FigNewton's picture

Husband going on vacation with grown daughter...not me, his wife of 2 years

I have been married two years to a man with 5 grown children. My relationships with each one of them is very different but can be summed up by saying that our interactions are awkward and they continue to be disrespectful, unthoughtful and rude to me. But I am writing today to ask for advice on a particular tough situation that I am dealing with. My husband had always "promised" to take his daughter on a vacation to a particular place. His ex-wife would never agree to a family vacation to this particular place, so they never went. Now his daughter is in her mid-20s and married and next week going on that vacation...just the two of them. Mind you, my husband and I aren't going on vacation this year. Nope. Just his daughter and him are going on the vacation. From the minute they started planning this, I expressed my disappointment and frustration to him about this vacation. It didn't matter. His fatherly guilt about promises unfilled were more valuable to him that my feelings. And truly if I knew that this trip would erase all of his fatherly guilt, then I would be packing his suitcase for him. But I know that isn't going to happen. His fatherly guilt will return on the plane with him. He gave her a good childhood, he gave her an expensive wedding, he has been a good dad. But honestly, she is a married working grown woman going on vacation (that he is paying for) with her father. And my husband, although he says he understands where I am coming from, is still going on this trip. It's like he could never stand up to his ex-wife about this trip but he has no problem disrepecting my feelings. He keeps saying he is sorry that I am hurting but it doesn't matter...I am still hurting.

stepmisery's picture

Why can't you and your

Why can't you and your husband go on vacation?

Disneyfan's picture

What does the CO say?

What does the CO say?

stormabruin's picture

The way I understood it, the

The way I understood it, the kids are all grown. This daughter is married, so there wouldn't be a CO.

"Women are angels & when someone breaks our wings we simply continue to fly...on a broomstick. We are flexible like that."

Disneyfan's picture

I posted on the wrong

I posted on the wrong thread,thought I was responding to the summer break thread.

I tried to delete it but could not. Sorry OP

keeponstriving's picture

Yes. The father daughter

Yes. The father daughter vacation together sounds incestuous. Are father and daughter sharing a room together? Sounds similar to my SO and his daughter (DSO). DSO was already married, and she would go to her father's house (my SO) to take a bath in her father's master bathroom and hang her clothes in her father's closet. My SO could not see anything wrong with how perverted and incestuous it all appeared to me. Thank God I had-have my own place to go home.

smdh's picture

I agree. I would be upset

I agree. I would be upset that I wasn't getting a vacation, but that is seperate from him taking his daughter. I do think she should be paying for her portion, though. She is an adult. I went on vacation with just my dad in my mid-twenties.

keeponstriving's picture

It is perverted and not

It is perverted and not natural. Daughter should be sharing a room with her husband only. Wife or significant other should be sharing a room with father only.

sunnyside's picture

FigNewton, I am so sorry. I,

FigNewton, I am so sorry. I, too, would be incredibly hurt by this. I also wonder what SD's husband thinks of this. Were you told that you are not welcome on this trip? Ot are you just not able to get away at this time? I think this is incredibly strange....
BTW, I disagree strongly with Danger_Kitty's analysis.

stepmisery's picture

I tend to agree with Danger

I tend to agree with Danger Kitty tho. If they have been dreaming and planning this for years, it's sweet that they finally get to do it. Presumably Dad also keeps whatever promises he made with his other kids and isn't favoring this one blatantly over the others. This probably shouldn't become a regular practice but a once-in-a-lifetime special kind of thing.

Fig doesn't mention why she and her husband are not taking a vacation, just wonder what precludes that from happening?

tweetybird74's picture

I do not see the problem

I do not see the problem here? He promised his daughter to take her on a particular trip. He is taking her. My Dh and SS just went on a trip by themselves recently, they also did the same last year. Went on a vacation just the two of them. Maybe you are more upset that you and DH are not going on a trip than the fact that he is taking her on one? Can't you and DH take a trip some where?

keeponstriving's picture

Father and son going on

Father and son going on vacation together, is NOT the same as father and daughter going on vacation together. The question of incest does not immediately come to mind when father and son go on vacation together.

I wish my SO had chosen his son over his daughter in which to invest all his resources and affection. Of course the perfect scenarion would be if SO could be more balanced and fair in his approach to his children without obviously favoring his daughter. However SO is not fair to his children and treats his son like a stepchild and treats his daughter like a princess. Recently I told SO, his princess has grown into a Queen, and he (her father) is her King. He needs to figure out how to handle her because she is now out of control, entitled royalty at age 32 yo.

