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What about the holiday

(39 Posts)
rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 11:39:26

Things have been rocky for a while between myself and dh (together 15 years married 9). We have regular flare ups and instead of walking away we verbally abuse each other. We have made the decision to split on a number of occasions but I have always relented and tried to fix things by setting up counselling, setting ground rules for discussion, getting him to agree to walk away when he is feeling angry etc... but nothing has worked so I am all out of hope and tbh that was what was keeping the relationship going, hope that it would get better, that we could change, that if we loved each other then it couldnt be that hard to change.

Anyway we have agreed to split (although if he honestly came back to me and said that he was willing to take responsibility for his behavior and actions then I would give it another go but he has not done so to date)

We are due to go away on a 3 week holiday next week. We are bringing our 2 children with us and my sd18 is coming over for the middle week. We will be staying with a relative of mine for one week and the place we are staying in belongs to a relative of mine.

I would struggle going on my own with the kids for 3 weeks as I am not as experienced driving on European roads as he would be. I would have to collect sd from an airport 1.5 hours away and would be anxious doing that drive. I would also find it difficult managing our children for 3 weeks out of their environment and I know they would be missing him if he didnt go. They are 6 and 5.

However, I am not looking forward to going on the holiday together as it feels like a pretence if we are splitting up and also I am anxious about a flare up and how it will spoil the holiday for all of us if something does kick of which it inevitablly will.

Anyone either cancelled or gone on holiday in a similar situation and in hindsight what would you advise?

thenightsky Mon 21-Jul-14 11:42:12

I'd cancel in those circumstances. Or take the kids somewhere you can manage for just one week (UK based holiday)

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jul-14 11:43:40

Not quite the same set-up but my exH and I went on a 'make a go of it' holiday when we were trying to get past his affair. Exotic location, fabulous hotels, gorgeous beaches .... and I've never felt quite so miserable, so alone, or wanted to go home quite so much before or since. If I had my time over I'd cancel the thing and forfeit the deposit.

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 11:51:36

I have paid for it in full on my credit card. Flights mainly as the cost of the accommodation is free as it is with a relative. I will lose about 1000 in total if we dont go. Also the first week would be fine as my aunt will be there to help me look after the kids. I could cancel sd if I didnt feel able to make that trip. Maybe its time I started relying on myself even if I struggled with the kids at least I would be getting used to it being just me and them. It would give dh 3 weeks to get himself sorted while we were there and it might be better to be miserable with sun, nice food and time to think.

I am just afraid to make the decision that dh cant go. I know as soon as I say it to him I will regret it and get really anxious. Something can seem like the right thing in my mind but when I verbalise it I get very anxious and want to take it back. If I tell him I dont want him to go and then regret it that will not be fair on him and is on the same level as emotional abuse. I know he is looking forward to it and we both could do with a holiday but there will definately be a big row at some stage and it will involve shouting and verbally attacking each other.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jul-14 11:57:17

It's not emotional abuse to wobble. Abuse means deliberately setting out to cause someone harm by your actions. What you're describing is fairly normal self-doubts surrounding the messy end of a relationship. I think you're on the right track when you say you have to rely on yourself more, however.

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 12:02:46

I am worried that by telling him I dont want him going on the holiday that I am doing something very concrete towards ending the relationship and I am afraid to do that. What if I end it and realise that the problem was me? What If I am projecting all my crap on to him and its not him at all but me that is the problem? Then I have broken our marriage when I could have gotten help and fixed it?

Jan45 Mon 21-Jul-14 12:22:09

You are flogging a dead horse OP, verbally abusing each other is the point of going too far and you should probably have split long before now, it won't work, it's like trying to fit a square peg in a triangle.

Surely separating will give you both head space to work out what you both want, you can't do that when you are living in the thick of it, it sounds like you know deep down the right think to do is to end it.

NickiFury Mon 21-Jul-14 12:29:02

I would still go. Alone with kids. I have done in similar circumstances. You'll manage better than you think you will and you've at least got another adult with you for some of the time. I am taking my children to America alone next year, hiring a car etc. I am a lone parent so if I don't do this stuff then they won't get to do it.

