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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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I posted awhile back about my husband and I beginning marriage counseling. The first session went great... but it was just me.

Though I would never replace counseling with venting on a forum, I found it very helpful getting some feedback from others on what they think about some of our issues.

The last issue was our very different sleep schedules, this one has to do with our time away together. What do you think of this? I’d love some feedback on this issue:

Vacations have been a source of frustration for me for most of our marriage. He likes to bring his Mom on most of them.

We already spend a week every summer visiting my family in Canada, so there isn’t much chance for our family of 5 to get away and reconnect just us.

I feel like having his Mom along just changes the dynamic of everything. Initially I think he liked having the extra help his Mom could provide when the kids were small because of my disability... which to a degree I understand, but it also makes me feel like he has to have her along now to have any kind of fun.

I love my mother in law... it has nothing to do with how I feel about her. It’s really just about my desire to be with my people, the people with which I am most comfortable. He doesn’t understand at all how it would bother me to have her join us on all of our trips.

He grew up with very little and I think he just wants to include her on some fun vacations before she gets too old. I am not opposed to her being along sometimes, but it seems to be very much the rule and not the exception.

Also worth mentioning... the disability I have is progressive so I likely will be in a wheelchair sometime in the next 10 years.

The window of being able to travel easily with my family to some fun places is closing faster than my mother in law aging. I don’t really know how to get him to understand how I feel. I have so many negative memories from vacations where I just felt like the odd one out just trying to keep up with everyone.

I can remember times walking through theme parks where he was just trying to get as much done in a day as he could so he’d be walking at such a fast pace, I’d be lagging way behind.

Sometimes his Mom would feel bad and come walk with me at my slower pace, but it always bothered me and I thought “why doesn’t he do that?”

It felt like he was more concerned with getting the maximum adventure bang for his buck than being by my side.

This is an example of an instance he will tell me “you are just imagining things, this isn’t how it is, you are just being insecure.”

Sure, I want my kids to have a great vacation, and the idea of slowing them down already makes me sad... I understand that I’ll need to lag behind occasionally... but isn’t it my vacation too?

Maybe my kids could benefit from seeing their Dad be more concerned about me than about how many rides we can ride in a day. I just feel like on most of our vacations, I’ve just been along for the ride.

I also think he and I could benefit greatly from getting away just the two of us... but that has rarely happened.

There are a few things I’ve suggested that I’d like to do... but we have yet to do any of them and I suspect because he feels like he’d just be bored with me not able to do much.

Maybe he’s right... this makes me sad that I can’t be a good vacation partner... and I’m not really sure how to fix this. So I’ve given up on even trying to figure something out.


Last edited by enealey; 07-19-2019 at 09:00 AM.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 09:51 PM
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Re: Family vacations

Put your foot down ......Your vacations are YOUR vacations......Visits should be separate from family vacations. Think Chevy Chase going to Wally World with the goofy Aunt.......Not fun.....That is you. Tell A-Hole husband that if he insists taking his mommy on your family vacations he will be doing it without you!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 10:36 PM
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Can I ask what your suggestions were? For a vacation just for the two of you?

How many vacations do you take a year, outside of the Canada family visit? Do you always do something like theme parks or is it ever something that is a more relaxed pace?

What does the perfect family vacation without your MIL look like to you? What do you envision?

I am assuming that his mom lives close and this isn’t her only time to visit with her son, you and the grandkids. Is he an only child?

Sorry for all of the questions and no answers. You all are sort of in a pickle when it comes to the family vacations. I can see how bringing mom along was good for when the kids were small and he might feel like a heel if he excludes her now, like admitting she was brought only as the help. And I can see how he doesn’t want to be slowed down and disappoint the kids. It seems from all of your posts that being “fun dad” is important to him. I can also see how that would make you feel like a hinderance instead of beloved. Not only should your kids be seeing their father want to care for you, they should want to also.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:57 AM
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Re: Family vacations

So, your husband doesn't seem to care that your disability is limiting of what you can do.

Yet your mother in law understands your problems and walks at a pace that fits in with your physical abilities and the demands that your health issue places upon you?

Yeah. I agree one of them needs to be left at home, whilst you have a nice relaxing vacation/holiday with your children and an adult who understands your health issues and won't get all bent out of shape if you just physically cannot do something in particular or need to do it slower.

I am sure your husband will have plenty to do at home whilst you and your mother in law have a fantastic girl's vacation together!

Also, if your husband is this indifferent to your disability and it's only relatively mild at present, how will he cope if it progresses to wheelchairs and the like?


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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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I got locked out of my account last night and couldn’t get back in until this morning. How frustrating!

The things that I have suggested are usually much more relaxing trips. Maybe an all inclusive resort or something like that where I can sit by a pool, or we can spend time talking and reconnecting instead of exhausting ourselves at a theme park until we are sick.

