My husband and I are going on a cruise together in December. This is the first trip we have taken together in years. Instead of feeling anticipation, I’m filled with worry that he will complain about everything and we will fight the entire trip. Any advice on how to make this cruise vacation a good one for both of us?
There are several strategies you can employ that might help you on your vacation.
Strategy 1: Take different vacations.
Strategy 2: Understand that you have been exposed to those cruise commercials which show the husband laughing at the wife’s jokes, dancing with her while gazing adoringly into her eyes, and generally being the perfect leading man in an Italian romance. We’ve all seen these commercials, and feel cheated when our real husbands act like themselves on vacations. Surely if we spend thousands of dollars, that will encourage them to be on their best behavior. Not. And to be fair, those actors only have to act nice and be chivalrous for about 30 seconds. Plus, they have scriptwriters, etc. Basically, option 2 calls for a realistic approach. If your husband complains the entire time at home, he probably will continue to do so on the cruise. The nice thing about cruise ships is that there are choices. If he gets on your nerves, think about just enjoying some time on a different part of the boat. You don’t have to be together every minute. Schedule a massage, or take some good books with you, so you will not be dependent on him.
Strategy 3: Understand that you may be suffering from perfectionism. You are concerned that if he complains that will “ruin” the trip. Decide ahead of time that he doesn’t get to ruin your trip. Take things as they come. Enjoy your coffee if it’s good. Enjoy people-watching if you like to do that. Enjoy what the cruise ship has to offer. Pretend you are a ten-year-old and easily entertained. If you were in the fifth grade, and a boy you had a crush on acted stupid, would that ruin everything? Probably not. It would confirm your working hypothesis that boys are weird.
Strategy 4: Create a space in your mind in which you are safe and supported and comforted. Go there and relax. Once you have done that you can go back there if circumstances become stressful.
Strategy 5: Understand that every day is a gift. It could be a day in which you had a wonderful time, or a day in which your husband (or you!) got sick and had to stay in the cabin. We mostly don’t have control over lots and lots of stuff. Have fun planning your cruise, etc., but don’t get too upset if your cruise is way different than what you imagined.
Strategy 6: When and if your husband complains, simply act like he is just the cutest thing you ever did see. He might respond in kind. If not, you can always employ the above strategies.