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 12:55:13

Tbh Jan I can handle a bit of verbal abuse and I can give it too. It wouldnt signify the end of a marriage to me. I can understand how people get upset and say hurtful things. Its more the inability to take responsiblity for what was said that is the problem for me. I am not English and grew up in a culture where lashing out verbally is part of day to day living. Its not a deal breaker for me but not apologising or not taking responsibility for it is. I do know however that the right thing to do is end our marriage but I find it hard to give up on things and find it hard to deal with my emotions in the aftermath.

Nicki I think I will go on the holiday either way. I will struggle more with guilt and negative emotions and with what could have been than I will with managing the children and the logisitics I think. I will do plenty of practice driving when my aunt is there so I am more comfortable driving when she is gone.

MyGastIsFlabbered Mon 21-Jul-14 13:01:40

My parents split up when I was 14 a few months before we were due to go on a family holiday. My parents decided we would still go together (although I have now heard that my dad emotionally blackmailed my mum into going). It was the most tense, miserable holiday I've ever been on, it was just horrible. Please don't all go on this holiday.

juneau Mon 21-Jul-14 13:05:59

There is no way I'd want to go on holiday for three weeks with a man who I'd agreed to split up with. I think if this is your joint decision then you have to get on with it. Three weeks in one another's company will be hell if you've already made this decision. I find holidays can be hard enough when things are pretty good between me and DH (the close proximity, the pressure for it to be 'great'), let alone if we'd already agree to split. Plus, this is three weeks! If it was one, perhaps you could limp along for seven days without going postal on each other, but with three whole, stifling weeks together I think it will be hell on wheels for both of you.

Given that this holiday is staying with relatives of yours and you've already paid for flights and are fearful of the drive to the airport, I would cancel DH and DSD and go on your own with your two DC. This is how your life is going to be from now on, so you may as well start living it now. Putting up the official break-up so you can all go away and pretend to be a happy family for three weeks is a recipe for disaster. This relationship has been over for a long time, by the sound of it, so bite the bullet.

juneau Mon 21-Jul-14 13:06:53

Putting OFF the official break-up, not UP.

drivinmecrazy Mon 21-Jul-14 13:07:12

Can your H join you for the middle week with his DC? that way you get a bit of respite, DSC gets a holiday without it being an long stretch of time if things really go awry?

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 13:11:38

It would cost alot extra to change his dates but might be worth considering and would give me some time to relax and be more receptive to him coming over.

mygast that is my fear that instead of giving the kids a holiday and having a break they will remember it as a horrible time and that is not what I want.

juneau can I just ask why you say that the relationship has been over for a long tme because it is only in the last month that I have given up hope. Surely until then it wasnt dead? Every relationship has a different breakiing point and different boundaries. To me the relationship was alive as long as i believed we were both trying and both wanted it to work out.

LIZS Mon 21-Jul-14 13:13:28

Can you not just come back after a week ?

Jan45 Mon 21-Jul-14 13:14:08

Sorry OP but you can never normalise verbal abuse, or any abuse, if that's what you have been used to then it's about time you found a partner where it didn't happen, I bet you don't verbally abuse strangers or your friends, it's a direct result of a relationship that is not working. Go on holiday with your kids, you will manage, have space between the two of you, it will do you both the world of good.

You can have a trial separation rather than a complete end, you will be surprised at how well you can think when on your own.

Jan45 Mon 21-Jul-14 13:16:13

OP, all those times you and your partner have agreed to split, over and over again - there's a reason for that - it isn't working, the reason you are still together is out of fear of being on your own not because you are sorting anything out, the status quo will remain, and so will your dissatisfaction at the relationship.

juneau Mon 21-Jul-14 13:16:33

can I just ask why you say that the relationship has been over for a long time?

Because you wrote this at the start of your OP:

Things have been rocky for a while between myself and dh (together 15 years married 9). We have regular flare ups and instead of walking away we verbally abuse each other. We have made the decision to split on a number of occasions.

If you've got as far as agreeing to split on 'a number of occasions' then your relationship has been pretty bad for a while. My DH and I have been through some hard times, and we've had some pretty nasty shouting matches, but we've never even come close to agreeing to split.

juneau Mon 21-Jul-14 13:17:30

And I agree with everything Jan45 says. Very wise words.

antimatter Mon 21-Jul-14 13:18:10

if this is the country you are coming from why not asking someone to arrange lifts for you?

they can pick you up from the airport, do some shopping on the way for heavy items

then the same on the way out

is that possible?