Disneyfan's picture

This occurs often on the

This occurs often on the disney planning forum I belong to.

There's a member now planning a trip to WDW with her dad and sister. Both women are marriede with kids. Both husbands are staying home with the kids while the sisters go on vacation with their dad. It's something they wanted to do as kids but the parents couldn't afford it.

Another member and her sister took their mom to WDW and posted the video on youtube. (Mom had completed chemo a few months prior) I tear up each time I watch that video.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I think the unfair part, and

I think the unfair part, and the area you have a right to be upset about, is that the two of you are NOT going on vacation at all this year. If that's because your DH paying for her (an adult) is cutting into your vacation budget and therfore not permitting a vacation for the two of you together, then I would have a real problem with it.

Have the other 4 adult kids had "special" vacations with dad? Like maybe the guys have gone on a fishing or sporting trip with dad? If so, then I do agree that he should do for this daughter what he has done for the others.

In fairness, I must admit that there were a few brief travel adventures I had alone with my dad that I consider very special memories - all the moreso because I was an adult, and our interactions/conversations were much different than when I was a small kid and on vacation with him.

On the other hand, your DH knows this trip is making you feel left out and hurting your feelings, but he feels compelled to do it nonetheless. Has he made any kind of initiative to "make it up" by giving the two of you a special weekend away, make your next vacation extra special to a place YOU really want to go to, etc.? If not, then I think he needs to work on that.

New second wife-step-mom's picture

IMO, if your DH promised his

IMO, if your DH promised his daughter this trip years before you came along I can understand him keeping his word. I would also be upset if my DH did this and did not a) take me or b) plan on taking me somewhere later.

But if either is not the case I would take off of work and go on my own vacation with some girl friends or family. If he complained I would do it anyway. If I could afford a nice vacation somewhere where I wanted to go I would. If not, I would try to find some family, even distant family that I could visit and have a good time.

I would also ask him if this is the last trip he is going to go on with his children (without me) while paying for everything. I would clear the air concerning this subject asap! Let him know your expectations, that you expect to be included from here on out, etc.

just tired's picture

^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS! So what if

^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS!

So what if he promised her a trip to this spot???? Why are YOU being left behind?

No way in hell would I put up with that. It's peculiar to the point of skeezing me out.

Mommy0f2's picture

Because she wants a father

Because she wants a father daughter trip... Where she can have conversations with her dad w/o his wife listening in... They do have a separate relationship. Its just plain insecurity on your end. I hang out with my Dad without my Mom being there and they're married. I most certainly would nit have wanted my dads wife around even i want some quality time with him (hypothetically).. You get your husband everyday... Whyas soon as his daughter wants to spend time with him you suddenly think she would have a "desire" to invite yo...? You just said you don't desire to attend her events so why would she go out of her way to include you in a trip with HER dad.. She's not planning a romantic getaway for you and DH, she's planning a parent child trip.

forgotten wife's picture



3familiesIn1's picture

Sounds like you need to plan

Sounds like you need to plan a girls weekend away - grab a friend or two, fly somewhere nice, turn off your cellphone and enjoy.

He already got a vacation, twisted or not, you should get one too.

Regulation #5
You are entitled to food, shelter and medical attention. Anything else is a privilege.


Kmart56's picture

Oh my gosh, I can't hardly

Oh my gosh, I can't hardly believe I am reading this. I would be so upset over this. Then people wonder why stepparents might feel jealous of their SK. I know kind of what you are feeling. I was upset a couple of weeks ago because my SO SD called and asked him to take her out to breakfast so that they could talk and she is 18 and single. I could NOT go though and your situation is MUCH worse. I feel that this will just continue to bother you, even in years to come. Do you have any children of your own that you could take on vacation? Maybe this would be an idea. That seems to be very disrespectful of your SO, along with the SD. It hurts and makes anger build inside. Good luck with your issues.

