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

Not long time married, but been relatively long in a relationship with my wife.

Is what you want to experience in that resort activities to do on your own, or is it rather being alone (while being housed and fed with no fuss, in a familiar environment)?

In your non-vacation life, do you look forward to occasions at home where your wife is absent for a few hours, and you have the opportunity to do nothing for hours on end without being interrupted in it, or to ruminate on a thought without being asked what you are thinking about, and shouldn’t you get off the sofa and make yourself useful?

Diggerwarm, your story doesn’t quite add up. I’m with all the people who suggest that going to a resort you’ve been to a bunch of times before hardly seems like an earth-shattering personal growth opportunity. I have no idea why your wife is anxious but Mexican crime might only be one element of it. I don’t see a big difference in the risks travelling alone in the U.S. versus a foreign country. The crime risk in the U.S. is higher than almost anywhere else I’d want to travel but I don’t really want to go to Mexico.

In principle, I have no objection to spouses travelling separately. At my urging, my wife travels quite a bit with friends. I want her to maintain her important relationships and enjoy things she wants to do even if I can’t, or don’t want to, do them with her. She also fosters my interests in my sometimes very expensive hobbies. I don’t travel much for them but that might change in the next couple of years and she’s completely on board. I’m also okay with you just admitting what you want is a little time separate from your wife. If that requires travel, own up to it. Whether your wife can accept that is up to her.

You can also be your own person from home. Socialize with other people without your wife. Pursue some hobbies. Take some time to do what you want to do even if she doesn’t want to do them. You aren’t joined at the hip.

If you want to explore, then go explore. Going to a resort you’ve been to previously doesn’t really seem to meet the criteria. It seems to be exactly “travelling previously covered ground” only without your wife. If I were your spouse I’d be confused by this, since it gives the appearance of you having an ulterior motive.

It’s equally confusing since it’s obviously a trip your wife has done and presumably enjoyed. The few times I’ve gone places without my wife it’s because it’s not something she would enjoy, and vice versa. The impression I get from your explanation is that the main part of the exploration you are seeking is travelling alone, and to a spouse that may appear confusing and worrying.

My wife and I sometimes vacation together, and sometimes we do our own things. The only time it’s ever been an issue was when some of her friends invited her to join her on an Alaska cruise. “You’re not really interested in an Alaska cruise, anyway, are you?”, she asked me (after she’d already committed to going on it)…to which the answer was, “Well, actually, I am.” That, and she wound up being on it over our wedding anniversary. So, she’d already made her choice before discovering that it was making me at least mildly unhappy, and she went ahead with it anyway.

So, no, I don’t think that the suggestion itself (or the desire for a solo vacation) makes you a “jackhole,” but, being unwilling to address your wife’s concerns about your particular choice might be making you a jackhole.

That may well be, but the way that you’re articulating your interest in this particular location for a solo vacation is clearly triggering warning bells for more than a few of us here, and we’re suspecting that that may be part of your wife’s discomfort with the suggestion. You may not be intending it (or even thinking in this way), but it sure does come across as code for, “I know I can fool around at that place.”

You say:

Since she’s told you that the fact that it’s Mexico is what’s making her nervous, if a solo vacation is really important for you, my advice is to pick a U.S. location for your vacation. Have you gone on vacations to U.S. locations with your wife? If so, pick one of those places where you’ve gone before (which would seem to satisfy your desire to have a vacation where you’re “not exploring new places”). If not, and if you insist that only this paticular Mexican resort will make you happy, then accept that fact that your choice is making your wife uncomfortable, and, yes, you are being kind of a jackhole.

I can understand wanting to do things without your significant other.

I can understand wanting to take a vacation without your significant other.

I cannot understand wanting to go to a resort without your significant other, especially a resort you have already been to together, and claiming it’s both going to be a challenge and saying you don’t want to explore somewhere new. It basically sounds like you want some Eat Pray Love time to figure out how to dump your wife.

Sounds like your wife understands you better than you do yourself.

It does sound like a mid-life crisis to me. It also sounds like you’re not really seeing things clearly. I wonder if there’s some underlying issue or emotions you’re not willing to deal with and are creating a context where you can justify your actions. It almost sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that it’s okay when you know it’s not.

