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Thirdeye

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I know I havent been around this board that long and dont really know anyone but I need some advice.

My wife and I have been happily married for about a year and a half now. She likes to travel. I dont mind traveling so much but its not a requirement for me. If we go on a road trip or vacation or something, its because she wanted to go and I go just to make her happy. But thats fine. I love her and want her to be happy, and I am perfectly happy to go along.

We finally went on our "honeymoon" last October on our one year anniversary. All inclusive vacation to a nice resort in Tulum Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula). Coming up this June we have a trip planned for Vegas to celebrate her 30th birthday. 3 nights, 4 days at a nice Casino/hotel. Cant remember the name.

Now we arent poor but we arent rich either. Im still in grad school and the stipend I get is barely enough to live on. She has a pretty good job making about twice what I make for now. So with our combined income, we do OK. We are home owners in a nice enough neighborhood and I am happy where we are financially. She has some debt, I have 30K in student loans but Im not paying on them now (deferred until I graduate). The point Im trying to make is that we are OK financially so long as we live within our means.

When she brought up the idea of going to Vegas to celebrate her 30th I was a little apprehensive. I felt like that was a little bit excessive for a 30th bday, especially with our financial situation and the state of the economy and whatever. But I agreed to it.

Well, now she is wanting to go the the Dominican Republic for vacation this October with a bunch of SINGLE girls. I just cant agree to this. I tried to talk to her about it and its sort of leading to a big fight. Im trying to be honest with myself and list my precise reasons for being opposed to this. I wanted to hear opinions from married folks (preferably men, but women are welcomed to chime in as well) to see if I am just being way too unreasonable here. Here are my reasons in order of relevance:

1. I am a wory wort. I worry about everything. I would worry myself sick if she were to head off to a foreign country with a group of 5 girls and no men around. Ever heard of Natalie Holloway?

2. I dont think its right for a married women to even want to go on vacation with a bunch of SINGLE girls. I know how this works, they are going to be "hooking up" with random people and I can just see how stuff could get outta hand. I trust my wife whole heartedly and Im not even worried about her cheating on me. It just seem weird that a married woman feels the need to spend 10 days with single girls. I dont know why. This is why Im asking for advice. Am I just being silly?

3. We really dont have the money for this. There are tons of things we need to do around the house. I feel like, in this uncertain economy we are in, that we should try to be a little more frugal and save more. Now it would be different if she could say that its been a long time since she's been on vacation but thats not at all the case. Remember Mexico and Vegas, both less than a year apart. I feel like vacations are a luxury item that cant really be justified in our situation. Especially when we have already gone on two vacations in less than a year.

Thats basically it. Sorry the post is so long but I guess it was good for me to sit down and write out my feelings on this. Married folks, please chime in with your opinions.
 

mrfocus

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I'm not married, but I will give you my opinion anyways:

1. It's hard to say. I mean, my sister is only about 24 and she went to Europe last year for about 6 months. She went to countries like the Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, etc. She was alone but since she stayed in hostels she actually met a few other Canadians who were basically doing the same as her and hung around with them for a while. If she were going alone to a country like the Dominican Republic, I could understand being quite worried, but if they are a group, they are less likely to be aimed by potential assailants. There is still a reason to be worried, but even if we told to not be worried, it wouldn't really change your opinion.

2. I'm just wondering, are these single girls her long time friends? Are they around the same age as her? If you answer yes to both those questions, in your wifes head, it's not "to spend 10 days with single girls" but "to spend 10 days with my friends". Although the others might hook up, you really have to trust your wife. Is it any different than when they go for a girls night out to the restaurant and one of the singles hits on the waiter?

3. Sort of hard to answer. She may feel that her job is quite secure (either by her bosses directly or indirectly making her understand that) and thus that there is no reason to worry. It also sounds like you don't have a good system for spending your money (I may be wrong). You should establish how much money each gets to do trips (e.g. $1000 each for a trip together in the year and $1000 each for another trip alone in the year). The thing is, if you don't start planning soon, you will eventually dig yourself a pretty deep hole, since you will have a student loan to reimburse soon. This really seems like the most valid reason not to go. I mean, just cause the government is going to be sending you $600 checks in the mail, what that is really going to do for the US economy is unpredictable. Also, another point is that if she ends up buying her ticket in April, and your situation suddenly worsens, there can be cancellation fees, etc. on the ticket and hotel. Just because you can live at certain level with your income, doesn't mean you have to, and the best way to save up (e.g. for retirement, buying a new house, etc.) is to live under the level your income allows you. I'm not saying stop going out, never do anything fun, etc. but at least plan ahead where your money will go and also plan to save a bit for the future (in case of emergencies).

Sorry if I have been giving you lessons or sound like a preacher, but I hope that I have given you some ideas about which you and your wife can discuss (not argue) and think about individually and mutually.
 
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Thirdeye

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mrfocus said:
I'm not married, but I will give you my opinion anyways:

1. It's hard to say. I mean, my sister is only about 24 and she went to Europe last year for about 6 months. She went to countries like the Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, etc. She was alone but since she stayed in hostels she actually met a few other Canadians who were basically doing the same as her and hung around with them for a while. If she were going alone to a country like the Dominican Republic, I could understand being quite worried, but if they are a group, they are less likely to be aimed by potential assailants. There is still a reason to be worried, but even if we told to not be worried, it wouldn't really change your opinion.

2. I'm just wondering, are these single girls her long time friends? Are they around the same age as her? If you answer yes to both those questions, in your wifes head, it's not "to spend 10 days with single girls" but "to spend 10 days with my friends". Although the others might hook up, you really have to trust your wife. Is it any different than when they go for a girls night out to the restaurant and one of the singles hits on the waiter?

