Relazioni e amore

My (30f) bf (32m) doesn’t want to travel with my family

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My (30f) bf (32m) doesn’t want to travel with my family. Long story short, my bf works as a contractor so unlike me, he doesn’t get paid time off work. It is September now, and my mother presented an idea to pay for my brother and his girlfriend and my bf and I to go on a family trip for a week to Mexico in the new year. My mom wanted to offer this as a Christmas present to us all. She is doing well financially and is the type who just wants to give to other people. I asked my bf once I got home if he was interested in this, and I got an instant “no”. He said his reasoning is that he already takes a week off at Christmas time (unpaid) and can’t take another week off in the new year in January. I told my mom this, and she said we could do the trip later into the year at a time that worked best for him as she was flexible. I told him this and he still said “no”.

I know being an independent employee it is hard with no vacation pay. We live together, and I asked if perhaps I could pay our rent and get the groceries on the month that we go on the trip. I make pretty good money, and it wouldn’t be a stress on me to do that so he could come. He still said no, and got defensive and said he can’t afford to do it. He said he didn’t feel comfortable with me paying for his stuff (rent and half of the groceries) and got super defensive. I asked if there was any way he could save up for the trip since it could be quite a few months in advance, and he said no because his summer was a low season with his work and he is playing catch-up now.

Anyway, I got to a point where I had offered solutions but I didn’t want to push forward more because I didn’t want to come off as pressuring him into doing something he didn’t want to do. But I am really disappointed he isn’t willing to make it work. He’s done a small weekend getaway with my family once before, so I don’t think he has a problem with them, but I can’t help but to think he doesn’t want to go. It’s also a totally free vacation, and I don’t see why we wouldn’t want to go as it’s such a generous opportunity.

Anyway, I told my mother that it was a hard no for absolutely anytime we could go. He just won’t come. And she was really offended and hurt. She offered to change it to any date, and even offered to pay for our groceries or help us with rent if it helped us go. I told him that I am definitely going to come, but that I can’t get him to budge. She accepted it but I can tell she is thrown off by his instant “no” for a gift she wanted to give him.

My question is, has anyone else gone through this? Apart of me also suspects that because he hasn’t done a lot of traveling before, traveling might make him anxious and that there’s more to it than this. But I am disappointed cause I’ve always thought having a partner to travel with with family would be nice. I also am worried it’s come across as rude to my mother and I feel bad and like the middle person. I don’t want to talk to him about it further because I could tell my persistence was already coming off as being pushy and I don’t want to start tension over this. My mom feels it is odd and rude that he is unwilling to do it at any point during 2024.

I’ll add, my bf is polite to my family and does see them when he needs to. There isn’t like a big tension with them. And he’s a good partner. I’m just frustrated because one of our biggest struggles is that I love to travel and we can never afford to. So I was excited because I saw this trip as a chance for us to travel without the burden of the cost of it.

TLDR: bf won’t accept my moms gift of a free vacation

I totally understand your feelings – and I actually understand his too. My ex’s family was amazing, but after one family vacation with them I couldn’t do it again and even paid for a hotel for my ex and I alone on the next vacation we took with his parents. It wasn’t personal, it just takes a lot of effort to be “on” for a partner’s family (for me, at least). That meant that vacationing was not really much of a vacation at all, and I spent most of my time wishing I was alone or else getting alone time with my partner (which just couldn’t happen).

Not saying this is the case for your bf, but it’s at least my reason as to why I won’t do a family vacation with a partner’s family for more than a night or two again.

Self employed and can totally relate to your BF. He doesn’t want to feel in debt to you or your family and I also get that too. I’m the type of person who will give money out easily to people like my GF but will be super reluctant to ever have anything paid for me and will always transfer someone money for stuff even if they don’t ask for a payment back.

Sometimes in relationships with anyone you can get the element of ‘well I paid for that thing so they should really remember that’ when in conflict or confrontation, especially with people who might not be as happy as they appear to be doing a favour in terms of money. It can get quite messy.

For example once my dad paid for me and my GF to go on a day trip somewhere, seemed to be out of the goodness of his heart and it was tbf, but then during a confrontation about some sort of money thing he threw it in my face, made me wish I never accepted his gift. It’d be worse if it was my GF’s dad who said it to me I’d be super mortified and pissed.

I have a feeling he might just be skeptical of all it could be used against him in the future

Of course I can’t speak for your partner, but work aside, I can’t think of many things I’d rather do less than go on vacation with my in-laws. I don’t know many people who’d want to do that. Even with his flight and accomodation paid for – and there’s a whole lot of obligation that would stem from that – he’s still got to work like blazes to free himself up to go away and then work like blazes to catch up when he gets home. And then there’s the loss of income and the general expense of being on holiday. And for what? An intense week with his in-laws. Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Not unless someone’s dying. If he’s going to go to the trouble and expense of getting away on holiday, he wants to go with you. Just you. Not your mother, not your brother, not your brother’s girlfriend, not your friends, and none of his family members either. This is also why people hate destination weddings. Nobody wants to use up annual leave and spend money to do something they don’t want to do, and it’s selfish of people to expect them to.