Delilah's picture

I think there is nothing

I think there is nothing wrong with making a promise to your children (grown or not) to take a dream trip that *they* always wanted to go and then fulfilling that promise ...BUT there is a problem if that trip causes problems in your relationship because a) as a result of your DH funding the entire trip you are unable to take a couples vacation yourself...why can't sd fund part of the trip herself? She IS an adult and frankly if she can afford it then she should be contributing to it. This then sends out the message to your wife that she is not as important as your grown dd, this really will NOT help your DD's and DW's relationship nor your own with DW. I would be seriously PISSED if my DH told me that *our* vacation was cancelled for the year because he needed to fulfil his promise to his adult married daughter. Sorry, that is unacceptable! b) neither you nor SD's DH were invited or included in the trip...that is incrediblt rude and disrespectful, more so given you are foregoing your own vacation so sd can go instead!

It seems this promise was made before sd married and before you and DH married, so circumstances have changed. This doesnt necessarily mean the promise should be shelved, however it does mean the arrangements should be tweaked and in all honesty I would support my DH's promise ONLY IF I was given equal consideration as DH's DD. Its good manners to consider and treat others with respect. Personally I would hope your DH would have discussed this trip with you, without laying down the law. He would ensure he could afford a trip with you, even if it was on a tight budget. I would hope he would ask SD to contribute to ensure he could have that trip with you and would without question invite you and SD's DH (on the proviso that SD DH pays for himself should he wish to go).

The problem and disrespect lies in the fact it seems none of this has been considered and THAT would be something I couldnt condone.

Are you able to afford a trip yourself? Personally I would be withdrawing from a partner who hurt me like that. Translating that through avoiding his children/family occasions, any situations where they act disrespectfully and make me feel awkward (after all your DH doesnt care if his behaviour hurts you, so why are you sacrificing your self respect anf happiness to ensure you meet your commitments to him and make him happy by engaging with his children? Time to prioritise yourself, just like DH is doing). Planning things which make me happy with friends and family, generally having less time for my DH if it suited me. Separating our finances to ensure that should DH decide to do something like this again, I would be able to afford fun things to do with my friends. I also think its clear from his treatment of you, that you need to ensure you have strong relationships with your own friends and family, making sure you have a network of people YOU can rely on and go away with because its evident that you cannot rely on DH to fulfil your needs. So its up to you, to make sure you have fallbacks in order to be happy!

NoDoormat's picture

I have been told this is a

I have been told this is a form of EMOTIONAL INCEST.

I would wonder what your DH is paying SD off for....or why SO MUCH GUILT... sounds odd to me... he puts HER FIRST and it doesn't matter that you are HURT by his determination to please his little princess??


I too have this issue.... and DH wonders why I have hard feelings for his precious little darling...maybe because she USES HIM AS A Surrogate husband (per our counselor!) and that it is wrong on so many levels.

Life is all about choices and consequences...
"You are free to make whatever choice you want,
but you are not free from the consequences of the choice."

FigNewton's picture

Wow. Thank you for all the

Wow. Thank you for all the feedback. Allow me to clarify some of the issues brought up. First, there isn’t anything incestuous about their relationship. She is the only daughter of the five kids so of course she is going to have a special relationship with her father. The “owing” of the trip and his fatherly guilt are due to the fact that he wasn’t around much when his kids were growing up because he worked 2-3 jobs at a time for financial reasons. They would go on a family vacation once a year and it was always to the beach. He and his daughter share a love of nature and always wanted to go see a National Park. His ex ONLY wanted to go to the beach so that is where they went for 25 years. The promise of the trip to a National Park was made long before I got involved in the picture. Second, I was invited to go (as was her husband) but as one of the posts mentioned, that would not be a vacation for me. It would be a week of awkwardness. I do have girlfriends coming to town while they are gone and we are going to have a girls week. We do have the finances to be able to afford to go on a vacation at some point but have not made the plans yet. And lastly, why I am hurting is because he did decide to put this “IOU” above my feelings. He normally puts my feelings first so this is all kind of new to me.

I appreciate the person who wrote that I should appreciate the fact that he is making due on a promise. That is a positive way to approach this, and one that I have not thought of.

