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My Husband Didn’t Want Me to Go on Vacation With His Family

A difficult or stressful situation with in-laws can cause undue stress and anxiety, making you feel rejected and undervalued. One of our Bright Side readers sent us an e-mail pouring her heart out about a tricky situation she’s going through. And here’s what we think will help.

New Message
From: Maya

Subject: I went home after overhearing my husband and his mom saying they didn’t want me to be a part of the family vacation.

Every year, my husband goes on a family vacation. I asked if I could come. He hesitated, but agreed.

On the third day of the vacation, his parents, brothers, and their spouses were all sitting at a table outside while I was preparing a fruit salad. I overheard my mother-in-law say, “Did she really have nowhere else to go. Couldn’t she spend the weekend elsewhere?” And my husband answered, “I didn’t want to bring her, but she insisted.”

I booked a ticket and went home on the next plane out. He called me, saying that I acted childish because I pushed him to take me, and I eavesdropped. And that now his family is disappointed in me.

I am lost. Can you tell me what to do?
Maya

Thank you for sharing your story with us — this is what we’ve come up with:

  • Give yourself permission to feel hurt and angry. If you’re feeling left out, that means something is wrong. Don’t try to talk yourself into thinking that it doesn’t matter or that they didn’t mean anything by it. Instead, let yourself feel what you’re feeling without judgment or shame.
  • Before you talk with your husband, try to understand why he didn’t want you there. Does he have a history of not wanting to share parts of his life with others? Has he ever done this before with other people in his life? If so, then we would say that your husband has some personal issues that need to be resolved before he can fully open and welcome you as a part of his family.
  • If this is just a one-time thing, and he usually shares himself freely with you, then it may be time for him to look at why he didn’t want you there in the first place. Maybe there are some things about himself or his relationship with you that need some work.
  • Talk with your partner about why he didn’t invite you along on the trip. Ask questions like: “Why didn’t I get invited?” Then listen carefully as he answers these questions and try not to interrupt him or jump in with your own thoughts on the matter until he’s finished explaining his reasoning, even if it feels like an eternity.
  • You could talk to him about why he doesn’t want you there and see if there are any issues that need to be resolved outside of a vacation setting, or you could simply ask him if he’d like you to go with him next time. Either way, it’s important for both of you to communicate about such an important issue so that things don’t escalate further than necessary.
  • If things are still strained, we would recommend setting up an appointment with a mediator or therapist who specializes in couples therapy.
  • You are a good person for trying to bond with your husband’s family. But it seems like they want to take things slowly. Next time, instead of going on trips together, try eating out or going for a picnic. Do something small to build trust, and then your relationship will slowly but surely flourish.
  • Last but not least, take some time for yourself. You deserve it! So go ahead and book that trip, and then make sure you spend as much time relaxing as possible before your departure. Connect with your family and friends, and even try to make new friends.
    It sounds like this experience has been very isolating for you, so don’t be afraid to reach out and try new things. The more people around you who care about you and support you, the better off you’ll be.

How would you react if you were in Maya’s shoes? Do you have any tips on building trust, friendship, and respect with your partner’s family?

Bright Side/Relationships/My Husband Didn’t Want Me to Go on Vacation With His Family
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