Thursday, December 18, 2008

Objectivity Sorely Needed

As you can very obviously see, I have installed a poll widget on my blog because I desperately need some objectivity and would like to know how you would feel.

Tonight my husband and I were talking about a good friend of mine who recently is having marriage problems and is currently staying in a hotel. We talked about asking her to stay with us if she would like as not to incur a lot of expenses during this difficult time. Out of the blue my husband said how nice it would be to go and stay in a hotel by himself sometimes to get away from it all. He has never talked about this before or done it (neither have I). To make a very long story short, here are the two sides:

  • Husband: He said that it should be no big deal at all if he wants to do this. He thinks that it is absolutely healthy for people to want time on their own and go to a hotel room. He said that as long as the person isn't going to the hotel to be with someone nor does something wrong that it should be OK and I have a problem when I don't agree with him.
  • Me: I think that it is perfectly natural to want time on your own; however, I don't understand why you would want to get a hotel room and spend the night away on your own to have that time. In my opinion, if a spouse or significant other wants to do this, it signals that there is an issue with the relationship and it's a big red flag. I also don't understand why he would want to do this if he's not angry or something. Why wouldn't he want me to be with him? I am not a problem in his life. Why can't he go somewhere for the day, or go for a walk, drive, or something when he wants time on his own? Actually, when I think about it, he is on his own all day long (he is a student and has a highly flexible schedule) and I'm only home during the week after work at night. So, in this case, why does he need or want additional time on his own? Why does he want to sleep somewhere else?
Please note that just the other night we had a horrible argument where he was screaming that he wants a divorce because he is sick and tired of me. This and a lot of other things have over time made me feel very insecure in the relationship and when he talks about doing this, warning bells just ring like hell in my mind.

So, with objectivity and not taking into account what I have written, please check how you would feel in the poll above. Multiple answers are acceptable. You don't have to check just one option.

Thanks a bunch.


Wandering Coyote said...

I think this is a red flag as well, so I voted for "suspicious."

Van said...


Do you want us to provide comments beyond the poll as well, or do you believe that would impact your objectivity?

Chunks of Reality said...

Thanks, WC!!

Van - I would love comments. I want your objectivity because I have none on this subject. :)

Thanks so much!!!!

linda said...

I love time on my own and can understand when someone needs time on their own, however I would consider my relationship to be a bit wonky if my husband wanted to spend the night in a hotel alone. I would not be suspicious, but I would feel hurt. I put it up there with sleeping in another bedroom. It just feels wrong. If your husband wants time out, then he can go for a walk or spend a day on his own.

Your concern is justified.

Border Life said...


I'm sorry you are going through this. With what you have been through, it absolutely makes sense that this is bringing up feelings of insecurity.

I think the discussion was prompted by your friend. It's ok for you and your husband to disagree on this matter. Some people need alone time to recharge-- and being at home doesn't necessarily cut it-- chores await, the phone may ring, there are "demands" everywhere.

I would take him at face value that going to a hotel is healthy-- you have nothing to lose with agreeing or disagreeing with him here It's his opinion and he's entitled to it. People are different. While we may not understand it, it doesn't necessarily mean that the difference is harmful.

(I must be candid to hold a desire for a hotel vacation when there is discord at home...usually I am overwhelmed and unable to cope with the situation at hand and need a break. It's when I think I am waiting for the proverbial straw and I'm about to break. The straw could be anything at that point...the phone, a piece of mail, an empty container in the fridge.)

I find it hard to remove the prior argument from the discussion, I think that the questions you raise are due to existing insecurity in the relationship, insecurity prompted by very valid causes-- i.e. the statements your husband made. Ultimately the warning bells started earlier, and this is re-triggering them to ring again. Given the history, it makes sense. It sounds to me like these bells went unresolved? Did your feelings get addressed. Did his? Were apologies made and repair done?

Oh! and I answered!
- Absolutely OK. I understand...
- I would feel something is wrong...
- This would upset me.

Again, so sorry this is in your life right now, it sounds painful. I hope you can do something nice for yourself today or tomorrow.

Clueless said...

This would be upsetting to me as well. From my point of view, I think that you both could benefit from individual and/or couples counseling to talk with an objective person with skills to work with both of you. Isolating to go work things out is fine, but not if you are not communicating with your spouse. I am so sorry that you are going through this.

Anonymous said...

damn, mama.


I'm with Linda.

You're concerns are justified.

I wish I could do something for you.

~xo hope

Da Old Man said...

It's funny, I brought this question to my wife. And we came out on opposite ends, too. She would have checked #1.

I would have, and did check the last option.

All the best to you.

la said...

[my two cents] I understand why he might think that but I can't understand for the life of me why he thought it would be a good idea to say it. [/my two cents]

Anonymous said...

interesting post.

first of all, I haven't had time to read your entire blog so I don't know the back story. But I am assuming you are the one with a mental illness or you suffer from depression from time to time and your husband does not.

