Friday, March 24, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceMy (M38) wife (F35) has made me feel unwanted for the holidays...

My (M38) wife (F35) has made me feel unwanted for the holidays and now I’m at home by myself

We’ve been married for almost 10 years, but together in total for nearly 15. Admittedly we have hit a bit of a rough patch lately and space was needed for both of us. This year we’re in line to spend time with her family (350 miles away), so she flew there a week ahead of the holidays. Everything was fine, it wasn’t an argument, we totally understood one another and enjoyed our space for a few days. We would talk throughout the days, facetime, share photos, etc., Everything was fine.

When this past weekend was getting closer she asked me what day I was coming and I said most likely Saturday. She remembered a comment I made about traffic weeks before when I suggested Monday as a possibility and said she was planning for me to come Monday. At first I didn’t remember this comment, but it eventually came back to me. What bothers me was I also mentioned Saturday and Sunday, but all she hung on to was Monday. It made me feel like she wanted to be away from me as long as possible. We talked through it and I thought things were “okay” after that.

Friday comes along and she starts making comments about how it’s not been enough time (it’s been a week by now) and she needs a few more days. I start explaining it doesn’t make sense for me to drive down after work on a weekday, only to be cooped up in a spare bedroom working remotely when I can do that from our own home. Driving 8 hours only to work, have a day of Thanksgiving, and then turn right around and come right back home just does not make sense. At that point I stated I didn’t feel welcome and said I will just stay home. Rather than giving a little on her side and saying “hey, I get it. Don’t wait until Monday, it makes more sense for you to drive down on Saturday or Sunday”, all I got in return was “you don’t need to spend the holiday alone. You can go visit your family.”

Visiting my family is out of the question since it would be the exact same scenario, not to mention put me in a position to answer questions about why I’m alone.

I’ve explained to her that this was actually pretty hurtful. I wasn’t angry, I nicely explained my position and said it really bothered me. All I’ve received in return is a basic “you can come” text message since I’ve explained it to her. No apology, no understanding, nothing. To make it worse, she keeps making a comment saying “I’m not going to beg you to come”. That’s fine, I don’t expect you to beg me. But maybe at least make me feel wanted and welcomed. I feel like the only thing I’m getting in return is a pity invite so I’ll stop bothering her about it.

So here I am, it’s Monday, I’m by myself. I want to be with my wife. I want to spend the holiday with her. I’ve explained that I don’t feel welcome. I’ve explained that I’m hurt. And all I get in return is “you can come” and “I never said you couldn’t come.” She had an opportunity to say she wanted me there but instead told me to go visit my family.

I really don’t know what to do.

TLDR: Wife and I of 10 years need space before the holidays, goes to her family week in advance, extends our days apart as much as possible making me feel unwanted, suggests I go see my family instead, then says she never said I couldn’t come.

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  1. >That’s fine, I don’t expect you to beg me. But maybe at least make me feel wanted and welcomed.

    She doesn’t want you there. Sorry to be blunt, you did say you’re in a rough patch lately and you both needed space. She made it clear she hasn’t had enough space yet. I know it sucks that this is happening during the holidays though… hopefully you can try to make the best of it. Might be time for some couples counseling.

  2. I think the best bet here is to go to counseling, so there is a neutral ground for you both to express the issues happening here and for someone to mediate and assist with the communication between you. It sounds like you both aren’t quite meeting something the other wants or needs. It sounds like you need more emotional validation than what she’s willing to give. She sounds a bit detached from the situation, and like she doesn’t really want to be bothered all that much. It is still your marriage, though, so if I were you, I would try consistent counseling for as long as it takes to see improvement. Continue on through that improvement or at least use the techniques learned in counseling to continue the best communication and dynamic you can with each other. Don’t give up. Fight for what you want and love, always. Best of luck to you, OP.

  3. I’d say she’s told you the truth, her truth. You can work with this. It’s not nice I know but she’s happy when you are not about. Time to work out if the marriage is worth saving (counselling) or not (divorce).

  4. I would take the hint and stay home. Find something you enjoy doing and do the hell out of it for the week. Movies, games, what ever your thing is, live it up. You and your wife should want to be together not need to be. You sound like you need some time to reflect on what’s important to you.

  5. Maybe she just needs time away? And is comforted by being with her own family? Maybe she didn’t know how much she needed it until she got there. I don’t know why that’s necessarily a deal breaker. Sounds like communication is difficult between you.

