long time married guy, have urge to vacation alone. Am I complete jackhole for even bringing it up?

I’m almost 50, been married 27 yrs this summer. Got married a little over 2 months after grad. All in all, good marriage. No kids, doing OK financially.

Past few years, I have had the urge to vacation alone and I have discussed this urge with my wife. Specifically a resort in Mexico that we have been at a number of times. I just found out this resort is going thru a full remodel starting in Aug, therefore the price point will be increasing to a point where i will probably be priced out if I wait until after the remodel.

I don’t think it’s a mid-life crisis, but even if it is, isn’t that normal? I got married immediately after grad, I have never really done much on my own. It would be a challenge to go off and do this myself. There is no real comparison, but my wife has been known to travel for work on her own, and travelling for work to a brand new place seems like it would be a far greater challenge than going someplace where we have been a half dozen times.

Since my mother passed almost 9 years ago, I have come to realize how NOT well rounded she was. She was mother, spouse, caretaker and nurse, but didn’t seem to have her own interests and life. She has been a huge lesson to me, I want to be more than just my roles. I want to have a life outside of my already existing roles.

My wife has pushed back on 2 points. 1st, she thinks it’s dangerous for me to travel outside of the country alone. I don’t agree and I honestly think that’s her anxiety talking. There is no way to win, except to say I empathize with your anxiety but this is something I really want to do anyway.

The 2nd point she pushes is that she seems to be open to me going almost anywhere else in the US, just not Mexico. The best part of being long term married is that I always have an exploration partner. The reason why this resort in Mexico is so appealing is that I’m NOT exploring any new places. It’s so much fun to explore new places and new restaurants together, I literally can’t think of anyplace in the US that I’d want to explore alone.

Thanks for your time and advice.

Married 39 years, early 60s.

I frequently vacation without the Missus, either alone or with a friend. Ditto for her (although she does it less frequently then I).

Nothing at all wrong with solo vacations as long as: a) the option is open to both of you, and b) one partner isn’t consuming an unfair share of vacation funds.

My advice is to give in on the security worries and travel somewhere else if you want a solo trip. Oddly enough, in our case I am usually the “explorer” of a new place solo, and then revisit with the Missus after reporting back. I also use my solo time to do things that she doesn’t like (hunting, fishing, primitive areas, etc.).

No, you’re not a jackhole at all.

Solo travel is wonderful. And it sounds your wife understands this, but is just worried about your safety.

Your wife is entitled to her anxiety, but that shouldn’t hold you back. I don’t think it would be so wrong to just tell her that you’re going on a trip whether she likes it or not, but you’ll check in with her twice a day (or whatever) and promise to be extra careful.

Are there specific things you intend to do while you’re on this trip that you typically don’t get to do when you travel with her? Maybe your wife just doesn’t understand why you don’t want her to come along. Perhaps it would help her see things your way if you were to explain to her that you want to check out X, Y, or Z–activities she doesn’t enjoy but that you’ve always wanted to do.

Is there any chance your wife is pushing back because this is a place she would also like to go? My husband has gone on many trips without me - and as a general rule, it’s because the trip is for a reason/to a place I have no interest in . He’s gone on bowling trips , I wouldn’t mind a fishing trip - but that brings something else to mind. Most resorts aren’t really places you go alone. I don’t mean that people necessarily go as part of a couple, but resorts and cruises are places people typically go as either part of a couple or as part of a larger group. Maybe it’s not Mexico that’s the problem - maybe it’s the idea of a resort.

We have been to this resort before. This is exactly why I chose this resort again. I’m sure she’d love to come along, but as I tried to make clear in OP, I want to go alone. For the challenge. For the well rounded life. To exist outside if my existing roles.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting a solo vacation.

I get a slightly odd feel, though, to going someplace you’ve gone together. My spouse and I have a place in the outer banks we always go together, and I think we’d both feel that both of us belonged there, almost like going out to separate anniversary dinners. It’s like the experience is something we do together.

The idea of spending 3 days in Washington, DC walking around to the museums sounds fantastic to me, but my spouse hates hates hates doing that. I like the idea of doing that solo.

61, married 30.

I’m not crazy about the idea of taking a long vacation somewhere alone, but Mrs. J. has had some nice trips by herself and I didn’t mind.

I think if I were your wife, I would be curious what you mean by “challenge”. Can you explain to her how would it be challenging to go to a resort you’ve already gone to before without her? Since you can experience both “existing outside of your existing role” and a “well rounded life” without going to a resort in another country, I don’t know if citing these desires does a great job of conveying why this trip is so important to you.

Not that I think you have to have a great explanation. But I think if you default to this explanation, you can’t blame your wife for not understanding (and thus feeling really weird). And even though you don’t think you’re going through a mid-life crisis, your explanation sounds like the kind of thing a person going through a mid-life crisis would say. A non-midlife crisisy explanation would be something like, “I just want to explore [specific Mexican town] more intensively.” I guess what I’m saying is, it sounds like you’re going through a mid-life introspection thingie (if “crisis” doesn’t fit). Own that. There’s nothing wrong with having a “thingie”. Your wife may be more sympathetic if you can admit you’ve been thinking a lot about your identity and your unfulfilled dreams.

Then my suggestion is that you find a way to explain this to her in a way she understands. Because I can tell you , if my husband told me he wanted to go on vacation without me " For the challenge. For the well rounded life. To exist outside if my existing roles." , I’m not quite sure what I would expect him to be planning* but I certainly wouldn’t expect him to return to a resort we’ve been to before . If he did that, I’d think the whole point of that vacation was to get away from me.

*maybe a safari, maybe a week playing golf, maybe a road trip to visit every baseball stadium - who knows?

