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Moral dilemma about xmas
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WouldIBeATwat · 05/12/2021 22:19

I’ve had a hell of a time of it over the past 2 years (NHS worker blah blah blah), DC struggling with lockdowns, trying to look after parents and DH and everything else. Over the summer I realised something had to change and applied for a job (out of NHS) and got it.

I started that job last week, having no time off between ending the last job. It’s a completely new sector and I’m absolutely shattered.

Leave year runs Jan -Dec and because I’ve started in Dec I only have 2.5 days of leave. I assumed these would need to be used for the Xmas bank holidays and I would need to work between Xmas and new year. All fine.

My husband said he would take DC to visit his family (5 hours away) that week. I said I wouldn’t come as I would need to work, his family is huge and rowdy and I know I would not be able to work with them around.

I don’t really want to go there anyway, which brings me to the point.

I’ve found out that I don’t need to use my leave to cover the bank holidays. So I have 2 days leave to use during the 3 working days between Xmas and new year. I have been offered the third unpaid if I want the week off. Or I can work if I prefer and carry the extra 2 days into next year (which then would match my entitlement from the NHS).

So, would I be unreasonable not to tell DH that I could, in fact, take the time off and go with them and instead take a few days for myself (letting him think I was working) given I’ve worked non-stop for almost 2 years. He has taken breaks and trips on his own over that time leaving me with DC, including 2 weeks in the summer. I have not had any breaks on my own.

I may still work between Xmas and new year and carry the leave. 🤔

YABU - you shouldn’t take this much needed but sneaky break to recharge your batteries
YANBU - do it.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

greenmarlin · 06/12/2021 10:29

In that case don't tell him. You need the break. And going there sounds like it would be utterly exhausting.

Suspect that this Christmas a lot of people will be opting for smaller gatherings as everyone is so exhausted from the last two years. Enjoy the peace and don't feel guilty.

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WouldIBeATwat · 06/12/2021 10:25

Wow. So many replies! Thank you all for taking the time to post.

To clarify a few things:

  • I get the bank holidays off - the issue is the working days between.

  • When DH said he would take DC to his family (they are desperate to see their cousins who they haven’t seen for well over 2 years) I expected it would be from 27th/28th to 31st but it seems he’s discussed going practically as soon as the last mouthful of xmas dinner is eaten until 2nd Jan, meaning I miss all of the bank holidays with DC and spend new year on my own. (We’ve never not seen new year in without all of us together.)

  • We don’t discuss work, really. It’s a lot better that way. He can’t really deal with how emotional my job is and his (technical) bores me to death. So he wouldn’t be likely to ask me how work was beyond busy/quiet.

  • traditionally there is only a skeleton staff on for the period (with this employer) and senior staff like me are at home but on call in case of issues. So even if I’m off I could potentially be on call/working ad hoc.

  • I tried for years with his family. We’re just very different. When it started becoming obvious to DC that they were being left out compared to their cousins I put the brakes on and told DH he was to facilitate every aspect of that relationship because I was done. He takes DC up there once a year usually (Covid stopped that). He genuinely doesn’t understand why I have an issue with it. (They literally didn’t speak to me or anyone outside their own family on our wedding day. I guess the rot set in there.)

  • the cycling trips should have been more spaced out, but with Covid the early ones got postponed and so bunched up with others booked for later. I don’t mind supporting the hobby because without it DH would fester on the sofa eating crap, and it has been really good for his health and well-being (lost weight and asthma no longer a daily concern). It’s just that his focus on his need to train is at the expense of everything else and someone needs to feed/look after the kids while he does.

  • our marriage is not conventional. Its much more a legal agreement than a “can’t live without you” kind of relationship. (Would have done a civil partnership had it been available then.) We’ve always been very independent and had separate interests/money/routines/our own space. We have some shared interests and enjoy each others’ company (mostly) and have built a life together. Wasn’t an issue when it was just us. Having DC obviously changed how much free time we had but it’s been pretty even overall, until Covid. Between working flat out and home schooling it’s become rather unmanageable and we’re struggling to find time for doing what we want rather than the basics of what has to be done.

