Feels like DH and I have crossed a line...

wrychoice1September 25, 2009

...but I am not sure exactly. I will apologize in advance for the length of this post...As of this minute, I should be boarding an airplane to meet DH who is already at his son's home. He has been there a few days following a business trip. I was to fly there this evening for what would be the start of a week-long vacation. I have not had a vacation in about 18 months and I was really looking forward to the time. DH has already had some time by himself with son, daughter-in-law and grandchild. We were going to spend a couple extra days with them once I arrived --- hoping to combine time with them in some sight-seeing we wanted to do. After that, DH & I were going off by ourselves for some quiet time and visit some places we'd not seen before. I had researched places to stay; found some places with fun activities for the grandchild,etc...

Problem is DH wouldn't commit to any of this because he couldn't get a commitment from his son. This has been going on for several weeks...well, DH's son finally told him the only day he could get off was his regular day which is in the middle of the week. He never tried to trade days with any of his co-workers...just "this is my day off." With that being the case, there was no way to accomplish all the travel and sight-seeing I thought we both (DH & I) wanted to do. I knew DH wanted to spend time with his son and grandchild; I did, too...I was just hoping we could kill two birds with one stone by having the son & his family go with us on the first part of our trip...no such luck.

So, I am driving DH to the airport last weekend and he is still trying to figure out how to come up with a plan for how we could spend my hard-earned and long awaited vacation time. Now mind you, this is the son who, when I was trying to make plans for DH's milestone birthday, never had the courtesy to return my phone calls or email...and DH somehow cannot or will not understand that while I would love to have things be all Brady Bunch between this son and his family and me, I cannot make that happen all by myself. His son has to want some semblance of a connection with me...

Anyway, on the way to the airport last weekend (I was taking him to drop him off to catch his flight for his business trip), it became clear that this trip had become less about our vacation and more about his son's day off...and how we could accommodate that. DH kept saying, "But I thought you'd want to spend time with little Mary..." and I would reply, "yes I would. That is why the plan was to spend a day or two at their home, then spend another couple days with them sight-seeing. It is your son who is not willing to accommodate this." Finally DH said, when we are about 10 minutes from the airport, he thought it might be best if I canceled my ticket and saved my vacation for some other trip, some other time. And I did.

Last night, DH called. He was constantly distracted during the conversation by the antics of his grandchild. Put his phone on speaker function so I could hear; tells me he loves me and wishes I was there...and all I could think is "I do not want to hear this."

This has happened before, where he & I have had what appears to be an irreconcilable difference (the last time was several years ago and it was about how to arrange for transportation for one of his adult kids)...and the choice is either he takes the side of his child(ren) or he supports me. It happens frequently over little things...and only a handful of times over big things (that involve significant sums of money or in this case, how we spend our time together)...and he chooses his children over me/us...I guess I am thinking if we cannot agree on how to plan a vacation, how can we plan our life?

I know I am discouraged and depressed. I feel numb...I feel if we are going to go our separate ways in this instance, perhaps we should just go our separate ways, period.

It has been 14 years of this. I'm tired...and as I am 14 years older, I keep thinking my time is that much more precious...and do I really want to spend it like this?

It feels like a line has been crossed...

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I'm so sorry Wrychoice...

But do you think maybe you could be misinterpreting SS's side of things? I get that you and Hubby wanted to go sight-seeing -- perfectly natural. But SS has probably already seen those sights, and would not want to spend his only day off dragging his daughter to see those 'same ole sights' with Grandpa & Grandma. Though he might be perfectly happy to have Grandpa & Grandma visit and take little Mary to see the sights, then spend his precious day off doing something else (that he'd enjoy) with them.

In other words, instead of planning your vacation around SS, why not just plan your vacation around doing the things you want to do in his area? Invite SS, DIL and GD to participate as much (or as little) as they want, and shift the burden of making all of the logistical details work back onto them? Or email DIL instead? Hate to be sexist, but sometimes there's a real gender difference when it comes to making social plans...

Of course, I'm not in your shoes, and don't know how your marriage is otherwise. But by itself, this seems like a pretty small problem to have you questioning the whole marriage.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 6:31PM
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If you were going to be there for a week why couldn't you spend a few days alone sightseeing and a few days visiting with his son's family? If they can't or won't go sightseeing is your dh saying you should just sit around their home and wait for them to get home from work??

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:18PM
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Wrychoice, I think you should grab a girlfriend and go do something fun. Go by yourself even, but do something to take your mind off your anger because I don't completely know why you're so angry. I can understand you're upset and disappointed but not so much that you compare having spent life together for 14 years as if you just got married (in reference to "how can we plan our life?"). It's not a logical question and way too much weight placed on the incident, which indicates you're irrational right now. Just find a way to calm down and not waste your vacation time sulking.