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 13:24:20

See Jan I see people verbally abusing people everyday I hear people swearing at strangers in traffic jams, I see families telling each other to fuck off. It is normal to me. I have had friends say things that were abusive whether through drink or getting to caught up in their own point of view. Why can I not normalise something that is normal? Just because it is abhorent to you does not mean that it does not happen in lots of relationships.

I do agree that it isnt workin and I do agree that nothing is changing. There is a certain amount of fear but I dont think that is why I have stayed in the relationship. I have stayed because I believed we could change our behavior it is still really annoying me that we couldnt. I also agree in relation to the dissatisfaction which is increasing as my hope has decreased.

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 13:26:57

antimatter my aunt will collect us from the airport. She will stay on for a week and then we were to drop her back. A few days later my sd was due to arrive and we would collect her from a different airport in a different country and drop her back there a week later. Then we would leave my aunts car at our airport when we were going home.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jul-14 13:33:49

"Why can I not normalise something that is normal? "

Two wrongs don't make a right Just because others do it, doesn't mean we have to follow them into the gutter. Perhaps work on setting higher personal standards or risk repeating the same destructive dynamic in your next relationship.

Everybodyleaves Mon 21-Jul-14 13:40:44

Trust in yourself. Had European camping holiday booked with friends and STBXH when he announced he was leaving, so I took the kids without him rather than them miss out. Meant a 6 hour drive to the ferry (had never driven that far, only 2-3 hours before) then 2 hours drive to campsite and driving on the wrong side of the road for a fortnight with no other adult in the car and no personal experience of driving abroad, but I did it.
I did spend about the first 15-20 minutes uttering a low pitched scream (kids watching DVDs thankfully with headphones on) and again on the first massive! roundabout, but got through in one piece :-)
You don't know until you try, and I surprised myself.
Having said that, I would never agree to go away with my ex, even for my kids.
I would tell him not to come, and depending on your relationship with sd18, cancel her too/decide when you are there if you feel confident to get her yourself.
Go, enjoy a lovely time with your kids and see how much you surprise yourself x good luck

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 13:42:14

But I have high standards in other areas surely all marriages have their weak spots. We don't drink, have addictions, the sex is good, we both contribute equally towards childcare and housework. We both contribute equally towards the finances. We are attracted to each other, we enjoy each others company when we are out and we spend lots of quality time together. Neither of us has ever been faithful. Its just this one area. We are both quite similar, defensive and reactive. Why are we unable to overcome it? Why have we not learned how to? And why would it be any different in a future relationship. If I can sort it in this one when my family is at stake then what hope have I in a future relationship and how do I know that I would not just be swapping one flaw for a different one?

juneau Mon 21-Jul-14 13:42:19

I see families telling each other to fuck off. It is normal to me.

Charming friends you have hmm

This isn't normal or desirable behaviour. You can tell yourself it is and clearly do, but that doesn't make it so.

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 13:49:54

I don't think it is desirable but it is certainly normal in alot of cultures/sub cultures/social groups etc...

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jul-14 13:51:36

"We are both quite similar, defensive and reactive. Why are we unable to overcome it? "

Because you are in an entrenched behaviour pattern. He says 'X' and you respond with 'Y'. You even know he's going to say 'X' before he says it and he knows you're going to say 'Y' before the words leave your mouth. It turns into a Punch and Judy show where the script never changes and - with respect - neither of you want change enough to make it happen. You've normalised it as your marriage's 'weak spot' rather than seeing it as unacceptable. You may have described it to others in the past as 'fiery' or 'passionate' or some other euphemism for what it really is but the end result is the same. You can't relate to each other without it descending into verbal abuse. And it makes you unhappy.

NickiFury Mon 21-Jul-14 13:53:04

I see that too, my family is extremely abusive towards one another and I chose a H who was the same, if not worse. However I decided I did not want that for myself or my children. It may be the "norm" but it won't be MY normal. I'd rather never be in a relationship again than have to put up with it.

