Trying to let go of some hurt and anger


#1

Hi all.

My husband had known since September that the scouts were taking a trip to D.C. last weekend. I only learned about it about a month ago. By then, he said it was too late to include me because I would have had to be screened to get into the White House. His reasoning for not including me back in September? He overlooked it.

Yet he didn’t overlook including me on any of the camp outs. And he said it was not a money issue, that it wouldn’t have cost any extra for me to have gone on this trip. Other fathers took their wives with them on this trip. And he knew I’ve never been to Washington.

And the “consolation” gifts brought back only add to the pain as reminders of missing this trip with him.

How the heck does someone overlook including their spouse with them on such an eventful trip??


#2

It is forgiveable, but I'm not sure why you need to overlook it. This isn't a moon landing that you missed. You can take your husband's answer at face value, but have him ask himself this: what you would do if you had inadvertantly left one of your children out of a trip like this? If it were even remotely possible, you'd make it up to them, that is what you'd do. That is only reasonable. So tell him how you would like him to make it up to you.

Maybe it wasn't a money issue then, but it is a money issue now. If it is important to you to go, your husband can plan a trip for you, save the money, and take you to DC. Or, if you have friends living there, he can send you to DC alone, if the two of you would rather. Whatever works.

I've been to DC, there are lots of things that are more enjoyable to do only with adults than with a group of schoolchildren, even very nice and extremely respectful schoolchildren such as Scouts might easily be. The pace and length of time dedicated to the Smithsonian museums comes to mind, as would be the length of time dedicated to seeing the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. It's a trip you'd like to go on, you missed your chance because of a mistake, but make lemons out of lemonade. Plan the trip, and plan a trip that fits you, instead of the group you missed going with. If it turns out better in the end, anyway, you'll find it very easy to overlook your husband's "overlooking". You will get to see a lot more if you plan far ahead and find time during an "off" season for tourists. (I'd suggest late April or early May, personally, although by now that is probably something for next year.)

If it is not possible today, then put it on a future "to-do" list, but do secure your husband's assurance that he will help in the sacrifices necessary and that you will go on that trip when you have the opportunity.


#3

I am a dad as well as a scout leader. My wife would be upset if I asked her to go. Boys up all night? Boys arguing? Keeping constant watch on a group of children in a big city? I am not sure I would want to go. Camping? Sure. DC Metro? No thanks.

He is a guy. I am sure this is not the first time you have needed to cut him some slack. You are fully in your rights to pester him for your own trip with him/them. My wife would be collecting cruise brochures.

Try to let this go. It could do a lot of damage if you allow it to fester.


#4

OK, I get being upset.... thoughtless...

BUT MAN OH MAN... what great NEWS it's not a $$ thing. 'Cause maybe in the next couple of weekends you and some girlfriends can go for a spa weekend!!!!!

Just sayin mom can use a break on a REGULAR basis!!!

Hugs... hope you feel better soon!


#5

[quote="dconklin, post:3, topic:230162"]
I am a dad as well as a scout leader. My wife would be upset if I asked her to go. Boys up all night? Boys arguing? Keeping constant watch on a group of children in a big city? I am not sure I would want to go. Camping? Sure. DC Metro? No thanks.

He is a guy. I am sure this is not the first time you have needed to cut him some slack. You are fully in your rights to pester him for your own trip with him/them. My wife would be collecting cruise brochures.

Try to let this go. It could do a lot of damage if you allow it to fester.

[/quote]

Sure, she might have said she'd rather stay home, but you're not saying that asking your wife if she would like to go on a Scout outing is automatically a command performance, right? If not, how could she be upset, if all she has to do is say, "No, thanks, let me know when I only have to protect the bears and caterpillars from the energies of budding American manhood, and not any white marble national landmarks or Dorothy's ruby slippers"? I don't doubt what you're relating, but you have to admit that something does not quite add up. If your wife doesn't know how to say "no" without guilt to things she does not want to do and has no obligation to do nor say "yes" to those same things without resentment, so that you have to read her mind and predict what she wants before you ask her to volunteer, I guarantee you that is a recipe for emotional "festering". Any marital understandings that require mind-reading on the part of one or both spouses are headed for unhappy results.