Your wife travelling for work cannot be compared to you going on vacation alone. You even said so yourself. Travelling for work is nothing like going on a vacation. You go to a new city, stay in a boring hotel, go to some meetings, and go home. The location is almost irrelevant since you typically only see it in the morning and night as you drive to and from the meeting.

In general, taking separate vacations is neither good or bad. It is something which totally depends on the couple. Some couples it’s fine, and other couples it’s not. You might consider an analogy with open marriages. There is no absolute answer with something like that. Some couples it’s okay, and some couples it’s not. In your marriage, taking separate vacations is not okay since your wife has a problem with it. Trying to convince her to change her mind will likely lead to hurt feelings that will have long-lasting consequences.

My husband and I have been married 40 years. We very often do things separately, including vacations. What you want to do sets off a million alarm bells in me. You are hiding something from yourself, us, and/or your wife. Figure out what it is, because your reasons don’t don’t add up.

I wish I did but I don’t have an option #2. Any other place in the US, I would rather visit with my wife. I would love to be able to take a guy vacation, with family or friends, but that just isn’t in the cards. I curse myself for not being creative, or for not having many outside interests or any outside friends.

I do enjoy when my wife is gone for work. Never lived on my own, it’s simply enjoyable just being in complete charge of your time, if only for a couple days. I wouldn’t trade my marriage, but a couple of days without compromising are nice every once in a while.

Biggest fear is that I come back from vacay and decide that it wasn’t worth it. Very scary if you don’t have a second option. Then I have this urge, but no interests to act on.

My Wife has taken a few vacations without me to just visit her family. I don’t always go, but do usually.

We have plenty of interest apart from each other. I spend at least one weekend a month 100 miles away taking care of my Mom (she’s home bound) and will hang out with friends. Sometimes, I’ll make it two nights, one night with my Mom, and another with a friend.

Some folks will find this strange, but my friend I sometimes stay with is a woman I’ve known for 30 years. It’s always been a platonic relationship. My Wife has a guy friend that she stays the weekend with about once a year.

Never done what I would call a real vacation apart, but could see the desire too. We are not joined at the hip. And I, myself am a bit of a loner. I have no problem just being by myself. Can’t ever remember being lonely. I rather enjoy it.

It might help to examine why ‘I got married ten wks after graduation’, is part of the equation. That might be a place to start, as it doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of your rationale.

It fits perfectly. He has never been a single adult and wants to give it a whirl. Not necessarily picking up women but doing things as an individual.

I will say this: the above, as well as your earlier comments about what you hope to get out of specifically going to this Mexican resort alone, suggest to me that you’ve set this solo vacation up, in your own mind, as a life-changing experience for yourself. You have, repeatedly, used the word “challenge” in describing going on vacation by yourself, to a place where you’ve already been, and I think that’s part of why your goal with this trip is getting the reaction it is from the other posters here – to us, we’re just not seeing why this would be particularly “challenging.”

I also suspect that it’s unlikely that a few days on vacation, by yourself, are going to live up to what you might be building it up as in your mind. I agree with Ulfreida – there seems to be a deeper issue or concern going on here, and either you aren’t sure of exactly what it is (though “midlife crisis” might well be part of it), or you aren’t articulating it well here.

I dunno - I didn’t quite buy that either, at least as an explanation of why going to a resort he has been to before would be a challenge. Call up the resort and airline, make reservations, pack and go. At 50, that is a challenge?

I don’t think anyone has yet said they don’t have SOME questions about the OP’s plan. And his explanation about not going anywhere domestically b/c he wants to go w/ his wife? Easy solution - plan a trip to a US destination WITH your wife, and then plan a return visit yourself. Or go somewhere domestically you have been before as a couple. If your wife’s concerns truly are about the safety of solo international travel, that should address those. If your true interest is just being on your own, you could simply drive to the nearest large city for a weekend…

Even if you think your wife’s concerns baseless, are they so unreasonable that someone in a long-term relationship ought not figure out some way to accommodate them? You really don’t give any reason why this Mexico resort HAS to be the destination for your solo “challenge,” but you seem oddly resistant to considering any other options.