3. Sort of hard to answer. She may feel that her job is quite secure (either by her bosses directly or indirectly making her understand that) and thus that there is no reason to worry. It also sounds like you don't have a good system for spending your money (I may be wrong). You should establish how much money each gets to do trips (e.g. $1000 each for a trip together in the year and $1000 each for another trip alone in the year). The thing is, if you don't start planning soon, you will eventually dig yourself a pretty deep hole, since you will have a student loan to reimburse soon. This really seems like the most valid reason not to go. I mean, just cause the government is going to be sending you $600 checks in the mail, what that is really going to do for the US economy is unpredictable. Also, another point is that if she ends up buying her ticket in April, and your situation suddenly worsens, there can be cancellation fees, etc. on the ticket and hotel. Just because you can live at certain level with your income, doesn't mean you have to, and the best way to save up (e.g. for retirement, buying a new house, etc.) is to live under the level your income allows you. I'm not saying stop going out, never do anything fun, etc. but at least plan ahead where your money will go and also plan to save a bit for the future (in case of emergencies).

Sorry if I have been giving you lessons or sound like a preacher, but I hope that I have given you some ideas about which you and your wife can discuss (not argue) and think about individually and mutually.

Thank you very much for your time. You've made some good points. FYI, a couple of the girls I would say are her real friends, but the rest of them are more like acquaintances. And she sees these girls quite regularly. Not like it's a reunion of sorts.
 

surfbrewer

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I've been married for twelve years and I consider myself a lucky man. That being said, marriage is a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice, for both people. There is a saying that I think falls in line with SWMBO, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" That doesn't mean that you have to cave in to all of your wife's wants and desires but you do need to acknowledge them and at least copndire how she feels. Now that is a two way street and that is where communication comes in.

I think that it is good for spouses to do things apart and have people that they enjoy doing things with. This can work for you as well. Trust in any relationship is not only important but is difficult, especially in the early years of a marriage. Learning and accepting to trust eachother is what marriage is all about. Don't let your own insecurities torpedo your relationship.

You said that you are a worry wort, that is where the communication comes in, tell her how you feel and why. She may not agree, but at least you can start to have a conversation about it. Be open and honest, and the rest will work itself out. You have some legitimate reasons for not wanting to take these trips and don't be afraid to both voice them and to listen to her reasons for taking them. No one can tell you what to do or how to work it out but you do have to try.

Enough of the psycho babble, "relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" and enjoy your wife and marriage. Good luck. LIVE LIFE BROTHER!!!!!
 

PeteOz77

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Ummm, a bit druck right now, but I can't see my opinion changing in a more sober mood. I wil however give you the condensed version.

After 9 years of marriage (no that the time is any factor) I can say this about my wife having a holiday away from me....

If she is going to cheat on me, then it's her choice, and I can't do much about it, regardless of where it happens, this side of the world or the other.

All I can do is spend every day making certain that she knows how much i love her and appreciate her. If that's not enough, then I know I have done EVERYTHING I can to make it work, and she just doesn't want what I have to offer. If that's the case, well then I don't really want her to pretend that it IS the case, so I would rather she go and make whatever she can out of her life and not spend it with me , pretending she is happy.

Does that mean I condone a frivolous wate of money? HELL NO! I would tell her that we cannot afford it, and if we WERE to spend that much money, I would love to spend that time and money WITH her... If she insists on going against your better wishes, it doesn't mean she doesn't love you, it might just mean that she is bring a bit selfish, or insensitive. Either way, it won't pay to argue about it, just state your position on the matter and let her do as she needs to do.

I know that if there was some way to contriol my wife and MAKE her do things the way I WANT, I wouldn't do it, because she is her own person and our marriage is a partnership..

Give her two things....

#1. A reasonable argument as to why you would prefer that she not go on holidays without you.. especially so soon after these other holidays.

#2. Enough rope to get away for a few days and decide what is actually important to her... and enough rope to hang herself if she's being a stupid bitch.

Just my 4¢
 

rdwj

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1. If it were my wife, I’d be nervous too, but that’s a normal part of being married. Just wait until you have kids – it gets worse.

2. I wouldn’t be happy at all if my wife wanted to go on vacation with a bunch of single girls. I agree with you – the group mentality in a situation like that, plus the alcohol that’s likely to be involved can very easily lead her to do something she normally wouldn’t do. I also know that my wife wouldn’t be happy if I asked to go on a trip with a bunch of single guys, and I don’t think I’d even ask. Honestly, we’ve never, in almost 11 years, taken separate vacations.

3. I’d be a little upset about the money too – her travel schedule seems a little excessive for someone with other responsibilities. Sounds like she needs to grow up a little, but it’s hard to gauge that from a few paragraphs. If you have the money, that’s one thing, but if you’re getting in debt, that’s something that needs to be taken care of before it gets out of hand. Perhaps you can agree on a yearly travel budget or something? But, I do encourage you to do some traveling before you settle down and have kids. You won’t have the time or money to do it much after little ones show up.
 

Yooper

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I've taken vacations with other women, and my husband has taken fishing trips with the guys. I've gone to Oaxaca Mexico with a group of women I met on the internet. 've take the kids to Disney World without him. I'm going to the National Homebrew Conference alone. I think, though, that it is a little different situation. I am an older woman. Also, we are in a much better position financially.

My husband just said that if we had any debt at all, we would NOT do any vacations, let alone separate fun times. When I was in my 20s, I didn't do any of those things. Still, it is probably a good idea to get the wanderlust out of the way before you have children or other commitments. I just think that two vacations a year is too much when you are looking at $30,000 of student debt. You could bank the money you'd spend on the vacation, and put that towards debt.

Still, the LAST thing you need to worry about is her going with single girls. Nothing is going to happen, and by worrying about her being with single women, you are showing her that you don't fully trust her.
 

RichBrewer

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Having been married for 18+ years I think I have a thing or two I can say.

When you have misgivings about spending money you need to pay attention to your feelings. Debt has a way to build up quicker than you think and before you know it, you can't keep your head above water. You are much better off sacrificing now and NOT going deep into debt. Later , when you get your school done and get established, you will be able to do more and you will be much happier. Trust me when I say that going into debt to the point where you are barely making ends meet is extremely stressful to a marriage. Especially when both partners don't agree on spending.

