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It is okay for me to go on my work incentive trip without my wife each year?

  • yes - it's a work obligation

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • no - it's for couples and if she can't come, you can't either

    Votes: 26 86.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello... I have a huge issue in my marriage that I am hoping will get me some insight from other married couples who will give me their honest opinions... I am a happily married man to my wife of 13 years (been together for almost 18)... we rarely argue and when we do it's quickly resolved. However, we've had a recurring issue that comes up over and over and never gets resolved. It's probably our most heated topic in our marriage.

I am a professional salesperson and I have been a top performer at my company since before we were married. I have worked for 3 different companies in this time and each of my companies offers a sales incentive trip each year I meet and exceed my goals. Before we were married, I brought my wife with me to places such as Hawaii, Costa Rica and Mexico. Then we started our family... when my daughter was 9 months old, 11 years ago, it was the first year my wife couldn't make it on the incentive trip. Instead I took a buddy of mine (who my wife approves of) to St. Thomas. It turned out that my wife didn't take it well and felt left out. I explained that the trips give me the recognition and job well done in front of my peers that I feel I deserve. (She wonders where her recognition is as a stay and home mom) The trips are always in January or February and we don't have a babysitter.

Since then, I have traveled to Florida, Mexico & two Caribbean cruises without her. Most recently was Cancun and it was all out war - she doesn't think I should go (or want to go) on these kids of trips without her. I explain to her they are corporate trips (even though there is no work or meetings involved and not "required") and I must go or my boss may feel I am ungrateful for the opportunity. And especially when I am Salesperson of the Year, I feel I must attend. But she is completely miserable for the weeks leading up to it and while I am gone I can tell she is very upset. It also bothers her that I don't particularly like anyone I work with so it's hard for her to understand why I would want to go with them and leave her home. She says the time of year is even worse because it's often zero degrees and I am in a tropical location. In the past 11 years, she was able to come on 2 other trips, when we did have childcare. I told her she could plan a family trip all of us could go on, her choice - isn't this enough? Or am I wrong to leave her behind and go with a buddy?
 

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Why don't you find a sitter or family member to watch the baby and take your wife... better yet, take your wife and your kids (kid now) WITH YOU. What a novel concept. You could work AND have family time after.

If you can't afford to take them all, you could at least make an effort for your wife to include her. The fact it was okay before kids doesn't make it okay not to now.

BTW, I'm married 10+ years, and have 2 grown kids. I'd be pretty peeved too about your trips without me. Maybe I can't go all the time, but make an effort. You did it before.
 

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You're both right.

Yes you should go, because if you start saying "No Thanks" your company will pull that benefit. It's a free trip, enjoy it.

And yes your wife's feelings are legitimate. She's a stay at home mom. Her "employer" (you) doesn't offer those benefits....So you go on these awesome vacations and she's stuck at home. You'd feel resentment as well. The first year would be like "yeah I get it, I have to stay home with the kid", but after a couple years, it'd really build up and start affecting other things in your marriage.

Has your wife become more critical of you, complaining about things at home more, etc. I'd guess yes, because she doesn't feel appreciated from this trip issue (not necessarily overall, but this one issue).

If you want to score some points and do the right thing. YOU find a babysitter. Even if it means putting your child on a plane to go visit Grandma and Grandpa for a week. And surprise your wife.
 

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To a place like Cancun I would not go at all unless my wife went. Unless of course there was actual business being done there. But an incentive trip to Cancun? I would only go if she went.

My dad had a similar career to you and had a ton of trips. Several per year. Sometimes they would give him hunting trips to Canada and he would go on those alone, no problem. Other times they sent him to the Caribbean or to Vegas. He NEVER went on one of those alone, unless it was training or a required meeting.
 

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We went to Fiji last May. Both my mom and her mom volunteered to come out to stay with the kids. We asked her mom to do it because she is closer and it would be easier. Which ticked my mom off because she wanted to be the one to come out. lol

My wife would never accept being saddled with the kids while I traveled the world. When I take weekends climbing, my wife adds up the days that she has to have the kids while I play. Then every couple years she takes a vacation with her sister or her mom for that many days and leaves the kids with me. To take a vacation and just expect her to watch the kids alone is selfish IMHO.
 

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If I had this dilemma in my own marriage, I would feel the same as your wife... the fact you feel it is "enough" to take her other places and have no care to bring her on these..... well, it upsets her, it's her feelings...they are not likely to change as you've been dealing with this for years now...