  • I guess I’ve been caring for everyone else non-stop for so long that I’ve forgotten how to say no and do something just for myself. Sad
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rookiemere · 06/12/2021 10:22

@ShinyHappyPoster you're right, this event is a symptom of the root issue - selfish H and uncomplaining OP/DW. But I don't think it's right to say the DCs will be impacted unduly if OP doesn't go. They aren't going until Boxing Day so they have Christmas together and they will be with their DF and wider family. Far better OP not go, than be there under sufferance.

Normally I'd fully advocate telling the truth, but here I suspect as some have said he'd make a big deal or it and possibly leave some or all of the DCs with OP. Far better to have the break with a white lie and have some breathing space to consider what 2022 and beyond should look like.

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Squirrelblanket · 06/12/2021 10:21

Take it. Enjoy your break. Grin

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Justheretoaskaquestion91 · 06/12/2021 10:19

@JuicySatsuma85

Agree 100%

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InaccurateDream · 06/12/2021 10:15

I'd tell him you need to be on call in case of sickness so might have some time off but can't travel, so you're using it for your break.

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ShinyHappyPoster · 06/12/2021 10:12

I think if you're seriously considering lying to your DH then you have much bigger problems in your relationship. You need to be able to communicate honestly. If you didn't want to facilitate his cycling or watch the DCs during your holiday, you should have said that. If you don't want to spend the break with his family then tell him. Lying now is just continuing that pattern that you can't create and enforce boundaries.

But I do think it's interesting that you're glossing over your DCs in this. Fine, you struggle with your ILs even though you don't see them much. But you have DCs too. You could always travel to the ILs separately and have some alone time at home.

fwiw I know I'm in a minority on this, but I'm not sure that opting out of Christmas with your DH, DCs and ILs is comparable to you facilitating your DH's cycling hobby and then resenting it.

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Notlostjustexploring · 06/12/2021 10:10

Could you pretend you don't know/conveniently forget that you don't have to use your leave for bank holidays and discover this once your husband has already left?

I think you need and deserve the time.

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Thwackit · 06/12/2021 10:04

I’d take the holiday, not visit his family and tell him why. It’s crazy that you’d need to lie to avoid having to explain why you need a rest for a few days when he’s had a massively disproportionate amount of time to himself. They are his family, not yours, and they’ve not been nice enough for you to view them any differently. The problem really is with him, not what should be a very clear decision for you. Really do hope you take this time for yourself!

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mincepiesallround · 06/12/2021 10:03

What's that saying "if it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed"? If OP has to lie, sneak around and avoid difficult conversations in order to "save" her marriage then the marriage is probably beyond saving

This. There’s so much wrong here.
You thinking it would be okay to lie to your husband; the need to lie in the first place (because any decent partner would 100% support this rest after the time and rest you’ve given him); the fact that he wouldn’t understand and indeed encourage you staying apart from his family…

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Ohdofuckofdear · 06/12/2021 09:59

Take the time off!

Don't tell him! And I'd seriously start thinking about weather you thought spending the next 20 years being treated like an outsider by your husband and his family is really all you want and need from life?!

I really hope you decide and realize that you are worth so much more Flowers

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Georgyporky · 06/12/2021 09:54

You don't need to tell DH the WHOLE truth.

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neverbeenskiing · 06/12/2021 09:51

Seriously OP, if there would be a big drama then use your head, say nothing and take a very well deserved quietness break. Rather than break the marriage it may save it!

