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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(sorry so long but needed to explain)
My husband and I are having holiday drama. Background on our families: my family is very small...all live in same town and spend all holidays together. My husband is from a big family. While he loves his family, holidays...living close to each other etc is not a priority. For example.... To not spend a holiday with his family is not a big deal. Would he like to? Sure. However if he doesn't, he is more like well "ill catch you next time" type of thing.

Well now that we are married our decision has been to split the holidays. Every other. For example last year (before we were married even) we had Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine so we will flop this year. I have moved out of state 10 hours to be with my husband. We met in college and his job is here so I moved and got a job while we were engaged to avoid long distance. We still live here now. I'm okay with this bc I want to be with him obviously, but being away from my family is a sacrifice.

Now to the holidays. This year my parents and brother are coming to visit (its the first time they will be visiting us outside of college years bc they don't have a lot of money and can't afford coming to visit a lot) which is where the argument comes in. My husband does not want to go home for Thanksgiving since they are coming to visit. (There would only be a month in between) He thinks bc we will be seeing them a trip on the holiday is unnecessary and just spending unnecessary money. He wants to not do the holiday with them at all and just go for a trip in February or March he said. To me, while another trip is nice its not spending the holiday together which is important to me. I know it's a lot of money but that is something I value and am hurt he does not see that when me being away from home/location is a known issue.

Anyway this was a huge long argument and blew up. I mea BLEW UPPP. I feel like he doesn't understand the importance to me just because he doesn't value something like this in the same way I do. So far he hasn't backed down and is in the well " I still have to think about this mode" and will let me know when he decides if we are going to go or not. Can you please provide input for me?

The whole thing got out of hand and pretty much the discussion//argument led to my needs being more important than his. Me not respecting his wishes as well just because I want something etc etc. It then really got out of hand because he said he feels like he is not enough and I prioritize my family over him because I wouldn't be happy just being with him on the holiday etc etc . I explained that this is not the case at all but ugh it just got ugly.


I told him that I love him and want to be in our current city for him, however this is a sacrafice for me. He then brought up how someday in the future when we have children that he would take me closer to my family and would be sacraficing. I do understand that but I think that is irrelevant in terms of this particular discussion.


Ughhh please advice. I feel like crapp because now I feel like he thinks its all about me and is unhappy :scratchhead:
 

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Hi.
One problem that all married couples learn about is that everyone has different needs in a marriage.

Most people view the world through what is important to them and automatically assume all people are like that.

The classic/stereotypical example is that sex is very important emotionally to a man, and it's just another "to do list item" for a woman... And therefore husbands and wives struggle over the mismatch of needs.

I recommend HIGHLY you read two books that will help you in your future marriage. "The 5 Love Languages" and "His Needs, Her Needs". These books explain these concepts far better than I can.

Now, regarding your situation currently here is what I recommend. You are not married. You are still a free woman. You are still in the period of time where you are EVALUATING whether this man is going to be the right man to meet your emotional needs for the rest of your life. My suggestion is YOU GO HOME for thanksgiving. You are not joined at the hip with your fiance. Don't make it a conflict. Just matter of factly tell him you are going and he is welcome to join you and you would appreciate him joining you. Don't let it turn into any kind of fight any more. Just him deciding to come or not come with you. You not seeming to care what he decides.

How he handles this will tell you a huge amount about the man you intend to marry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response! To clarify: we are married. Last year during the holidays we were not married.
 

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How often do you visit your family? How often do you talk about visiting them or lament that you cannot see them? How often do you speak with them on the phone?