Earlier in our marriage when I could walk longer and further I would have loved a trip to some countries in Europe, but I think the window for those is closed pretty much now. It’s all theme parks and stuff focused around the kids.

I know it’s hard when our oldest is entering her senior year to not get caught up in what the kids want to do, but even they are tired of our theme park vacations.

I’m probably over-sensitive about holding everyone back and I’m not even saying they can’t have their fun, but truly there’s not much for me to enjoy. I have brought this up to him... his response is usually “well what do you want to do?!”

The way he says it is incredibly discouraging, and I maybe I’m imagining things when it sounds to me like he’s thinking “this is what it is, you can’t expect us to go on vacation and just sit around”.

Like I said, I'm already extremely sensitive about it and don’t want to ruin everyone’s fun, but the two options for me are to go along for the ride or stay in hotel room alone. Am I asking too much of him to have me in mind for vacations sometimes?

Not even everytime! He just says “well I can’t read your mind, if there’s something you want to do then you need to tell me and research accessibility etc..”.

Having my mother in law along makes it all the more difficult because he feels like he is responsible for her enjoyment, and it does seem like he will do what she wants to do which is a lot of the adventuring kind of things. She’s young at heart 😉 But what about my enjoyment?

I’m not saying these trips are all completely terrible, but they are coupled with anxiety and loneliness often times for me.

My kids are in a rigorous program in school and ironically lately when it’s vacation time, they just want to stay at home or do something relaxing. I suggested that if he wanted to do something fun, maybe he take his mom and my younger son on a fun trip and myself and the older kids stay at home or do something else.

I hoped he’d see the ridiculousness of going our separate ways on vacation but he didn’t. He thought it was a great idea.

Fun story, this past year we celebrated our 20th anniversary. We decided to book a cruise with another couple. He invited his mom. I wasn’t loving the idea but he assured me like he does every time that we would have some time alone.

Then she realized it wouldn’t work out. In the meantime, I decided to invite my parents so at least I wouldn’t be alone a lot. Lol - so this time it was the other way around and although he would never admit he’s wrong, he maybe got a taste of having in-laws along and it changing the dynamic.

What ended up happening is he had a great time with the kids zip lining and para-sailing while I enjoyed some time with my aging parents on the boat. Not really an anniversary trip after all.

Also, him walking ahead and me lagging behind is a problem I don’t often deal with anymore because we usually rent a wheelchair for times with long walks etc. At least I am less anxious about falling and the like, and he is kind of forced to push me.

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Last edited by enealey; 07-19-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:00 AM
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Re: Family vacations

Quote:
Originally Posted by enealey View Post
Vacations have been a source of frustration for me for most of our marriage. He likes to bring his Mom on most of them.

We already spend a week every summer visiting my family in Canada, so there isn’t much chance for our family of 5 to get away and reconnect just us.
Is it possible that your husband sees it this way - you both go to visit your family every year for a week, but then you don't want to spend equal time with your husband's family?

Does your MIL live close to you, and you both see her often, or does she live very far away? To me, that changes the context significantly.

My own experience is that having a grandparent along is very helpful for babysitting when the kids are small. Later, not as much, but it also depends on where you are going for your trip.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bluesclues View Post
Can I ask what your suggestions were? For a vacation just for the two of you?

How many vacations do you take a year, outside of the Canada family visit? Do you always do something like theme parks or is it ever something that is a more relaxed pace?
.
I may not have answered all of your questions. We usually are able to take one other vacation a year other than our trip North. My MIL lives close enough that we see her often. We could do weekend trips easily with her if we planned them.

I envision a trip with just the two of us, but that’s not simple to arrange right now as we do have a younger 9 year old child. Cruises seem to be the best vacations we take as a family. We have been on many of them but never just our family. Always friends and family along with us. I don’t usually mind staying on the boat on port days but there have been times I would have loved to see some of the ports. That means asking my husband and kids to give up their plans though. I hate doing that, mostly for my kids sake. Maybe that’s my fault for not speaking up?

Last edited by enealey; 07-19-2019 at 09:15 AM.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Theseus;19927497]
Quote:
Originally Posted by enealey View Post
Is it possible that your husband sees it this way - you both go to visit your family every year for a week, but then you don't want to spend equal time with your husband's family?

Does your MIL live close to you, and you both see her often, or does she live very far away? To me, that changes the context significantly.
Yes she lives close to us and we see her all the time. They live an hour away and will come visit unannounced quite often. We do weekends at the beach sometimes with them, that aren’t included in our longer vacations. I feel like we include them in a lot in our lives, and getting away just us is something that I’m desperate for
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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So this is a situation that came up on our last cruise. We had a port in Puerto Rico and I really did wish I could see some of it. But before even getting there, husband had already been making plans with the kids to walk to this fort. I had done extensive research that walking would likely be a bit difficult with hills and cobblestone areas... but there was a way to see lots of sights by using public transportation. When I suggested that as an option, my husband made the comment “well I really don’t want to just take a bus around, I’d like to walk around the fort some too. But you tell me what you want to do.” How am I in that case supposed to feel like I’m not holding anyone back? I ended up just saying, “forget it, you guys go do your thing.” And I stayed on the boat.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:34 AM
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Re: Family vacations

It doesn't appear that he cares what makes you happy. Maybe he will become more accommodating going forward but maybe this is who he is and he's not going to change. What then?