If your a touchy guy who doesn’t want to hear bad news then don’t read this:

She thinks you’ll be cheating on her. Wive’s ask for separate vacations, not husbands. I’m very sorry to tell you this but your marriage is in trouble.

Your wife is justified in her anxieties. Not to give credence to haters, but Mexico is having some problems with travelers disappearing outside of the resort scene.

Are you planning to hike or try backpack camping in the wilderness? Solo, I’m guessing it would be great for meditation and contemplation, but there is some risk in getting lost or hurt. It is safer to be in a group.

Sometimes, a road trip on your own is just the thing. Drive along the highways of the US. See small town America, or follow the Mississippi or Missouri. There’s hundreds of options rather than just revisiting a resort that you’ve already seen before. Unless you want to say a sentimental goodbye to it, because it’ll be different once it’s renovated.

None of this makes you a jackhole, but if you were my partner it would feel odd to me too, that you would want to go to “our” place without me. And, not trying to be a jackhole myself, but how is going somewhere you’ve been before challenging or adding to a well rounded life? If you want to have the feeling of existing outside of your role as half of a couple, maybe don’t go to a place you experienced while in that role.

I’m unsure how returning to a place you’ve experience with, counts as challenging or could be considered expanding your well rounded ness. I’d be open to the idea for my spouse, if he wanted to experience travelling solo and expanding his experience. Just give both parties equal $ to spend and then let them choose their solo destination, seems easy enough to me.

But I’d have a hard time swallowing that this excursion, to a place you’ve both been, is about your personal growth in any way, to be perfectly honest!


I’m 60, in a long term relationship the past 12(?) years. We vacation in St Martin every winter as a couple thing. I love beach vacations to the point that I decline the opportunity to vacation in non-beach places.

So, my gf has traveled without me (she goes with friends, rather than solo). She has gone to Iceland, Ireland, England, Paris, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and probably a few other places.

I have done a trip to Jamaica solo, allowing me to explore the drug culture in ways my gf wouldn’t have been comfortable doing. I’ve also traveled solo for business trips to beaches on the Atlantic. When my son married in Florida I went solo but that was more about difficulty getting a dog/horse/bird/tortoise/house sitter, my gf would have liked joining me.

Is there a reason you ‘have’ to go to this resort? I understand it feels comfortable for you, having been before, but it also seems to be the main source of your wife’s anxiety.

Is there a reason you are dismissing the idea of going somewhere else in the US? It sounds like it would alleviate your wife’s complaints, and there’s plenty of great resorts you could visit.

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t understand the fear of travelling abroad, even visiting (the highly closeted resorts of) Mexico, but I recognise that your wife is not me, and you also don’t sound like an adventurous traveller, so why not try the US first and see how you like it?

I don’t see any problem with travelling alone, if your wife is ok with it, but I think you can do this without causing her unnecessary anxiety.

Sorry for the double post but after I submitted the first one I went back and saw that **monstro **had said it first and better (as usual:) ). Since she already hinted at it, I guess what I’m really thinking is are you being honest with yourself about your reasons for the desire to vacation alone? Also, **TriPolar **made a very good point. Assuming you looked at his “spoiler” , that is the split second, top of my head, first thing I thought. Not saying that’s what your motivation is but I’d be very surprised if that isn’t at the back of your wife’s mind.

Challenge because I’ve never really done much on my own since I got married 10 wks after grad.

No, I do not cheat and never would cheat, both of us know that.

I want to save the exploring vacations to do together with my wife. The vacay where I’m travelling previously covered ground, I can do on my own. I love exploring with my wife and simply wouldn’t be happy exploring alone.

I think the big question is what are you going to be doing at the resort alone that will be different because your wife’s not there? If you’re going solo so you can go fishing, diving, sailing, playing golf, etc., rather than just sitting by the pool, then it makes sense. But if you’re going to be doing the same old things, just by yourself, then it sounds like you’re excluding your wife for no good reason. Or the unstated reason that you want to spend your days drinking beer and cocktails, checking out younger women, and chasing/paying for whatever tail you can get.

Two things - first of all, it seems like the point of this vacation is to vacation without your wife. You can’t really expect her to be happy about this- “Honey I want to go on a vacation without you. It’s not that I want to go somewhere or do something you have no interest in, or that I have much more vacation time than you or that there’s a particular event I want to attend and you can’t get time off from work at that time. I just want to go on a trip without you”

Second- it seems like the point of this vacation is to vacation without your wife. It has nothing to do with having your own interests and life. Now of course I didn’t know your mother, but when you say she wasn’t well-rounded and didn’t have her own interests, it reminds me of a certain type of person I’ve known. It’s typically a woman - and it’s impossible to tell what she herself likes to do. Because chameleon-like, she’s interested in whatever the current boyfriend/husband likes. If he likes skiing, they’re skiing every weekend - and once they break-up she never puts on skis again. He watches football, suddenly she’s a fan - but not once they break-up. And if it’s not the boyfriend/husband it’s the kids so she spends every weekend for 15 years at some kid’s activity.If that’s what you mean about your mother, that she didn’t seem to have her own interests, that’s not going to be changed by you vacationing alone at an already familiar place that you and your wife both enjoy. It’s only going to be changed by you having your own interests and pursuing them , accompanied by your wife or not. If you’re interested in X activity or place. your interest doesn’t become negated because your wife comes along. It almost seems like you don’t even want to vacation without your wife, but believe it’s like some bad tasting medicine that will cure a problem.

Then what ‘do’ you want this vacation for? If it’s just to spend some ‘alone’ time - again, I don’t really see an issue with that, if your wife’s on board, but it doesn’t mean you have to go to Mexico. Any resort if Florida will feel basically the same, if the object is to lie by the pool, eat tacos and read a book. Travel doesn’t have to mean exploration and adventure by any means.