Besides, remember that we're talking about one of those Scout Moms who have braved all the camping outings, not one of those who refused all the campouts but now wants to attend when there is a hotel room and a glamorous destination in it for her. Her husband was remiss in not asking if he could take any adults along who had pitched in significantly with the other Scout outings, and that includes his wife. OK, he didn't think to do it and someone else did....but should she "let it go" without ever giving him an opportunity to make amends? I would think that if he is contrite about his mistake, he'll want to do something. If he's not contrite, if he thinks nothing of taking advantage of her generosity and good nature on the camp-outs and then leaving her out of the outings that she would like, that's an issue to talk about, not something to stuff.

Cutting slack is not a "guy thing". It's a human being thing. And she need not pester, cajole, or whine about how she'd like him to make amends for her having missed the trip. She doesn't need to blame or hold it over his head or whack him on the side of the head or any of the rest. She just needs to say, "The rest of the family got their opportunity to go on a trip I have long wanted to go on, and so we're going to find an opportunity for me, as well....just as we would for any other member of the family who was in the same position, when it is possible." It is not about blaming. It is just about looking out for everyone, even Mom.


#6

Wow! Talk about not being able to read minds.

The rest of the males of our species and I who would ever consider to voice an opinion, share our thoughts or state what our wives would do/say on a public Catholic forum will just sit over here and be quiet.
:blackeye:


#7

My husband had known since September that the scouts were taking a trip to D.C. last weekend. I only learned about it about a month ago.

You're saying that in FIVE MONTHS, the fact that he was going to be going away to DC for a weekend with a bunch of Scouts NEVER came up, not even in casual conversation?:confused:

Am I the only one who thinks this is strange?


#8

[quote="bluerose, post:7, topic:230162"]
You're saying that in FIVE MONTHS, the fact that he was going to be going away to DC for a weekend with a bunch of Scouts NEVER came up, not even in casual conversation?:confused:

Am I the only one who thinks this is strange?

[/quote]

I think it's strange as well, and it sounds like he really didn't want her to go for some reason. I would be concerned about what the implications are for the relationship if that's the case, and I think it's worth looking into. I've read that the desire to go on vacations alone rather than with your significant other can be a huge sign that the relationship is in trouble so it's not something to ignore. It's true that some people just need their space, but I think most happy couples would much prefer to travel with their spouse than go solo!


#9

[quote="dconklin, post:6, topic:230162"]
Wow! Talk about not being able to read minds.

The rest of the males of our species and I who would ever consider to voice an opinion, share our thoughts or state what our wives would do/say on a public Catholic forum will just sit over here and be quiet.
:blackeye:

[/quote]

I had no intention of giving you a black eye. I grew up with many brothers and in a rural classroom in which boys outnumbered girls by over 6:1. Frankly, I thought I was letting you off the hook.

I said I don't doubt your account. If you don't feel comfortable asking your wife whether she'd like to volunteer for something because she might get upset with you, I suspect that speaks truly about what you've learned about her expectations of you. If that is the case, I'm suggesting that her expectations are not realistic.

There are four reasons I can think of that you'd fear your wife would be angry if you brought up a volunteer opportunity that she did not want to agree to.
1) She feels guilty when she says "no" and resentful when she says "yes" to a volunteer opportunity she doesn't want to agree to, excepting when she can think up a prior obligation that excuses her, so she takes out her frustration on you when you ask.
2) She has made a clear "No Scout Volunteering" rule, and when you forgot it, you suffered for it.
3) She has never punished you for guessing wrong, but you fear she will, perhaps because you've gotten that treatment from other people in the past.
4) She feels guilty because you run guilt trips on her when she says "no", and finally has had enough of your manipulation. You wouldn't do that and then blame her for getting upset, would you? Surely not.

I'm sure those are others, but those are the ones I run across. As I mentioned, #1 is the most common. If you were to respond to her anger at even asking her if she'd be interested in a scout outing, I'd take your side....that is, I'd explain that you ought not be asked to read minds, and that she needs to feel free to say "no" to such offers without any need for apology or excuse. If she can let go of feeling cornered, I think she can let go of feeling upset.

That can take a lot of practice for those who believe that they ought to be unfailingly "helpful"--this includes men as well as women--but she'll be happier if she learns to give only when it is a duty or a true act of her heart, and let the rest go by without apology or guilt. That will take anxiety off of you, as well.