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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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It doesn't appear that he cares what makes you happy. Maybe he will become more accommodating going forward but maybe this is who he is and he's not going to change. What then?
This is one of about 3 main reasons that have brought us to counseling. Speaking to the counselor just myself so far, I feel like she understands me. I’m not sure what to expect when he is included. I’m sure he will make it appear like I expect him to read my mind. He is very good at presenting things from his perspective. This is kind of the reason I came to this forum. I know I will get all kinds of feedback, from his side, from my side, people that will tell me to kick him to the curb and vice versa. Does anyone see an angle I can use? I honestly think he’s just clueless. Hopefully not intentionally trying to hurt me. I guess I have to consider maybe he is. Do you all think it’s too much to ask that he take initiative on a vacation that I would enjoy? Or should I have to research all the places that have already been arranged and decide should I try and do them or not? I guess this whole issue is just as much about my disability as it is not being able to get away without extended family. Each of them complicates the other.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:42 AM
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Re: Family vacations

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Originally Posted by enealey View Post
So this is a situation that came up on our last cruise. We had a port in Puerto Rico and I really did wish I could see some of it. But before even getting there, husband had already been making plans with the kids to walk to this fort. I had done extensive research that walking would likely be a bit difficult with hills and cobblestone areas... but there was a way to see lots of sights by using public transportation. When I suggested that as an option, my husband made the comment “well I really don’t want to just take a bus around, I’d like to walk around the fort some too. But you tell me what you want to do.” How am I in that case supposed to feel like I’m not holding anyone back? I ended up just saying, “forget it, you guys go do your thing.” And I stayed on the boat.
It would be great if he prioritized your needs, but he is not going to, so YOU need to. Stop being a martyr and bump yourself up the list (I am great at saying this but have the same issue myself).

In this case specifically it sounds like he was suggesting that he would be willing to do the bus tour if he could also then walk the fort after, so you should have said "Great! Bus tour it is. And if their is time you and the kids can walk around the fort." Of course you would have to ignore the look of disappointment on his face and possible whining, but it would be worth it. There is a chance that once he sees how happy and relaxed you are doing things your way once in awhile, he may actually be more open to it in the future.
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enealey View Post
So this is a situation that came up on our last cruise. We had a port in Puerto Rico and I really did wish I could see some of it. But before even getting there, husband had already been making plans with the kids to walk to this fort. I had done extensive research that walking would likely be a bit difficult with hills and cobblestone areas... but there was a way to see lots of sights by using public transportation. When I suggested that as an option, my husband made the comment “well I really don’t want to just take a bus around, I’d like to walk around the fort some too. But you tell me what you want to do.” How am I in that case supposed to feel like I’m not holding anyone back? I ended up just saying, “forget it, you guys go do your thing.” And I stayed on the boat.
It would be great if he prioritized your needs, but he is not going to, so YOU need to. Stop being a martyr and bump yourself up the list (I am great at saying this but have the same issue myself).

In this case specifically it sounds like he was suggesting that he would be willing to do the bus tour if he could also then walk the fort after, so you should have said "Great! Bus tour it is. And if their is time you and the kids can walk around the fort." Of course you would have to ignore the look of disappointment on his face and possible whining, but it would be worth it. There is a chance that once he sees how happy and relaxed you are doing things your way once in awhile, he may actually be more open to it in the future.
Yeah, I guess already being so sensitive about it, his comment really hurt me. Because of the time in this instance and our deadline being back on the boat, we couldn’t do both the bus tour and walk to the fort. So as usual I just backed out.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:26 PM
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Re: Family vacations

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So, your husband doesn't seem to care that your disability is limiting of what you can do.

Yet your mother in law understands your problems and walks at a pace that fits in with your physical abilities and the demands that your health issue places upon you?

Yeah. I agree one of them needs to be left at home, whilst you have a nice relaxing vacation/holiday with your children and an adult who understands your health issues and won't get all bent out of shape if you just physically cannot do something in particular or need to do it slower.

I am sure your husband will have plenty to do at home whilst you and your mother in law have a fantastic girl's vacation together!

Also, if your husband is this indifferent to your disability and it's only relatively mild at present, how will he cope if it progresses to wheelchairs and the like?
I can say, if you want to go somewhere on a vacation and he doesn't, that's his choice.

You go. Truly, this is important. You're not criticizing him for not going, you're going because you want to, nothing to do with him.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:27 PM
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Re: Family vacations

But Sweetie you do need to be more firm with your needs and wants.
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