Franklin and I have been together for a long time. 20-years! And throughout our years together we’ve never taken separate vacations. To me this is normal. My parents never did. His parents never did. And both sets of parents are still married. My parents for 50-years! and I pray for many, many more years to come.
Recently we had an enjoyable day with a long time friend and his friendly girlfriend. They are down to earth and we love spending time with them. We were talking about relationships and vacations and came to the topic about separate vacations. There’s a fine line between vacationing with the boys/girls vs. leading a separate life.
We’ve had this conversation before. I stand by it again. I wouldn’t want Franklin going down to South Carolina for a golfing vacation with the boys. If he’s going to spend that much money and head out on a plane then he can do that taking his family somewhere. Our friend was quick (too quick IMHO) to point out that I said the same thing when we didn’t have kids. Well, I was quick (probably too quick) to explain (which felt defensive to me the more I explained myself) that he’s been dealing with kidney failure and dialysis for 10 years and that after so many sacrifices I’ve made, I wanted him to take ME somewhere on vacation.
The boys are great and all, but I’m the one who didn’t look for a job after University to stick by him. I’m the one who couldn’t find a job for almost 2-years since his diagnosis and the tech market crash coincided and the market was flooded with qualified and experienced I.T. professionals. I went with him everyday to the hospital. I was there to help him recuperate through the surgeries/blood transfusions/crashes/emergencies. I went through the dialysis training everyday for weeks. I felt it was my just desserts to enjoy his good days that were vacations Not the boys. ME. We’ve gone away with another couple who share our same line of thinking. The men golf. The women lunch/spa/pool. Dinner, drinks, dancing, and laughs together. It worked for us.
Now, if we went on vacations on the regular and he wanted to go with the guys, then maybe I might consider it. But, as it stands (and stood), we don’t. Whether it be finances, health, and/or time, we don’t. So, vacations are about us. I try not to pull out my old diva ways, but if I have to, it is there. *snap snap* Fly my sexy a$$ somewhere where we don’t care what time it is. Where meals are served by someone else. And the weather is preferably hot. Thank you very much.
His words, that felt all sorts of wrong, went like this: “it’s healthy to have separate vacations. Look, girlfriend went on a shopping trip to the states with her friends. I’m alright with that”. What I hear is “you are not in a healthy relationship since you do not let him go away with his buddies. Look, my girlfriend went on a shopping trip to the states with her friends. See, I’m in a healthy relationship”.
Franklin leaves me with both kids 5-days a week to play 18-holes of golf! He hangs with his buddies. Enjoys the sunshine. Exercises. He is very happy and healthy thank you very much. If it is anyone who needs to get away for mental health, it’s me!
Of course I’m a diplomat. I smooth over my feelings and brush it off with a “what works in one relationship works for them. It’s not for everyone.”. I don’t think he meant any harm. He has his own issues (because who doesn’t?) and I think that’s where it’s coming from. Franklin and I have been committed to each other from early in our adulthood.
Franklin and I have been together for 20-years. Through sickness and in health. And how we take vacations, works for us. My motto is “Priority is home and family. When things are taken care of at home, everything else will work itself out”. Tell your wife she’s beautiful everyday. So, when a handsome stranger gives her the same compliment, it’s not flirting since she will just feel “Oh, I know. My husband tells me everyday”.
When I wrote Work spouse it had the same basis of taking care of your spouse first before sharing yourself with your buddies. I’m all for having a life. You need to do something for just for you. Not for your kids. Not for your spouse. Just for you. And whatever that is that brings happiness and harmony in your life, do it.