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 14:01:44

I know its unacceptable which is why we attended couples counselling, why I attended counselling on my own, why we sat down with our older grown up kids and listened to how it made/makes them feel. We had put things in place to stop it escalating. We agreed that if he felt his anger rising that he would walk away. He did for a bit and we managed to sit down and talk through things afterwards but then he didnt and so I had to call time as that is what I said I would do. I have only ever described as an abusive pattern within our relationship and have always taken 50% of the blame as I do not stand there and take it. But I do not use any of the tactics that he does. I am always trying to get to the bottom of it to get to the other side but I never can. I get frustrated and call him names or put him down but normally after he has tried 5 or 6 different tactics like changing the subject, trying to make an issue out of something that isnt, shutting down emotionally on me, accusing me of doing something, calling me crazy, oversensitve, adding things on to what I said, calling me a liar, comparing me to my parents in relation to traits he knows I dont like about them, critiscising my parenting (thats looks awful typed out)

Jan45 Mon 21-Jul-14 14:05:47

Nothing normal about being abusive, to anyone!

OP, you clearly do not want to face facts, you two don't work, simple as that. You have made decisions to split on a number of occasions because that's what needs to happen, you're just clinging on for something that wasn't and isn't there.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jul-14 14:09:02

There's also a point in a bad relationship where you know them well enough to know which buttons to push to get the reaction. He doesn't really like this whole 'walking away when he feels anger rising' bullshit so he picks one of the things on your list to provoke a reaction. You react as predicted... he is then justified in getting angry. You may be doing the same thing.

rockandaghardplace Mon 21-Jul-14 14:52:12

Jan if only my relationship was based on facts then this would be much more straight cut for me. I am clinging on but I am clinging onto my wedding vows which I made and am clinging on to the notion that problems can be solved and that there is no point leaving one relationship to go on and make the same mistakes or a whole new set in a subsequent relationship. So I am trying to do everthing within my reach to work things out.

Cogito yes that fits in with the pattern of how things work. I approach him with an issue or something that is bothering me and I am met with a range of tactics to avoid speaking about it. He has never approached me with an issue in our marriage so I dont believe I do the same. If I was to try and analyse it which I have done many times I would see he is so cut off from the neck down that any attempt to make him connect or acknowledge an emotion that he doesnt want to feel is met with fear and he will do anything to avoid it. I keep prodding until I get a response and when I do it is not the one I want, it leaves me damaged and hurt but he is able to make contact again as he has gotten all his negative emotions out and he is then happy to talk or discuss the situation until it all builds up again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jul-14 14:58:39

You can't make a relationship work single-handed and sometimes you can't even make it work between you. I believe that some people simply bring out the worst in each other. Can be rationalised in the early days of a relationship as 'fiery passion' and you might even think it's very exciting/sexy in that Liz Taylor/Richard Burton dynamic but, over the long-term, it just ends up being destructive. You can analyse and counsel it until the cows come home without changing the fundamentals.

Jan45 Mon 21-Jul-14 15:14:47

OP, just because this relationship doesn't work doesn't mean the next one won't, you two cannot communicate properly, you have regular flare ups, nothing gets resolved and the cycle starts up again, in fact I'd say your OH flatly refused to discuss anything on an emotional level.

Wanting it to work and actually making it work are two different things. And, you definitely need more than love to make a relationship work.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jul-14 15:32:26

"there is no point leaving one relationship to go on and make the same mistakes or a whole new set in a subsequent relationship"

A life without mistakes would be very short and boring. Everyone makes mistakes. However, you sound fairly self-aware in your posts and the kind of person that might learn from their mistakes. That's all you can ask of yourself.

hamptoncourt Mon 21-Jul-14 16:30:41

Could you take someone else? I don't mean another bloke Like a family member or close friend whose company you might actually enjoy and who would help out with the DC?

Then you only have to pay to change the ticket from his name to theirs?

I think three weeks apart is a fantastic opportunity for both of you to spend deciding whether it is worth trying again or not, and what you actually want.

Everybodyleaves Mon 21-Jul-14 18:28:05

Good advice hampton

mumontherun220 Mon 21-Jul-14 23:39:19

you could frame this holiday as an opportunity for you to both get some space from each other. Perhaps you could leave at the end of the 2nd week and he could arrive and spend the last week with the dcs. Change SDs flight to fit in with that. This is less about not being able to do it by yourself (of course you can) and more about the enormity of what this represents to each of you. I know it is HUGE but for goodness sake, this is not a happy marriage and things should not be THAT hard. Life is tricky, of course but you are describing a good few years of trying every which way and yet nothing is changing. Scary big decisions but on some level you must know what will inevitably happen.

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