Post # 1
This problem won’t make sense without some background. Before we got married, Darling Husband and I were in a long-distance relationship and it sucked. We fought for a year about it because basically we recognized that one of us was going to have to move to where the other was, and niether wanted to do it. Eventually, I was the one who lost that year-long argument and I moved to his hometown, 5 hours away from mine. When I moved, the agreement was that we would be ‘engaged to be engaged’ and as long as we were living in his home town, we would spend every holiday with my family. Every holiday. Period. I was willing to live somewhere else, but I was not willing to derail my career, live somewhere else, AND also miss holidays with my family.
Now 4 years later I am missing the holidays after all, thanks to DH’s new job. I originally thought one reason this new job was great was because he gets one week of paid holiday over Christmas. Wrong. That one week of paid holiday includes EITHER Christmas eve OR December 26, not both. So that means that as long as he’s at this job and Christmas falls on a weekday, we will either miss my family’s Christmas eve traditions (and one entire side of the family) or we’ll have to leave Christmas celebrations early and drive 5 hours home late on Christmas night. And also, my family does a big party on New Year’s Day, and it’s the only time when a lot of family members get together because that side of the family is kind of dispersed. Darling Husband has Jan 1 off work, but works Dec 31 and Jan 2, so if we go up for that party it will mean driving 10 hours to be there for less than 24 hours. Or I could go without him, but we’d have to ring in the new year separately and I hate being without him at family parties because people always ask about him, like I’m not a complete person without him there, and I hate that.
(My job is a non-issue as far as holidays because I’m a teacher and I’ve always been a teacher or in school myself, so I’m used to having long holiday breaks. My family is huge so them coming to us for the holiday would never happen, and we couldn’t handle hosting anyway.)
I am upset about these holiday plans because I feel like it’s breaking the agreement we made years ago. I feel like I would be 100% within my rights to demand that he quit his job or just not show up on these days, and if he refused I would haul him to counselling the same way I would if he cheated on me or violated our vows in another way, as a last-ditch effort to keep us from getting divorced. It is only out of my own prudence and wisdom, knowing what a great opportunity this job is, that I don’t jeopardize it by making these demands that seem entirely reasonable to me. I know lots of people will see me as a spoiled brat and whine about their own shitty holiday work schedules and how they never see their family. But feeling like I’m getting screwed out of my holiday is bringing back all these depressed, dysfunctional feelings from that year we spent fighting. I don’t know how to be ok with missing the holiday and not resenting it when I’ve made so many sacrifices for this relationship, and the deal we made is not being upheld. I get so little time with my family, and his schedule is shrinking the time I do have and making it rushed and stressful. (For some perspective, I probably won’t see my family again until Easter this year.)
Post # 3
@marjojo: I feel like I would be 100% within my rights to demand that he quit his job or just not show up on these days, and if he refused I would haul him to counselling the same way I would if he cheated on me or violated our vows in another way, as a last-ditch effort to keep us from getting divorced.
Seriously?! You equate him acting like an adult with responsibilities like, you know, having to GO TO WORK, with him cheating on you?! I’m sorry but that is insane. I really can’t think of any tactful way to put it, and debated not responding at all, but someone has to stick up for the poor guy. You can still go to all of these gatherings even if he has to leave early or miss some (as far as not wanting to attend without him…honestly, that is your issue, not his, I think it sounds pretty silly).
You cannot hold onto the fact that you moved for him forever. If you spend the rest of your life using that as a bargaining chip and a strategy to always get your way by guilting him with your sacrifice, I bet things will go back to the two of you fighting, because you’ll be putting the guy in an awful situation with your very unfair behavior. I think counseling would be an excellent idea.
Post # 4
I’m sorry you’re upset. But, I think you’re over-reacting. Life changes, things happen. You need to adapt to these changes. It’s not like the other thread where her SO is choosing to spend a week + away from her, this is his job. So, please calmly come up with a compromise, that are often needed in all areas of life as we age, and enjoy your holidays! good luck!
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@marjojo: Hey, this does seem like utter over-reacting, which makes me think the issue is obviously larger than where you spend a couple days over the holidays – it’s you feeling like you gave up everything to be in this relationship. Life is all about compromises and having to do shitty things because other awesome things make it worth it. The question is, is your relationship awesome enough to make it worth all these sacrifices? You sound awfully bitter about it all, so maybe not? :/
ETA: Also, as someone who has spent SO much time at events without my guy due to scheduling, I can tell you that it’s way better to just suck it up and have fun without him. Yeah, people ask where he is, because you’re a pair. But you explain that he can’t make it (work is a pretty damn good excuse!) and then you have lots of fun with your loved ones. It’s really not very fair to skip all your family events and then punish him for it.
I am very sorry though, I know how shitty this situation can be.