Next, in a perfect world, you should be able to trust your wife to go on a trip with the ladies. If you have misgivings about it you need to be up front and discuss issues with her.
Honesty is most important in a relationship. I have learned recently that when you don't discuss things that are bothering you then you aren't being honest with your partner. It sounds like you are letting her know how you feel so stick to your guns. If she starts doing things you don't want her to do it will create strain on your relationship and trust me on this one, get in debt up to your neck and it could very easily ruin your marriage.
 

njnear76

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I think it is perfectly fine to be jealous, angry, or upset about things that your significant other does or says as long as you tell your wife the way that you feel.

My wife always knows what is on my mind. It isn't always pretty. I get frustrated a lot these days. Like you our household is struggling a bit with the finances. I want to get out of the dump we are living in and move into a home, but we are going to have to watch our spending to do it. That's a bit hard to do with her in graduate school, but whatever...

That being said, it is healthy for all couples to spend some time a part. Every year I spend a week fishing with my dad, my uncles, and my cousins. My wife also spends some time visiting her various friends. I also sometimes fly home to see my friends and family.

Even though I don't always get my way, I feel like I do get what I want/need. The reason why is that I speak up and talk about it. I strongly suggest that you tell her the way that you feel and also try to negotiate with her. You should always feel that you are equal partners in the marriage and that you are being treated fairly.
 

RICLARK

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Ok, If I was in your shoes I would try to be opened minded and trust her, If she has never done anything to betray you than you really should give her the benefit of the doubt and let her go with her friends. Dont worry about it I have found that if I worry all the time about bills and finance's me and the wife are always fighting but if I relax and go with the flow we get a long great. Money can destroy a relationship and if you 2 are happy then dont even worry about it, But im not saying spend spend spend and let yourself get behind just try to be happy because that is more important than money.

--------> + when she goes on Vacation that gives you a bunch of time to Brew and drink!! :mug:
 

cheezydemon

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If you are more responsible financially when you are young, things are so much better when you are older.

It took me 3 years or so to reign my wife in.

But now (at32) we have no car payment, no credit card payment and only the house that we owe on.

Have goals. Say OK we can do trips, but not until we have no credit card debt.

2-3 vacations a year is excessive, unless you are retired or have more money than you know what to do with.
 

the_bird

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You've got to be honest with yourself and with her about WHY you don't want her to go. You're treading on some potentially dangerous territory.

If you tell her that you're worried about a Natalie Holloway situation. Frankly, being worried about a group of girls just because there are no men around is pretty sexist, and she's apt to call you on it. At the very least, it's a very paternal attitude. She's a grown woman, she can take care of herself. The Holloway situation was blown WAY out of hand by the media. Do you let her drive downtown by herself?

If you tell her you're worried about what will happen with her hanging out with her single friends on an island, you're telling her that you don't trust her, that you think she's going to cheat on you. What else would you be worried about?

If you tell her it's because of financial circumstances, that may well be legit. It's a facet of adulthood that you've got to be responsible with the budget. BUT - if you make this argument, you've got to take some actions yourself. If you don't want her to spend money so you can do stuff to the house, or just to have more in the piggy bank, that's 100% legit - but be prepared for a HUGE fight when you spend money on stuff she might deem as frivoulus. Goodbye, dreams of kegging! It also commits you to getting those projects-around-the-house going.

So, you're really treading on some dangerous territory.... I mean, I understand where you're coming from, but she's a grown woman, she brings in her own money, you don't have an automatic veto power.
 

McCall St. Brewer

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My take on this is, unfortunately, not a very optimistic one. I think the two of you have some potentially serious issues going on here which, if you don't address them now are quite frankly going to put the two of you in divorce court really soon.

The first issue I see is a compatibility issue regarding money and finances. She's apparently perfectly willing to spend beyond your means to take more vacations than the two of you really can afford. You are clearly more careful with money and spending than she is. You need to address this issue with her now, before things get worse over time-- and they will get worse.

The second issue is deeper and bigger I think. The two of you haven't been married for very long, yet she is already wanting to take a major vacation without you. Now, I'm not saying that doing things separately is never appropriate, because there are certainly times when it is. Men going on fishing trips, Yooper going to the homebrew convention... etc. Those kinds of things are perfectly fine.

But, what she's talking about just somehow doesn't feel right to me. I've been on a number of trips (with my wife) such as the one your wife is talking about taking, including one to the D.R. Quite frankly, when you go on a vacation to another country to a resort where it's tropical and laid back and all that sort of stuff, you sort of get an "anything goes" type of attitude where you are more likely to do things that you would not otherwise do at home.

I guess I would advise you to be very up front with your wife about this trip and

A. ask her about her reasons for wanting to go, and

B. be honest with her about your fears and misgivings about it.
 

TheJadedDog

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I've been married 9 years and here's my take:

1) I too am a worry wort (my wife has to call me when she leaves work and if she's not home in the allotted 1 hour I start to panic about car accidents) so it's not completely unjustified to be worried; however, I think you may be blowing the concerns a little out of proportion. For every Natalie Holloway there are thousands of other young girls who go away and come home just fine, plus, your wife is an adult, not some co-ed.

2) Maybe it's just me, and my relationship with my wife, but I wouldn't be worried about her going on vacation with a bunch of her single friends. I trust my wife implicitly. If you have real trust issues rather than just the typical male jealousy, you may want to look into that as it can cause serious issues down the road. Also, not to make you any more worried than you are, but if your wife is going to cheat, she doesn't need to go on vacation to do it.

3) This is the one reason you have that I find 100% completely justified. For years my wife and I lived beyond our means and now we are paying the price (no house for us any time soon, higher interest rates on car loans, ect...). I would have a serious conversation about the household budget and expenses and discuss your concerns with taking multiple vacations a year. My wife and I both like to travel so we have worked a travel budget into the big picture. Every other year we take a major vacation (by which I mean we get on a plane), on the off-year, we do something smaller, like take a trip to Cape Cod since it's driving distance. Last year we did not take any vacation of any kind because we are planning a really special trip to CA this summer (my wife has never been) and I want to do it up right. Like I said, you really should discuss monetary concerns with your wife. I'm not sure how you have your accounts set up or anything, but even with separate accounts, once you're married, it's all the same pot and any major purchases need to be discussed as a partnership (this is why I have yet to purchase an HDTV).