  6. What’s the rough patch about? Why did she need space? Have you addressed the concerns and grievances that led to this?

    1 week apart isn’t going to change those feelings and or past hurts. It would be ideal if that time was spent reflecting on the issues, conversations are then had, and adjustments to the relationship and commitments are then applied.

    Do you understand why the rough patch started? Have you validated the reasons she felt she needed the time apart? Do you know where your role
    Is in the situation you are in now?

    I’m not sentimental and don’t need to spend holidays with my spouse simply for the sake of the holiday. If I am hurt or feel neglected by my spouse I do not care what day it is. If he ignores my requests and my attempts to explain my viewpoint I care even less. I especially do not wish to spend a holiday with anyone – spouse included- whose going to fight with me, nit pick, or act like a sad little puppy who doesn’t get their way.

    Now I have NO idea what you and your wife have gone through, what you’ve discussed or how much you understand where she’s coming from. All I know is she is sick of dealing with you, or sick of her needs being ignored. She’s cutting herself off emotionally from you. What you do or don’t do isn’t going have as much of an impact on her anymore. At this point being apart feels better than having you there with her and her family. You can jump to cheating if you like but I have a suspicion there is much more to the story based on the fact your whole question/paragraphs were about how hurt you are and not about what led to this. You are here for a lot of reasons and it didn’t start with this week long break.

    May I suggest the book [This is How Your Marriage Ends](

  7. You two need to seriously work on your communication skills. State directly what you want. Not sure what led up to the rough patch, but you’re sulking that she doesn’t toss aside her plans to accommodate your wishes. You say you miss her, but did you tell her?

  8. I completely get why you feel that way. But honestly, she wanted you to be there Monday, you want to be with her, maybe this is the last Thanksgiving as a couple. Maybe this would be the last straw in your relationship if you don’t go. Yall really need a counselor if you want to get back on track but for now I would go

  9. I feel like you should spend this time thinking about yourself and your relationship. It’s possible the reason she wants space from you and you don’t is because you aren’t quite grasping what her issues are with you. So instead of feeling sorry for yourself, dig in and actually think about things. Have a relaxing and carefree holiday, and enjoy time with yourself and your thoughts. You’ll be doing this if your marriage is over, so kind of get a feel for it and really think about your problems and think of solutions. I don’t know, I really enjoy being alone so I’ve always liked random holidays by myself so maybe I’m just different and unable to understand why this is a deal for you. Either way, good luck!

  10. Can’t wait to give a quick skim to these comments and see every single one of them suggest divorce over actual solutions because throwing away 15 years is so much better than working through a low. This sub really makes the 60% divorce rate make so much sense.

  11. “ At that point I stated I didn’t feel welcome and said I will just stay home. Rather than giving a little on her side and saying “hey, I get it. Don’t wait until Monday, it makes more sense for you to drive down on Saturday or Sunday”, all I got in return was “you don’t need to spend the holiday alone. You can go visit your family.”

    You TOLD her that you will stay home. Then you get upset she didn’t beg you to come down. You can’t control BOTH sides if the conversation!

    You got your feelings hurt she needed more time, you sad you weren’t coming, and either you hurt her feelings, ignored her feelings (if needing more time), or annoyed her with your threat/ultimatum that backfired on you.

    You owe her an apology as you started the idea of not coming.

    And saying you being stubborn, have fun with your family isn’t ditching you AFTER you told her you weren’t coming.

    If you’re really not going to go (and you should),
    A) call wife
    B) apologize for raising the stakes
    C) have a cool conversation FOR HIURS over the phone.

    You say you have communication problems. You’ve been together 15 years- when was the last time you just hung out together. Phone calls can be really romantic. The long distance and space can allow you to WANT each other without feeling suffocated by each other.

  12. we don’t have much info to make any judgements.
    all i can conclude is that:

    1. you two have a communication problem

    2. your wife wants to spend same time apart from you, along with her family

    3. you feel abandoned and miss your wife, and worried that she doesn’t want you anymore

    the obvious solution is couple therapy, and giving her some space when she’s back. perhaps encouraging her to get some free time for her hobbies and friends. if she doesn’t have much, perhaps a more equal distribution of chores at home may help. you may also explore having quality time with her, do together stuff you enjoy. also, spice up your sex life ^^

  13. Stop translating, paraphrasing, and changing words. It’s exhausting and confusing. What you said is what you said, what she said is what she said. Stop with the hidden meanings and passive aggressiveness. You need to learn better communication skills because you are not communicating to her effectively. There is too little here to know if your wife has communication issues, but I’m inclined to believe so.