I don't see a holiday trip home as a problem if you can afford it, but his comment about you putting your family first may indicate a deeper problem. Honestly, what is the real dynamic? If you are physically with your husband but mentally with your family I can see how he would object to another trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
His argument is that it shouldn't matter if we see them on a holiday or just another time. The fact they are coming to visit a month before in his mind is justified as good for the next several months. In terms of how often do I visit is tough. This past year I went back three times bc of the wedding (we just got married last month). A Christmas visit would be ideal but that is just not possible because my husband does not have enough days off work for that far of a trip. While getting back to my family is a goal it's not like I talk about it all the time. It definitely comes up in terms of our future a lot when we discuss what to do now while we are young (both 24) but it's not like I sit and complain or cry about it. Honestly when I'm home sick I talk to my mom and dad...I don't bring it up with my husband bc my goal is not to make him feel like I'm unhappy (bc I am not). So I do not believe I dwell on it. I think we just have two very different perspectives on family. For example I was very close with my grandparents...saw them several times a week. My husband has already stated that he finds this obnoxious and does not want to be that close knit with either set of parents. I think he just wants to create his own path, own traditions etc. whereas I disagree and believe we can still do that while still making our extended families top priority (second to our family of course) but In my mind it's people...money....things. I don't think you can put a value on time spent with your family when life is so short to begin with
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How is your money situation - is it really a stretch for you to afford the trip? It's possible he's worried about money. It's also possible that there's some kind of power struggle going on between the two of you, each of you trying to assert that you won't have your needs steamrolled for the other's.

As far as his comment about you prioritizing family over him, that's tricky -- he's right that he should be #1, not your parents and brother, but he also shouldn't be using that as a weapon against you. It's really hard to know just from what you're saying whether he really has good reason to feel you prioritize them over him, like just based on this isolated argument I wouldn't say so, but maybe he has been feeling that way other times. The fact that he said that someday he wants to live closer to your family suggests that at least he is not completely blind to the fact that it's important to you. At the same time, I do wonder why it's such a big deal for him to make the trip to your parents this year -- would like to know his reasons.
 

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Only time for a short response, but neither you nor your husband are necessarily wrong here. The part that is wrong is that you two blew up with each other fighting about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's money. One hundred percent money. We did have a big year...I get that. We got married and put 5000 in on our own. We both do have student loans from college, however for our age I still think we are doing well. Combined we make solid incomes and we have 38,000 in savings. He just does not deem it necessary when we could spread our trips out. Ughhh I don't know.
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OK, well, is it too late to take the visit of your parents/brother off the table and ask them to save that money for another time. For example, telling them -- "Thanksgiving is right around the corner and as much as I would love to have you all visit our home, how about you save that money for another trip in the Spring?". This way you will see your family when enough time has gone by in between visits and your husband no longer has an argument for why he doesn't want to go for T-giving.

If that is not an option I wish I could tell you that going there by yourself would be a good idea (for you) but it wouldn't be. You'd just be adding fuel to your husband's fire. He is putting you in between a rock and a hard place. You want to be with your family for the holiday but on the other hand, you can't abandon your husband. He can throw it up in your face how you don't respect his needs but he certainly isn't respecting yours either. As you said, you have made quite the sacrifice for him and now it is his turn. And sadly, this shouldn't be considered a sacrifice for him but for some reason he is enjoying playing the victim. I mean, what did he expect you and him to do when you moved away from your family? I'm sorry but he should WANT this for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is where the difference is coming in. I do not place a money value on seeing my family for the holiday. To me it's just something that's a given ie: well we live far away and in order to spend holidays with them have to spend money. Where his rationale is it's just a holiday, we can spend money to see them in five or sixth months to spread it out. In terms of the prioritizing thing....I think he just wanted me to say that being with him was enough. Which I didn't say... I didn't say that being with my family was everything but I think bc he knows how strongly I feel about it is making him feel like he is not enough
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Did you say or imply that your family was more important than your husband? Being newly married it's hard for the other spouse to compete with the family of origin especially if they themselves aren't close to their family and don't get it.
 

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That is where the difference is coming in. I do not place a money value on seeing my family for the holiday. To me it's just something that's a given ie: well we live far away and in order to spend holidays with them have to spend money. Where his rationale is it's just a holiday, we can spend money to see them in five or sixth months to spread it out. In terms of the prioritizing thing....I think he just wanted me to say that being with him was enough. Which I didn't say... I didn't say that being with my family was everything but I think bc he knows how strongly I feel about it is making him feel like he is not enough
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This kind of thing is easy to say about money, but everything that costs money has a money value. There is some point at which even you wouldn't do it -- I assume you wouldn't expect you and your husband to starve, or not be able to pay rent, or go without health insurance to see your family for the holidays, for example. Is there some other financial sacrifice you could make to show him that you see his money concerns as important? Do you have an expensive habit or pleasure that you could cut back on a little?