Having said that, I will give you an example of what I feel to be a "healthy" escape. I've been a deep depression for about 3 weeks. Early on when it hit, I told my husband (who also has a mental illness) that I needed space. I asked him to go and hang out with his friends. He sat me down and said, "This is a red flag to me, I feel like what's coming next will ask me to leave...forever." He was heartbroken and wanted to be there to comfort me but instead I NEEDED more than anything to be alone. I wrote a lot on my blog, watched old movies, talked on the with friends, etc. He eventually understood after I told him I was not leaving him or asking him to leave me...I told him I loved him more than anything in this big, crazy world.

Now, would I ask him to spend the night at a hotel? no. I just needed several hours a night to be alone. I needed peace and quiet to get through this dark time. You see, my husband and I spend a lot of time together and have been pretty much inseparable for three years. We've only spent two nights apart.

Maybe your husband doesn't understand the dark place you've been in and like many people I know can't be around someone like us for any length of time. For example, my parents or sister will not even discuss my mental illness...22 years and never really talked about me or my feelings. I am learning to forgive and understand that some people are afraid of the "darkness"

However, the threats of divorce are a BIG red flag and in your case, I think you need to have a long talk with him and find out what is going on. Like you said, it's not like he doesn't have alone time as you are gone during the day and he is, in my opinion, something is wrong.

My questions would be:
how long have you been married?
does he "get" your depression?
has this happened before?

my best to you...sincerely.

Unknown said...

One of the perks of my job (apart from the joy of doing it .. obviously) has always been the occasional night away from home in a hotel. I love the chance to be unavailable to anyone, the breakfast on my own, the pretending, for a few short hours, that I have no responsibilities whatsoever.
I ticked no problem. BUT for me these are one off days away... not regular and not tied in with nasty talk and threats. Your friend took nights away specifically because there were problems at home.
I don't know if it means anything in your relationship if your husand wants a night away but in the context of his threats, I think I would worry too.
BUT (again) you have to remember that you are feeling insecure already, the statements were made in the context of a raging argument and sometimes we say wrong things we can't unsay. Don't let this take on a life of it's own by over thinking it.
you know I am thinking about you

GirlBlue said...

Funny you should post this, I recently felt like this, as if I needed some time away from everything and everyone. A week at the beach was sounding like heaven. In my case it was not something that happened in my relationship but totally external forces that just made me want to get away.

I suppose I would be a bit worried if he told me the same as I could feel as if it was something that I did that caused him to go away.

Van said...

Hi CoR,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to this one, very busy just keeping up with things the past few days.

A number of things....

First, chances are, there is a difference in the way men and women will look at the question. Simply the experiences that come with being of a different sex will influence the way you both feel about it.

There may also be a big influence on communication style. Was he angry when he said it, where you on edge about something else at the time?

About the actual question - is it something to be worried about? Frankly, from my perspective, I don't think so.

If he said "I want to go to a hotel because I am leaving you" that would be something different.

The reason I say that is because, as one who deals with depression on a daily basis, I need time alone. Some times I simply cannot deal with anyone and I need to be alone, it's really that simple. Be it my wife, my parents, co-workers, friends... anyone.

I don't think that asking for time alone, simply to decompress, is a bad thing. If a person who is depressed could need that, a person who is not facing depression could need the same thing.

Obviously, the fact that you are already feeling insecure and you both are already facing challenges in the marriage makes the request all the more difficult to hear.

I would simply do my best to remove the emotion from situation and look at it from all sides.

We'll all be here to support you, sorry that you are facing such a hard time!


Anonymous said...

Heeeeeeeeey you!!! Long time no..type!! I haven't checked the email that my Vox account is linked with OR my blog in over a month so I am SOOO sorry I didn't see that you'd written! I'm going to catch up on your blog today...and OF COURSE I remember you, we're practically emotional twins.

I'll comment again once I've caught up with your blog.

I've missed you!!

Unknown said...

Until I read the part about the argument and him threatening divorce, my answer was going to be something along the lines of "sometimes men express fleeting thoughts that shouldn't really be shared." But threatening divorce and THEN wanting to be alone at a hotel sounds like a bad sign. Have the two of you considered counseling? I'd be pretty upset over this.

Unknown said...

Happy Christmas and I wish you happiness health and prosperity in 2009.
Keep posting

Dying4Something2Live4 said...

Merry Christmas!


Barbara, The Spirited Strider said...

Hi Chunks! Well, I've been there, done that. I was the one who needed to get away--from a smothering husband who wouldn't give me the time alone--and our marriage was in trouble and we did get a divorce. And that turned out to be a good thing for us.

With that said, I also know that people are different. Not everyone thinks and acts alike. Hence, the different poll results...

Not sure my two cents helps any here but it's my two cents :-)

la said...

Just stopping by to say hello and see how you're surviving the post-Xmas apocalypse xx

Fiat Lex said...

I answered both "Absolutely OK" and "I would be upset." It's virtually impossible for one partner to clear out the space to figure out their own feelings without the other partner feeling abandoned or rejected.

Have a look at the Passion Paradox. I have always found it helpful to consider who's playing what role in a situation. Especially when fighting.

Best wishes to you.

Chunks of Reality said...

I just realized that I never thanked all of you for your advice and assistance! I greatly apologize. I haven't been online as much as usual and haven't kept up with the blogosphere as much as I've wanted.

Thank you all so very much!

*group hug*

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