    Your wife communicated to you that it hasn’t been enough time, and you didn’t respond to that positively, everything broke down from there. She’s probably on another thread asking for advice on what to do with her needy, sensitive, and emotionally exhausting husband, when all she wants is a drama free thanksgiving. Maybe? Maybe not.

  14. I would say from your description of events, she was trying to be transparent in sharing she needs more time, you were not receptive to it, and then you played games and were passive aggressive (saying you’ll stay home and then wanting her to sort of “chase you” to convince you to come, it didn’t work, and then you were upset with a pity invite). Which likely doesn’t make her want you to be around anyway.

    She didn’t tell you to stay home, she just asked you to come later and you got upset and passive aggressive. THAT is why you are at home by yourself.

    A huge issue i see is both of you need to be honest about what you want and need, but you also need to respect when someone shares what they need and not take it personally. I regularly need time away from my husband. Even just for short bursts of the day. During the pandemic when everyone was working from home I was going to chop his head off I didn’t want to hear the sound of his voice for one more second. Eventually he went back to work and I worked remotely at home in peace but for the times when he has to work from home with me it sucks. I cherish my alone time. Do I love him? Absolutely. But I NEED my alone time.

    I also thrive on trips by myself. Work trips with me alone in a hotel room I am on cloud 9. Hanging out with my family? Lovely. Do I absolutely love my husband and would never leave him? 100%

    The thing is my husband fully understands this about me and we have gone through muuuuuuch therapy to get to this point. He used to be smothering and I would push him away. Now he understands fully when I need a moment and that it is better for him in the long run.

    We also agreed from the beginning of our relationship we will NOT play games. We will trust what each other says 100% even if it seems like we are faking things. If he asks me how I am and I say fine, even if I’m moping, he will let things go and interact with me as if I’m fine unless I give in and tell him honestly what is going on. None of that “he should know,” or chasing me when I walk away from an argument, no. No games.

    I’m not sure if you guys are in therapy but if you’re still dealing with communication differences you need to relay some foundational aspects of understanding one another. You need a restart. Share openly how you’re feeling. If you’re too emotional in a moment to know how to articulate it, get in the habit of pausing conversations until you can take a second (or a day) and collect yourself instead of reacting.

    Remember you’re on the same team. You chose this person as your person. How can you give in on somethings because you love THEM? And not what can they do for you? Not what feelings are they “making” you feel.

  15. My wife’s mother is high maintenance

    Whenever we would visit my wife would get snippy up to a week before the visit

    She told me once that it is exhausting to deal with her mother and me. It hurt my feelings, but I get it.

    After that, if she wanted to go alone, I did not have a problem with it.

  16. I don’t have a ton of advice, but thought I’d just say that I’m going thru a similar situation, and will be going thru a (totally unexpected on my end) divorce and moving out from my now ex-wife and I’s apartment on Thanksgiving. I hope you get this figured out, and I wish you the best.

  17. Hey i just want to let you know your feelings are valid. She’s pushing you away and you’re right to feel hurt. This is your wife. The person you love is the last person you would want to feel unwanted or rejected by.

    You’re not toxic or needy like these contents are suggesting. Something is happening that hasn’t been communicated yet. I would say that this experience is a wake-up call that your wife is detaching. From here, both of you need to want to fix this or it will end in divorce. I would occupy myself with something else this weekend if I were you. It may be worth it to try to find joy without her because you never know if you’ll be doing that more often soon…

  18. Y’all clearly have issues to work through, and one of them is definitely communication.

    Saying “I’ll just stay home” with the expectation of her giving in to what you initially wanted is bad communication and honestly pretty childish. Don’t say one thing hoping that she’ll read your mind and do something else. That’s just setting you up for disappointment.

    What you could have said is “I feel like you don’t want me to come at all. Can you assure me that you want me there or confirm that you don’t want me to come?” She might say that she doesn’t want you there, which would hurt, but at least you have a clear answer.

  19. Sounds heartbreaking but we don’t know what lead to this moment for it to get so bad, so there’s not really much advice on how to fix it if we don’t know the root cause.

    Maybe this is the beginning of the end. Talk to your family, they may offer better advice if they know you two better. Maybe you need to get away too, and think about whether this marriage is worth saving or not. Don’t be ashamed to open up to your family about your problems.

