They say that communication in a relationship is key, right? Well then, how does that work underwater, and how can it be good for a marriage if you can't actually talk to the other person (unless you have a full face mask equipped with communication)?
Aaron always says (mostly in jest ... at least I hope so) that his favorite part of scuba diving is that he doesn't have to listen to me talk when we are diving. What he doesn't know is that I don't have to listen to him underwater either. Ahh, the silence! Well, except for the bubbles. Those are actually louder than you'd think.
Anywho, what was the point of this again? Ahh, yes, how diving is good for a marriage. It may seem a little counter-intuitive for the reasons mentioned above, but really, it's quite logical. Scuba diving builds trust between two people. Here you are, going into a hostile environment where humans are not supposed to survive, and you're pretty much putting all of your trust (not to mention, maybe even your life) in that person's hands. While I think it's extremely important to be able to take care of yourself and rely on your own skills and training while diving, in the unfortunate circumstance something happens, I know that my dive buddy will (or, at least could) be there to help. Our rescue diver course this weekend really drove that point home.
When I was in high school, the water polo team had t-shirts that said, "Underwater, no one can hear you scream." While this is slightly on the violent side, I think it makes a good point. Scuba diving has made us better communicators. Communication underwater is difficult. The dive industry has certain standardized hand signals for different things (i.e. fish, boat, out of air, ok, I have to pee), but having complex discussions or conversations underwater is difficult. This is where how well you know that person comes into play. Because we know each other well (we are married, so I guess that we kind of have to), we are generally able to communicate some more complex things to each other. We still have that random time when I can't make heads or tails of what Aaron is trying to say as he is waving his arms about underwater, but its usually not critical. These skills have translated to our time above water too. For example, if we are at a party (or really, wherever), but not near each other, if we can at least make eye contact, we can generally have a complete conversation with just a few hand signals. It's actually a pretty useful skill to have.
Scuba diving is something at that we do together. This is extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. When we are on vacation, I am usually the type to want to do things while Aaron is more the type that wants to relax (but not on a beach). Now, when we go on vacation together, we're both happy since Aaron would rather dive than relax (and we are usually by some sort of beach, which makes me happy). It's also nice that not only one of us is spending an ungodly amount of money on dive gear/travel. The one downfall, while the gear may not seem that expensive on its own, we pretty much always have to double it. And then it a lot. I also think that it's important that a couple have a hobby in common (but not too many, time away from your spouse is not only healthy, but important too).
The fourth and final reason (and arguably the most important)? INSTABUDDY! Couples who dive together stay together. Say I wanna go diving this weekend, odds are, so does Aaron. If Aaron wants to try a new dive site, I'm totally down for it!
So really, diving is a win-win for both of us. I get to spend time with him, he doesn't have to listen to me jabber on underwater, and we are outside, enjoying the (hopefully) nice weather, doing something we both enjoy. And hey, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than couple's therapy (not that we need it anyway)!
What hobbies do you have with your significant other? Other ways you think diving is good for a marriage?