The general situation: Husband has decided he doesn’t really like touching me and avoids me because every little thing about me annoys him. His aunt died, and he does want me to come with him to the funeral. I’m dreading sitting in the car with him for hours (it’s an out-of-town funeral), and navigating all the social awkwardness of death around family members that I’ve only met a couple of times at Thanksgiving/Christmas. Any tips would be appreciated!
Really? Why would you bother? If everything you do annoys him, I’d give him something to really annoy him…don’t go. Enjoy the time to yourself and maybe start packing. Life is too short.
Alcohol. Lots of it.
Seriously though, why would you spend so much time trying to keep someone happy who appears to have no consideration for your happiness?
I can think of some options, and it depends on how you’d like to proceed.
#1 Don’t go. You are uncomfortable with the thought of joining him, so it would be just as reasonable to put him through explaining your absence to everyone. He doesn’t seem to care about your discomfort, and since it doesn’t sound like you would like to go, just pass.
#2 Drive/fly on your own. Make a token appearance (just to appease people asking your husband about you), and minimize interaction with your husband. This would be the generous option for you to do “something” for your husband.
#3 Join your husband and just suck it up. Much to your discomfort, you can simply “go along” and not make trouble. If your husband was close to this aunt and is upset by her passing, then this may be the best way for you to be supportive.
#4 Join your husband on the drive, but use the time to discuss either his issues with you, your issues with him and/or whether you should consider separating. Use the drive time to discuss the elephant in the room. If he is unwilling to participate, then let him know that you are taking this as the indication you should separate. If nothing else, you will have some “direction” on what comes next.
Sit in the back seat and plug in the earphones.
Cam in here to suggest the same thing, assuming you feel you absolutely must go. Some good tunes or Books on Tape. Or, drive solo.
Once at the Funeral, keep a sincere, but slightly sad look on your face and tell everyone how sorry you are for the loss. See if there are one or two people, at least, who are worth talking to and gravitate towards them.
Best of luck. You may not want to hear this, but when you get back think about what you’re doing with your life going forward. Maybe things are too complicated to make a change, but I hope you are able to move on to a better, happier situation in life.
Why are you even still married to him?
It is not worth forcing yourself to go - seriously. Don’t
For me, it would depend on why he wanted me to go. If it’s because it’s awkward if I don’t, that’s not a good reason. If it’s because my presence is an actual comfort, that’s a good reason.
I wouldn’t go to keep up appearances. I would go to keep up morale.
Depending on my mood, I would likely either take the opportunity of a captive audience to hash out the issues or would take the opportunity to get a lot of audio books in.
How much are you being paid to go? Just curious, because in your shoes I’d turn down anything that would not allow my immediate retirement.
In September my son is getting married and I’m invited to his beach wedding. Fly down, attend wedding, sleep a few hours, fly home. I was so excited about this trip until my gf pointed out that my ex-wife lives in Florida and will likely attend.
I placated myself over the horrendous cost of my divorce with the fact that I’d never have to see her again. And now this. Unless she dies before the wedding, she will likely attend. My fingers are crossed. I’m not going to say a word to her or even acknowledge her presence, but it will be great to meet my new daughter in-law.
A long drive, then a funeral? No fucking way.
Then he ditches her at the rest stop.
I’m sorry you’re in this situation, wind.
Good luck, kayaker!
If you’re going to go:
Get a book on tape you can both enjoy listening to, perhaps something funny. Just make sure you get something long enough for the journey.
If you keep him laughing he won’t be annoyed maybe. Also there’ll be less opportunity for conversation! Remember something for the ride home too. Less laughy and more amusing perhaps?
Have a back up plan, think up some questions which will get him talking about a topic he enjoys. Or get him talking about the people he’s looking forward to seeing, etc.
Also get a couple of older music cds you know will please him, as a surprise. When you need to change the dynamic, BOOM!
Practise detachment, stay detached from his mood etc. Smile and say little. I think you’ll find, it’s not too hard once you get the hang of it.
Funerals are exhausting even without a long, possibly strained car ride, Good Luck!
Yep, wouldn’t want him to be annoyed!
If you decide you do want to accompany him, consider if there’s another person you can bring along. Sometimes another person changes the social dynamics and makes everything better.
Under the circumstances you describe, I wouldn’t even dream of going. Just tell him to get lost, that everything about being with him for a few hours disgusts you. Sorry, but you did ask my opinion.
He came right out and said he doesn’t like touching you and everything you do annoys him? I’m surprised he even extended the invitation.
I with those who said either don’t go or work it out on the way.
Another vote for staying home.
Or meeting me around Breezewood to really give him a reason to despise you.
I’ll bring the saddle and the whipped cream.
And pray my wife doesn’t read this thread.
But seriously; unless you and the deceased were incredibly close I would skip it or at least plan on my own trip to and from.
If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t go and I would use his absence to plan my separation and divorce. You shouldn’t take advantage of his aunt’s death to try to come out ahead but you can acknowledge that the marriage might be beyond saving and that there is little point to going. By coincidence, I just attended my aunt’s funeral last month without my wife. I just said she couldn’t make the trip due to work. No one seemed to think anything was amiss in our relationship. The attendees will mostly be focused on their own emotions rather than your absence in any event.
If you really want to go to support him, don’t plan to patch up your marriage on the way there. I can’t see how engaging in such an emotionally fraught exercise when you are stuck together for a long drive could possibly work. He will likely feel trapped and attacked, or like you are placing your needs ahead of his. It will just add more stress to what is already a stressful time for him. I would plan to be quiet most of the trip there and let him lead. Maybe I would read a book on the way. If he wants to talk about his aunt, encourage him. If he wants to make small talk, go with it. Maybe music, books on tape, or a comedy album could be a distraction. Let him choose. Otherwise, you will be dealing with an irritable, emotional wreck at a funeral who is angry at you.
If you want to spend time on the trip reconciling with him, save it for the trip back. Talk about what’s not working in your marriage and why. Don’t make any insincere promises or impose any unreasonable conditions on the marriage. Suggest marriage counseling if you believe it might help. Be prepared for the likelihood that it won’t work.
Otherwise, let this this trip, if you really want to go on it, be a last kindness to him and then move on with your life. Good luck.
You might want to consider by NOT going you would be doing a favor to your husband’s family. People can pick up on the tension between you and your hubby easier than you might think.
And no one wants to deal with that awkwardness when they are trying to grieve for a loved one.
Don’t go. He doesn’t sound like he’s asking you for emotional support reasons; not if you’re asking for tips on how to get through the trip.
Use the time to consider your next steps. I am so sorry that things aren’t working out.
Tangentially - how is the dog?