  20. With no other information, this looks like a communication issue.

    >Driving 8 hours only to work, have a day of Thanksgiving, and then turn right around and come right back home just does not make sense. At that point I stated I didn’t feel welcome and said I will just stay home.

    Instead of saying you wanted to spend more time with her you said “I will just stay home.” You are assuming a lot instead of asking questions.

    >I nicely explained my position and said it really bothered me. All I’ve received in return is a basic “you can come” text message since I’ve explained it to her. No apology, no understanding, nothing. To make it worse, she keeps making a comment saying “I’m not going to beg you to come”. That’s fine, I don’t expect you to beg me. But maybe at least make me feel wanted and welcomed. I feel like the only thing I’m getting in return is a pity invite so I’ll stop bothering her about it.

    It looks like you are trying to get her to beg you to come when you decided not to go. Clearly, I don’t know you or your wife but this comes across as very passive-aggressive. If you guys are already having problems and have this kind of conflict often, she may just be tired of this.

    I think you should work on saying what you mean “I’d really like to see you sooner” and not throwing in the “I might as well stay home” type responses because those do nothing to improve a situation. I do think you guys need to work with someone to improve your communication. Perhaps you should work on your side first to see how your wife responds.

  21. Ahh sorry mate she doesn’t want you there and she was clear she still needed space.

    Let her have her space while you take this time out too to reflect and somewhat enjoy your time alone.

    You’re not needy for wanting to be with your wife but it seems this rough patch is affecting everything.

    Text her let her know you’ll respect her request for more space, that you’ll be waiting for her at home when she’s ready to come back, wish her a happy holiday and send her you love her and that you both can work it out.

    Go play some golf or game, order some food and have a few bevs..Don’t drink out bc for some reason ppl who go out heartbroken or hurt or having marriage issues end up sleeping with someone else..

    All the best OP and Happy Holidays.

  22. I think you should just not go. Stay home. Buy a small turkey breast and some stuffing just for you. Then go listen to some live music at a bar or dance club that night. Let her have her alone time. She wants to be alone with her family and she’s probably wanting to know what it will feel like if she were divorced. Give her the freedom she needs. If she wants to talk on Thanksgiving, she can call you. Don’t push any contact. She needs this alone time.

  23. I kinda understand where both of you are coming from and where she’s coming from, she is basically saying she needs more time to herself since you did state you two are going through a rough patch. I will be away from my partner as well because I just need to be with my family for this season I will be gone from thanksgiving to mid December. I know you may feel hurt but the only things to do now is just let her have this time and then figure out where to go from here (marriage counseling/ separation/ divorce)

  24. You might as well stay home, and let your wife make return arrangements herself. It is obvious that something big is up, and you need to prepare yourself for bad news when you’re next in her company. At this point, I’d recommend going dark and give all the space she needs.

    Yes, she has issues, but so do you, and you should use your alone time to gather and organize them in manner that you will be able to calmly lay them out for her.

    I wish you well.

  25. She’s being obtuse and I can’t tell if she’s being purposeful about it or not. It’s clear, at least from your post, that you don’t want her to beg you to be there but that you at least would *pretend* to make you feel like she wants you there, rather than some after thought.
    Based off the things you’ve shown us, it appears that you’re still invested in this relationship and she… isn’t. At all. And I’m highly doubtful that she’ll be changing her mind while you’re here trying to draw blood from a stone.

  26. I’m just gonna throw it out there, it kiiiiiiinda makes ya wonder what she had planned for that Saturday that she didn’t want you around for….

    Anyways, I hope you figure it out. It sounds like she’s checked out of the relationship. Perhaps, instead of forcing the issue, you could help fix it by doing some very sweet things for her like surprising her with flowers on Thanksgiving day or having the whole house cleaned and decorated for her when she returns. Start going to the gym and working on your physique, etc…. things that make a woman really want a guy.

    If you feel unwanted, ask yourself why, and fix those things since you’ve got a lot of free time alone to do so. Perhaps then she will then welcome you with open arms. Stop blaming her for being honest about her feelings of needing space and start working on yourself.

    But also…. juuuust sayin…. its a little sus that she wanted those extra two days. What did she have planned? Was she talking to you the whole time? Were there periods of time she stopped answering her phone? Perhaps you’re asking the wrong questions. Just sayin.

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