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Meeting family first time


After 2 1/2 years ill meet the  family.  My dh hasn't  seen his daughter  in 2 years. She's 24. Still lives with dysfunctional bm who trys to undermine our relationship  from the  start.  BM still wants my husband  back. She refused to come see him several  times. 

So he says to me he needs alone time with her daughter  24.  We are traveling 3000k miles spending 8 days with her. In BMs  town.  I'm disabled with PTSD.  Just how much time does a parent  need with an adult  child he talks to regularly.   He says I'm afraid they'll go off and meet bm.  I hadn't thought of that but since he brought  it up its now a concern.   

So I don't feel like it's normal to go off leaving  me alone in strange town disabled with PTSD for hours.  Can't a ride to pick up food an hour or so sufficient.   We'll  be together 8 days. Surely here and there they'll  have one on one talks with out abandoning me bored shirtless.

No I'm not able to go off alone to do my own thing.  PTSD, physically disabled.  Hes a people  pleaser.  Can't say no to anyone but me. Just how much alone  time is needed?  Guilty dad syndrome for sure. 

Feedback please. 

tog redux's picture

Wait, you are staying with the daughter for 8 days and he wants to be alone with her? can't he find time to chat during the stay there?


We are staying in a hotel rbb big enough  for her. He wants too take off and leave me for couple  hours. Me waiting in the  room. Doing nothing. 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Is there family there besides SD?  If you don't want to stay alone for a couple of hours, and there is other family in the area, can you stay with them? I don't think it is unreasonable for DH to spend some time with SD without you.

StrawberryPie's picture

If he wants a few hrs with just his daughter, that seems reasonable, esp after her not talking to him in years.  Could you and your DH agree to a time frame, like no more than X hrs alone at a time?


This is what we came  up with in therapy.  An itinerary.  Trip expectations.  The therapist daughter's live far away. My dh ask him did he have alone time, he said maybe a walk on the Beach or something brief but not hours etc. So we might have it solved.

My PTSD has me concerned because he looses track of time. Basically he forgets I'm alive.  If that happens I'm afraid of how ill control  myself.  Will I be able to contain my pain? Composure?

As far as him working on their relationship he can talk to her for hours and hours via Skype. They've had Skype counseling together.  And she can get her butt on a plane to come here if she wants dad all to herself.  She wants him to move back to the failed marital city so she can live with him and leave drunk mom's house.  She can't afford her own place because she won't work. Can't even afford a cell  phone. 

But yes I said Maybe I could go get breakfast or lunch bring it back and they could have the  privacy of the suit we are staying in. JUST FOR HER. No outside interference.  

KC is not the stepmother's picture

Yeah, I'd be OK with him going out with his daughter.  But you're the one with PTSD and you may want to set some parameters ahead of the visit. Maybe have a support system you can call on if needed. My husband has a very good friend with PTSD and our house is one of the few places that he feels comfortable.  

1dad4kids's picture

Bring a book, see what the hotel has to offer for you. I'm not sure what disability you have but if you can enjoy the pool or hot tub that could be a nice way to spend your time. Otherwise maybe a massage? 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Why go at all? You're all adults, so why is it necessary for you to accompany your H to her turf? Your DH was willing to marry you without his daughter's "approval", so why is it neccessary for YOU to chase her now? So your DH can force a meet & greet where he parades you before his daughter so she can reject you in person?

Obviously their relationship was problematic before you. I'd tell him the father-daughter relationship is what needs work, and that it's too soon to involve you. If he wants to beg for crumbs, let him. But you, a disabled person, don't need to get dragged into it. Stay home, and leave them to their circle jerk.


I haven't had a vacation in years. Haven't seen that part of the country and I'm excited to meet the family.  I want to go. We don't have finances to do separate vacations.  It is possible  to do both. 

Tried out's picture

estranged from my sons but I still miss seeing them one on one, without DILs or DH. I felt that way when I was married to their father, too. Plus there is a real difference speaking on the phone or having virtual meetings than seeing someone in person. It's not like I need to have deeply personal, private conversations with them - I just miss them! 


I'm a daddy's girl. I've been away from my father for 35 years not once did we ever leave my spouse or his gf to be (JUST ALONE).  Hes had multiple heart attacks.  One on one time for just how long?  That's still my hang up.

Our situation is not common.  There has to be a balance.  And the best option is for her to come  to our home of which she refuses. They could have those hours. 