It wasn't fair for you to plan a vacation, which included SS participating and changing his work schedule, and expect SS to comply when you know how he feels. The thought and the effort were nice for DH's sake but too much to expect. Besides, it's nice for DH to spend time with his son though he should have let you know in the beginning that is what he wanted to do. I think he was very inconsiderate in letting you plan a vacation he knew in his heart wasn't going to happen. I think he knew it wasn't going to happen or he wouldn't have told you to cancel. He could have suggested getting a room instead of staying with SS. That way, the two of you could do whatever whenever and he could also spend time with his son and leave you those few hours each day at the hotel or doing something else. But maybe it would have been more costly than is in the budget.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 8:48PM
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Mom2emall, thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it.

Thermometer, I honestly do not know where you are getting that I am angry about this. I said I was discouraged and depressed. I could have added sad.
I guess I wasn't clear that I am not so much upset with DH's son as I am with DH. It is clear that for him, our vacation was more about spending time with his son than it was about us spending relaxing time together. My trying to come up with a rough outline of things to do that would (for DH) include his son, DIL and GrD was my attempt to accommodate DH. I would have been happy to go out there and do our own thing...it was DH who was hung up on SS's schedule...and it was DH who, rather than tell SS "Hey great if you can join us and, if not, we'll see you again in a few days" told me to stay home.

My remark about how can we plan our life if we can't plan a vacation was referencing the fact that we are approaching retirement in the next 5 to 10 years. We have had general discussions about what we think we would like our retirement to be and have, only recently, begun more serious conversations regarding specifics. We are literally on opposite sides of the country on this one...so, at this moment, my thought is "If we cannot come up with a compromise we both can live with and enjoy regarding planning a vacation, how are we going to plan our life?"

Sweeby, thanks for your response. You are always very thoughtful and insightful in your posts to others and I appreciate the time you took in responding to me. Up until now, I have always thought, for the most part, our marriage is good...but our recent talks about retirement, specifically "where?" have revealed very significant differences between us...and I am really fearful we will not be able to bridge them in a way that honors both of us...I guess that is the bottom line...(no pun intended...)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:23AM
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I can relate. it's been awhile we had any vacation just two of us. most of the time we either spend vacations wiht SO's DD27 or we cannot plan anything because SO's DD27 keeps telling us she wants to visit but won't commmit to anything. so we end up not planning and just waiting until it is too late to book anything or until she cancels. SO refuses to change anything. So it is either i plan my own things or i end up sitting around and waiting if they commit to something ahead of time. I hear you....

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 12:22PM
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Posts like this make me want to cry. When your husband goes to visit his son, it SHOULD be all about the time he is spending with his son, not you, or the relaxing time you could be spending together. Take a separate vacation with your husband if you feel that the two of you need alone time, but don't try to cut into the time he is spending with his son and grandchild. If you don't like the fact that your husband sometimes puts his child first, which is something a good father does, then yes, you should leave your husband.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 7:01PM
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Jenben, you seem to be missing the point. Wrychoice isn't objecting to her husband putting his (ADULT) child first in this matter. It is that he is leaving her out and allowing his (ADULT) child to disrespect his marriage. One of the hard tasks of the bioparent in remarriage is to send the message to the kids that the new spouse is a valid family member.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 11:19AM
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Jenben, I'm puzzled about something...your profile indicates you registered with GW about a year ago (11/08), yet this is your first and only post to date...just curious, but what is your deal?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 6:02PM
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Well said Ulrike.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 5:29PM
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It's normal to feel sad, depressed, blue, etc when you realize that something for which you had high hopes isn't what you thought it would be & that it's time to move on.

A grown married man should be planning a vacation for him & his wife to enjoy, with a little excursion to visit other family members for a couple of days.

(wonder if son didn't change his day off because he'd prefer his dad not spend the whole week there?)

This guy is too old for inexperience to be an excuse;
this is the way he is.

Cut bait & throw him back.

The fact that he "suggested" that you cancel your trip says it all.

If you fit into his plans, he's happy (& isn't that what it's all about???), & if you don't fit into his plans, then you can stay home & *p!$$ away* your vacation time.

Take your vacation, go somewhere else, indulge yourself, & see if life isn't more enjoyable without trying to fit yourself into someone else's life.

'cause he isn't budging one inch to fit himself into yours.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 5:44PM
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Thanks, Catlettuce. I had plenty of things along the lines of what Wrychoice is going through happen earlier in my marriage. It's just more complicated when it is adult children. One can no longer blame BM, and when kids become adults, this is the time when DHs might have to go beyond their usual comfort zone! It's often very easy for DHs to lay the blame all on BM when they pull the rug out from under SWs...but when BM can no longer be blamed, they suddenly turn on their SWs. I think it is because they are ashamed of their kids, quite frankly, but don't want to admit it. So they can attack us because we are safe. The kids, not so much.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 1:43PM
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Amen to that

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 4:19PM
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jenben, it is important that parents spend time with their adult children but if DH never takes vacation wiht his wife and spends all his vacation time wiht adult children, it is a big problem and deeper issue in place. espcially if his wife is not given any time to make her own plans.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 10:33AM
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Great insights Ulrike --

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 4:54PM
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