Post # 6
I thought a relationship/engagement/marriage was about teamwork? why did you move when you didn’t want to? clearly you are holding this over his head and I wouldn’t be surprised if he resents you. what about his family? can’t you take turns?
oh, and coming from someone who’s living on the other side of the planet from her family and only sees them about once a year, I’m trying really hard not to be snarky about your comment about not seeing your family again until Easter.
Post # 7
Sorry you’re going through a tough time. I have to say though, that I don’t know what your husband could do about work. It’s his job, and unless he was preventing you from going to see your family earlier in the week without him (and him arriving after work on Christmas eve) I really don’t think he has done anything wrong. I’m sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear but that’s life – things change (and several years down the road things may be different) but as long as he’s doing what he can to keep his promise to you I don’t see how you can blame him. I totally see why youre frustrated but it doesnt sound like he can control his holiday work schedule. I dont mean to be rude, just honest. Hope you guys can find a solution that makes you both happy.
Post # 8
I really sympathize with the bad scheduling. My SO and I have yet to spend a holiday together because of our families. And it does suck, it really does, but sometimes you might have to spend it apart.
Why not just go ahead and go without him and he can come afterwards? Your family seems really important to you, and it would probably be better for both of you if you just went to see them. It’s not what you want, but it’s better than being resentful about it and you can work on a plan for then next year. Maybe you could talk to your family about being a little more flexible?
I know it’s tradition, but naturally as people in a family grow up and do new things you have to move things around. We had the same traditions year after year at my family Christmas, but now all the grandkids are grown up and live very far apart so naturally things had to change.
Post # 9
My FH works retail. He works every holiday except Christmas Day, he works Christmas Eve and the day after. He works Thanksgiving. Holidays don’t exist in the retail world. But he works. We can eat and continue to live because he gets shitty hours. And sure, it sucks that we don’t see each other during the holidays, but I still can enjoy spending time with my family because I don’t get to see them that much either. Would I like for FH to be able to be around? Of course.
I’d also like to add that I also moved to be with FH and I don’t hold that over his head because that’s not fair. Ultimately, I was the one that made the choice to do it so I can’t blame him. He didn’t make me do it.
Post # 10
Why don’t you go spend the holiday with your family? He can join you or not depending on work, but you don’t have to give up the holiday with your family. You just can’t have your family and your signififcant other at the same time.
Post # 11
Yeah, mine is working Christmas Day. Bummer for me, but he gets paid time and a half, and he’s also Jewish. I’ll still go to my family’s house, and we’ll still have a great time.
Post # 12
Must be nice to be a teacher. Most people do not get holidays like you do. It’s perfectly normal to work Christmas Eve if it falls on a weekday. Yes you are being a spoiled brat. If you want to get out of your relationship and move home then just do that. If you want to stay with him then act like an adult and learn that you have to make some sacrifices and compromises. I can’t even believe he agreed to skip every holiday with his family for you. That’s awful. You are way out of line.
Post # 13
this post would be considered very offensive to those who are military wives, where holidays with family are not an option. 5 hours is not very far.
anyway, as a firefighters wife and as someone who works in healthcare, you learn holidays are just days. We are celebrating with DH’s fam the weekend before Xmas- he works on Xmas eve and Xmas day. Oh, and NYE and New Year’s Day for the record. Also, I moved 3 hours away for Darling Husband. Holidays are just that: days. You can celebrate them on Dec 25, Dec 20, Dec 27, and as long as you are with family, that’s all that matters. We celebrate when we can, and make the most of the time given to us. You both should be thankful that you have jobs, even if it means he has to work on or around Xmas.
As a PP suggested, if it is THAT important to you, then you should go spend the holidays with your fam And he should come to whatever festivities he can.
Post # 14
@marjojo: You should let this “he made me move” go. Nobody made you do anything. Its not going to help your marriage if you keep bringing that up.
Maybe just go see your family for the entire holidays? Then he can come for 2 days or so. Even if they arent on the exact holiday, it would be better than nothing. Is there a way he can fly? That way it shorter for him and he has more time with you. Maybe your parents can come see you guys instead? Maybe he can skype or facetime in?
Post # 15
This is all part of being a grown up. You can’t plan every inch of your life. You’re overreacting here.
Post # 16
I want to be as nice as possible. I think you are so far past the line, the line is a dot to you (Friends anyone?). I more than sympathize with making a lot of sacrifices for your relationship. My FH and I have made so many sacrifices for each other, but that is a part of relationships. It is not a bargaining tool.
You have 2 choices: 1) make the best of your situation (ie see your family by yourself if necessary) or 2) decide your relationship isn’t worth your perceived heartache. In either instance, you should not demand your husband to miss all of his holidays with his family, and you cannot ask him to skip work. Have you heard of professionalism and responsibility? I can’t believe you would ask your grown husband to skip work.