Friday, March 24, 2023
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I need advice on my 15 year relationship, because I think I’m going to end it but there’s 2 kids involved which are 7 (boy) and 5 (girl). I need some impartial advice.

I booked a walking/hiking trip for 4 days with my cousin who is also an avid hiker. We live in Scotland so have 282 Munros to complete (above 3000ft). This trip was to climb 8 of these on the isle of Skye, they’re pretty difficult so a guide has to be organized with knowledge and ropes etc.

I agreed to this as a bolt on person to my cousins already organized trip. I didn’t “ask” my wife before I agreed. We own a restaurant and things need plenty notice, my trip was 6 months in the future – my wife went absolutely batshit crazy about it and I have no idea what the fuck she is even mad about.

She’s the type of person that when our child is 50 meters close to a road she freaks out and screams in a park full of people at hysterical levels, she’ll say “did you not see him walking away” and I’m like “yeah but where’s the danger, I’m fine with him roaming around. To this I get “well I didn’t fucking realize you wanted to see you son run over and killed” – like how do you respond to such bullshit over the top remarks?

Many arguments later about this trip and she’s throwing out there that all her friends back her up on it, of which I couldn’t give a shit about their opinion, when I scoff, she demands to know what my friends think to which I’ve got no answer because I haven’t asked them because I already know what’s reasonable and what’s not. I’m 37 years old and I’m being told no to something that is none of her business.

Oh, some years ago I had a really rough time and was severely depressed, I took a while to reach out to her but when I did have a sit down with her, her response was “well I’m going through the same shit (restaurant stuff) and I’m not depressed? I don’t know the word for that kind of response. I just stopped talking.

I’m no angel by any means but I know for sure I’m not toxic, I just can’t see myself at 50 dealing with the same bs.

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  1. Truly, it seems that you both are not “partnering” very well or willingly. I have no idea how she feels, but it’s very clear from your post and comments that you have a lot of animosity towards your wife. 15 years in a marriage is a long time to develop anger and bad partnering habits because of hurt or anger.

    The most telling thing to me is –

    >I’m 37 years old and I’m being told no to something that is none of her business.

    This part of your post clearly indicates that you have already emotionally separated from your wife, and feel no desire or need to discuss something that will affect her, *before* committing to the trip. Frankly, you don’t seem to actually like or respect her very much. This can happen in marriages and I think it has happened in yours. She may feel the same way about you.

    When common courtesy no longer exists in a marriage, it’s already over. You could try marriage counseling, but you both would have to go willingly and with the absolute intent of saving your marriage for it to work. I’m not sure either of you are up for it.

    My advice would be to get a lawyer and discuss with them the benefits of a trial legal separation vs a direct move to divorce.

    Good luck.

  2. From your description your wife is displaying pretty classic signs of burnout and high anxiety. You’ve got two young kids and you run a restaurant together. It sounds like there’s a lot on your plates. Now, you’re going on a trip that involves physical risk and likely little means of contact. Your wife’s anxiety is manifesting as fear of dire circumstances (i.e. son getting hit by a car). So her reaction to your trip was probably heightened by her anxiety and the fear of dire circumstances.

    Additionally, you committed before you had a conversation with your wife. You didn’t ask if those dates posed any potential consequences. You didn’t discuss the challenges that would arise, and how to help address them. You didn’t consider how she’s doing, or what she may be struggling with.

    She may not be communicating her struggles to you effectively. For that, you should attend counseling together. Communication on both sides looks pretty crappy from what you’ve shared, and you need assistance to fix that. HOWEVER, you and your wife share your responsibilities, and you’re being a bit toxic if you don’t share the decision making when there’s a chance one of you will be abandoning those responsibilities for an extended period.

  3. I was gonna give advice, but based on your responses to any comment that does not say “you are RIGHT”, you don’t want advice. You want validation.

    Come back when you are willing to listen, man.

  4. issue here became easy to see in the responses not the origin. I get that you’re angry however you are very combative, do not actually seek to understand and lash out. This tendency, since its pretty apparent here it most likely is elsewhere, will inflame small issues with her and cause her to lash out against you in her own way. Round and round you go where one partner (no one is perfect) pisses off the other partner, because we are humans and make mistakes, then one overreacts/blowsup/becomes petty and unreasonable (her), and the other doesn’t listen with the intent to understand or problem solve and makes personal statements (you).


    You’re focusing on this instance and not on the big picture. Communicate (listen affirm, then speak) both of you on the fundamentals of your relationship. Small things (maybe for her) add up- then seep out the sides in stuff like this where she finally blows up at something that ‘is unreasonable’. Then you Retaliate and dont listen or inquire what led up to this. Since you’ve invalidated every commenter that hasn’t agreed with you, I’m guessing often you invalidate things that make her feel safe to express an opposing opinion or discontent.