Hope that helps, good luck in your discussions. Remember, marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do and compromise, true compromise, is important.
 
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Thirdeye

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Thanks guys! I love it. I love hearing the wisdom of those who are more experienced and have bee in my shoes, though I may not agree with everything everyone said.

bird--I totally understand your point. Regarding the sexist comment, Im not planning on running for public office anytime soon, so if my behavior comes off as sexist, I make no apologies. I follow my heart and it has never failed me. And if I can help it, she doesnt drive downtown by herself! Also, I *do* possess veto power. So does she. If I want to do something that she is just vehemently opposed to I will plead my case the best I can. But in the end if shes not down with it, I simply wont do it. Her long term happiness is more important than mine.

McCall St. Brewer--I think you and I are almost on the exact same wavelength here. Something about the whole thing just doesnt feel quite right. Especially when its the third vacation in less than a year.

Regardless, she and I had a long drawn out, exhausting "discussion" about this last night. The kind of "discussion" where both parties empty their own box of Kleenex's before its finished. I think she now realizes where I am coming from and vice versa. We've come to a solution that I think makes everyone happy. Instead of the vegas trip, we are going to use the money to help with our kitchen remodel. Our house is a great starter house (1500 sqft, trilevel, built in 1987) but we got it at a STEAL bc it badly needs to be updated. With me getting close to finishing grad school we want the house to sell reasonable quickly in case we need to hi-tail it outta here for any reason. I hope to find a job around here but ya never know.

So instead of Vegas, were gonna do a nice camping trip in the Rockies. Then, this winter we're gonna start skiing. All of her friends ski and she never did bc she had no ACL until this January. That's another thing I didnt mention. ACL reconstruction surgery, THIS YEAR, thats costing us about $2K.

Ya know, the more I think about this, the less I feel that I am in the wrong here. I think you said it best, she just needs to grow up a little and realize that the timing is all wrong for a trip like this right now.

Thanks again folks. You guys are awesome.
 

jas0420

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I've only been married about two and a half years, but I'll throw in my opinion also.

If she's coming up on her 30th and you've only been married a year and a half, you've both probably spent a good chunk of your post-teen lives living financially independent. That’s the way it was with my wife and I… I was in my early 30’s and she was in her mid 30’s when we got married, so we’d lived a long time on our own. Getting out of that mentality and into one of truly shared finances is a tough thing to change. My wife was much quicker to adopt that “pooled-money” concept than I. She even makes more than I do, but it was still hard to let go of “mine” for whatever reason.

I had finally gotten pretty far out of that mode, but something that really helped seal the deal was finding a good budget program. I’d used spreadsheets and Quicken in the past, but what completely changed that “my money / your money” into “our money” for me was finding www.mvelopes.com. It’s hard to explain, but it eliminates the source of the money or what account it is physically in and makes you focus on allocating out that pooled money into the categories that are important to you. From that pool, we carve out funds for the necessities like groceries, mortgage, gas, etc… But we also set aside money for non-essentials like vacations & entertainment. Most importantly, we still give ourselves a monthly “allowance” to each do with as we please. That makes things like homebrew supplies a no-questions-asked proposition and still lets you have that independence that it sounds like she may still be holding on to a little bit.

I would encourage the two of you to sit down with something like mvelopes (I’m not affiliated… I just think it’s a very cool product!) and make yourselves a financial roadmap. Coming from someone who had his fair share of debt in the past, I’d encourage you to start making plans now for that student loan to lessen the blow when it actually comes due. Debt can be a miserable thing if you don’t make a road map (and follow it) to see how you can escape it. Work on it together and approach it as “let’s see if we can find a way to get you there and still meet our other financial goals”. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but I think you’d be better off coming to that realization together rather than you each taking your own stances.

As for the principle of her going…… If it’s some long time friends, I wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow to it. Away-time is just as healthy as together-time I think. At some point down the road there might be a “mancation” that you want to go on, and being jealous or untrusting now will come back and bite you! Actually, being jealous or untrusting will come back to bite you regardless of whether you want to go on a mancation… It’s just not healthy, (and that is another thing I can say from past experience).

Good luck!
Jason
 

VermVerm

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This is a tough one. This past summer I went to Put-In-Bay for a dudes weekend. I am 32 and I met 10 college friends to have a weekend drinking ourselves silly. There were a group of girls on a girls weekend. I am married and I kept the ring on because I am a very lucky dude with a great family. But the surprising thing was that the women (about 30 and really cute) had a huge rock on their hands and were flurting with my unmarried friends a lot. A LOT. Sitting on their laps in the hot tubs, kissing, fondling...etc. I decided then that if my wife ever wanted a girls weekend I would only support it if she took my best friend with her who happens to be a friend of mine from college.
That being said, if she is going to cheat on you she is going to cheat on you. Good luck.
 

kornkob

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I'm going to add one thing I didn't see in previous comments. You might be offended but if so, it probably means I hit too close to home.

You need to sit down by yourself (or maybe with a close friend) and consider very carefully why this trip makes you uneasy. You gave 3 reasons that are very, very diverse. This indicates that you've formulated a 'position'. It does not indicate what is making you uneasy.

What you SHOUDN'T do is take your list of reasons and plunk them down in front of her till you've weeded out which one is the real reason you are uneasy. You do that and what it looks like to the 'other side' is that you carefully crafted an argument.

Also, I'd suggest you sit down and figure out at least one good reason that you can't argue with FOR her going on this trip. Not to use as 'ammo' or bait--- but to built empathy for her desire.

Good luck.



For the record: not married. Married people are not the only people in the world who know how to maintain long term relationships. That's a bias based on flawed logic.
 

njnear76

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If we had a picture of his woman, we could figure out if he has a reason to be worried. :D Heh.
 

the_bird

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kornkob said:
I'm going to add one thing I didn't see in previous comments. You might be offended but if so, it probably means I hit too close to home.

You need to sit down by yourself (or maybe with a close friend) and consider very carefully why this trip makes you uneasy. You gave 3 reasons that are very, very diverse. This indicates that you've formulated a 'position'. It does not indicate what is making you uneasy.

