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Man refuses to go on vacation with in-laws; wife furiously says, 'I need a temporary separation.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Man refuses to go on vacation with in-laws; wife furiously says, 'I need a temporary separation.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this man is fed up with his wife's demands, he asks the internet:

"I told my wife I’m not going on vacation with her family. AITA?"

I told my wife no, I’m not going on family holiday with your family. I always put my wife and her family first. I moved to my wife’s hometown because she wanted to be closer to hers.

Now her family and mine are total opposites. I’m an only child, She’s the eldest of 3. My extended family is 4 people including me, hers is 30+. My family are introverted and don’t drink, hers are super extroverts and booze whenever they can.

My parents are disabled, hers are healthy. Honestly my family are “boring” and hers are “fun” and I’ve gotten used to it and it’s horrible to say but because of being around them so much I prefer hanging out with her family than I do my own.

I always do what she wants. I’m a pushover but “happy wife happy life”right? Even if it’s something I don’t want to do I do it to make her happy.

First dance at our wedding? Terrified and I didn’t want to do one. I don’t like being the centre of attention. She cried and I caved in.

Christmas? Her family is large so have a big fun party on Christmas Day and mines small and boring so she doesn’t want to be there.

Where to live? She wanted to be close to her family so now mines a 3 hour drive away and I hardly see them except for birthdays.

Well this year it’s her Grandmas 70th, her mums 50th and my 30th birthday so her family have planned a huge family holiday of 25+ people to be away for 3 weeks to celebrate everyone’s birthdays. The catch is its not on anyone’s birthday except mine, we’d fly home 1 day after my birthday.

Obviously my parents want to see me on my 30th and have said they’re upset because as usual I’m pandering to her family as always and they’re being left out again. I want to spend time with my family especially as I only really see them on birthdays, I’m used to their boringness but to do that apparently I’m ruining her family trip.

But if I go on the trip I’m putting my family second again and further damaging that relationship. My parents are older and disabled and my Gran has early onset dementia, so they don’t have much time in comparison to hers.

We can’t get a shorter holiday, we can’t go at another time of the year because of work and school commitments.

So I told her no. For the first time ever I told her “No. I’m not going. You can but I’m staying here. I’m an adult I want to spend my birthday with my family”. To which she replied “I am your family” then stormed off and she’s not taking it too well.

She’s acting like a spoiled child; crying, screaming, calling her mum to say she can’t go now because I’m not going, so now her family think I’m a massive AH and none of them can see that I have another side to my family.

She’s packed a bag since I started writing this and she says she’s going to stay at her mums so we can temporarily separate until I can make up my mind what’s more important my family or hers. I have no idea what to do. I just needed to vent.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

sanergarban writes:

NTA. My man think about this, when she went to her mama she leave you the option of deciding if her family or your family is more important. I can understand it like this: It doesn't matter who you think is more important because at the end of the day for her the one who is not important at all it's you.

If you would be important for her she wouldn't be doing this. Hold your ground and do yourself a favor, get couples counseling and if needed get out of there.

Also I advice you to send a text or a letter to her family explaining the situation and your decision, if they not respect either then run, run and don't go back it will only get worse. Best of luck my man, hold your ground because you're not doing anything wrong.

okgift7 writes:

This is an abusive relationship. You have been isolated from your family and as their only child it must have really hurt them. But from the sounds of it they have let things go for the sake of your happiness.

Your wife sounds very spoilt and, unfortunately, your good nature has made her more so. You cannot rerun your time with your family like catchup TV; this is the only time you will have and take my word when I say that one day you will regret not standing up for you and your family time.

In fact, I would not only insist that your birthday is spent with your family but that in the future you will want to spend every other Christmas with them too (personally, as an only child myself, I far prefer quiet Christmases, but that's just me).

A woman who really loves you would insist that you both spend time as equally as possible. If things were reversed and you were the wife in this situation, everyone would be shouting that this is abuse. Stand your ground and be ready to walk away, if necessary, because if you let this go things will only get worse.

grimwhal writes:

she’s resorting to literal tantrums bc she knows in the past this is the way to get what she wants - toddlers have figured this out too.

you’ve enabled this emotionally immature adult for years now, as this is now a recurring system running in the relationship, so if you want the cycle to end then something’s gotta give, right?

here’s your opportunity to choose a different path for yourself that aligns with your values. it would be a life changing gift to yourself for your 30th.

like others have said 1 - text her family (see the other redditor’s comment for their great script) so you can control some of the narrative. don’t let their reaction or opinion sway you (that’s what she wants and is depending on)

2- Be firm and don’t engage with her if she’s acting abusive (emotionally or verbally). expressing to her that ‘you won’t continue discussion with her until she’s calmed down’, is also a boundary.

