3 Don’ts When Your Fisherman is Away

3 Don’ts When Your Fisherman is Away

Although alone time is the silver lining to being a partner of a commercial fisherman, it’s easy to feel a little lost when your partner is gone for a long season. (Exhibit A: this post.) Here are some things I still practice for my mental health, and I’m on our seventh season. It goes to show that no matter how long we’ve been in the game, we can still relate!

3 Don’ts When Your Fisherman is Away

  1. Don’t feel guilty about having fun while your partner is fishing. Listen, when Chris fished in Bristol Bay, Alaska, when we first started dating, there was a time during our long-distance conversations that I would skim over trips and shows I’d attended with friends. Here I was, living my best life while my Love was on a commercial fishing boat in shitty weather trying to pick salmon from a rolly deck. I felt terrible, straight-up GUILTY for having a good time, so I kept it to myself. But when Chris returned from Alaska, I told him how I felt, and he said not to hold back just because he’s gone. Though he wishes he could join the fun, too, fishing was his choice, and sometimes missing out is just the way it goes. (Time off during the off-season makes it doable.) I’ve heard fishermen say how much they love hearing what their loved ones are busy doing because it gives them a glimpse of home. It’s funny because now Chris looks forward to hearing what I’m up to. It makes for a more entertaining conversation on his five-minute break from the ship’s top deck. On that note…
  2. Don’t sit at home. Make plans with friends, family, or start that project you’ve been thinking about ASAP. Though your fisherman is boat-bound for weeks or months at a time doesn’t mean you have to be on lockdown, too — quite the opposite. As women, having our own things going on is important! But that’s a whole other post 🙂 ) We know how stressful this lifestyle can be – the fluctuating price of seafood, rough weather, etc. – so it’s essential to live your best life and not focus on what we can’t control. I like to visualize a bubble of white light protecting Chris and keep on keepin’ on. Try it and see if it helps you, too!
  3. Don’t get lost in daily responsibilities. Make time to pamper yourself or do what you love. Half the fun is looking forward to a special something to get you through a long day or week. (Am I right?) Plan to take that relaxing bath you’ve been dreaming of, or get started on that furniture project or language course for a few hours. Get a sitter to take the kids out, or send the kids to a friend’s house for a bit so you can make dinner, TAKE A NAP, or enjoy the house while blasting your favorite tunes in peace! Time away from your fisherman is a great way to recharge and tap into what makes you, YOU! You. Remember her? What does she want or need right now to harness the chi? 🙏🏽 🐟

Can you relate? What challenges do you face, or what would you add to the list! Please share in the comments below!

If you liked this, you’d love Diary of a Partner of a Commercial Fisherman: The Secret Life.

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Photo by Karsten Winegeart

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  1. This is SO spot on! It’s hard not to feel guilty about doing things for yourself and/or going out to shows/with friends etc. while your fisherman is away. I personally don’t make a big deal out of things I’ve been doing while my husband is gone, but I don’t hide them either. He has plenty of cool, fun experiences whether on the grounds or tied to the boards too. I think it’s important to have your own life and not just hang out at home waiting for him to come home. My husband wants to do next to nothing when he gets home after the season, so if I wait to see that movie or go to that restaurant I’ll never get to go. There’s something to be said about being in your own home all by yourself for a while too. I personally like the break. I can clean and it stays clean. I can paint my toe nails while watching a rom-com and no one cares about the nail polish smell or the movie selection. I think it’s all about balance.

    • Anne! Yes, to everything you said (and I can totally relate to the nail polish 🙂 ). Having your own life separate from your partner is important, and a balance, as you said. Enjoying these precious days makes us better people to show up for our loved ones! Thank you for the comment! So nice to relate to you. <3