Dear Pastor
September 2, 2005
Sailorman may lose girlfriend

Hi Pastor Jackson,

How are you? I do hope all is well with you and your family. I really need your advice on a situation. A friend of mine works on a cruise ship and his girlfriend, chatting with me the other day told me she and my friend are not doing too well. She said she doesn’t know if it is the distance or the pressures of everyday life. {{more}}

She wants to keep the relationship together but when she goes out she meets lots of guys who have been sweating her and pressuring her. She told them she has a boyfriend but they usually see her by herself and the pressure is getting to her.

Pastor, I know my friend loves her a lot and it would kill him to lose her. What can I tell her? Please write as soon as possible. I would like things to work for her and my friend.Thank you.

Well, my brother,

Thanks for writing. Your situation is one that I have to deal with all too much these days. You see the truth is, it is very difficult to maintain a relationship under those conditions. In fact, most people find that the distance often leads to a lot of unfaithfulness on either party or at the very least, thoughts of infidelity.

Now, I am not giving the impression that if a couple is living in the same place that infidelity doesn’t take place, because we all know it’s not so… But I am saying that absence adds to the pressure.

The thing is I don’t know what you can tell your friend-in-law because the guys who are “sweating” her are responding to the reality they see, a young woman by herself. What she needs to do is remember the commitment that she and her boyfriend made (I trust that there was one), the plans that they have and use this as motivation to stay focused.

I do hope that they have a plan, a clear-cut idea as to how long he will be sailing. What is it that they are trying to accomplish before he returns home because an indefinite sailing career is not a viable plan for a family.

You hear of the horror stories of the sailor returning one or two months a year for twenty years. The family is well taken care off, the house is beautifully built, but the relationship is really none existent. I know that there will be many who would eat my head off stating their ultimate happiness and satisfaction in their situation but I think if you really get down to the core of the matter it may reveal a whole different story.

Another important thing is for her to be active and involved in various things that give her satisfaction and keep her active. It is an uphill battle but with safeguards it can be workable.

I do hope your friend is doing his part out there too and it is not just her fighting. It will be sad if she is fighting off advances, keeping her eyes closed from the possible attractions and he is city hopping, sowing his wild oats. No one is perfect but it must not be a one way fight. They must both be valuing their relationship enough to fight for it.

Pastor Jackson