We don't have the finances to do things the  way she's commanding. The MARRIAGE COMES FIRST. But 

So when we are there Isn't an hour or two in the  suite without  anyone around a good place  to catch up?  Talk privately.   Then we plan  to go sight seeing,  I said I didn't  mind while we were doing  that if they walked for awhile without  me. Various options here. 

Parents what am I missing here. The days of them spending a days alone are over. 

Tried out's picture

you're saying. And I'm not saying I ever have or ever will set up private times with my kids. I'm just saying I miss them and would like to.

But I do think your DH is entitled to time alone with his daughter on this trip if that's what we wants. 

youdonotdefineme's picture

How often during your stay is he wanting alone time with his daughter?  If it is once for a couple of hrs I think thats ok, but everyday not so


I'd pass on the trip if he's planning on alone time every day.  This is your first time meeting family he could at least be there with you. I'd let him go alone and have all the alone time with dd that he desires. 



Picardy III's picture

You normally have several hours a day away from him, I assume? During workdays?

A few hours alone with his daughter seems just fine. Even on vacation, most people wouldn't want to spend every waking minute together with their SO. As long as he's reachable by cell phone if you have a genuine emergency.


Well available by cell lol.  He can't hear it ring. And leaves it i. His car  .  Can't get him to break that bad habit.  

Back to why the hour and hours?  And every day?  

Picardy III's picture

If you're disabled with a constant potential of health emergencies, he should have his cell phone on him at all times. That's a separate issue of him being neglectful as a husband, if he refuses to be reachable. 

IMO, something like one half-day and a few quick outings getting coffee and running errands, etc., alone with his daughter sounds reasonable in the eight days.

However, do you perhaps have a tendency to look only to your husband for emotional support, needing constant contact? Is it possible he leaves his phone behind just because he wants some personal space? 

ESMOD's picture

I can see that you are afraid of many things... but most central seems to be the underlying fear that "he will meet with Bm without you being there to supervise.

Unfortunately, you cannot manage a person 100%.  He married you.. he is with you... if he WANTED to be with his EX? he would be with her.  He doesn't.  Do you imagine they would just fall into bed in front of their adult daughter?  I don't see this request as a need to see his EX.

In reality, you said he has been estranged from his daughter for several years.  If it were me.. (either being him or her).. I would want to have some time to meet with the other person.. without the interference or eavesdropping of another party.  She may say some hurtful things to him.. and vice versa.. and some of it could well be justified.. they don't need to have you there while they hash out their personal issues.. their relationship is not one that you need to be there to manage.. and your presence could stifle their ability to talk about things.  

I think that it would be perfectly fine for them to have several hours alone.. perhaps a walk in the morning.. a lunch together and then more talk after lunch.. 5-6 hours easily would be ok in my book.  We are not talking about him abandoning you for 7 out of 8 days.  And it is unfair for you to put it on him that you will be bored without him.  TV, Internet, books, hotel ammenities... even skype calls with your own friends and family.  If you need physical assistance then that may be a different issue.. but, you do get along ok at home while he works.. so unless your disability will leave you completely imobile without the ability to do something as basic as going to the bathroom alone.. then I think you do need to make an attempt to let your husband have this private time with his daughter.  

But, you need your own "safety plan" too.

1.  have some friends or family of your own you can call to talk to if he isn't immediately available by cell.  

2.  Have books/magazines ready.. or some hobby like knitting etc.. that can occupy your mind and time.

3.  Set up a plan for a meal on your own.. whether it is delivery via grub hub.. or room service.. or in the hotel dining room.

I know you are anxious about being alone in a strange town.. but I don't think his request to have a few hours of time with his daughter alone is unreasonable at all.  No reason why adults necessarily need to be joined at the hip 24/7.  Simply make plans to fill your time while he is gone... you might be a bit bored.. but it's unfair to put the need for you to be entertained as a reason why he can't spend a little time with his daughter without you.

You will have to try to not worry about BM too.  She is his EX for a reason.. nothing your presence could do that will make a difference if she throws herself at him.. she would do that in front of you if she is that kind of person...and he would equally decline I'm sure.


I am physically disabled and  the hotel rbb has steps we are on 3rd floor to get suite large enough and right price.   Stress causes me to pass out. 

A few hours alone isn't the problem.  Its just how many times.  I hear you say a few times.  I can't be the only one making the  compromises.   I'm compromising the  steps, I gave up my desired vacation,  I'm paying 1/2 the  room,  she pays nothing for 8 days. Free ride. 

