Text from the Husband on discussing vacation plans:

Husband: Can we stop by nephew’s camp?  It’s on way- maybe a quick lunch?

Me:

It is not your imagination.  There really is nothing typed.  Because I didn’t respond.  Because this isn’t really “asking” me something. this is telling me something.  This is telling me something the Husband knows I don’t want to do, but really, how bad a person am I if I say no?

So before you hand me a verdict on “guilty”- lets really look at my case:

  1. I am a strong believer in yearly family vacation (it is one thing my parents did that I thought was a great experience)
  2. Family trip does not need to be long, expensive or exotic
  3. Family trip includes only members of the immediate family.
  4. We have a rule that unless a trip is done to specifically see a friend or family member, we do not visit anyone.  We came up with this rule while prepping for a trip to California and realized that we had more friends/family there than we had days on the trip.  To have seen everyone would have been unrealistic, and we didn’t want to choose one person over another.
  5. We are not a spontaneous lot- we’re those irksome planner types.  I have a pretty solid idea of what we will be doing on each day of the trip.
  6. This trip involves multiple destinations.  When planning out the trip, I have taken into consideration driving distances and scheduled activities.
  7. On the day we are driving to destination D (supposedly near the camp) we will have been on a college tour that morning.  I know we will not be in the vicinity of the camp till past lunch.
  8. The camp is not really “on the way”- it is at least an hour west from the road we need to be on- putting us way off schedule by about 4 hours (if you can’t tell- I don’t like to be off schedule)
  9. My nephews are 8 and 12.  They are at a camp that they love.  When we do see them in real life, it is from behind there cell phones because in the real world- apps rule relatives drool.  Seriously, do they really want to leave, I don’t know swimming and fun, to spend an hour with Uncle Dufus and Aunt Sarcasm?  When they never actually talk to us anyway?
  10. On the day we leave destination D, we are heading to Destination E, and shockingly, another college visit- which has a scheduled time.  It is not logical to try and visit them.
  11. I know the Husband does not really care about visiting the boys.  I know it is his sister goading him- guilting him into not “caring about the family” (but wait- there are at least 15 blogs in that relationship- so I’m stopping at that)
  12. I have literally been planning this trip for 4 months.  (I don’t mean every day- I mean in general)- why was this question posed 3 days before departure?

As of right now- I don’t know what we’re doing.  I don’t like that the Husband has put me in this position, and I have told him that. (People in relationships – think about what you are asking of your partner, and always tell your partner when you are annoyed and what you are annoyed at- this is relationship 101)

So: What’s the verdict?

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28 thoughts on “When You Can’t Really Say No-

  1. Oh, excellent advice. What I’m wondering is… how much earlier before you began this trip did he know he wanted to make this stop (for whatever reason)… and did he choose to say it while driving so that it was harder to say no, or did it just happen at that time based on his sister’s discussion…

    I love all your guidelines. And I’m with you on the whole trip planning piece, and the interruption. And while this sounds like it might be unfair, if you feel like it will make it worse to not go, maybe look for something in return from him. Not that relationships are like that, but if there’s something you want to do on the trip that he’s iffy about, then he should go with it because that’s fair.

    Or maybe it’s a family vote. If your daughter wants to see her cousins, then go. If not, skip it.

    Rules are in place. Doesn’t sound like this is a reason to change them unless the nephews are sick or lonely and need to see family.

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    1. He knew on Thursday, the day he talked to his sister about us going on vacation…..the visit would be at the tale end of vacation. We’re still undecided at this point. My daughter knows her cousins well enough to know they won’t care if we stop by….it’s a tough call….

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  2. I usually agree with you, but I’m with the Husband on this one. I’m assuming he works hard and needs a break as much as anyone. You’ve said he treats you like a queen, so do him this one favor. He sounds like a great guy. The kids might not appreciate your visit now, but maybe someday they will. (And by the way, I just spent two weeks vacationing with my husband’s relatives.)

