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What would you do? (long, sorry)

(14 Posts)
adviceneededprettyplease Mon 04-Aug-08 23:27:11

Dh and I have been together more than 20 years.
He's a much more emotional person than I am (imo overly-emotional) and can be very unassertive - so much so that he ends up stressed because he's promised so much to people. But his generosity is one of the reasons I love him.

Usually we work out problems amicably, but we've hit an impasse over an issue which I'd welcome other people's perspectives on as it's causing a lot of arguments and threatens to go on for months if not years.

His niece is getting married in America just before New Year.

She's invited us all, but it would mean spending more than we can honestly afford unless we make some major sacrifices.

She has asked for dh to go alone (she wants him to give her away) - and dh wants to do this. This would obviously cost less, but would still be a big chunk of our holiday budget and I really, really resent the thought of being alone on New Year's Eve so that he can attend the wedding.

He says if the tables were turned he'd be only to happy for me to go alone - and he genuinely would.

I do think that's symptomatic of the differences between us..that he is more generous and giving. I'd like to be the bigger person and say 'yes, you go' but I know that I would resent it and find that hard to hide.

There's also history here - his family have always been extremely demanding - better now that his parents have passed away (MIL was MIL from hell, and he would admit that), and even though I try to be rational I would feel that him going alone would mean they'd 'won.'

I genuinely would love for us all to go, and if we came into the money somehow, I'd immediately say yes.

Dds want to go - although dd1 is going on a major school trip to the States in October - and realises that's stretching the budget too.

So dh has suggested he and dd2 go.

I also have a probably irrational idea about taking separate holidays - our relationship hasn't been great recently (not just because of this) and I think I'm worried this could open up a chasm (I'm not worried about him having an affair)

Thanks for staying this long - I'd be very glad of the perspective of other people.

piratecat Mon 04-Aug-08 23:32:31

think of the bigest picture you can, and try not to impact it on your whole 20 yrs together.

his neice, not his parents, wishes him to be the person to give him away.

You may well be the non emotional one, but you are def the insecure one.

One new yrs eve on your own?? You need to see a bigger picture, sometimes change is good, not scary.

really, he must be a very patient man, don't push it, i say this becuase suddenly, you can be on your own, and regret things.

GrinningGorilla Mon 04-Aug-08 23:33:08

If his neice is so keen for your DH to give her away can't she pay for the air fares?

TBH I think that its a cheek to ask someone to give them away and then expect them to pay to travel to the wedding!

DH and I would not take separate holidays under any circumstances.That's just us. I recently had to go for an interview in Alberta and it would have been a lot easier/cheaper for me to go alone, but we are a family and we do things as a family even if it costs a lot more.

If you aren't happy about it and may find yourself resenting it then tell DH you would rather he didn't go.

adviceneededprettyplease Mon 04-Aug-08 23:38:07

Thanks both. I suspect my question will elicit different responses depending on who's more like me, or like dh.
GG - you sound more like I am, while I'd love to be like piratecat and be a bigger person than I am, and agree without resentment - but the reality is, I would resent it.
SIL has offered to pay his air fare, but I don't trust her for that to actually happen - she's dreadful with money and I strongly suspect we'd end up footing the bill anyway.

adviceneededprettyplease Mon 04-Aug-08 23:39:50

Oh, and I have been completely upfront with dh and said I would resent it - his answer is that he would be perfectly happy for me to go if the situation was reversed.

It's an argument which is going around in circles.

solidgoldbrass Mon 04-Aug-08 23:41:50

TBH I think you should let him and DD2 go. You say you might resent it, well he will resent you (with more reason) if you stop him going. He is entitled to care about and spend time with his family as well as with you, you know. And it does sound a bit childish to be whining about being alone on New Years' Eve: don't you have any other friends?
Basically your resentments are your problem: you do give the impression that you might be being rather selfish and controlling here. Arrange a nice NYE for yourself and your DD1 either with friends or just the two of you with a good DVD and some popcorn, and wave him off cheerfully. That will do your marriage far less harm than having him feel that he's had to give in to you, hurt his neice's feelings (why shouldn't she want her uncle to give her away on her wedding day) etc.

MrsMacaroon Mon 04-Aug-08 23:43:22

couldn't you pay for your airfare and they pay for his, seeing as he's part of the wedding party?

think you need to try to view this as a practical problem and not make something major out of it... pick your battles.

Roboshua Mon 04-Aug-08 23:43:26

I think it's very rude of them to expect or want him to go on his own. Weddings are for families. My DH and I do have separate holidays sometimes for various reasons (we both have family in different parts of the world and financially/practically it makes more sense). Although we always have a family break as well. I think it can be healthy to take separate holidays esepcailly if you have different intersts however I think this is a different issue all together. If they want your DH an dthey know you are struggling financially I think they should assist.

GrinningGorilla Mon 04-Aug-08 23:44:49

Is there anyway you can make the financial cuts at home to go?
At least if you all went as a family then once the wedding is over you could turn it into your annual family holiday?

beanieb Mon 04-Aug-08 23:45:08

Are you prepared to make 'major sacrifices' to get the holiday you so obviously want with your husband and children? Why not make this thrip that holiday. Go for it, as a family. Save the money whatever it takes and work towards that goal... then enjoy yourself.

piratecat Mon 04-Aug-08 23:45:33

yerp, i agree.

sometimes, these biggies will come along to test us.

maybe dh should just go on his own and you and dd's have a night together. I'm sorry but i 'll say it again, the bigger picture.

adviceneededprettyplease Mon 04-Aug-08 23:47:17

MrsMac - I've suggested he ask SIL for his airfare and we make a real effort for all of us to go - but he refuses to do that, saying that would be different.

I admit I am quite controlling in many ways, but this is mainly over the financial aspects - if we could afford it easily, we'd all be going.

warthog Tue 05-Aug-08 00:03:01

i just don't think you can tell your dh not to go. it's his niece, she wants him to give her away. that's a biggie. it's more than you feeling resentful on a new year's eve. nye's are overrated imo. i'm sure it will mean a great deal to her.

i agree with making this holiday your big family holiday. try and keep together.

the resentment may very well turn the other way if you stop him, so i'm not really sure what choice you have. i can see that it's extremely annoying given your past history with his family.

solidgoldbrass Tue 05-Aug-08 00:56:24

Bear in mind also that controlling partners, unless they develop some self control, eventually get dumped, and deservedly. Your partner is not your property and doesn't have to obey you.

Think hard about some practial strategies for getting all of you to the wedding (selling stuff on ebay? Hunting for cheap flights online? Economising elsewhere? If you have a decent credit rating, consider a loan from your bank - but only do this if you have a good credit rating and can get a loan from your own high st bank, obviously). If nothing is going to work, let your DP go (to the wedding, not out of the relationship) and work on getting over yourself a little.

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