Re: Vacation separately - sign we are in trouble?
She knows that you wanted to go to NO with her. It's on your bucket list.
She knows that she's hurting you by going.
The time that she negotiated away from work was for her. Her family wasn't a consideration.
She refuses to let you know her itinerary, even what hotel she's staying in.
She diverts and makes excuses as to her motives.
She doesn't "need permission" from you is her only argument because there is no good excuse for what she's doing.
Dozens of the words "I love you" but her actions speak otherwise.
"Normal" women go on "Girl's night out" and weekends with their friends, but not at the expense of their family's emotional well-being.
There are so many other things... but you get what I'm saying.
My husband wouldn't think of going to a place on our bucket list without me.
My husband wouldn't think of hurting me by going to a party town without me (if I wanted to go) despite my concerns.
My husband wouldn't negotiate precious time away from work, only to exclude me from it.
My husband always lets me know where he's going, where he's staying, and what he's doing, even on business trips, and loves to send me pictures of himself and the places he's seeing, so that I can experience a little of it myself since I have my own work to do.
My husband doesn't make excuses. If he believes that he's being fair, he stands firm. He doesn't believe in being unfair, so thus, he doesn't have to make excuses. Sometimes he sacrifices what he wants for what I want, but he makes sure that I understand that it's voluntary, not an obligation. I do the same for him.
My husband doesn't need my permission to do anything, but he wants me to approve. We sometimes have to negotiate.
When my husband says "I love you", he isn't stabbing me in the back while he's saying it.
My husband puts me first. I put him first.
My husband won't put up with my crap either, and everyone has a little crap in them. He's firm and fair, and he expects that from me.
You, on the other hand, are letting your wife set a precedent. She's going on this trip, and to hell with you. You're expected to deal with it now, and she'll smooth things over when she gets back. When that works, then the next time she has an itch that you can't scratch, she'll do it again.
Is she going there with no boundaries, meaning, if a stud wants to plow her, she's going to get plowed? It certainly seems like it. What happens in NO stays in NO, right? Will that happen? Maybe. If it doesn't happen, will you think to yourself "Whew! I'm glad we dodged that bullet!". How will you know if she's been faithful? Actually, I suppose the question is "How will you know if she's been even MORE UNfaithful", because she's already pushed the definition of faithful almost to the breaking point. There's no "freshness indicator" on her lady parts, and you don't know where she'll be, because she won't tell you. I guess you'll just always wonder about that, won't you, because you can't prove that she DIDN'T do anything.
The trust issue is not because she's going out of town with a friend. My husband goes out of town often, and I'm not concerned about his behavior. It's because she's being insistent, secretive, and selfish to the extreme that makes her untrustworthy.
If your wife is truly faithful, and yet incapable of understanding what she's doing to your relationship, she certainly doesn't understand one of the basic rules of marriage: Avoid the appearance of wrong-doing.
If my husband behaved as your wife is, he wouldn't hear a peep out of me while he was gone. Absolutely NO CONTACT. He'd come home to HIS house, not OUR house, after his potential sexcation, because I wouldn't be there anymore. There'd be a note on his pillow, "You did your thing. I'm doing mine".
Only you can decide, since you didn't put your foot down before she left, if you're willing to put up with the misery of this precedent. If you do, the next time she pulls the stunt, and she will, it will be much harder for you to deal with, unless you've lopped your testicles off and given them to her in a gift box by then.
Sorry if you want gentle. You don't need gentle. There's too much gentle. Everyone gets a trophy, right? You need to stand up for yourself and your children. You need a woman like me to tell you that you're not cutting it, so a woman like your wife doesn't own you. Gentle? How about HARD. How about ASSERTIVE. How about STRONG but FAIR. That's what you need to be, so you'll get the woman that you deserve.
Sometimes, the only answer to her mistake, and your mistake in choosing her, is a hearty "GTFO. I won't be treated this way", but then, you have to mean it.