Members of a popular internet forum issued stern advice to one mother who detailed the hostile vacation dynamic between herself and her husband.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Actual-Play8665 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said she often feels excluded when her husband takes vacations without her and revealed her plan to give him a taste of his own medicine.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for arranging my own vacation…after my husband took 2 of our 3 children on vacation…leaving me and my my oldest son home?” the post has received nearly 12,000 votes in the last day.
Explaining that her husband actively keeps her as far away from his many trips as possible, the original poster said that when she is able to attend, she is treated poorly.
“When he doesn’t want me on vacation he gives me the silent treatment and threatens to [leave] me at every stop,” OP wrote.
This year, the original poster said her husband gave her three weeks’ notice about a trip to Colorado in late June. However, as their departure approached, the original poster said she was shocked to learn she’d been kicked off the vacation, along with the couple’s oldest son.
“I [asked] him what specifically we’re doing in Colorado again and he responds, ‘Oh, you’re going now[?],’ and proceeds to tell me that he didn’t plan for me,” OP wrote. “I change my plans to stay home [and] my oldest has to stay home because he just started a summer job.”
“My husband has done this…before with a ski trip, spent thousands of dollars taking my youngest two and excluding our oldest son,” OP continued. “I feel hurt and angry [so] I decided to take all [three] of my children with me to a band trip I’m going on with my middle son’s school. It’s a school trip, but they’ve never been to Hawaii.”
“Am I the a**hole for excluding my husband?” OP then questioned. “I don’t like being a petty person…but he gets so defensive and gives me the silent treatment for months after any confrontation.”
Vacations, through seeing new places and making new memories, have the power l to spark excitement and rekindle on-the-rocks relationships.
But vacations, according to Psychology Today, can tear relationships apart and leave already-distant partners feeling even more detached than the day the travel destination was decided.
“Traveling together usually involves constant contact — spending whole days, even weeks, together with little separation,” Psychology Today contributor Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D asserts. “If there are already problems or tensions in a relationship, extra time together can make them more obvious.”
While vacationing together can magnify existing tensions, however, explicitly excluding a partner from a trip starts out as a much larger red flag.
Last year, Marriage.com published a list of 30 indicators a marriage is over.
Included on that list are many qualities described in the viral Reddit post, including couples living like they are single, spending very little time with each other, a nonexistent friendship, feelings of depression and, most importantly, a lack of respect from one or both partners.
Throughout the viral post’s comment section, Redditors acknowledged these glaring issues and advised the original poster to reevaluate her relationship immediately.
“Why are you married to him?” Redditor u/tuttkraftverk questioned in the post’s top comment, which has received nearly 18,000 votes. “He doesn’t like you and he actively makes sure you’re excluded from everything at every possible turn.”
“[Not the a**hole],” they added. “Unless you stay with him.”
Redditor u/CrystalQueen3000, whose comment has received more than 11,000 votes, echoed that sentiment.
“Why have you tolerated this level of disrespect for so long?” they questioned. “There’s nothing wrong with needing the occasional holiday alone but he doesn’t communicate that.”
“Instead he systematically makes you feel unwanted and doesn’t respect you or your time,” they continued.
“This exactly,” Redditor u/SunflowerJYB added, receiving more than 5,000 votes. “The vagueness is a profound sign of apathy…you are just an annoyance to him [and] he doesn’t seem to care about you.”
In a separate comment, which has received nearly 8,500 votes, offered a more direct response.
“Does your husband hate you and your oldest son? Because it sure seems like it,” they wrote. “Enjoy Hawaii without him and start looking up divorce lawyers when you get back.”
“[Not the a**hole],” they added.
Newsweek reached out to u/Actual-Play8665 for comment.