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    1. We all throw ideas in the hat for a vacation place, and then we vote. This year we combined a place my daughter wanted to see, cape cod, with a place husband wanted to see, Acadia, and since Boston is here, we decided to see colleges. And you know how everyone has strengths and weaknesses? My husbands strength is wanting to go on a planned, detailed vacation. His weakness is planning said vacation. And I try to incorporate everyone’s tastes when planning….beach, pool, hiking, history and culture, and food, as eating is my husbands greatest strength

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  3. I would most definitely vote NO – particularly due to reasons 8 through 11. College visits can be stressful enough without adding extra driving in. You are already doing a ton of driving. No one really seems to want this visit except the guilt-inducing sister. I guess the only reason I would consider it is if your daughter REALLY wanted to see her cousins. But somehow that seems unlikely? Otherwise I’d just explain it adds X amount of miles and time to your already LONG trip, and you want to arrive at Destination E refreshed and ready to go – the main purpose of the trip after all is to be able to make intelligent decisions with a well rested and non-rushed mind.

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  4. In my life, if such a thing were to happen, we’d be trying to figure out what hubby’s motivations were. Is he trying to avoid family conflict, hoping make you be the ‘bad guy’ so he doesn’t have to tell the sister no? If yes, do you mind being that person and telling the sister no? Does he really want to see the nephews, and if yes, why? and why now? why on this trip? could that need be met some other less stressful less preplanned time? If hubby really does want to see the nephews and there is some specific reason for this trip, then we’d make it work. If he doesn’t really and is instead trying to avoid conflict with his family, then that would be another thread of conversation. Best of luck, I’m a super planner too and going ‘off schedule’ stresses me out as well unless going into it I’ve planned that ‘off schedule’ is part of the fun of this trip.

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    1. Oh….he’s trying to appease his sister. Plain and simple. The problem is, his whole family has spent the past 40 years trying to appease his sister. Now, if she doesn’t get her way, she calls you names. Not kidding or exaggerating. The boys are not clingy. They live camp and seriously look forward to it. I actually think they would prefer not seeing us!

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  5. I agree with you 100% I would refuse to do it! When I worked full times, in sales when we used to go away I did not want to even talk to anyone else. Family holidays are for the family unit in my opinion 😊😉

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  6. I’d tell my husband AND his sister “hell no!” but I’m not a nice person and I’m also not the person who is going to put a kid’s college tour at risk because a family member is manipulative. But that’s just me, and I’m kind of an asshole. I never really learned my mother’s trick for staying tactful and graceful when the top of her head was exploding with rage.

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  7. I am on the no side, but these family issues are always horrendous to navigate so I don’t know if any of us really should be weighing in and barging into the middle here. I suppose it’s important to always consider compromise, but I am am horrible at being the one that claims to be the compromisee in most cases.

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    1. I needed to write about this or I wouldn’t be able to write about anything else! I needed to. Vent and I love hearing everyone’s opinions, because it really does help me grow and learn. No sarcasm. Sometimes when I’m amidst a situation it’s hard to get past the anger. Blogging helps me see things rationally!

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  8. Just pretend you didn’t get the text and if it doesn’t get mentioned again just press on! My husband is very non-confontational so I always have to be the bad guy when it comes to saying no. Luckily I don’t care what his family thinks, I do what is best for MY family.

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  9. Probably the only person who really cares is the sister. Not sure why it is important to her. The kids most likely could care less. I wonder how the camp feels about unscheduled visits by “passing by” family. It’s your vacation, you planned it, husband and daughter had their say, nobody asked sister for input, do what you want. Have a good time.

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  10. I think you and your husband need to have a very open and honest conversation about this, and then decide together what to do. I’m not big on letting myself be manipulated, so my personal gut reaction is “no, we’re not going to visit them at camp.” Maybe follow it up with an offer to have the nephews visit you after camp is over? That puts the ball back into his sister’s court.

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