What's that saying "if it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed"? If OP has to lie, sneak around and avoid difficult conversations in order to "save" her marriage then the marriage is probably beyond saving. Yes, a few days peace and quiet may just about rejuvenate her enough that she can cope with the exhaustion of work and caring for her DC's with next to no support from her selfish DH for a few more months, maybe even another year. But sooner or later she will find herself back in this position of being burnt out, exhausted and unappreciated again. What then? Nothing will have changed.

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HedgehogintheFog · 06/12/2021 09:51

Do you have any family/friends you could make plans to see on the bank holiday days? Then when you 'find out' later this week that you can actually take the whole week off, you would have a better excuse not to go...

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Mix56 · 06/12/2021 09:49

I would reserve this holiday gem for when he has already gone !!
say you have just discovered you get 2 days off, you are not hacking up the motorway to his family. you are spending it in pyjamas, recharging you batteries. You are knackered.

If he makes the slightest noise about "his family, the children, blah blah". say he has had X weeks of holiday this year, while you are left entirely alone with DC. So wind his f..king neck in.
He should be supporting you, not making your life harder

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CharityDingle · 06/12/2021 09:41

Definitely take time to yourself, whatever way you decide re work. And don't go anywhere.

As for him being man of the year for bringing his children to their grandparents, what about you being woman of the decade for facilitating his cycling trips. Hmm

Conversation needs to happen, but get some rest in first.

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MsTSwift · 06/12/2021 09:40

Totally agree with Juicy. We have equal trips if he has a cycling trip you better he will hold the fort for an equivalent time when I go away. Anything else is unfair and sexist.

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HeartGoesLast · 06/12/2021 09:40

You have much bigger issues than this scenario. This is the red herring. If your husband selfish for taking his breaks? Sure. But you’re enabling this. You’re staying at home with the kids, you’re waving him off, and then you’re complaining about it. You should be having open conversations with him about what you are willing to accept and not accept, listen to his needs, and then finding mutually acceptable compromises together. What you are willing to put up with in terms of bad behaviour is on you, not him. People are complicated, people are often blinded to their own faults. This is why communication is so important in a marriage.

You deserve this break. You do not have to see his parents. But you should be telling the truth.

What you are describing is a facade of a marriage.

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ThumbWitchesAbroad · 06/12/2021 09:38

I'd take the break - or at least maybe one extra day of it - but not enough that you could go with your DH etc. to his family.
I would also tell him that you have more holiday than you thought but I might be tempted to carry some of it over, so that you can use it in a more conducive manner!

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thisplaceisweird · 06/12/2021 09:38

@WouldIBeATwat

My 2 week break in the summer was spent with the DCs while he was off cycling with his mates. So I didn’t really get a holiday.

You should be honest and say you are taking leave but staying at home. Don't ask, just tell him. You need it.
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thinkingaboutLangCleg · 06/12/2021 09:37

YANBU! You need the break.

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JuicySatsuma85 · 06/12/2021 09:35

The amount of people advocating lying to your husband is so gross and disturbing. If it was a husband asking if he should lie to his wife for a few sneaky days off people would be up in arms.

I don’t care if there’s “family drama history”. God, we’ve all got that! Be a grown up and have the conversation. It isn’t a question. You are just telling him you are taking some time off work.

Also, don’t be a martyr in the future. Don’t agree to look after the kids while he goes on cycling trips and then complain about it later.

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irishfarmer · 06/12/2021 09:33

Tell him you can take two of the days off but still have to work 1, which is true. I wouldn't be able to not tell my DH. It does sound like you could use a nice break though. And that is a long time to be with in-laws!

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AmaryllisNightAndDay · 06/12/2021 09:27

And just in case there is any doubt - do not save this this extra leave to stay at home with the children while your DH swans off on another of his cycling trips.

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greenmarlin · 06/12/2021 09:17

I definitely wouldn't go as it won't be good for you, but nor would I miss the opportunity to loudly and clearly set a few things straight with him re. his cycling holidays and how you have facilitated them.

You have an opportunity here to stand up for yourself and also let him know you're doing it. Take it!

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