What you SHOUDN'T do is take your list of reasons and plunk them down in front of her till you've weeded out which one is the real reason you are uneasy. You do that and what it looks like to the 'other side' is that you carefully crafted an argument.

Also, I'd suggest you sit down and figure out at least one good reason that you can't argue with FOR her going on this trip. Not to use as 'ammo' or bait--- but to built empathy for her desire.

Good luck.
+1.

Not to get all Dr. Phil on you, but I'm sensing a lack of trust. If that's the case, you need to deal with that now, or the relationship's going to be in trouble regardless of this trip (or no trip, which sounds like the current plan).

Consider, too, what's on her mind; is she feeling somehow trapped in the relationship, ergo she needs to "pretend" that she's still single with her girlfriends?
 
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Thirdeye

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jas0420 said:
I've only been married about two and a half years, but I'll throw in my opinion also.

If she's coming up on her 30th and you've only been married a year and a half, you've both probably spent a good chunk of your post-teen lives living financially independent. That’s the way it was with my wife and I… I was in my early 30’s and she was in her mid 30’s when we got married, so we’d lived a long time on our own. Getting out of that mentality and into one of truly shared finances is a tough thing to change. My wife was much quicker to adopt that “pooled-money” concept than I. She even makes more than I do, but it was still hard to let go of “mine” for whatever reason.

I had finally gotten pretty far out of that mode, but something that really helped seal the deal was finding a good budget program. I’d used spreadsheets and Quicken in the past, but what completely changed that “my money / your money” into “our money” for me was finding www.mvelopes.com. It’s hard to explain, but it eliminates the source of the money or what account it is physically in and makes you focus on allocating out that pooled money into the categories that are important to you. From that pool, we carve out funds for the necessities like groceries, mortgage, gas, etc… But we also set aside money for non-essentials like vacations & entertainment. Most importantly, we still give ourselves a monthly “allowance” to each do with as we please. That makes things like homebrew supplies a no-questions-asked proposition and still lets you have that independence that it sounds like she may still be holding on to a little bit.

I would encourage the two of you to sit down with something like mvelopes (I’m not affiliated… I just think it’s a very cool product!) and make yourselves a financial roadmap. Coming from someone who had his fair share of debt in the past, I’d encourage you to start making plans now for that student loan to lessen the blow when it actually comes due. Debt can be a miserable thing if you don’t make a road map (and follow it) to see how you can escape it. Work on it together and approach it as “let’s see if we can find a way to get you there and still meet our other financial goals”. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but I think you’d be better off coming to that realization together rather than you each taking your own stances.

As for the principle of her going…… If it’s some long time friends, I wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow to it. Away-time is just as healthy as together-time I think. At some point down the road there might be a “mancation” that you want to go on, and being jealous or untrusting now will come back and bite you! Actually, being jealous or untrusting will come back to bite you regardless of whether you want to go on a mancation… It’s just not healthy, (and that is another thing I can say from past experience).

Good luck!
Jason
Thanks Jason! I think I will try mvelope
 

Fish

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I don't think you should worry. I know thats easy to say. I know when I was first married (it will be 10 years this summer) I thought much more about doing things by myself. I was much more independent. I think that thats pretty normal. And you may have married someone who is not that interested in financial security. There are people who would rather be in debt and have a good time than have a balanced check book. And there are times to spend money. I know for my wifes 30th I borrowed money from my parents and created a very nice vacation for her that we could not "afford". It seemed important. And I am planning her 40th now.
And I think its easy to forget how violent this country is. I have traveled Europe, Asia, Central America and I have never felt as unsafe as I have in this country. I would feel safer having my wife/family in Mexico than in New York.

Now thats a little bit of a "reality check". Thats when people look at your situation and say don't worry and that never works. If you worry than you worry. So what you need to do is talk with her. Explain to her how you feel say you asked strangers on the internet and you really want to do this right. And tell her what you need what would make you feel better? Maybe you should get an account for vacations and ask her how many times a year she wants to travel and how she expects to pay for that. But if travel is very important to her she may want/expect to do this a few times a year so get a ground work of communication going so you both know what to expect in the future.
 

TexLaw

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It does sound like you are going through the newly married growing pains. The honeymoon is over, quite literally, and you are starting to see a few of the flaws in each other. This can be a very painful and trying time, and it will take work and thought and reflection on both sides. If you make it through this, you and your marriage will be stronger for it. If you don't, it's better to know now.

The others have covered the trust issues very well, so I will not go much further into it, except to challenge you to determine the source of your mistrust. Has she done something or some number of things that make you wary? Or, is it just you being a true "worry wart"? If it's you, then you need to get through as quickly as you can. Let your wife know about your worries, but don't ask her to acquiesce much to them. If she's done something to deserve your mistrust or violate some trust, then you two need to work that out.

As for the financials, you have some great advice. No matter what you do, you have to make a budget. Programs are great and help you to be thorough. You can also just scratch out something on notebook paper, as well. The main idea is to figure out your actual income (and may be easier to just work with your actual take home), your actual necessary expenses, a reasonable savings rate, a reasonable emergency fund, and reasonable fun money. Once you've made that budget, you have to review and revise it regularly to keep up with reality.

Then, once you have the budget, you have to use it. When you come up with some unexpected or unusual expense (such as surgery or vacation), you have to figure out where that comes from in the budget and ACTUALLY account for it. It does you no good to just say something like "ah, this comes from your extra money," if you do not record and review that.

You should also account for the fact that you will make more loan payments in the near future. As you pointed out, your student loans are deferred, but they are only deferred. You will have to pay them, and you will be a lot happier if you start getting used to that now. It's much tougher to reduce your luxury spending than it is to increase it. I actually advise putting that loan payment in your budget now and saving it. When it comes time to pay, you can either get out early or just have some great savings built up.

Finally, as for the rest of the debt, get out of it. You did not mention what sort of debt your wife has, but I expect it is credit card debt. Get rid of that now. Not "ASAP." Now. And, then, stay out of it.


