by Emily Martell, 27th October 2014

How does it feel to be married to a man who is voluntarily choosing to put his life in danger to accomplish his dream of rowing the Pacific solo in 2016?

I am asked this question a lot. My answer, I have no choice.

Our story so far has been a whirlwind. In a year we have met, fallen in love, married and moved to an idyllic cottage in Gloucestershire. The fairytale does exist. However, Charlie’s desire to be the charitable adventurer has been the third person in our relationship from the start. I will never truly understand the psyche behind this selfish ambition of his and nor does he.

Yes, his next adventure is masked behind ‘being for a good cause’. This part I understand. But whilst his journey will take extreme endurance, solitude and mental strength, my journey, and for those closest to him, is seemingly also just as challenging.

My role as his wife is to provide him with a loving home, nurture him and build on our marriage. How can I bear to be apart from him for all those months, or sleep at night knowing that he is willingly in the middle of an ocean, alone, cold and that Mother Nature could play a disastrous hand with catastrophic consequences at any time? How will it feel every time the phone rings? My answer, I have no choice.

I’m not too sure if there are many support groups for the wives and families of those who choose to undertake extreme challenges. Perhaps this is where my research should start. Whilst the key word in his Pacific challenge is ‘solo’, a small strong team of people will be working behind the scenes to support him practically and emotionally. Wives and family members aren’t so fortunate to be offered this, and we just have to ‘get on with it’.

I have until April 2016 to prepare myself for my biggest challenge yet in supporting my husband in something that I fundamentally disagree with. Perhaps with your help we can achieve this together?