I’ve been married 30+ years, and have no expectation that a couple must share ALL experiences tied at the hip. When my wife and I have travelled separately, it has been because one of us wants to go somewhere/do something that the other is not interested in. For example, in June, I’m going to a 5-day music camp, and in July she is spending a week at a violin-making workshop.

I can’t really think of a standard “vacation” destination one or the other of us would go on solo. I know she has suggested a long weekend in NYC, attending shows and such. Has VERY little interest to me, and I would prefer if she went with one of our kids or a friend, but if push came to shove, I’d go with her and figure out how to enjoy myself.

So I’d say you are not being a complete jackhole, but you are being somewhat of a dick. :smiley: And if you are so consistently giving us the impression that you are not being completely honest either with yourself or your wife, your wife has likely had the same thoughts.

Your wife’s concerns about traveling outside your own country alone is not entirely baseless. I don’t think it’s always a deal-killer, but yes, there are risks to traveling alone, and traveling alone internationally. Women are more at risk and tend to be more anxious about solo travel, but men are not immune.

That said - you can (and I assume you would) take precautions about such travel. The fact that you’ve been to this location before probably reduces some potential hazard as well. But please don’t dismiss this as “just” anxiety.

I’m in favor of either half of a married couple taking solo trips from time to time. Time away, separate interests, and so forth are important for people. Even so, when you’re married you’re never entirely solo even if you’re off on your own. If you can address specific concerns your partner has (rather than a generalized “international travel is dangerous”) that might help as well.

Ultimately you’re going to have to work this out with your wife, but some compromise makes for a stronger marriage.

Something is missing here, and quite likely obscured even to you. It all doesn’t add up. Clearly you are looking for something, and have very oddly narrowly defined it as: “A resort outside the US, which I already know, without my wife”. Odds are this is the expression of a broader need or want. Identify it, and try to find a way to address it which doesn’t hit your wife’s feelings for one, and which does a better job at it for seconds. This may sound over the top, but I believe strongly that you might benefit from some counseling. There is something going on which you are not entirely aware of - learning what it is can only be helpful.
If that is just not your thing, the armchair not-even-close-to-a-psychologist read here is that you need some interests separate from your wife’s. Find a volunteering opportunity in an area she has absolutely no interest in.

If you’re not exploring, it doesn’t matter where you are. You can just as easily “not explore” a resort in Miami as you can a resort in Mexico.

You may also benefit from finding a hobby. Something that is entirely yours, that you do just for yourself.

Yeah, I don’t buy the whole challenge aspect of this either. It sounds more like you just want some time to yourself. Lay by the pool, eat and drink what you like, no time commitments, sleep late, take a deep sea fishing excursion, ride ATV’s in the desert, read several books, watch movies, porn, etc. Do what you want on your own time for several days.

That doesn’t make you more well rounded. That’s called recharging your batteries. Does it make you jackhole for wanting to do this on your own, no. But at least be honest about it.

I agree. As I was reading your OP, it was not passing the sniff test. I do not know what is going on because there is much left unsaid I think.

I have been married for twenty years and my wife and I have both been on trips apart, but usually because of a business or type of event reason. If we are going somewhere nice, we want to go together.

When we travel we have me days and she days, so we both get to do what we want.

You both sound very sheltered and maybe there are issues to be worked on that do not immediately require a trip?

I think folks are reading too much into this. If the couple has done virtually everything together for 27 years, then it makes perfect sense that:

  1. The husband would regard going anywhere without his wife as a challenge–he doesn’t know what it’s like to be an adult and not be with her for a few days; and
  2. The wife would be anxious about her husband’s going off–she doesn’t know what it’s like to be an adult and not be with him for a few days.

I absolutely don’t think it should be an ultimatum, though. This isn’t a one-off experience. Diggerwam, find something else you could do without her, e.g., a different resort. Be flexible. And present her with some research: “My first choice would still be to go to XYZ Resort, but I hear your concerns, so I could also take some time by myself and go to ABC or DEF Resort instead, what do you think?”

Given that research, she may well relent and give her blessing to your first choice.