    Y’all have some work. Both of you, inferred from a one-sided story, need to find a way to communicate in ways you both understand and more importantly feel safe and heard doing so.

  5. You’re supposed to be a team with your wife and you’re supposed to care for your children. But I’m only reading ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME here. If this is always how you respond to stressors I can imagine your wife being exasperated with you and your depression. Does she get downtime?

  6. So to make sure I understand – you booked a hiking trip, potentially dangerous, and didn’t tell her in advance.


    >I’m 37 years old and I’m being told no to something that is none of her business.

    On all levels, this possibly dangerous trip is her business. You are her husband. You are the father of her children, her business partner, the man she loves. This is likely an expensive trip, so financially, it’s also her business. It will affect the restaurant, so again, her business. I can’t see a level where it isn’t her business.

    I can understand why you don’t care what her friends say, but she is using that argument to prove that she isn’t unreasonable here, and she isn’t being unreasonable. Have you loads of experience climbing Munros? Climbing anything at all?

    You may be “I laugh in the face of danger”, but she clearly isn’t that type. You know this. She panics on the playground. You know this, or you probably would have told her in advance.

    Also, you are still angry about her response to your depression years ago. You need to talk that out. Her response was shitty, but your response to just stop talking is also shitty.

    Before you leave this marriage, for the sake of your kids, go to marriage counseling. Be the adult here.

  7. So…you have a wife and child, and you just book a vacation without mentioning it and scoffs when she’s upset? Seriously?

    You sound emotionally up and down, and unreliable. Leaving your wife to handle your depression, dismissiveness, and childcare herself.

    Honestly it doesn’t sound surprising she’s exasperated. If you do have redeeming qualities, you haven’t shown them in your post.

    Sounds like you both need counselling and help with communications.

  8. I’ve read the comments and your replies and I dont think it matters if people tell you their sensible advice because your the total opposite. So here’s my advice: divorce her and hopefully she’ll find someone else that can communicate and make her happy.

  9. Sounds like you want to be divorced and this is an excuse – you have a business and a family to run together, you absolutely *do* need to at the very least check with her in advance.

    It doesn’t sound like she’s being unreasonable – it sounds like you’re running away, and this reaction is what you’re going to use as your justification.

    But you aren’t being any more reasonable than she is, so she sees your moral high ground for what it is – a level playing field.

    Sounds to me like you don’t like having the responsibilities you have, and this is an opportunity to escape them (even for a little bit) and you resent anyone reminding you of that fact.

    You say you’re an “adult” which means you don’t need permission – true. But adults handle their shit *first*, that’s why they don’t need to ask anyone permission.

    You aren’t taking the kids, *so you do*.

  10. OP, I’ve scanned your comments – I can’t find one that mentions whether or not you still love your wife. Does she still love you?

    There are communication issues on both sides, conflicts with parenting styles, lots of anger and resentment that sounds warranted. Neither of you are innocent. It honestly sounds like both of you are in a partnership to raise the kids and run the restaurant, but the actual loving relationship between the two of you might be gone. Are you even still friends?

    Have the hard talk. It’s time to decide what kind of relationship the two of you can manage going forward. Hopefully it’s not too late for marriage counseling but don’t go into that if your heart isn’t in it. Maybe the core goal should be communicating. You two still have to work on that even if the marriage is over.

    The stakes are high – the family, the marriage, and the business are all mixed up in a chaotic mess. It’s ok to check in with a counselor just for yourself if you need help.

  11. How did this come about? Why couldn’t you say “let me chat with my wife and get back to you”? That is what you do in a partnership, especially if there are kids involved.

  12. Respectfully, the comments about your kid roaming put me off. You said he’s 50m from a road, but you’re in a parking lot/car park. Those are plenty dangerous on their own, you can’t see little kids in your rear view mirror when you’re backing up. Your wife was right to be concerned about that. You always need to keep track of your kids in an environment with cars.
    In addition, super weird of you to accept that trip without telling her. I agree that her comments about your depression were uncalled for but it does seem like you have a case of “I’m special and my feelings are the ones that really matter”.

  13. You are married and have 2 children together and you act like you are single with no commitments. You absolutely should have spoken to your wife before booking this trip.

    I’ve no idea how you usually split childcare and household responsibilities but how would you feel if she said to you she is off on her jollies and you have to be mum/dad/house keeper, etc while I’m away and you have no say?

    You sound so selfish! You don’t get to do this kind of stuff without talking things through first with a long term partner, especially when you have children!!!!

    If this was AITA this would be YTA

  14. Dude, you want to leave your wife alone with 2 kids and a restaurant? Are you getting her any help while you are gone?

    Your depression is your responsibility. Therapy? Antidepressants?

    Sure, going on a solo trip is good, but you two have poor communication with each other.

