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Thread: Vacation Guilt

  1. #1

    Default Vacation Guilt

    Can any of you relate to feeling guilty about going on vacation? Guilt because of what's going on in the world, or because someone you love isn't able to afford rent, much less a vacation? My mother-in-law has been unemployed for over a year now and it's been tremendously stressful for her and everyone who loves her. I'm usually the one who plans vacations for my husband and me, and I insist on them. Our next vacation is coming up in January and my mother-in-law's troubles have cast a gray cloud over any excitement and anticipation for our trip. This feeling is familiar to us, since my mom had similar troubles between '05 and '09 (during which time we planned and paid for our wedding and honeymoon and several vacations) and I can completely sympathize with the way my husband feels. However, we have been emotionally and financially supportive of my mother-in-law, and she also has a strong support system in her siblings and other children. It's just hard to convince my husband not to feel guilty and that our vacation is justified because we work very hard. We're a young couple in our late 20s and a combination of good luck and good choices have allowed us to live a nice lifestyle for our age. But I feel like I have to feel apologetic for having a (modest) car, a (modest) home, and money for vacation while some of our less fortunate family members don't have those things. Every time we treat ourselves to a dinner out, or new shoes, we feel guilt. Perhaps there's an argument for giving my mother-in-law the money we would otherwise spend on our vacation, but I have to be selfish and take care of my husband and myself first. We need time away - we need to re-charge and relax and spend time with each other, and we agreed when we bought our house that our vacations could not be sacrificed. It's a tough choice to make, but I made the same choice when my mom was going through rough times, and I know she wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I just feel so hurt that my husband can't look forward to our vacation, which is such a big treat for us and the only gift we give each other all year.

  2. #2


    I understand your feelings, but you both need time away. Otherwise you will resent your mother-in-law. Go while you can, when you can, as circumstances change and you may not always get to go. Do other siblings help out financially? Can they check on her? Give your husband little hints about the upcoming trip, like notes about special things you want to do, places to see, text a picture of the two of you from your last vacation, this may help him get in the mood. If you can arrange to have other siblings take care of mom, he'll feel better. Good luck.


  3. #3


    Hello theyamons,
    I totally understand your vacation guilt. My husband and I have been blessed that we can go on vacation, have a roof over our heads, and can go out to dinner when the urge hits us. We are also there to support my husband's mother since the death of her beloved husband, and we financially support one of my relatives. It took some time but we have reached a point in our lives that we realize that there is pain in the world, and financial and emotional trials for those that we love. But through all the trials and sorrow, we need to continue to nuture and grow the love that we have for one another. Couples helps us keep our relationship healthy so we can be mentally and emotionally able to help those that we love and do what we can to make a difference outside of our family circle.

    All the best to you and your family,

  4. #4

    Default clear thinking

    While we were going through the illness and eventual death of my wife's mother and father a year ago, I planned our first trip to Jamaica. It was a way for us to get our heads out of the fog of our place inlife and see that there was something else out there. I can't say it saved us but it realy helped. Your husband's mom will be fine, because you love her. Obviously because you feel guilty. No guilt doesn't. Mean you don't love her, but the guilt.points.toward your care for her. Take the trip. Get your head clear. Come home and be there for her. My father-in-law before he died told me to enjoy Cathy while I could and to make her life beautiful. By the way. We paid payment for five years. You must be good people,so if you come to css this July between 2-9 we will look for you. We are the 50 somethings from Texas.

  5. #5


    Not sure how my reply made it onto the wrong thread, so I removed it... weird
    Last edited by dank120; November 30th, 2011 at 02:42 PM.

  6. #6


    I have guilt when it comes to my kids. When we go back for the 3rd time since 2005 they will be 7, 5 and 2. We are planning our next trip for 2013 and I am already having guilt/anxiety. I hate leaving them and I also feel guilty and think I should be putting that money in their accounts and not using it for vacation. But then I think on the other hand, my husband and I rarely go on dates and we eat out maybe 2 times a month if that. I feel like we need that 1 week every 2-3 years for us. To renew us and remember how much we love and enjoy each other. There will always be hurt and pain and money troubles surrounding all of us. If we don't take time for us and our relationships with one another than those relationships/marriages will suffer. I don't know if I am right here, but just my opinion. I have a very very hard time leaving my kids but I know it is something that my husband and I need.

  7. #7


    Hello my Dear,

    As long as your MIL is not living on the street, starving, or going without the basic necessities then you have no reason to feel quilt. I am quite sure if ANY of the aforementioned things were happening you would be the first one to offer help.....right?

    As long as you and your husband are doing whatever you can do to help your MIL then there is no reason for you both go and enjoy YOUR time together. It takes work to keep a marriage healthy. That $4K or so you are spending for 'together' time will pay off much more in the long run then if you just handed it to your MIL.