TL
 

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Thirdeye said:
1. I am a wory wort. I worry about everything. I would worry myself sick if she were to head off to a foreign country with a group of 5 girls and no men around. Ever heard of Natalie Holloway?
This is a very real and very dangerous concern. Perhaps your wife travels often and is a very conscientious traveler, but there is still a very dangerous threat to the well-being of a young woman in a third world country.

Thirdeye said:
2. I dont think its right for a married women to even want to go on vacation with a bunch of SINGLE girls. I know how this works, they are going to be "hooking up" with random people and I can just see how stuff could get outta hand. I trust my wife whole heartedly and Im not even worried about her cheating on me. It just seem weird that a married woman feels the need to spend 10 days with single girls. I dont know why. This is why Im asking for advice. Am I just being silly?
I don't think it's out of the ordinary for your wife to want to take a vacation on her own, even if her friends are single (she can't help that her friends aren't married and she is). My wife is taking a trip to Vegas with several of her single girlfriends in Aug. and I have no reservations about it. However, that's a long weekend and we've been married for 8 years ... not 10 full days and still essentially newlyweds.

I think what is most troubling is the fact that you've only been married for just over a year and she already feels the need to take a vacation apart. To me, it seems as though she's still thinking of herself as being single (in a sense), or not wanting to/letting the married thing change how she behaves. Essentially, it doesn't seem as though she's viewing your marriage as a true union. If it were me, I would ask her why she feels the need to take a vacation away from your for 10 days so soon after already having a vacation and only being married for so little time.

As rdwj mentioned, the gaggle of gals mentality is also a very easy thing for them to get caught up in, coupled with the location and the great distance it can be a very easy thing sweeped up in.

Thirdeye said:
3. We really dont have the money for this. There are tons of things we need to do around the house. I feel like, in this uncertain economy we are in, that we should try to be a little more frugal and save more. Now it would be different if she could say that its been a long time since she's been on vacation but thats not at all the case. Remember Mexico and Vegas, both less than a year apart. I feel like vacations are a luxury item that cant really be justified in our situation. Especially when we have already gone on two vacations in less than a year.
Again, I think this goes to the fact that it hasn't really sunk in that it's no longer just her or just you, but the two of you. Ask her if she minded if you dropped $1000-$1500 on brewing equipment ... of course if you do that, she won't be able to take any trips for about 2 years. Again, to me it sounds as though she's not considering the other person in the marriage and how the money she's spending will affect you.
 

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kornkob said:
I'm going to add one thing I didn't see in previous comments. You might be offended but if so, it probably means I hit too close to home.

You need to sit down by yourself (or maybe with a close friend) and consider very carefully why this trip makes you uneasy. You gave 3 reasons that are very, very diverse. This indicates that you've formulated a 'position'. It does not indicate what is making you uneasy.

What you SHOUDN'T do is take your list of reasons and plunk them down in front of her till you've weeded out which one is the real reason you are uneasy. You do that and what it looks like to the 'other side' is that you carefully crafted an argument.

Also, I'd suggest you sit down and figure out at least one good reason that you can't argue with FOR her going on this trip. Not to use as 'ammo' or bait--- but to built empathy for her desire.

Good luck.



For the record: not married. Married people are not the only people in the world who know how to maintain long term relationships. That's a bias based on flawed logic.
+2 for the Dr. Korncob!

I must say, I enjoy reading your posts. You obviously put a lot of thought in your advice and it always provides good insight and cause for reflection when many of us (self included) often provide knee jerk emotional responses.
I for one am thankful for your participation! :mug:
 

kornkob

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EdWort said:
+2 for the Dr. Korncob!

I must say, I enjoy reading your posts. You obviously put a lot of thought in your advice and it always provides good insight and cause for reflection when many of us (self included) often provide knee jerk emotional responses.
I for one am thankful for your participation! :mug:
I appreciate the feedback.

Some of my responses are knee jerk-- but I try very hard not to let that be the case when someone asks for help. Knee jerk advice is free to all involved and unfortunately the quality shows in the craftsmanship. : )

Good advice is not free-- it requires brain sweat on the part of both parties.

Just my opinion--- YMMV.
 

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I have been married for a couple years, and I have some insight as to how my marriage works. Though all relationships are different.

I am 31, my wife is 26...

When it comes to money, be careful... you have a reason to feel uneasy about the vacation spending. It is not necessity, but paying off debt is, and I am not a firm believer in "we will make enough to pay it off someday". The day to start planning for the future and to start paying down debt is today, otherwise it will never come. There will always be some vacation, car, brew sculpture or stereo that will get in the way. Also, there are no guarantees in life, making more money in the future is a PLAN, not a GIVEN... for any of us.

When it comes to vacations... my wife would not be going to Mexico with her single friends. Marriages are dynamic, and we all bring different things to them... but in MY marriage, though my wife and I trust one another, we firmly believe that placing ourselves in any sort of situation that could become "compromised" is just not worth stressing our marriage over.

I am an airline captain, I am away from home for 4-5 days a week. I fly with flight attendants and stay at the same hotels. Many married men go out to dinner with and have drinks with thier flight crews (females included). It is just friendly right? As far as I am concerned, I am a husband and a father, doing a job... and if my wife is not here, I am not going to be spending time with any other women over dinner, nor will I be accompanying my single male first officers to the bars. It is not a question of trust to me, it is a question of what is appropriate given the fact that I am a husband, father, and a professional who is away at work.

This way, there are no questions, there is clear devotion and respect given to my wife and my family, and I am respected at work because I am not a playboy 4 days a week, and a husband the other 3.

As for money, Dave Ramsey has some very clear and solid views on finances and what you can afford. I make 90k a year, I live in Indianapolis (which is cheap), but we just built a new home. For that reason, because of all the expense, we have decided to redirect alot of our vacation money and personal gift money to things that we would love for the new house... we didnt feel it was prudent to throw money in both directions, so we compromised, to kill a couple birds with one stone. It is the same with investing... if you arent comfortable with what is a GREAT investment, then guess what, it is not a GREAT investment... if it will worry you and make you uncomfortable, then you will never be truely happy with it... do what you are comfortable with.