3 - Be prepared to let it play out - you guys may not be able to resolve this and might spend your bday apart.

4 - couples counseling or individual therapy for you at least so you can dig deeper into why you enabled this for so long. i know you said happy wife happy life but it’s probably something that was conditioned or modeled to you by your caregivers. do you see the same dynamic in your parents relationship?

unfortunately it’s going to get worse before it gets better but if you can break this cycle, your happiness and quality of life can improve. best of luck to you.

Update 1:

Just to clear a few things up. I love my wife and I’m not going to divorce her over this. She does so much for me and is normally a kind and loving person. We’ve been together 6 years married 18 months.

We don’t have kids but are trying. We live in the UK and the reason why we can’t go at any other time is because of the UK laws on taking children out of school during term time for holidays so it’s been planned during the autumn break so the parents don’t get fined.

I woke up this morning to the following text from her mum: “Do you know how disappointed I am in you right now! It’s not even that you’re not coming away for my birthday it’s the fact that you’re not supporting my daughter, you know how important family is to her!

End of..u know how much she wants to come, and u telling her to go on her own is not being supportive, you’ve put a full stop to it all. I don’t get what your issue is? It’s one thing then another? And she can’t do right for wrong in trying! it’s supposed to be a lovely family holiday for my 50th”

It’s made me even more determined to stand my ground. They seem to forget I have parents too.

I just don’t want to be hated, this holiday is 8 months away and I don’t want 8 months of hate especially when we live in such close proximity.

Update 2:

Last night my wife and I went out for dinner, my idea so we could speak and I hoped being in a public place would make her less likely to scream/cry etc.

I told her all the advice that I had read on here and showed her the text I received from her mum. She listened to everything I had to say and I could see her physically cringe when she read the text. She apologised for the way she had acted and said she hadn’t even considered it from my POV.

I told her I what one Redditor had said (sorry so many comments I can’t remember a name). If we’re doing this for 30,50,70 what’s going to happen at 40,60,80 or 50,70,90. Are we going to have this spoilt child situation when she’s nearly 40 or are we going to leave it behind now in her 20s.

She told me her family had all got together to book the trip the night she left and she felt shitty because I said we weren’t going so now no one had booked “until I’d finished throwing my toys out the pram”.

I told her I didn’t say WE can’t go, I said I wasn’t going but she could. (I ignored the toys/pram comment as that pissed me off).

I reminded her that her mums actual birthday was 2 weeks before we fly and her Nans birthday is in 2 weeks from now.

She’ll get to spend time with them, have a party etc on the actual day and that’s something I want for myself too. I don’t want to be away from my family in a different country with 25+ people I don’t know that well on my 30th.

I want to do something with my family over my birthday before it’s too late. My mums health is rapidly deteriorating and she can’t do much as it is and who knows how long my Gran has before this dementia really sets in.

My mums always talked about doing a Baltic cruise/ see the northern lights for my Grans 80th but that’s still 2 years away and I honestly don’t think in 2 years either of them will be in any fit state so I suggested we do it for my 30th instead.

My wife seemed keen and pulled up some dates. Theres one that leaves 3 days before my birthday and comes back 3 days after - perfect timing.

We called my mum to ask and she sounded delighted. She herself hadn’t even considered how my Gran would be at 80 and thought it would be a lovely trip to make memories on.

We then went to her mums house. (No apology or anything from her but you can’t win everything) to tell her together WE weren’t going for the 3 weeks but we’d found (my wife had found) a 1 week booking that coincided with their 3 week trip in a hotel that was just down the beach, same chain/resort just a different building.

Enough distance to have our own break but still include the family for evening meals etc. No one had even suggested looking at shortened dates and I hadn’t even considered it until I read so many comments saying just come back sooner.

All in all I’m going to take this as a win (I don’t think my bank balance will though). She’s seen me put my foot down and mean it. I’m not going to let have her way all the time at my own detriment.

I’ve not caved for an easier life and together we found a peaceful solution. My family haven’t been excluded and are so excited, my mums like a kid at Christmas, and hers are well… happy they can book now and at least the “asshole SIL” is only there for a week. Hopefully as it’s not for 8 months they might forget ?

Screw the happy wife happy life mentality. I’ve never heard happy spouse happy house before but I think I’ll be using that mantra from now on. Like you all said it’s a 2 way street, give and take, compromise. Thanks to everyone for the advice and support.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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