So as a good man who loves his family & wife... why don't you want her to come with you?? Would she be some hinderance to you ? You & she have a full year to plan for a babysitter & save up enough $$ that she can attend with you... so Plan... Save ...and make the wife happy.

Obviously she just loves her time with you....I'd feel left out too if you was laying in the sun -while she's in 0 degree temps at home tending to the kids. You only live once, share every moment with those you love. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the feedback so far... I should clarify too that the kids are now 11 and 7... and my wife would only allow her mom or sister to stay with them. My mother-in-law is not retired and sister-in-law just started a new job so she couldn't come this year.
I would love to bring them all but being a company trip, the kids are not invited.
 

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WHY can your wife not go? Does she refuse to leave the kids with anyone? Or do you both just assume she can't go because of the kids?

If you try hard enough, you WILL be able to find someone to leave the kids with.
 

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Thanks for the feedback so far... I should clarify too that the kids are now 11 and 7... and my wife would only allow her mom or sister to stay with them. My mother-in-law is not retired and sister-in-law just started a new job so she couldn't come this year.
I would love to bring them all but being a company trip, the kids are not invited.
Then make the arrangements. Grandma could take vacation time when you and your wife are to go out of town. This is an easy fix. You go on the trip, AND she gets to go too. Win win.
 

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Thanks for the feedback so far... I should clarify too that the kids are now 11 and 7... and my wife would only allow her mom or sister to stay with them. My mother-in-law is not retired and sister-in-law just started a new job so she couldn't come this year.
I would love to bring them all but being a company trip, the kids are not invited.
I agree that you should take your wife, but maybe she needs to be a little more flexible as to who watches the kids. Any other viable options as far as relatives or the parents of the kids' friends? It probably wouldn't be a big deal to me if one of my kids' friends stayed for a week or so.
 

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Bottom line, for you to suggest that she stay home and watch YOUR kids while you vacation in the tropics, is selfish to the nth degree. I think you know this already.

How about instead of offering a lousy family vacation, you offer to send her to the same place you went, with her own buddy, while you stay home and watch the kids? She could go the week after you return. That would be fair. But let me guess, you don't want her to go alone and don't want to take care of the kids alone....
 

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If getting grandma to sit for you is impossible, you will have to sell another alternative to your wife. "Honey you can come with, but you will have to be more flexible with who we get to stay with the kids."
 

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Thanks for the feedback so far... I should clarify too that the kids are now 11 and 7... and my wife would only allow her mom or sister to stay with them. My mother-in-law is not retired and sister-in-law just started a new job so she couldn't come this year.
I would love to bring them all but being a company trip, the kids are not invited.
Now, this part FALLS ON YOUR WIFE...sounds like her Mother and sister are both still working...if she is too stubborn to come up with other safe options if these 2 are not available during this time frame... then this falls on her....Her rules, so she has to figure it out...but it's still good on your end to OFFER her to come with you.
 

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Yeah, if she's uber picky about letting the kids stay with anyone, then either she needs to loosen up, or suck it up. Telling you that you therefore have to stay home isn't the answer. Unless you alternate - one year she stays with the kids and you go, then the next year YOU stay home and SHE goes :D
 

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Now, this part FALLS ON YOUR WIFE...sounds like her Mother and sister are both still working...if she is too stubborn to come up with other safe options if these 2 are not available during this time frame... then this falls on her....Her rules, so she has to figure it out...but it's still good on your end to OFFER her to come with you.
Agreed. She has to loosen up the reigns on the kids. They're old enough that they'll practically take care of themselves anyway. I mean, it's not like they're newborns or anything. My earlier comments should not be construed to give her permission to just say no to the whole thing. OP needs to offer her a seat on the trip. If she says no, that's on her.
 

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I have had both family and friends ready and available to take my kids if I needed them to, whether it was a few hours or a couple of days. I never felt that isolating myself from help was a good idea, and it helped so much when I was a single mom.

OP your wife needs to expand her circle. I have a ton of neighbors who are like family that wouldn't hesitate to jump in for me, and my kids are grown! They all have kids the same age and go to the same school. They do stuff together all the time with the kids and without. They alternate play dates and adult time rotates from house to house, because let's be honest. Parents need a break!!!

You and your wife need a sit down about this.
 
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