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Mom of 2 (1 special needs) denies hubby 2 wk vacation; says 'Not after last time.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Mom of 2 (1 special needs) denies hubby 2 wk vacation; says 'Not after last time.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this mom to two children (one with special needs) denies her husband permission for a two week vacation, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for denying my husband a 2 week vacation?"

My husband and I have been married for 12 years. We have 2 kids together, where one have special needs. We live close to my home town in Europe, while his family lives around the US.

We used to be able to afford to visit once a year. The cost of living has increased lately, and the extra cost of bringing two kids makes it more difficult as well. I wish we were able to go at least twice a year, and seeing my husband miss his family and friends is hard.

Last year his depression got worse, and he said that he needed to visit home. He wanted all of us to go, but we didn't have the money and I didn't have more vacation days left at that point. I told him that if it's going to be possible at all, he would have to go alone.

We got in to a argument about how long. I said a week and a half tops but he wanted longer. Not long after, he told me that he booked a trip for 2 weeks and 4 days. That was not what we had discussed. I ended up having to switch around my night shifts and 12 hour shifts.

I worked 7 days a week both before and after his trip. During his trip I worked about 80% and took care of our kids alone after work. Barely sleeping at night because of our kids.

By the time he got home, I was exhausted and still mad about the way he went about his trip. It was very clear that he apologized to make the argument go away, not because he meant it.

The worst part was not being able to afford a trip for the kids or even any fun activities during the summer. A few months ago my husband said that he wanted to visit his brother and his family in Hawaii.

I told him that it would be nice, but that we will never be able to afford the 5000 dollar plane tickets and that again I didn't get vacation around the time he wanted to leave. Soon he was talking about going by himself. I told him that 2 weeks was too long, and that I won't be able to handle more than a week.

He got upset and voiced his opinion, but didn't press it. I also said that he would have to save money and not take everything from the vacation money. My husband always works non stop, and expects me to stay with the kids.

Most times he doesn't even let me know what his plans are or when he is coming home. And after his last vacation, he made me feel like a single mom. It doesn't help that he rarely contributes around the house or with the kids. With that said, he does work a lot.

He probably feels like he deserves the trip. We earn about the same amount a month all in all though. Some months he earns more than me. I work a full time high demanding job. A week ago he asked me which two weeks to book tickets for, and I reminded him that I had said one week.

He got upset again, saying that it isn't enough and that it won't even be worth the 1300 dollar ticket. He has asked me multiple times since then. Tonight he told his whole family, including his parents that were flying down too, that he is not coming. It makes me feel unreasonable.

Am I wrong for denying him the two weeks in Hawaii? Should I tell him to go two weeks during summer while I'm off or screw him and plan a trip for our family instead?

OP offers this first update with additional information:

I don't intend to get a divorce, although our marriage does need a lot of work. I just wanted to know if i was being inconsiderate or not. FYI I had to put in my vacation days december last year. My husband is getting to it now.

We tried to plan well but all my vacation requests were not approved. At this point he had already told everyone when he was coming and his parents planned their trip around his. That said, our place is always open for his family to come. They were here two years ago, and we love having them. We divide nights between us.

Then OP offers this second update, which details her husband's depression and her child's special needs condition:

Both our kids wake up most nights. When he was gone they woke up on different times during the nights, driving me crazy. We have a joint economy. We only have 1 week of vacation together this year due to us having to stay home with the kids when school is out for a month with no after school care.

It could have been two, but I guess my husband wanted to use it going to Hawaii. I haven't gotten my vacation money yet and haven't made any plans so that him visiting his family could take priority. The depression isn't due to being homesick. He has had a really difficult childhood.

I have tried to encourage him to do therapy, but he won't due to a bad experience in his teens. Maybe I should insist? The depression isn't due to being homesick. He has had a really difficult childhood. I have tried to encourage him to do therapy, but he won't due to a bad experience in his teens. Maybe I should insist?

Also, our son has Autism. My mom could probably watch the kids one night, but she is sick and my only sister has two boys with autism. I dont have vacation during the time he plans to leave either way. We do have issues communicating though.

Readers had a variety of opinions on OP's dilemma:

tvalberg writes:

This is very complicated and hard to advise on. I understand your point of view 100% But depression is a b&tch, you guys may have to find a more long term solution or compromise. If he’s really depressed due to being homesick, it’s likely not going to get better.

Is he able to work remotely? You may have to consider letting him take a longer trip every year, as long as he still got income. By doing longer trips less frequently it saves on tickets.

In any case, if he is depressed due to being homesick; Not letting him address it (in a financially sustainable way) will likely make him a worse husband and father over time. Resentment and bitterness may build and so on. You get the picture…..

If you want to save your marriage, this is a serious issue you guys have to address one way or the other. Depression is very serious and ruins relationships all the time.

likeitrunit writes:

Tell SO he can go to Hawaii if he takes the children. This will give you a well needed and deserved break to recharge your batteries. If SO tries to fight you on taking the kids tell him they are their family too and they also need to spend quality time with them. I would call MIL and ensure SO had some help on his two week family vacation.

If SO tells his family he isn’t going because of so and so, speak up and ensure they know the correct reason.

I am completely against divorce, however in this circumstance I feel like you’re being taken advantage of. When do you get a break?. How is it justified that you take care of the children, household and work.

In your post you stated SO works all the time but brings home the same amount as you do on a monthly basis, apart from the odd occasion. SO is on a good wicket, divorce might just make him wake up to himself and learn to put his wife and children first.

I can envision him begging you to take him back because he can’t handle every second weekend and a night or two a week with your children. He will also have less money to travel as he will be paying child maintenance.

Your children are very lucky to have you, your kind heart should only be used on them moving forward.

penguincatcher7 writes:

I think there are a couple ways to alleviate this fight going forward. You both should have your own personal spending account. My husband and I each put 200 dollars in our own personal checking.

We both spend our money however we like. So if my husband wants to spend 300 bucks on sports gambling he can. And if I want to go on a 5 day girls trip I save up and I’m able to go.

We don’t ever argue about this money and I can’t even see his checking account to see what he spends money on. We have also figured out that if the kids come we use our dual income for the kids only.

I would also consider how often your husband travels and sees friends in your hometown. If he only really goes out a few times a year I might give him the 2 weeks. But then you need to discusss what he needs to do to support you while he’s gone.

Examples: he meal preps for the 2 weeks. Or he ensures the house is completely clean before leaving. Or he arranges help (nanny, childcare, your family to come support you). And he definitely, definitely takes over duties for when you return. (An example is when I leave for 5 days I’ll come home and put kid to sleep for 5 days and get up with kid and take to school etc.)

With reoccurring fights try to approach with less no and more “we need to figure this out.” I might say: “hey, I know you are so homesick and it’s important to you to see your family. I get it.

I want that for you. And I want to figure out how we can make this happen and everyone feels supported and like they have a plate they can manage. So let’s problem solve.”

“Two weeks feels too long because these are the tasks I have to manage and it feels like too much for too long. You come back and I’m absolutely burnt at both ends. So how can we alleviate that?” And so on and so forth.

Lots of opinions on what OP should do here. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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