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Should married couples have individual vacations?

My husband recently told me that he's bored with our marriage. He finds that he needs to spend sometime by himself. He would like to go on vacation by himself for the New Year. Is this normal after 8 years of marriage? By the way, we have never have any vacations by themselves without our daughter since she was borne 7 years ago.

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Hi Ann:

This is not uncommon. We had another reader write in with almost the exact same question. Our expert Dr. Karen Sherman replied with this article:

Here are a few pieces of advice from the article about approaching your husband:

Part of a solid foundation in a partnership is based on mutual respect. Not only do you have to respect his needs, but he ought to be respecting yours in this area. Again, from the manner in which you have presented this matter, it doesn’t seem that he is being responsive or respectful of your concerns. Men do not do well with overly emotional reactions. Here are some pointers on how to approach him:
1. Acknowledge that you do understand that he enjoys his time with his friends.
2. Stay calm as you speak with him and present your points objectively.
3. Let him know that when he continues to act in ways that totally disregard your concerns, it feels to you that you are being disrespected.
4. Ask if the two of you might try to come up with some ideas so that both of you will feel like your needs are being met.
Actually, he took a vacation by himself to the Far East to 'hang out' with some girls while I was having a 2 months Summer break with my family. Then when I was home, I found out that he had an affair with one of the girls during his business trip 1 month after the vacation. We are going through counseling now after he claimed to end the affair. We are trying to stay in the marriage for the sake of our child. I could not trust him as he has no regrets for the affair as the other woman has made him very happy. Although he could not have the other person as a lover, he would like to keep her as friend. This is very insulting and hurting to me!
I cannot believe you would stay in the marraige "for the sake of the child" when the best lesson for the child is that trust is important. You have to be able to trust your partner. You have to respect yourself, and your relationship enough to stand up for yourself. Good luck.
Oh good god. I hope you didnt believe it when he said he just wanted to remain friends with the woman he had sex with. I would get my own place immediately and then when i have some space, decide whether I want to remain with this man. Talk is cheap, remember that. He cheated once, he will probably do it again. Put yourself and your kids first. You don't need to put up with his b.s. . Not in this day and age
Oh my.

Something that jumped out at me in your post, Artichoke, is that you have never had a vacation without your daughter? Do you guys spend any time together, without the child? I have always been an advocate for private time, just you two, to reconnect and just plain enjoy one another's company. You have been given a HUGE gift in that your hubby said "hey I'm bored". Do your part to make things interesting. Take a class. Take the child to grandma's or find a reliable sitter and organize a date night. Draw him a bath when he gets home. Learn how to give a good massage. Install a stripper pole in your bedroom and learn how to use it. It's time to get creative and get the romantic juices flowing. Granted this may be hard, given the recent events, but if you both are dedicated to having a successful relationship, it will work. "Once a cheater always a cheater"? Bah. Give the man a reason (or many, wink wink wink) to stay home and not stray.

Oh, and the vacation separately part? Just my two cents, but I don't think it's a great idea. I understand fully that guys need "guy time" to hang out with friends. I have no problem with this. I encourage it. I also encourage that I get my "girly time". But I am not sleeping with my friends, and he isn't sleeping with his. It's a night at the bar or someone's house for a pool game and beers. NOT a vacation. I would think that a vacation entails not having hubby "hang out" with girls in the Far East, or having Wifey spending "family time" somewhere else. It entails spending time and visiting an exciting place TOGETHER either with your daughter or not. Are you married to the family you spent your 2 month's summer break? Is he married to the "friends" he went on vacation with? It sounds to me like the time has come for you two to start looking to one another for fulfillment instead of outside sources.

Okay, rant over. I wish you well, stay in counseling, I sincerely hope everything works out.
Arti - sorry to hear of your predictament..especially over the Holidays. I'm dealing with a little similar issue with my wife and this 'separate vacation' appeal has had a contributing factor to our deteriorating relationship. My wife and i are in our 2nd marriages and have been together 8+ years and have always allowed the other to have a mini vacation with friends; I would go golf with guys at the beach and she would spa-o-rama with girlfriends. The difference is that all my guy friends were similarly married, but all her friends were 35+ still-single women who are on a mission to try and find a Matthew McConnaghy or George Clooney silver bullet (good frickin' luck), dragging my wife with them. For five or six years, I used to take a long weekend of hurried golf and that became over-extended weekends in Vegas playing in poker tournaments (and only poker) so I admit my guilt for pushing the limits. She never complained to me but I know now this bothered her. I think it's still important for couples to have separate interests and at times the ability to enjoy those unencumbered but never should it be at the expense of the relationship. This must be the first agreement that the two of you should make relative to separate vacations is that above all else, you must honor your relationship first.

Monica does have a point in that both men and women need to be mindful of the relationship's need for breathing room (within appropriate limits) but that keeping it interesting is also a requirement on both individuals. If he wants excitement in the bedroom, he has as much to contribute to exploring this with you as you do with him.

Hopefully, counseling will get you both to that point at nearly the same time. A good friend told me a couple of days ago that an elderly woman responding to the question of how she and her spouse stayed married so long she dead-panned, "we were never out of love at the same time" indication of marriage's tough times to stay together but in the long run well worth it. My best to you.
My two cents:

going on vacation by yourself is a non-starter in a marriage. there are family events on his side which you may not WANT to go to, that constitutes a "vacation" in name, but is separate from your family vacation.

But you said it yourself, he's "bored." You don't solve it by leaving on your own for fun.
MMM ...

Bored eh! Seems like its bound to happen. But why? He has the gal to say that directly to your face and you gave it to him. So he is saying he does not care if this relationship ends or he wants away from the relationship. He wants you to take the first step. So I say you start looking and keep plenty of male friends around you - dont cheat YET. At least this way he knows that you are in demand too and may help him change his mind. Good luck!!!
I think married couples should have individual holidays. Love can be stronger when you are far away from your partner. You can try for one week without your partner.For more information about various health issues you can go with health tips.
Listen, I think he is putting himself in a bad situation for something to happen. I am 41 and a lot of my friends are divorce looking for a non committed relationship. If I go out with them and men start hitting on "us" its just BAD NEWS. I rather have my guy go with us when we go out dancing or to a bar because then I know I not putting myself in a position I can't get out of. Its one thing to go out to dinner with the girls and it is another thing to go out drinking and dancing with the girls. So going on vacation by himself is dangerous. I think even going to Vegas with "the guys" is dangerous for anyone in a relationship. I've been there! Since you always go on vacation with your daughter what I don't understand is why he hasn't suggested a romantic vacation just the two of you. There are some great FUN places to go! Anyway, I don't believe in them. When Bob wants to go on a fishing trip I go too! Thank God I like fishing. I even try to plan fishing trips where I want to Costa Rica.


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