The only fair solution is for you to go on your own. You’ll have a great time and he’ll be fine at home on his own. Just tell your mother that your partner is busy with his work and when he’s able to take time off he wants to spend quality time with you.

I’m sorry but you’re giving your mum way too much information. If your boyfriend doesn’t want to go you needed to discuss with him the why and see if you were ok with that. Not tell mum, try to find solutions to force him to go and then be upset because he didn’t give you what you want???

He has a right to not want to go for any or no reason, you have the right to be upset with that choice but you’ve dealt with this terribly. Now your mum will forever know her daughters partner apparently doesn’t want to spend holiday time with her without any view on why, thus souring the relationship.

Ps not everybody wants other people to buy them things. Especially if it comes with strings

And finally – does your boyfriend like to travel? If not you’ve got to decide whether you want to do a trip alone/with others or find a partner more compatible

It’s absolutely normal to not want to travel with your in laws. It’s a shame he is hiding behind the money issue, but given that you both can’t seem to understand why he wouldn’t want to do this, and also low key threw him under the bus to your mother, I understand why he felt like he couldn’t say “I don’t want to go.”

In any other situation, it’s understood that you have to be pretty close and compatible with a buddy for travelling together to make sense. It’s your family not his. I assume it’s just not something he wants to spend his limited vacation time doing, or do at all, and that’s okay.

It was crappy you told your mum he just doesn’t want to come. You should have discussed this together and a white lie like “he only gets limited time off so can’t afford it this time or spare the vacation days, but I’m excited to come!” would have saved face for everyone. Now your parents are going to have a negative view of him even though he’s done nothing wrong.

It doesn’t matter it was free or a gift. I would literally pay not to travel with anyone who wasn’t a partner or close friend – I’m introverted and travelling with family, even my own would be really stressful and unpleasant.

It’s also not cool to offer a gift like that and then get snippy if it’s turned down. Why would you want to force a gift on someone that they do not want?

Anyway, now that’s already done I’d talk to him and apologise for pushing and say you understand he doesn’t want to go and that okay, but that you’re going to go yourself. And ‘clarify’ with your mother that he just can’t get the time off and doesn’t want to feel indebted, but that he was grateful for the kind offer. Then go on your own.

For me there is no way that I would spend a week with my in-laws on a vacation paid or otherwise.

Not sure Id want to be tied down to someone who won’t go on vacation. However, also not sure I’d want to go on a weeklong trip with my spouse’s family.

Its not a free vacation. He is losing a weeks wages, that is what it is costing him. Also when you are self employed you tend to not want to take time off becaue of the double whammy of lost income + vacation expenditure. I get that you have tried to get over the money aspect of it with him but he obviously doesn’t want to be your charity case.

Also, since its so much more of an ask for the self employed to take time off they tend to only do so when its something they REALLY value doing and he doesn’t seem all that into vacationing with your family, which to be honest, I can’t blame him.

He’s a grown ass man in his 30’s – why would he want to waste a week with your family? No offence I’m sure YOU like them, but for partners…he’ just not gonna be as into your family as you are.

Couple communication as one unit, or the lack thereof, was a huge problem in my marriage. When something is presented to you from your family, and you enthusiastically agree, then return later with a no he’s automatically thrown under the bus.

My parents who have been married for 50+ years are great at this, I should have paid attention. If I won the lottery today, I could tell my Mom I booked a private yacht cruise around the world, she’d reply immediately with “I’m not sure we’re free, I’ll discuss with Dad and get back to you.”

I had the in-laws who wanted to hang out every other weekend boating on the lake. Did I like waterskiing, drinking on the sandbar, restaurant hopping? 100%. Did I want to do it twice a month with my in-laws? NO.

I am happy seeing my family once again year, maybe more depending on the event. It was really difficult adjusting to someone who was so family centric. I didn’t dislike her family at all, but I rarely interacted with my own family, and the conflict between our desires around family interaction is what eventually led to our divorce. After a few times of no I’m not into it, when she had excitedly agreed beforehand, I spent the next 7 years as the bad guy.

If you can, try to not respond to anything from an external party in the negative or affirmative until you take it back to your partner, be it from family or friends. I got good at saying “Thanks for letting me know, I appreciate it. I’ll check out what we’re doing and get back to you.” People may initially be put off by this, but in the long run it’s better for your relationship.

Does he have his passport? Has he ever travelled internationally? I know to some people who have never had the opportunity, flying to Mexico for a vacation just sounds so outlandish, so out of touch, that even if it’s in fact more obtainable than they think they may not feel comfortable accepting it. Especially if he’s never travelled internationally or doesn’t have his passport, going to Mexico might be a big step outside his comfort zone