I think I just need to drink some Skinny Girl Margaritas with my girlfriends next week, be thankful I am not on vacation with my stepdaughter and start planning a trip with my husband. Thanks to all.

stepmisery's picture

Sounds like a plan! Enjoy

Sounds like a plan! Enjoy your margaritas and plan a fabulous trip! Laughing out loud

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

I think it would depend on

I think it would depend on the relationships involved. Is he overly attentive to his daughter? Does he put your needs aside for his DD on a regular basis? Do you feel like an outsider when DD and your DH are in your company? If you answered yes to any of these the vacation would be a sore spot and I wouldn't be happy about it all. Just because he made the plans years ago, doesn't mean circumstances can't change. It sounds like it is all a little too late anyway - trying to re-capture a moment in time that has long passed. I also agree with the posters who stated exclusion is not the way for a spouse to treat another. no matter how easy going you will be when they leave, I think a small twinge of being left out is inevitable. Enjoy your time and good luck.

saffron5567's picture

Right on, 20 Years. I totally

Right on, 20 Years. I totally agree.

sandye21's picture

Ask her Husband and the

Ask her Husband and the grandkids to come over while they are on vacation. What's the difference? I wonder how that would go over with Daddy and SD!

jennaspace's picture

What's wrong with them going

What's wrong with them going on vacation together? I think it would be leaving you out if her H came but they are fulfilling a promise made long ago. I gladly let my H go on vacation alone to see his daughter and her H. I would gladly let them go on vacation together as I think skids and DH need time alone.

Did you let DH know you want vacation time together too?

I don't understand the icky comments. My H. is very normal and I wouldn't mind if he did this.

jennaspace's picture

Just saw your post! I'm a

Just saw your post! I'm a lover of the national Parks too and just finished a vacation where I got several stamps in my passport book! It would kill me as a nature lover to only be able to go to the beach (love that too). I totally get that promise.

I think people relate differently. Groups of people (even 2 couples) can seem very tiring to me, whereas I really prefer one on one. That is why I try to encourage my DH to spend one on one time with his kids. I feel they all need it, though I'm beginning to realize some people are uncomfortable with being one on one.

Regardless, I offer my H to go out with skids one on one (esp now that I'm disengaged). After all I came in the picture when kids were adults, they need time alone IMO.

When my child is grown, I would want alone time with my son if my H died and I remarried. That's just me maybe, idk.

Since they invited you and her DH, they are doubly innocent (though I don't think it was necessary).

SebringLad's picture

Sounds like PAPA is a little

Sounds like PAPA is a little weird...leave,run far away !!!!

saffron5567's picture

Fig, I've been in this

Fig, I've been in this situation several times since I married nearly four years ago. I have no children; but there's SD26, who has ranged in her treatment of me from hateful/aggressive at times to so-so at times. The trips they took without me were to visit their family on the other side of the country. At first, it appeared my job caused the situation that I couldn't go along. Now I know there is design to the timing of planned trips. SD has told him she wants to go alone with him to visit their family. He has gone with her about three times while I was left behind -- as if I am not part of his family at all. Most recently, they went over Memorial Day and we have been fighting ever since. I also told him before he bought their tickets that it hurt me, made me feel excluded and as if I am the child and she is the wife. It didn't matter.

We have been to two counselors, who both said there should be no more daddy/daughter-only visits...two daddy/daughter visits ago. Counselors said at 26, she should be vacationing with her live-in boyfriend, not hanging on daddy like he's her puppy. Husband agrees with counselor, then does it again anyway as soon as she asks. She declared in November that she wouldn't visit their family again without him. Oddly, he never asked why she would make such a strange statement. Boom, he's over the barrel and it doesn't matter that it's tearing this marriage apart.

I read the comments above. There is some validity that he promised this trip to his daughter before you came into the marriage. But when he married you, he made you part of the equation and became obliged to weigh and respect your feelings too. Yes, you can take your own trip, blow his money on manicures while they're gone and spend time with girlfriends. But I know none of that takes away the shit feeling when he walks out the door with her. If you're like me, you expected to be first in husband's life, especially because your skid is 25 years old, not a minor.

All I can recommend, if there's time, is that you agree to take the issue to a counselor and you both agree to abide by his or her advice before you go. Then you have to hope you have a fair counselor who sees you as husband's equal and doesn't put the kid above you. Then you have to hope husband plays fair and sticks to the deal you struck before you went to the counselor. Even then, you are stuck knowing you and husband will always have disparity on this issue, which in my case, is indicative of greater issues in the marriage.

He will say, "But I can't tell her she can't go along" or "I can't tell her the trip is off." And probably, at this late point, he can't without conjuring ill will toward you. But you could negotiate to go along (ugh), take your own trip, or (and this is a big one), agree to NO MORE TRIPS ANYWHERE WITHOUT YOU.

By the way, both counselors did tell us my husband and daughter are a case of emotional incest brought on by his guilt and her permitted pattern of manipulation of him. Please let me know this turns out. It might be helpful to me, too. Good luck. I really feel for you.