19
Jul
10

vacation alone

Reader P. J. asks:

My husband and I have been planning a vacation for several weeks. Okay, let me rephrase that — we had been planning a vacation. I was really looking forward to it, but now he says he’d rather stay home and use the money for something else. If he won’t go with me, I’m considering just taking a vacation with a singles group alone. I feel like a vacation together would strengthen us as a couple, but a vacation alone would probably make me stronger, which would help us in the long run. What do you think?

Dear P.J.:

I am a travel addict, so I will never understand why somebody would say something like, “No, let’s save the money and stay home where it’s boring.” So your husband’s attitude baffles me in the first place. Of course, your husband probably has a better handle on the finances than I do, but hey.

Also, what a let down that you got your hopes up about actually going somewhere, and even had it planned, and then he popped the fantasy bubble. That makes it even worse in my book. It’s kind of like you telling him you’ve got a great birthday present, something he’s been wanting for years, and then right at the last second saying, “But I decided it’d be better to save the money for something else.” That would make me spitting mad.

But now, to address your actual question:

Yes, I think taking a vacation without him may be in order. I agree that it could be good for you to spend some time away from him, figuring yourself out. I adore traveling alone for that very reason. We spend a lot of time in our culture scaring women into thinking there’s no way they could travel without someone protecting them. That isn’t true. As long as you’re careful and go to safe places (i.e. I would not recommend a trip to, say, Johannesburg alone without researching the city first), you should have no problem.

However, I’m not so sure about traveling with a singles group. I suppose it would depend on the singles, but most groups that are specifically geared towards “singles” have a “… but not for long!” angle to them. You may find that people in this group are looking for a husband or wife, and may tempt you to do things you wouldn’t necessarily want to do as a married person, especially if you choose to go somewhere fun and exciting like Las Vegas.

My recommendation is to find a friend or relative who lives somewhere interesting and go visit them there. Of course, not everyone has friends in extremely interesting places, and you may not actually want to spend time with Auntie May in Cleveland. For this reason, I highly recommend Couch Surfing, if you’re feeling very adventurous. Most of the people on Couch Surfing are verifiable (they have friends who vouch for them), and you can find a couple to stay with who will show you the town without pressuring you romantically or sexually.

Another route would be to recommend cheaper vacations to your husband, which could be an ideal compromise. You could show him exactly how much you’d be saving, which might make him feel better about going on vacation at all. In fact, Couch Surfing is a great way for couples to get out, too — you’ll be much more comfortable hanging out with strangers if you’ve got your boo right next to you.

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3 Responses to “vacation alone”


  1. 1 Richard
    July 20, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Way to throw down the gauntlet! Either that cheapskate knuckles under and delivers that vacation he promised or the wife heads off with a singles group. He deserves it and whatever happens is his fault!

    This whole thing sounds like a tantrum and ultimatum in reaction to a broken promise.

    From the man’s perspective, if there really isn’t enough money and she spends it anyway then that’s a bad sign. If she runs off with a singles group and spends money that ain’t there … wow. Don’t expect a ride home from the airport unless he’s a real doormat.

    So, if the marriage isn’t working or worth all that much, go for it. The soon to be ex will subsidize half of it. Unless there’s a decent pre-nup. Either way, an hour with, and retention of, a divorce attorney -before- vacationing is wise.

    If the promised vacation does happen, it’s sure to be a stress free lark.

    • July 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      Now, Richard, you’re assuming the woman here has absolutely no idea about the family finances in the first place, because the big man has to control everything and decide what’s best. However, given that she said they’d been planning it for weeks, I can assume the money was set aside for such a purpose. Some very dear friends of mine were given a thousand bucks at their wedding specifically for the honeymoon, and you can bet they didn’t go with the mom-in-law’s advice to save it for something else. Vacation money should be vacation money.
      But I agree with you about the singles group. 😉

      • 3 Richard
        July 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

        Where did I indicate the woman has no idea of the finances? I noted that -from the man’s perspective- the money isn’t there.

        Since they’d been planning for weeks, I can assume that they got a new credit card …

        If the couple has been squirreling away a vacation cash horde then he’s breaking a pretty huge promise and deserves a swift nut punch before negotiations even begin. Re-purposing earmarked cash? He’s probably hiding something bigger than usual. Regardless, I think the woman is throwing a temper tantrum.

        Not that temper tantrums are always bad. Sometimes they’re the only way to get the point across. Sometimes things are said and done that can’t be taken back. Dangerous as a tactic. Stupid as a reaction.


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