    I went through several long years after an auto accident where I didn't know where my next mortgage payment was coming from, medical bills were overwhelming me and my only heat source was the fireplace. But with the help of my family I never went without a roof over my head, food in my belly or clothes on my back. At the same time none of my family gave up their lives for me.

    Stick together and stay strong ......together!


  8. #8


    I am right there with you. My husaband and I are going in Feb. We have guilt, because my family members are having a hard time. I feel like maybe I could help some of them out with the money we are spending on the trip. But, like you, with a little luck and good choices we are able to go on vacation. We need to stay connected and with our busy schedules this is how we stay connected. Please dont feel guilty!!!! You are young and deserve this vacation!! I like the idea that someone posted about sending your husband pictures and hints of your up coming trip!!! I hope you two can get excited, and I'm sorry you cant get excited and talk to family members about your up coming trip. Just come on this board and talk all you want!!! Love to All!!!!!
    One Love,

  9. #9


    If the family members are having difficulty due to poor choices as is the case with our families, by all means take your vacations guilt free!!!! Add up the wife and I and we have not missed a day of work for 21 years. That is one of the reasons that we kept our jobs through the recession and we earn our vacations. We don't work so hard to give handouts to people. This might sound cruel to some but when handouts start being doled out to one of your families, it can cause hardship on your relationship as a couple especially if it causes you to not take your vacations that you treasure. To each their own though.

  10. #10


    dank120 while I think your response is on the wrong thread it is applicable to those trying to alleviate vacation guilt. We have our own concerns and the in room bar will be sufficient to help with that.

  11. #11


    Please don't feel guilty, I am certain you MIL would not want that. If she raised her son to be the way he is, she would not begrudge you the trip. As far as the quilt, however, I can sympathize. Two years ago my oldest brother passed away the day before we left for our vacation. We had gone to visit him the weekend before, and my sister-in-law insisted we take the trip. I felt terrible for not being at the funeral, even though our children were there to represent us. I called her when we got back, and there had been so many their she really didn't notice.

    My point is, as my sister-in-law told me, you need to take care of yourselves and your relationship as well. That is what this trip would do. Afterwards you will be more able to take care of what needs to be done. Go, the guilt will fade.

  12. #12


    Honey let me tell you, I regret not going on my trip, and here I am one year later, still reading the boards wishing I would have just went. Guilt ate me inside out and because I loved my family so much, I waited until a week before my trip and cancelled. I stayed home to help family, and now their doing great and I feel miserable everyday until I can have that opportunity again to make that trip to “Couples for the first time”. So please, don’t be like me, go and enjoy. The love of your family will still be the same when you return. Get excited for all us who are unable to go…we like to hear about the feeling of anticipation and excitement. I know I do

  13. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by thurston4sun View Post
    dank120 while I think your response is on the wrong thread it is applicable to those trying to alleviate vacation guilt. We have our own concerns and the in room bar will be sufficient to help with that.
    LOL definitely

  14. #14


    Thank you everyone who has taken the time to reply. All of the responses are thoughtful and filled with awesome advice and wisdom! I got teary-eyed reading these - it's validating to know others have the same feelings. I'll definitely have to quote some of you when I talk to my husband. With your help, I think he'll realize he's not a bad son for going on vacation.

  15. #15


    And one last thing - It' s only one week out of the year. Really go and enjoy every second while you can!

  16. #16


    Your feelings are real. Your family outside your home are important, but if you live inside your means and save for your trip YOU deserve it. We live the same way, we could have a bigger house, and other things, but we pick our time at Couples.

    In my case, the outside family spent money like it grew on trees and they wanted me to give up my trip for they could keep it up. My answer was NO. My wife and our time together is more important to me than keeping others that do not watch their spending from having issues .

    Remember this, he is the one you live with!!
    Irie Mon

  17. #17


    We are getting married on our trip in just over a week. His family is fine with our choice and has wished us well. My family is upset, not about the fact we are getting married, but the fact we are taking "such an expensive trip". We have saved for almost four years to take our trip. We have scrimped and saved and pinched and sacrificed. I am trying not to feel guilty for going. After all, we both work, we both attend school (back after being out for over fifteen years), both volunteer, I tutor and mentor students and their families and we have two children. If I want to take a vacation in a different country I can. Tough cookies. I have the hints, the side comments, and the remarks to deal with. Everyone has their own choices to make and we have made ours. I do feel a bit guilty for going, but all my friends tell me not to. If my family wants to travel there is nothing stopping them.

  18. #18


    I felt guilty about leaving my dog behind.

  19. #19


    Call me shameless but I feel no guilt at all. Leaving behind elderly parents, pets, basement remodel only 3/4 done, God daughter on her birthday etc. etc. etc. Leaving it all behind in a few days. Can't wait and I have NO guilt what so ever! That first welcome home malady is going to make everything right with the world!!! Get her ready Pierre here we come!!!
    Shari & James
    Members of the 4 for 4 club

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