#10

[quote="bluerose, post:7, topic:230162"]
You're saying that in FIVE MONTHS, the fact that he was going to be going away to DC for a weekend with a bunch of Scouts NEVER came up, not even in casual conversation?:confused:

Am I the only one who thinks this is strange?

[/quote]

If he's not doing the planning, then no, I'm not the least bit surprised. If someone else were willing to do it, I would also not be at all surprised that he didn't.

There are men who couldn't tell you the color scheme at their own weddings until they show up....and some have to have someone explain what a color scheme is, even then. They show up, do what they're told to do, and nod and smile when asked if they like the results. People who don't plan if someone else will do it and don't understand those who get all wound up in planning come in both genders, but my sense is that men are in the clear majority! :D

Even if he were doing some or all of the planning, some people are very secretive in that phase, because for right or wrong they do not want any suggestions from the peanut gallery about how the plans ought to be made. Others don't share anything they find frustrating, because they think it is a downer subject and they don't want a reputation as a complainer. Again, both sexes do it, but men seem to do it a bit more often.

It's worth talking about, but I would not suspect a person unless he or she had a reputation as someone who couldn't change clothes without starting a discussion about the decision-making process involved. (Again, kind of something females are a bit more likely to do than guys. :rolleyes:)

If he did do the planning and deliberately left her out because he didn't want to deal with the repercussions of telling her he'd rather she (or perhaps any of the wives) not go on the trip, it would not help matters to call him on that. It would confirm his decision to leave her out of the planning in the first place on the grounds that he could not possibly hope that she'd respect his wishes. Even if I knew he was fibbing, I'd probably take his story about "forgetting" at face value, and go from there....that is, ask him how he was going to get me to DC, too!


#11

I think it is odd that not a single other Mom from the scouts or even her son mentioned the trip. I have no doubt that if my son was going on a trip like this, he would have been talking about it quite a bit.

Are you not involved with your son and his scouting? If scouting is a Daddy & Son activity then that makes much more sense to me and also makes sense that you would not have been invited as this is your son's special time with Dad. However, if you attend pack meetings, go on camping trips and other outtings, then I think you need to accept part of the blame here for not knowing what is going on with the Pack


#12

[quote="missyfatcat, post:1, topic:230162"]

And the "consolation" gifts brought back only add to the pain as reminders of missing this trip with him.

[/quote]

I am with you on that one. It is bad enough he didn't tell you about it, he doesn't have to give you reminders of it.

However, I do find it VERY odd that a man plans to take his son on a trip (which I am assuming is overnight) and does not tell his wife about it for months. I am sure you have a hectic schedule and these things need to be booked in a calendar ahead of time.

Now, this is where I am going to give 'tough love'. I suspect your husband did not mention it because he is by nature a last minute person and you have been overlooking that. If you choose to overlook the fact he does not tell you his plans, you can't all of a sudden be mad at the plan you wish he had told you about. So in a nutshell, I suggest you look back and try to see if there were other things you found out about at the last minute and never complained. If yes, then you set a precedent you need to unset. If no, then I believe there is something more underlying the issue

CM


#13

I'll be the first to admit that my husband has a tendency to forget to mention things that are going on in his sphere. He and I have different work schedules and our time together is limited on a daily basis, plus we also have outside interests that have little to do with each other. A banquet, a luncheon, a day in the park, an all-day meeting... okay, I can see that not coming up in daily conversation.

But an excursion that requires packing a change of underwear? And a screening to get into the White House? I mean, who plans on visiting the White House and doesn't mention it to their spouse?

Personally, as limited as the time is that my husband and I share, we at least have the "How was work/class today?" conversation every night. Maybe not everyone does, or maybe not everyone cares to. If that's what works for some people, then fine, but don't complain if you're kept out of the loop on your spouse's activities.

I'm just having a hard time believing that something that was: a) in the works for five months, b) involved an overnight trip, and c) required a background check to visit the White House never once made it into one conversation. Especially if d) the OP has a child involved in this Scout pack (so far, that is one thing that hasn't been made clear.)


#14

Honestly, there isn't enough information to figure out what was going on, but was the White House issue the only reason you didn't go? Was that the only purpose of the trip?