I am rambling... sorry!
 

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I have not read the whole thread but did get a bit of the early posts.

You do not want to spend money on travel, she does.

She is thirty and I assume you are around the same age.

We are in a recession. That is a very, very scary situation. People in their thirties have not really had to be concerned about the economy around them. Up until now that is.

Spend money, but do so with a plan would be my advice. The days of borrow, borrow and more borrowing are over.
 

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The Pol said:
When it comes to vacations... my wife would not be going to Mexico with her single friends. Marriages are dynamic, and we all bring different things to them... but in MY marriage, though my wife and I trust one another, we firmly believe that placing ourselves in any sort of situation that could become "compromised" is just not worth stressing our marriage over.
Nicely said. I was trying to figure out a way to phrase this and you covered it well.
 
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Thirdeye

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The Pol said:
I have been married for a couple years, and I have some insight as to how my marriage works. Though all relationships are different.

I am 31, my wife is 26...

When it comes to money, be careful... you have a reason to feel uneasy about the vacation spending. It is not necessity, but paying off debt is, and I am not a firm believer in "we will make enough to pay it off someday". The day to start planning for the future and to start paying down debt is today, otherwise it will never come. There will always be some vacation, car, brew sculpture or stereo that will get in the way. Also, there are no guarantees in life, making more money in the future is a PLAN, not a GIVEN... for any of us.

When it comes to vacations... my wife would not be going to Mexico with her single friends. Marriages are dynamic, and we all bring different things to them... but in MY marriage, though my wife and I trust one another, we firmly believe that placing ourselves in any sort of situation that could become "compromised" is just not worth stressing our marriage over.

I am an airline captain, I am away from home for 4-5 days a week. I fly with flight attendants and stay at the same hotels. Many married men go out to dinner with and have drinks with thier flight crews (females included). It is just friendly right? As far as I am concerned, I am a husband and a father, doing a job... and if my wife is not here, I am not going to be spending time with any other women over dinner, nor will I be accompanying my single male first officers to the bars. It is not a question of trust to me, it is a question of what is appropriate given the fact that I am a husband, father, and a professional who is away at work.

This way, there are no questions, there is clear devotion and respect given to my wife and my family, and I am respected at work because I am not a playboy 4 days a week, and a husband the other 3.

As for money, Dave Ramsey has some very clear and solid views on finances and what you can afford. I make 90k a year, I live in Indianapolis (which is cheap), but we just built a new home. For that reason, because of all the expense, we have decided to redirect alot of our vacation money and personal gift money to things that we would love for the new house... we didnt feel it was prudent to throw money in both directions, so we compromised, to kill a couple birds with one stone. It is the same with investing... if you arent comfortable with what is a GREAT investment, then guess what, it is not a GREAT investment... if it will worry you and make you uncomfortable, then you will never be truely happy with it... do what you are comfortable with.

I am rambling... sorry!
Really great response. I think you hit the nail on the head with your example. Its not about trust AT ALL. I trust my wife. Its about what I feel is RIGHT. And I just dont feel its right for her to want to go on yet another vacation with single girls to a third world country. I got a sickly feeling in my stomach just typing out that sentence. Its not the same as a trip to San Fransico with the girls, or renting a cabin in the mountains with the girls. Its a married woman going to a singles resort in a third world country with a bunch of single girls, several of whom I believe to show very questionable behavior at times. Now I am a libertarian with a little "l". I think adults should be able to do just about anything they want so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others. Its non of my business. But where my wife goes and who she associates with is my business bc it affects our marriage and our family.

Thanks for the response Pol.
 

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The Pol said:
we firmly believe that placing ourselves in any sort of situation that could become "compromised" is just not worth stressing our marriage over.

I am an airline captain, I am away from home for 4-5 days a week. I fly with flight attendants and stay at the same hotels. Many married men go out to dinner with and have drinks with thier flight crews (females included). It is just friendly right? As far as I am concerned, I am a husband and a father, doing a job... and if my wife is not here, I am not going to be spending time with any other women over dinner, nor will I be accompanying my single male first officers to the bars. It is not a question of trust to me, it is a question of what is appropriate given the fact that I am a husband, father, and a professional who is away at work.
Excellent advice to any married man here. As someone who spends a 100 or so nights away a year on business, it's something I have followed as well and I've been married 23 years to my first and only wife.

We both have our guys & girls weekends, but both are with other married people.
 

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I will admit, personally my view on this changed DRASTICALLY when I got married. When I was single, I didnt see a problem with a married man having female friends, even close friends, that he associated with regularly, they were friends, right? It isnt about friends, it isnt about trust... it is about the fact that most close friendships are based on sharing a part of yourself, intimate feelings, ideas, fears and such with those friends. Those need to be shared with your spouse, that is what makes you ONE, you do not want to share those things with persons of the opposite sex with whome you are not married, boundaries are important. Not because if trust, but because of respect and devotion.
Compromising positions are created when boundaries are compromised. I ask myself, is the net gain of having the company of a female flight attendant, no matter how innocent, worth the net loss if it even for a second raises doubts in my wifes mind? NO WAY, God, Spouse, Children, Beer, Flying.
I love my wife, no vacation to Hedonism or plate of boneless wings at Applebees with a middle aged flight attendant is worth raising her suspicions. Id rather go camping in a tent and eat Chef Boyardee in my hotel room while wathing Discovery.
 

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Thirdeye said:
Really great response. I think you hit the nail on the head with your example. Its not about trust AT ALL. I trust my wife. Its about what I feel is RIGHT. And I just dont feel its right for her to want to go on yet another vacation with single girls to a third world country. I got a sickly feeling in my stomach just typing out that sentence. Its not the same as a trip to San Fransico with the girls, or renting a cabin in the mountains with the girls. Its a married woman going to a singles resort in a third world country with a bunch of single girls, several of whom I believe to show very questionable behavior at times. Now I am a libertarian with a little "l". I think adults should be able to do just about anything they want so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others. Its non of my business. But where my wife goes and who she associates with is my business bc it affects our marriage and our family.