  15. Your relationship is going to end because you don’t respect each other and don’t communicate. You are selfish for agreeing to a trip without checking with your wife first. AND thinking you can just do whatever you want because “you are 37 years old and it’s none of your wife’s business” is appalling. Yes, you are absolutely a toxic person.

  16. You and your wife need some pretty solid therapy to improve communication and respect in your relationship based on what you’ve said in this post and your replies.

    It’s typically common courtesy in a partnership to bring up your intended plans with your partner before you fully commit to them. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but emotionally there’s a HUGE difference between “I agreed to the plans and then *told* her what I’m doing” vs “I excitedly told my cousin I want to go and see no reason why it wouldn’t work, but will get back to them in an hour after I confirm plans with my wife.”

    Agreeing to plans without consulting your life partner first is not the behaviour of someone in a healthy relationship. But you’re not “asking for permission” when you do this, you’re “notifying your partner of intent” so that IF there is a legitimate issue with the plans you want to make, your partner can voice them now and you can decide whether to go based on what they say. It’s a matter of respect and good communication.

    Your whole argument is that your wife makes plans without consulting you and you don’t freak out, so she has no right to be mad when you do the same to her… But it’s not that simple.

    It sounds like, for you, making plans without consulting your partner isn’t a problem. You don’t mind if she does it to you, and you are comfortable doing this too. Meanwhile, it’s clear that she feels hurt and disrespected when you make plans away from the family without consulting her. Your perspectives and boundaries on this are not aligned.

    Yes. She has BENEFITTED from you not caring, because she can make plans without you and you don’t mind, this even reasonably feels unfair… but the solution isn’t to stomp on her boundaries and call her a hypocrite to get your way. You might technically be in the right, but that’s not going to make for a smooth/healthy relationship.

    Counselling is still going to be necessary to keep this kind of thing from happening over and over again, but in this specific situation I’d say the solution is a pretty easy compromise. You apologize for not consulting her and you both agree that from now on any plans that involve overnight stays away from the family cannot be confirmed until you’re both informed. All this means is that next time, you tell your cousin “it shouldn’t be a problem but I’ll double check with my wife and confirm with you in an hour.” And the next time she wants to visit her brother, same thing: “I think I can pop by once a month but I’ll confirm with my husband and get back to you.”
    Then it’s all fair and you don’t run into this problem anymore. It doesn’t cost you any more time but it’ll sure save a lot of hurt and heartache.

  17. My husband going out of town has zero impact on me (youngest is 15 yo). He doesn’t make a dentist appointment without checking with me first. Not asking permission really, just making sure he didn’t forget we had other plans or something. You should have posted in AITA because you’re the AH.

  18. First, you going on vacation is her business. You are married to her so she has the right to have a say on a vacation you plan for yourself. You are spending money which is both of yours, not just yours. You are going to put all the parenting on her for an extended period of time.

    I highly doubt that if your friends are mature responsible people they would think it is fine that you schedule a holiday without talking with your wife. They will understand that in marriage people need to communicate with their spouse. They would understand also that they will need to make sure that their kids will be taken care of when they were away. Lastly, they would know that they will have to do some give and take to be able to go on that holiday.

    Your wife wants to make sure that a 5 and 7-year-old does not roam too far away from you is normal. You have to keep an eye on your children at that age.

    The depression part she should not do. She needs to take it seriously.

  19. Your comments dude…. sheesh. Why are you asking about relationship advice and then being combative with anyone that comments. I had some sympathy for your situation but you sound exhausting.

    Both you and your wife sound like you have issues to address but there doesn’t seem like any point in addressing any of them because you will simply argue.

  20. My guy, it’s not about asking for PERMISSION. It’s working with your partner to iron out the details of your plan in a way that works best for BOTH of you. Newsflash your actions affect those around you. And the way you describe it, you’ve told your wife “I’m leaving these days you figure out the details involved”. You aren’t treating her like a partner. Yes your needs to learn to communicate better. But you also don’t seem to respect her nor what she brings to the relationship as a person. Only your wants and needs. Why do you talk about your bucket list like you’re planning on doing every thing on it without her?

    Info do you even like your wife?

  21. INFO If she told you that in March she’s going on a 4-day work trip is that OK? Or would you be upset that she didn’t assume you’d be available to take on full parenting for those days?

    I had an ex that would do this and it was incredibly frustrating to not be offered the courtesy of ensuring there were no conflicts before booking tickets.

    The point isn’t about whether the other partner has plans – it’s about respect and basic courtesy. But honestly it doesn’t sound like you like her all that much- or you would have shown her that you believe her time is valued by talking to her pre-booking.

  22. Dude, you clearly only came here for people to agree with you, not to actually seek impartial advice.

    If you paid a counselor, a professional who does this for a living, and they told you the same things people have posted here, you gonna tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about?

    Shit or get off the pot. Life is too short to make yourself and the people around you miserable.

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