Cruising the Great Loop often starts as a dream for one-half of a couple. The other half…well, we often refer to them as the “reluctant spouse”.
Let me first share that the reluctant spouse is not always the female in the relationship. In fact, AGLCA was started by Eva Stob and her at-first-reluctant-husband, Ron. No matter which of you is the less enthusiastic half, we at AGLCA are expert in curing reluctant spouse syndrome.
I first learned about the Great Loop from my father. You could say I began as a reluctant daughter. For the life of me, I could not understand why he’d want to drag my mother off for a year+ on his boat, leaving his grandchildren, his business, and the rest of his life on land behind. Then, I saw a series of photos covering the full Great Loop route. I was cured. After seeing iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the St. Louis Arch, tropical scenes from the Gulf of Mexico, lighthouses along the Hudson River and the Great Lakes, rural areas along the inland rivers, all from a different point of view – the water – I understood the majesty of the Great Loop. If your reluctant spouse is a visual person like me, photos may be the cure.
Since my first exposure to the Great Loop, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to meet hundreds of Loopers at the semi-annual AGLCA Rendezvous. These events provide the antidote for many suffering from reluctant spouse syndrome. The seminars offer a deluge of information on all aspects of cruising the Great Loop, and information equals comfort for many. The ability to have your questions answered and your fears assuaged is often the best medicine.
Our Rendezvous are also known for the camaraderie that develops instantly among Loopers. Friendships comes easy to those sharing a goal and a passion, as Loopers do. Best of all, reluctant spouses are guaranteed to meet others who started off as reluctant, and became the Great Loop’s biggest enthusiasts. AGLCA member and confessed reluctant spouse, Cindy Shue, hadn’t realized she’d been cured until she uttered at a Rendezvous that she’d consider doing the Loop again. “My husband's mouth gaped open like I had just spoken in tongues,” said Cindy. “I don't know when it happened. I had morphed from the reluctant spouse to the Looper adventuress! And no one was more surprised than I was!” Read Cindy’s full story here.
As Cindy says, reluctant spouse syndrome need not be fatal. If you have a reluctant spouse, or if you are one, seek help. An AGLCA membership is the first step towards a cure. Gather information, talk with others, and explore what the trip entails. As improbable as it may sound to someone unsure about the trip, I truly have never met anyone who is in the midst of their Great Loop adventure, or who has completed it, that is miserable or regrets doing it. Without exception, they talk of the sense of accomplishment, the joy, and the lifelong friends they have made along the way.