She refuses to call in to the counseling sessions to discuss professionally the  dysfunctional issues.  

So I hear a few hours a day,     and I hear a few hours and that be it.




ESMOD's picture

I don't think it's reasonable for him to go and have multiple outings with her during your 8 day stay.  Once or twice? maybe fine.

Like they are running out to pick up chinese food for everyone to eat back at the hotel.. that's a quick trip.. shouldn't be a big deal.

Maybe one other longer thing where they spend a little more time together.  I think it's fair to remember that they are trying to repair their relationship with each other.. despite the fact that she hasn't called in to his counseling sessions.. if he is feeling that he is committed enough to want to visit her.. and she wants to see him... I guess this is something they may need.. a little privacy to talk between themselves.

I'm curious though.. does she even want him to come out? If she won't call in to sessions? does she want a relationship with him???  It seems like you and he are paying a substantial amount to go on a vacation where you don't even really want to go. so he can see someone you have a poor opinion of.. who doesn't seem to want to do much to foster her relationship with her dad anyway.

I am guessing that there are other family out there.. it might be nice if someone from his family would be interested in meeting you and keeping you company... not sure if that would help you though.


she refused to talk to him for months because  he married me. She wanted him to move back there so they could  live together.  She wants away from drunk mom.  That didn't  happen. 

Now because  she's not seen him for 2 years and tge flow of money stopped and moms flow of money stopped she needed daddy again. 

Yes a couple times talking is good.   I'll leave them in the suite get a meal, sit outside  on the water, etc. No interruptions for them to talk in private.  That seems very reasonable.  

As for me hanging with his family  feeling comfortable.?, not so much they smoke pot 24/7 pretty much.  Drink way to much.  I'll struggle to feel  comfortable  with him with me. 

The  cheapest way for them to repair  connect is her coming  to us. I'm in my home and they can go to the water, movies,  dinner, etc.  But she wants what she wants,  hes a people pleaser except  when it comes to me. 

He's still in counseling for codependency and enmeshment.. 



Picardy III's picture

Above, you commented that this is a trip you do want to go on: you want to vacation in that area of the country and you're looking forward to meeting his family.

So it's confusing when you sound resentful that you *have* to take this trip because his daughter won't come visit you.

Tried out's picture

that you are trying to control when and where they see each other.

"Yes a couple times talking is good.   I'll leave them in the suite get a meal, sit outside  on the water, etc. No interruptions for them to talk in private.  That seems very reasonable."

If it were me, I'd feel hemmed in, knowing that you might need to come back into their space at any moment. I would also feel a lot of resentment that you were calling the shots on my time with my kid. 



Our male therapist said what he wants is just no longer possible,  we have grown up,  parenting  is over. Its not healthy to compartmentalize  relationships. He trys to keep  people  separated. Pluss our finances won't support  once a year trips there and a marital  vacation too. 

So there has to be a realistic balance worked out. We just don't have tge money  for two separate trips.

ESMOD's picture

I don't think that it is unhealthy to have a visit with your child without your spouse.  I don't think I would advocate you necessarily staying home in this situation.. we are talking a few hours out of a whole literal 8 days.  And...tbh.. I think your therapist is not 100% right in that sometimes it is ok to compartmentalize relationships.  I can love my husband.. but still be ok if he wants to be friends with someone I don't care for.  I mean.... yes.. we are adults.. sometimes people don't like other people. It's not like being in school where you can't be my friend if you are friends with barbara.

I don't really get the "parenting is over" angle either.  I mean, his daughter is an adult.. he isn't responsible for housing her... feeding her.  But, it doesn't mean he is done being a parent... being part of their child's support network (if only emotionally).  

I would also say that he should be supportive of you as well.  You have never met his daughter.. and when you do, I hope he insists on her treating you respecfully.. and vice versa.  That is also parenting... you can always set expectations for your children.. even when they are adults.

My husband and I are very close... but if he stops by to see his daughter and grandchild without me?  I'm perfectly fine with that..



If we were in the same town of coarse stopping  to see them alone. But seeing  her cost 3000k the  cheapest way. Which involves our household  budget.  

And I totally disagree about  being friends with people  who don't support  the  marriage.   No married couple should befriend any person who undermines the  marriage.   THAT IS 100% A recipe for disaster. 

And no hes not supportive of her disrespect  of me. Says nothing to her. She's perfect.  


