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Advice: Taking a trip alone or with spouse?


graythomas329

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Hi all.

 

Okay - here goes. I know I am opening myself up to getting "verbally bodyslammed", but advice is advice and I will take it constructively.

 

Short version: Been married long time. Wife is very, very active in athletic competitions. I go with and support her in all of these events. But over the years I've felt like I have 'no thing' that is "mine." That something which I get to do. Until recently that is. I joined a book club, wherein once a year I and the local group get-to-gether and travel to a weekend conference where professional writers speak, give advice, etc.

 

My issue is I like to - go alone with the group. This year she wants to go with. I feel very badly, and quite selfish. But, none-the-less I feel like it is kinda "my thing" and I enjoy just being on my own.

 

Is this wrong??? Am I being selfish?

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eh....tell her she'd be bored outta her mind!

 

Then say, are you sure you want to go?? I sorta like the 'me' time with this group.

 

If you give her all the reasons why you'd prefer to be alone, and she still wants to go...let her go.

 

Possibly she will hate it, and never ask again! But this way she will find out!

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I'm not bodyslamming, but sounds like with your wife's interests you are able to share in it by going and being with her, so at least you share travel and time together. But now you are saying you do not want her involved at all in your interest. Can't she travel with you then do something on her own while you are at the conference? She could sight see, go running, shopping, relax, whatever, than you two could have dinner, a night in a hotel, etc. It sounds like she doesn't intentionally shut you out with her interest, but you are intentionally shutting her out, and yes, that might be hurtful. It is not right or wrong, but if you do insist on going alone and she wants to go with you, offer a plan for something special together down the road.

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No not selfish at all. Giving each other personal space is crucial. Having said that, I think you need to be honest with her that this is to you like a hunting trip with just the guys - me time. If she still insists on coming along, let her. Just explain that your focus will not be on her. She will be on her own while you do your thing. Categorical refusal will cause bigger problems in your marriage as she may start to think you are hiding something like an affair.

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Hi journeynow,

 

Thank you for the great insight. Yes .. she does feel hurt, as I reflected to her today my desire to enjoy doing this on my own. But, she said she understood. Still, I feel so aweful.

 

Part of the problem is while she does have an interest in this "thing" of mine .. lol .. she has this "dynamic, confrontive, crazy personality". lol .. Which I like! But, I am a bit more reserved, quiet, a bit introverted. (Hence Book/Writers Club) So .. inevitably I "melt away" into the background anywhere we go.

 

Am I all messed up?????

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Hi Iggles,

 

There is one other couple .. the rest are single or dont bring spouses. Gosh - I feel so badly - because I know it hurts her in me wanting to be on my own during this. we do so many other things together. This is, I guess, just one thing I wanted on my own. ...

 

You shouldn't feel bad about that. Everyone needs alone time and solo hobbies/interests. You come back refreshed and energized to the relationship.

 

With your additional posts, I'd say it's not selfish at all to not always want to be in her shadow. Her personality takes over when you're together, which you don't mind most of the time. But in this instance, you want to shine on your own.

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Realitynut,

 

Thank you for your thoughts! Lol... you may be right .. I should make her sit with me during all of the dry writers lectures and see her all fidgity .. . She is very high energy!!! She's the A+ personality -- I'm kinda bookish and boring. ;-) Your advice just may work! ;-)

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But, I am a bit more reserved, quiet, a bit introverted. (Hence Book/Writers Club) So .. inevitably I "melt away" into the background anywhere we go.

 

Am I all messed up?????

No, not at all! You should each have your own interests. And going on a special trip alone is fine.

 

I'll just add that my ex-husband made going on special solo trips a priority, which I understood, but he only gave lip-service to wanting to take joint trips and could not find the time to do so. I understood that, too. Eventually he decided to go completely solo, and I was left wondering if I had done more to make sure we had joint trips happen, would our relationship have remained strong instead of dying out. (So take my 2 cents with a grain of salt.) I don't think solo trips are a problem (I took some, too), or solo interests, but occasional joint trips or joint interests can help grow the relationship, and good to keep in mind.

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JourneyNow

 

Thank you - very good advice. I think there is a balance, as I go with her 4-5 times a year (at least) on her comeptitions. As well, any other conferences, vacations, get-a-ways - we go on are together. Ultimately, my goal is always to make her happy in life and to have a better relationship together .. and if it is that important to her that she go with me on this .. then I want her to.

