Dear Amy, I am a married woman in my mid-60s, now retired.
My sister (who is divorced) invited me on a “girls trip” to hike in the Scottish Highlands.
We live on opposite coasts and don’t see each other often.
When I told my husband about the trip, he gave me major pushback. Some of their objections are:
1. I would be spending our money on a vacation just for me. (We’re not rich, but that would be affordable.)
2. As a married woman, I should book my trips for my husband, not single women.
3. This will only lead to other trips without him.
4. Don’t “believe” in girls’ trips.
My husband is very controlling. It would definitely make my life miserable if I accepted this invitation, so I turned it down since I have to live with him.
But what’s more annoying is that instead of being happy for me to have the opportunity to do something fun and enriching, he’s resentful and obstructive.
He said that he will only agree if he comes, despite the fact that he has never wanted to go on a trip like this!
Do I need advice? We have been married for 30 years and have had our ups and downs.
I would love to hear your opinion.
— Stranded sister
Dear Stuck, “Girls trips” and “boys trips” are not articles of faith that a person has to “believe in”. These sojourns, which range from simple afternoon hikes or rounds of golf to trips abroad (like your sister’s), can be emotional ports for people, providing a way to reconnect with family or friends without the pressure to perform or entertain. spouses, partners or children.
And—big bonus—many people return from these trips refreshed and very happy to see their partners.
Many happily together couples leave room for each other to take occasional trips like this, budgeting their funds accordingly.
It’s ironic that your husband insists on going with you, all the while proving that he’s probably the last person you’d want to go anywhere with.
I’d say he’s right about that: Yes, this will lead to other trips without him, in your case, to an advisor’s and/or attorney’s office.
This episode has revealed your husband’s deep insecurity, expressed in his effort to suppress, manipulate and control you.
Dear Amy, I left an emotionally abusive relationship over 10 years ago.
On my way out, he threatened my life and took several thousand dollars from me as “payment” for the emotional turmoil he said I had caused him, and as a guarantee that he would not contact me again.
True to his word, I’ve managed to avoid him for the better part of 12 years, until in the last few months he’s started accepting invitations from a mutual friend who I’ve had a close relationship with all that time.
The friend is aware of our past relationship, but not the circumstances.
Because of the shame that I could have been treated so badly, I have not shared the details with almost anyone.
Now I’m torn if I tell the mutual friend that I can’t attend group events with that person. I don’t want to give up the friendship, or dictate who anyone else can invite into their home, but I can’t stand being in the presence of this abuser. Do I have to say something?
Dear Torn: Yes, you should say something: to the police. Theft/extortion is a very serious crime. And if the two of you made an unspoken “no contact” agreement, isn’t he about to violate it by approaching your social circle?
As for your mutual friend, you need to make it clear that you won’t be in the same room with your ex. Ask to be told if it is included in an invitation.
Dear Amy, I was very disappointed in your response to “Leech BFF” who mentioned that he had shared his stream password with his “mooching” friend.
This is stealing!
Dear Disappointed: Many readers objected to me ceasing to label this as stealing.
And while that’s true, it’s been done so widely that streaming services are now cracking down on this kind of “sharing.”
According to news accounts, starting next year, Netflix will now only allow one “home” per account, and additional homes will have to pay more to use the same account.
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