally will read a dozen books during the week in a lounge chair by the water. They meet for lunch and enjoy the afternoons together. Perfect win/win.
Sue is the diver. Bob is the photographer. The dive trips that Sue and Bob plan include great diving and snorkeling as well as opportunities for Bob to shoot images. Bob can grab a car and driver and head out to shoot markets in Malaysia or mountains in Monserrat while Sue gets her nitrogen fix. Again with this couple, Sue generally does two dives a day and then she and Bob have the afternoons free to enjoy together. Often Sue will take a day or two off from diving and she and Bob will snorkel. Sue is able to enjoy the fish and the water and Bob can have some in water shooting time. Another great win/win.
Dave and Penny. In this situation, Penny is unable to dive due to heavy asthma and is unable to do a lot of physical activity. But Penny loves fish. Dave loves to take underwater images. So Penny has become a “fish expert”. She keeps a log of all the fish the divers see and helps them to identify those they don’t know. She catalogs Dave’s photographs while on the trip which saves him huge amounts of time when he gets home. This is something she loves to do and when the divers are around the Deco Stop Bar at happy hour, Penny can enjoy the “fish” conversation and point out interesting things when the divers show their photos of the day.
What do you like to do? Plan your trip together so it’s a win/win. Take up a new hobby! Often great diving locations are great birding locations. Become a birder! Or interview the women in the country and write about different women’s roles across the world. Ride along in the dive boat and snorkel on top of the divers. Truly the possibilities are endless.
Don’t just “go along”, go along with a purpose and a plan, an excitement about your trip. You’ll no longer be resentful of your spouse’s passion and you may just discover a new one of your own. You may find yourself asking your spouse, “How about a dive trip to Belize?” because you secretly want to go birding there.
You will never again be the “non” diving spouse and you will look forward to the next time the dive gear comes out of the closet!
To Your Adventures!
We specialize in guided dive extravaganzas worldwide! We help spouses who don’t dive plan great ways to have an awesome vacation. Check us out at Global Diving Adventures.