 

Her needs and wants always outweigh my own ... if I have to sacrifice the goofy desire to be alone at something .. then so be it.

 

Thank you for the insights and advice .. ...

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I did talk with her this morning and it does bother her that I want to go at it alone. Gosh, I love her so much -- but from time to time I do enjoy doing things on my own. Well, on the one hand, she is showing an interest in your interests which is good! After all, you've been supporting her in her stuff for a long time now.

 

On the other hand, if you're an introvert, I can see why you would want quiet alone time with other people who share your interest. I think as someone suggested, you could bring her, she could do her thing during the day while you're in sessions and then meet up with you at night for dinner (unless one is part of the activities) back at the hotel. I don't know how much it costs to attend this weekend, but it probably isn't something either of you want to pay for if she doesn't really have a burning desire to listen to speeches all day, anyway. She could go to a spa, or sight see or hang out by the pool or whatever, if she's looking for a weekend break away herself. You could suggest that to her, she could go away herself for a spa weekend somewhere while you're gone.

 

It is possible that one of the reasons she wants to come is to reassure herself that you aren't up to any funny business while you're away. If you've mentioned to her that most of the people in your group are single, she may have gotten the idea that you're looking for a chance to stray, which a weekend away would give you the opportunity to do. Not saying that's the case, but it is possible. It's also possible that once she sees what it's about and satisfies her curiosity, she may never have the desire to come with you again.

 

Whether you decide to take her with you or not, I think you both have to sit down and discuss it. Maybe she would like to go to some of her events by herself (or has in the past) and hasn't known how to tell you this. I've gone away with a female married friend, her husband stayed home and was OK with it, so I would say that it's not uncommon that married people take vacations without their spouse every once and a while and it's not a bad thing.

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Hi Itsallgrand,

 

I did talk with her this morning and it does bother her that I want to go at it alone. Gosh, I love her so much -- but from time to time I do enjoy doing things on my own.

 

This would be a perfect thing to tell her - and also, at the same time, ask her if there is anything SHE would like to do solo. While she's got her athletic interest, that's competitive more than social. So encourage her to find something that's "her time" as well, for some downtime to just breathe and be not "your wife" but just her. If she's uncomfortable at first - maybe find a day spa for her to get a massage and a bit of pampering while you do your thing with your group?

 

Just a suggestion, but if she enjoys her downtime, it might give you both some ideas to take time away from each other - not because you love each other less, but because you love each other so much and can give so much more if you make sure you maintain an identity beyond the one you share as a couple.

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Her needs and wants always outweigh my own ... if I have to sacrifice the goofy desire to be alone at something .. then so be it.

 

Always? That's not fair to either of you, it burdens both of you. Your needs and happiness are also important for the relationship to be a healthy one.

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It's not selfish at all to want to go do something by yourself. But maybe you could introduce her to the other couple and tell her that they can go do something together if they find themselves bored with the book club thing. The problem is it sounds like your wife likes to do things with you whether it's her thing or yours and I think since you've never spoken up about it before it's going to potentially hurt her feelings. She likely has no idea how you feel about all the years you went with her to her events and she probably thinks you went to be with her or because you enjoyed it. Is there any reason you haven't ever talked to her about that?

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I'm all for spending hobbies together with your spouse. It's fine to have hobbies that you enjoy exclusively that your partner may not like and partaking them once in awhile. However, ask yourself this:

 

How often are you partaking in activities away from your spouses vs. the amount of time you spend together?

 

According to link removed, written by a professional marriage counselor, it will become a problem in your marriage if you are spending activities separately on a frequent basis. Eventually you will find a person who also holds the same interest and develop a relationship that could tempt you into an affair. The one thing I REALLY love about this book is that it provides a list of activities/interests that you both can discuss on doing together.

 

The strongest marriages are built upon the activities that you both enjoy doing together.

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eh...my ex bf and i did everything together, and he still left me! Oh yeah...one of his activities was going to the bars with his single friends! But once ayear he went on a 4 day golf outing. He met a woman. Nuf said. Sounds as if OP and his wife have done everything together! Sounds as if they are solid!

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