ESMOD's picture

Wouldn't it be cheaper for him to buy her one plane ticket to come stay at your home instead?

Is she staying at the same hotel with you? I'm a bit confused on that.. does she not live in the area you are visiting? Just wondering why you didn't decide on a hotel that might be more friendly to your disability needs.


cost  and location.  

Yes rbb in town where she works. We chose tge best fit for her, our budget.  

ESMOD's picture

Honestly.. if this is the case.. I would just pick a day he can use to visit with her and be done with it.  I am guessing due to the other family meetup that she isn't the only reason he and you came to town.  I would try my best to not dwell on this issue re her.. let them have their "date" (for lack of a better word) and then be the lovely, gracious partner that is open and happy to meet the rest of his family.  It will be a lot harder to let his daughter's disrespect spread if you literally prove her wrong in front of them.

Rags's picture

You take the car and take off leaving he and his spawn in the room to talk and bond.  You can hit a spa for some pampering.

He has this wrong. Give him clarity on how these things work.  

When we visit my ILs and DW wants to spend alone time with someone in her family they can drive. I keep the car. Except when I may be working from the hotel in which case I am fine with not having the car.

These things are not complicated. All it takes is that we give our SO clarity that we will not be the ones sacrificing for their time with their failed family spawn.  Supporting their time with the spawn is one thing, being abandoned while they go galavanting around with their failed family spawn is something else entirely and should never be tolerated.

IMHO of course.


I agree. 

They are dysfunctional.  He panders to her every whim. Its a mini wife kind of thing. In fact I'm always last to be thought of and not respected.  She says let's xyz he says sure then tells me oh by the  way I'm flying to the  other side of the country  you can do what ever while  I'm gone.  

Not the marriage i desire to be in disrespected and not involved in the planning.  This trip may very well be an important determining factor in my future.  




Tried out's picture

He actually has told you he's flying somewhere without you?


Yes hes said  it several  times. Once said  after 3 days I could fly out to meet them for a couple  days.  Its a full 12 hour day and 4 hour time zone.  That was after daughter  planned them a trip. For him to pay for.  I don't care but what hurt was the  way he excluded  me in theplanning.  He didn't.  He says he doesn't  want me to go to his home  town. Too bad I'm going.   Hes terrified  ex will stalk us and he'll  be forced to defend  one of us to the other in front of his daughter.   Ex is an alcoholic stalker, threatened  us both.   They cower to her hide from her.  Its sickening how an ex runs 3 adult people  lives. 

still learning's picture

Think I'd prefer a staycation and let DH go off and do his thing.  I may be the oddball here but I'd be happy to stay home or be alone while DH went off and visited skids.  No need to interject myself where I'm not wanted.  Buh bye DH. Have fun, I know I will. I understand you have some health issues but how did you get along before you were married to DH?  


As for pre disability i had family support system.  And people who respected me. 

Well I'm 7 days into this trip now.  


I now understand terms like Mini Wife, Being the mistress not the wife,  BEING THE ELAPHANT IN THE ROOM, and DISENGAGING. 

I will most likely DISENGAGE from now on.  I was told I had to stay in the room while they smoked outside  the room. I took a walk one evening because I was bored in the room, enjoyed my walk, came up to dh and sd standing talking approached to say hi, was screamed at "go walk somewhere else in front if sd.  I walked away and cried a devastating cry.  Then I was accused of spying and eaves dropping.  

Not sure where things are going from here.  Sd and dh are enmeshed,  codependent and I'm tge mistress to THEIR MARRIAGE.   

Pretty sure at some point I'm going  to explode. I will not be disrespected like this ever again.  But I maintained my composure  kept my smile.  Enjoyed dh LOVELY FAMILY.  Enjoyed tge sights.  

Learned my place here is SILENT, AND SECOND PLACE, AND UNSEEN UNHEARD.  I now understand why he's divorced.  I now understand why tge ex bio mom is an alcoholic.  

He tells me I deserve better. Yes, I sure do. I deserve respect and I've not been getting it.  



notsurehowtodeal's picture

So sorry things turned out this way. It sounds like you need to do some hard thinking about what you want out of your marriage and what you are willing to put up with. Perhaps a therapist could help you sort things out.

Rags's picture

Time to give this dipshit of a man some clarity.  BM is not family, ill behaved adult failed family pelvic sputum is not family.  Once a man marries a woman, he is married to her forsaking all others... including toxic failed family progeny.

This is not a complicated concept.