to be upset that DH doesn't understand my separation anxiety

(89 Posts)
Manoodledo Tue 20-Sep-16 14:09:40

DH and I are currently not talking because he is cross with me because my first reaction to his suggesting we go away for my 40th birthday was panic at the thought of leaving the kids, rather than being delighted with his kind and thoughtful suggestion. He wants us to go to New York in March and has even spoken to my mum about having the kids. I know I was supposed to be pleased but he just doesn't get how much the idea of leaving the kids (aged 10, 7 and 3) to go so far away makes me really, really anxious. And I know I'm being irrational. It's not like we never leave them with anyone else and we have once before gone off abroad for a couple of days without kids and I realize that the distance we go or the time we are gone has no bearing on the likelihood of something happening to them or us when we're not there. But I just can't help it. He doesn't get it at all because his default setting is absence, given that he's at work all day every day and is sometimes away for a few weeks at a time. Since the kids were born he's done quite a bit of travelling, to the Middle East, Japan and loads of places in Europe. I know that left to my own devices as I wouldn't go anywhere as I find it too stressful (I work from home, so this is my default setting) but he takes personal offence at this and says it upsets him that I don't want to go away with him.

PotteringAlong Tue 20-Sep-16 14:15:44

Honestly? It would upset me too. If you will leave them and have left them to go abroad in the past then I would find it hard not to see it as you saying you didn't want to do it anymore with me.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 20-Sep-16 14:15:53

TBF, I can see why he might be upset. He has clearly put some thought into this, if he has gone as far as speaking to your mum about having the kids, and he clearly wants to make your 40th special for you.

Given the age your children are - I was expecting your post to say that you wre being asked to leave a six week old baby, tbh - what is it that you fear will happen if you leave them with your mother (who has presumably successfully brought up at least one child of her own)?

Have you sought help for your anxiety? Because it does sound as if it is rather worrying if your default setting is that "you wouldn't go anywhere".

Sosidges Tue 20-Sep-16 14:22:24

I don't see how it is a birthday treat for you, if it is causing you stress and anxiety. He seems a bit selfish and it is unfair to harass you about it. I guess you have my sympathy because, My OH also travelled the world on business, I hate travelling anywhere.

OhNoNotMyBaby Tue 20-Sep-16 14:23:16

I suggest you should consider counselling OP. To have such anxiety over a few days away, and for your default position to never go anywhere, is not good or healthy.

What will you do when the DCs want to go away? On sleepovers, school trips etc?

And if my H had ever offered such a treat to me I would have bitten his arm and his leg off.

Manoodledo Tue 20-Sep-16 14:25:52

Yes, I get what you're saying. We have been away before although it did stress me out. And I think I'm also a bit cross at him asking my mum to have the kids when she is already a double carer for my dad with Parkinson's and my brother with Downs Syndrome. Also, it's him who wants to go to New York, he's been talking about if for ages, my birthday is kind of just an excuse to go.

Underparmummy Tue 20-Sep-16 14:28:32

I was recently stressed about a 48hr trip with DH but actually really enjoyed it and want to go again!

I think though that as it is your milestone birthday you should be able to chose the destination!!! If it was one a little nearer (Europe for eg!) would you be happier? If so then go there!

Manoodledo Tue 20-Sep-16 14:29:16

[OhNoNotMyBaby] the kids do go away, DS1 has just come back from cub camp, but for some reason that doesn't worry me in the same way as going away myself does. I know it's irrational. I think I also feel guilty about leaving the kids.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Sep-16 14:30:36

Also, it's him who wants to go to New York, he's been talking about if for ages, my birthday is kind of just an excuse to go. That's more of a problem TBH. A bit shitty frankly.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Tue 20-Sep-16 14:31:00

If you don't want to go, you shouldn't have to. Who is this treat for anyway? He should accept you the way you are and plan a treat you will enjoy.

Underparmummy Tue 20-Sep-16 14:31:27

I personally understand anxiety for the people looking after the kids if they are already busy and anxiety around leaving a three year old.

SatsukiKusakabe Tue 20-Sep-16 14:35:06

It's your birthday, a treat shouldn't be something that causes you stress. It does sound like it would be a bit of a burden on your mum as well. Maybe somewhere closer to home, for a shorter duration? Your youngest is only 3, that is till very little so think it's understandable to feel like this still. In a few years more you might feel differently. You shouldn't be pressured to do something you don't consider enjoyable for your birthday, that isn't a gift for you, then is it?

I don't know why people who like to travel, don't mind leaving their children etc can't understand that not everyone is the same. It isn't unhealthy necessarily, just different personalities.

My mum disliked travelling anywhere, it didnt stop us travelling as we wished to when we were older. Don't think she needed counselling - she was quite content with the situation confused my uncle never got in a
plane, still had a happy life!

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 20-Sep-16 14:44:53

I wouldn't want to leave the country. My DD is 8. She's very precious. She went camping 20 mins down the road for 4 nights and that was fine. But a flight away wouldn't be something I'd entertain.

Your dh possibly doesn't understand because he goes away a lot. Also this trip sounds as if it's about him, not you. A couples weekend away in a swanky hotel would be right up my street. Don't know about you? And you definitely don't need counselling!