I think this is probably partly about more than money too, because he wants to assert that he should be more important than your parents. I can't say whether you've given him good reason to think he isn't, but like I said, he should be number one. It's a really fine line with these things -- he also shouldn't be using the situation to assert his needs against yours, especially if it's not a big sacrifice to go to your parents, but you shouldn't be brushing aside his concerns about money and his feelings that he's not prioritized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes... And When he brought up the argument that he is going to be sacrificing for me someday too by getting me closer to home in the future I felt was irrelevant right now in terms of this discussion. He has made that promise to get me closer to home at some point in our lives but I have also made a promise that I will be away from home and go on adventures and live in different cities while we are young. So yes we have both made a give and take compromise at different points in our lives but I just don't agree with him saying well I'm going to make a sacrifice for you too later on in life when I brought up that is a sacrifice for me and therefore would mean a lot to spend the holiday with my family. When that sacrifice does come on his end some day then I will have to try and cater to that then, but bringing it up now is irrelevant in my opinion bc I would try to cater to him as well.

Also I would like not note that his family lives two hours away from us in the same state. I love his family to death but I know exactly what will happen. We will end up going to his family for both holidays. It's not like him and I are just going to sit at home during four days off when his family is having thanksgiving celebrations. And like I said while I live his family, spending two holidays with them when I got neither with mine would be difficult for me considering I would have enjoyed being with them for one.
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And like I said while I live his family, spending two holidays with them when I got neither with mine would be difficult for me considering I would have enjoyed being with them for one.
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Not to mention the resentment this will breed. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for your comments. I greatly appreciate them. We both acknowledge that he is thinking about it logically while I am thinking of it emotionally. Knowing what I know now I wish my parents were coming to visit in the spring but now that's just not possible. When that trip was planned, we thought we would be able to make it home for Christmas which is no longer possible bc of his work schedule
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I can't say you're wrong, but I think I can see his perspective. You have already been home 3 times this year and will see them again when they visit you. If you were just married last month, one would expect you spent quite a bit of quality time with your family. How much is enough? I noticed that you did not actually answer my questions. How many hours per day, on average, do you spend talking to your family?

Your husband is now your immediate family. He should absolutley come first. You agreed to move to be with him, so make sure that you are working hard to make this place you home. Be in the moment with him, not dreaming of the day you will be reunited with your parents.

Again, I'm not saying your perspective is wrong, but I wonder if you view being with your husband as some kind of purgatory you have to suffer until you can be 2 blocks away from your mom and dad. If so, don't think for a minute that he doesn't pick up on it. If his vacation time is limited, perhaps he is concerned that it will all be used on visits to see family instead of on time just for the two of you.

If nothing else, I would suggest you two have an open discussion about what the expectations are. Come to a compromise on how any times you will visit and how much money is to be spent. Schedule your trips for next year now. If money is truly his only concern (I highly doubt this) then you can find creative ways to fund these trips.

My guess is that if you found the money for this trip under a park bench, your husband would suddenly find another objection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So the question is, what should I do? Should I just bite the bullet and let him decide what he feels comfortable with. I do not want him to think I so not give him a say or that my needs are more important because it couldn't be more true. All I was saying was that this is extremely important to me. But I guess his argument is extremely important to him so we are at a loss.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In terms of how often I talk to my family....a lot. I text with my brother everyday (we are very close) and I speak to my parents everyday. Or almost everyday. If I'm doing something or busy then I obviously don't but on average everyday. However it's not like I spend time when my husband is around on the phone with them all the time. I work very odd shifts so I have three days off at a time. I will talk to my mom/ dad on occasion in the day while he is at work. He knows how much I talk to them though. That has always been our dynamic even in college when he started dating me so this shouldn't be a surprise to him. He does not talk to his siblings in between seeing each other really and maybe once every couple weeks with his parents. So yes it is different but like I said I have always been this way and he knew that when he started dating me
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Sometimes when my husband and I are at an impasse like this we go back to marriage counseling. We have a great, awesome therapist who helps us come to a compromise. Compromise in that we BOTH have to sacrifice something to make it work.

Would he be open to this?

I suggest counseling because I've been married for 22 years and this whole family, money, holiday thing is going to be an ongoing issue. Trust me on this. We've lived far away from both of our families and we've debated this more times than I care to remember.

If you give in you will resent him. If he gives in he will resent you. There MUST be a solution that eliminates resentment and it is possible if both parties are willing to work towards a common goal.
 
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