About letting go, if the only thing that happened was your husband being forgetful and there are not other underlying issues, then, yes, forgive him and that's it (if there are other issues these need to be addressed). Definitely communicate to him how you feel about the whole thing, so he has a clear understanding of how you are feeling, what upset you, etc., and then forgive, which is something of the will, you have to decide to do it.


#15

Not to be rude, but it also seems to me - when I reread your OP - that you are more upset about missing out on a chance to visit DC then on missing an opportunity to spend time together as a family.

I think you are not being honest with yourself about this senario


#16

[quote="Maureen1125, post:15, topic:230162"]
Not to be rude, but it also seems to me - when I reread your OP - that you are more upset about missing out on a chance to visit DC then on missing an opportunity to spend time together as a family.

I think you are not being honest with yourself about this senario

[/quote]

There is probably some truth to that. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Since being diagnosed, I tend to get a little more upset about missed opportunities.

I think I'm more disappointed that he never discussed the trip with me. And I'm still perplexed at how he could have overlooked me when the troop leaders asked him for the necessary info to be screened.

I can surely understand if he wanted it to be just him and his son, sort a "bonding" trip. But, he could have told me that if it were the case, since I've suggested to him in the past that he needed to spend more time with him. I could understand if it were a sign-up sheet and he just wasn't thinking and had other things on his mind. It just seems to me that someone would have verified with him that it was only him going... after working nearly 20 years in an office, I'm the kind of person to double check those things so that someone doesn't come up at the last minute with the "oh, I forgot. is it too late?" scenario.

And I'm extra sensitive about the trip since about a week prior to it, i found some papers he printed up on a background check of his high school girlfriend. I know those papers were printed about 6 six years ago after his wife passed away. But, being that she is in the Virginia area and he still had these papers... well, it didn't sit well with me.

Thank you all for posting your responses. It has help me to look at this from other sides of the coin.


#17

[quote="missyfatcat, post:16, topic:230162"]
There is probably some truth to that. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Since being diagnosed, I tend to get a little more upset about missed opportunities.

I think I'm more disappointed that he never discussed the trip with me. And I'm still perplexed at how he could have overlooked me when the troop leaders asked him for the necessary info to be screened.

I can surely understand if he wanted it to be just him and his son, sort a "bonding" trip. But, he could have told me that if it were the case, since I've suggested to him in the past that he needed to spend more time with him. I could understand if it were a sign-up sheet and he just wasn't thinking and had other things on his mind. It just seems to me that someone would have verified with him that it was only him going... after working nearly 20 years in an office, I'm the kind of person to double check those things so that someone doesn't come up at the last minute with the "oh, I forgot. is it too late?" scenario.

And I'm extra sensitive about the trip since about a week prior to it, i found some papers he printed up on a background check of his high school girlfriend. I know those papers were printed about 6 six years ago after his wife passed away. But, being that she is in the Virginia area and he still had these papers... well, it didn't sit well with me.

Thank you all for posting your responses. It has help me to look at this from other sides of the coin.

[/quote]

I get the sense that he wanted a father son bonding trip and b/c some (I said SOME:p) men are bad communicators, they often slip up and get us ladies angry.

I think he didn't know how to go about telling you that he wanted to go alone with his son. Sometimes men can be...well...a little dense :D


#18

What "screening" was needed? Were they going to be given a tour that takes them into generally restricted areas? I only ask because being a Maryland resident, I could easily jump in my car, make the 1hour drive and visit the White House on a whim without needing to be "prescreened".


#19

[quote="Maureen1125, post:18, topic:230162"]
What "screening" was needed? Were they going to be given a tour that takes them into generally restricted areas? I only ask because being a Maryland resident, I could easily jump in my car, make the 1hour drive and visit the White House on a whim without needing to be "prescreened".

[/quote]

I'm not sure what is needed, but their website states that a "request" to tour the white house must be submitted through their member of congress...

whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events


#20

[quote="Maureen1125, post:18, topic:230162"]
What "screening" was needed? Were they going to be given a tour that takes them into generally restricted areas? I only ask because being a Maryland resident, I could easily jump in my car, make the 1hour drive and visit the White House on a whim without needing to be "prescreened".

[/quote]

I don't think you've toured the inside of the White House recently. It takes the work of a member of Congress for citizens, and the work of an embassy for non-citizens. Although a request can theoretically be handled in as little as 15 days, there are a limited number of spaces available, as well. whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.