MammouthTask Tue 20-Sep-16 14:45:30

its him who wants to go the NY
Yep I thought that much just reading your OP.
If he was that caring and considerate, I'm sure he would have thought about something that he KNOWS you will enjoy rather than something he knows you will struggle with. I'm hmm at the idea that he feels hurt that his efforts are not appreciated knowing you don't like leaving the dcs like this.

YANBU. If he wants to please you, he should think of something that YOU will like rather than something most people would enjoy or something he will enjoy.

MammouthTask Tue 20-Sep-16 14:48:50

I also have an issue with posters saying you should have counselling as clearly not wanting to be away on hols on the other side of the Atlantic is a major issue that will spoil your life.
I suspect these are people who would love to do that and can't quite understand why you are anxious (just like your DH) It doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you and you have to be 'cured' of it in some way!

Sunnydaysrock Tue 20-Sep-16 14:50:49

I totally understand your feelings. I recently started talking to my dh about my 40th birthday plans for next May. I have to admit I am a total control freak, something he has got used to and accepts luckily. I said I'd like to go away. He said it's in hand and that he'd been looking into it. After I said I hope it was for all 4 of us (dd12 and ds8), he said he'd actually been looking at New York just for me and him. I said I wouldn't enjoy it without the children, we are now looking at a family holiday. It is a totally irrational stress that going abroad brings on. I have done it twice, the most for 4 days and can honestly say I didn't enjoy it half as much as if the children had come with us. It makes my chest tight just thinking about doing it now. Both dc regularly stay away from home for up to 5/6 days in the holidays with relatives. DD has even been to Paris for a week. It is leaving them behind to go to a foreign country that's the issue. No reasonable explanation. It's your birthday OP, it should be something you will fully enjoy. If your DH cant actually understand your feelings (to be honest I don't think mine does), he should respect them and want you to have a lovely time.

Bythebeach Tue 20-Sep-16 14:50:58

I think I understand you.I have three aged 11, 8 & nearly 4 and my husband has travelled extensively with work. I get anxious at the thought of being a long way from the kids and finding it difficult in an emergency. When I had my older two, we did do a 2 or 3 short European trips of two/three nights but now I seem to find it harder. I do however liking spending the money on a more luxury closer to home couple of nights away with my husband where I know I can drive back to the kids if they need us! The bonus is that that as there are no flight costs we get to enjoy incredibly plush spas and meals! Would a trip closer to home be more enjoyable for you?

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 20-Sep-16 14:51:14

I wouldn't want to leave the country. My DD is 8. She's very precious.

Yeah, and the rest of us who don't mind being separated from our children don't think this; we can only bear it because our children are worthless to us. hmm

What a breath-takingly obtuse comment.

FlyingElbows Tue 20-Sep-16 14:52:49

I wouldn't leave three kids of that age with a woman who has your mother's caring responsibilities, it's too much. I also wouldn't be doing it to go to a place I don't even want to go to. He's being daft. Tell him something you'd rather do instead.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 20-Sep-16 14:53:54

I also have an issue with posters saying you should have counselling as clearly not wanting to be away on hols on the other side of the Atlantic is a major issue that will spoil your life.

She actually said that left to her own devices she wouldn't go anywhere. It is possible that those of us who suggested counselling/help understood "anywhere" to mean "anywhere" rather than "the other side of the Atlantic". I apologise if the definition has changed though hmm

diddl Tue 20-Sep-16 14:55:08

Do you get a say in what you would like to do for your 40th, Op?

LittleDittyAbout Tue 20-Sep-16 14:59:24

Lol at precious. The rest of our kids are little shits so we don't mind going away.

Not totally normal OP, you shouldn't be that anxious.

Topseyt Tue 20-Sep-16 15:01:45

When my eldest two DDs were aged 4 and 1(back in 1999) my DH was accepted to run the New York marathon and wanted me to go with him. He arranged for his own parents to come to our house and look after the children.

Like you, I didn't find it at all easy leaving two such young children behind, and mine were rather younger than yours. I felt anxious and sad, and as though I was about to cut off my right arm. It wasn't that I didn't trust DH's parents because I did. It just didn't feel natural somehow even though I knew the kids would have a great time being spoilt rotten by grandparents. I knew though that, like your DH, mine would have been disappointed if I hadn't gone with him. I think I would have regretted it too.

I did it and I was so glad I did. We spent five days in New York and to be honest, it was lovely to be child free. Being 1999, it was before the days of mobile phones being quite as widespread as they are now, before much in the way of social media or WhatsApp. I phoned a couple of times and spoke to them all and all was fine. It will be much easier now in 2016 (mobile data, wifi etc.) to keep in daily contact, to send pictures etc.

Go for it. Get some time alone with your DH. Your kids will be fine with your Mum and you may regret it if you don't go.

Cherryskypie Tue 20-Sep-16 15:04:30

I was going to say I understand him being upset but when this trip for your birthday is actually something he's wanted to do for ages and his attempt at childcare is asking your mother who is already looking after two people my sympathy dissolved.

Please look at counselling for your anxiety. It will make life more pleasant for you and help in a few years when your children start going on overnight trips with school.

Cherryskypie Tue 20-Sep-16 15:07:04

blush Missed that you're ok with your DC going away. The counselling is still a good idea.

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