Thanks for the response Pol.
I think it's a dead issue because from the sounds of it, you worked it out with SWMBO. But, what I find the most startling is the fact that it's a 10 DAY vacation. There is a world of difference between a girls weekend in Vegas or some other city and a 10 day vacation to a resort in the Dominican. Frankly, neither my wife, nor I would want to be away from each other that long.
 

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I read a lot of the posts from other people, but stopped because they're long. Here are my summed up opinions:

1. Her safety. The most dangerous thing most people do on a daily basis is drive. She's more likely to die going to work than on a vacation. Everything we do is a tradeoff of risk versus gain. In the case of trips the gain is a lack of stress and a sense of adventure which are very VERY real.

2. Single friends. The most blunt answer I have is: If you fear she'll do it, she already is. If you are afraid that your wife MIGHT cheat on you, you're getting vibes from somewhere.

3. Money. I think the_bird mentioned this one, but it's double-edged. If she can't spend money how she wants, it's unfair to spend non-chalantly. Even as a brewer, I consider it a frivolous hobby and a hell of a money sink. My wife and I are secure enough to spend money on our hobbies but we both know that in the event of an uncertain circumstance I'm not going to be doing any new aquisitions of gear, and frankly I wouldn't WANT to.

It's hard to give advice from a bird's-eye view because relationships are so complex, but I wouldn't bet my livelyhood on that marriage working long term without serious intervention on both sides.

You don't need to apologize for it, but your view about her safety is sexist but even more, you are saying very clearly that because she's a woman she needs a man to keep her safe. Slice that how you will, that is saying your wife is inferior; not a good signal to send.

On the flip side, what is so wrong with her life that your wife is constantly in need of escaping?

I did want to make a comment regarding someone's comment though...

rdwj said:
I agree with you – the group mentality in a situation like that, plus the alcohol that’s likely to be involved can very easily lead her to do something she normally wouldn’t do.
I disagree with the entire premise of this statement for one reason. Alcohol decreases inhibitions but it doesn't change morality. Being drunk has been used as an excuse for beating and raping people. Even more so, some people claim that "hard" drugs like heroine and crack "cause" people to do bad things.

If you agree with that statement, ask yourself how drunk you need to be before you'd toss your grandmother's salad.

Alcohol (and other drugs) make people do things that they are unlikely to do sober but they will NEVER do things they would never do. This is why I support the legalization of ALL drugs rather than the criminalization of some. If any drug "makes" people do things then we DO need to ban them all including alcohol that we all so strongly believe is a wonderful thing when respected.

If his wife will cheat on him drunk, she'll do it sober. It might just take a little longer.
 

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srm775 said:
I think it's a dead issue because from the sounds of it, you worked it out with SWMBO. But, what I find the most startling is the fact that it's a 10 DAY vacation. There is a world of difference between a girls weekend in Vegas or some other city and a 10 day vacation to a resort in the Dominican. Frankly, neither my wife, nor I would want to be away from each other that long.
Holy crap! Yes I would have to agree with that one. Ten days is a long time. My wife visits her friend (who is married) several times throughout the year but her visits are 2-4 days in length.

Besides, my wife couldn't tell a lie to save her life. I can't either. Both of us would never do anything to harm our marriage.
 

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njnear76 said:
Holy crap! Yes I would have to agree with that one. Ten days is a long time. My wife visits her friend (who is married) several times throughout the year but her visits are 2-4 days in length.

Besides, my wife couldn't tell a lie to save her life. I can't either. Both of us would never do anything to harm our marriage.
I think I've been married too long. 10 days to myself sounds like heaven.
 

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The only place my wife goes for 10 days alone is to see her family and that is only because I stay here to pay the bills. If it is a vacation location we are going together, its the way we both want it.
 

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On the subject of friends of opposing genders:

While most of the opinions seem to be 'that don't work', have a different perspective. I am in a long term monogomous relationship and neither of us gave up freindships (or acquaintces) with other people just because they were of opposite genders. Many of those friends aren't shared between us. I dont' know all of her friends and she does not know all of mine.

On the other hand we respect each other and our freinds enough that the boundaries are clear. We've both had to tell people to back off a bit and we've shared those expereinces with each other.

I'm not saying it works for everyone but I don't believe that denying each other healthy adult relationships with people of other genders would make our relationship any better and would certainly make our lives less rich. As with most things in a relationship the key elements that mak this work are respect and honesty.


We both have same sex gay friends but they don't really have any bearing on this as we are both strongly hetero.

10+ years in all is well.

And to be clear: We are wholly monogomous. We also take separate vacations an she travels about 35% of the time for her work. We are not a perfect couple either--- we have had our rough patches but it has never been about outside friendships.
 

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Kevin Dean said:
I disagree with the entire premise of this statement for one reason. Alcohol decreases inhibitions but it doesn't change morality. Being drunk has been used as an excuse for beating and raping people. Even more so, some people claim that "hard" drugs like heroine and crack "cause" people to do bad things.

If you agree with that statement, ask yourself how drunk you need to be before you'd toss your grandmother's salad.

Alcohol (and other drugs) make people do things that they are unlikely to do sober but they will NEVER do things they would never do. This is why I support the legalization of ALL drugs rather than the criminalization of some. If any drug "makes" people do things then we DO need to ban them all including alcohol that we all so strongly believe is a wonderful thing when respected.

If his wife will cheat on him drunk, she'll do it sober. It might just take a little longer.
:off: I'm certainly don't want to start a debate about this, but I have one thing to say. Whether you agree with it or not, the reality of it is that it does happen. You take one person out of their normal everyday life, and drop them in the middle of a "blow off steam" exotic tropical vacation with a group of people, couple that with large amounts of alcohol and that person's behavior will be considerably different than it normally would be.

Sure, they might not have an overly strong desire to "toss their grandma's salad" but you add the right amount of group encouragement, lots of alcohol, the ability to not get caught and the means ... and it's quite possible that someone would have an affair when they normally wouldn't. Does that mean they would cheat regardless? Maybe, maybe not? Does that mean he should give the green light to it? No, I don't think so.
 
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