28 August, 2010

R&R: Family or No Family?

I'm having an issue with this. Joe has 2 specific dates that he's requested for R&R. If he gets the one that we were going with in the beginning, his parents are planning on flying out here. If he gets the one that we thought he wouldn't get but now seems like a possibility, his parents might not get to come.

Here's my problem: {the complete, 100% honest truth} I don't want them to come.

Now, don't start by thinking that I hate my in-laws. I really don't. I enjoy spending time with them. I just feel like R&R should be for us. I mean, he IS my husband. And it will have been at least 6 months since I last saw him. In my mind, it makes sense for me to want to spend ALONE time with him. In their minds, I'm sure they just want to see their son. Totally and completely understandable. But, how would my MIL feel if her husband were at war for a year and got to come home for 2 weeks in between? Would she want his family coming in and hanging out for one of those weeks? Honestly, I'm tempted to ask her sometimes. But I feel like that would be completely out of line. Not to mention I'm pretty sure I'd officially become the black sheep of the family. That wouldn't be good either.

Is it completely terrible that I feel this way? I mean, he's my husband! I get to have him for 2 whole weeks out of an entire year. In our 3rd year of marriage, we will have spent a whole 33 days together. And he's going to miss at least the first month of the next year together. Isn't that enough? While he will still be here - and yes, I will be spending time with him - I just don't think it will be the same with other people around. Especially people that don't already live on the island. You know how it is when your family visits for the first time at a new place - you take them around town, show them the sights, go out to dinner, etc. And you find yourselves exhausted at the end of the day. That's not exactly how I'd like to spend R&R. But, I can't just call my MIL and say, "Hey, Joe and I decided that we don't want anyone to come visit during R&R." Or, "Hi. I hope this is ok, but I feel like having you here would interrupt our time together." I know several moms who'd be upset about that.

I don't know. I've mentioned it to Joe and he just says that he doesn't want to miss out on seeing family. I get that. But, honestly, I'd rather spend time with my husband than my family. I can sacrifice that for my husband. Isn't that the way it should be?

I feel so incredibly selfish even talking about this. I feel horrible for wanting to ask my husband and his parents to forego spending time together just so I can have him to myself. And I'm honestly hoping that the one date gets chosen over the other so I don't have to have a hard conversation with my husband.

What are your thoughts on this? Reminder: this is our first deployment, so we've never EVER experienced anything like this.

Am I being ridiculous? Should I just give in to the "family time" and sacrifice the "husband and wife" time?

*sigh* I just miss my husband.
{Photo taken while we were dating.}

Please help!!!


Honey Bee said...

Hmm...first, I don't think you're horrible or anything for thinking about it. When Sweets graduated from BCT, his mom and brother decided to come, too. I was happy to have them celebrate with him, but we didn't get to spend much alone together in the few hours that we had between graduation and him leaving for AIT. That was rough. BUT...it was important to him that they were there. So, I swallowed my bitterness as best I could (LOVE them, too, by the way) and gave Sweets the best gift I could...a happy, accommodating me. (Granted, this wasn't an R&R situation, but I do get where you're coming from.)

In your particular case, it's tough, too, because there won't really be anywhere else for them to go. That puts a wrinkle in things.

Honestly, what I'd do would be to let them come, but tell them that it's important to you that you have some alone time with your husband. Encourage them to go explore on their own. Tell them you're glad they can visit with their son while he's home, but that this needs to be a restful time for him, and you won't be escorting them everywhere around the island. At least, that's what I'd do...hope you get this worked out!

Katie F said...

It is a hard situation. My hubby came home at the end of July and instead of going on this fabulous trip we had wanted to go on we went home to spend time with our families and friends. I hadn't seen him in 4 months and the last thing i wanted to do was share him with family.
Our trip home was drama filled and we spent most of it arguing because of things our families did. We had planned on a 3 week vacation and in that time had 2 days total alone together. NOt something I had planned after not seeing my hubby for months

However I had to respect the fact that my hubby wanted to see his family and vice versa. I would set boundaries, tell your husband how you feel and set up time for only you two to be together. Maybe spend the day with them and then at night go out alone. That way you are still getting that time apart and time with family

We agreed after this last trip home that we would be done trying to share our time between ourselves and family and maybe that's something you guys will have to discuss

If you need to vent you can blog about it. That's what I did. Good luck

Anonymous said...

I agree with honey bee. I can completely understand how you feel and my heart dropped when you said you've only been together for 33 days in the past 3 years of marriage. I can relate to that on a different level. You should ask Joe his opinion on this matter. How important is it for him to spend 2 weeks with his parents also? Can you two spend the majority of the time together and then the parents come fly out for a few, maybe 4 days to see him off? Don't feel too bad, you have very valid reasons and points. I enjoyed reading your blog! You're fellow twitter follower - @CahootsHisBoots

Elizabeth -Mrs Team Smitty said...

R&R is meant for YOU guys ... the family can fly out when he comes home from his deployment .. Those two weeks are for you .. YOU are married .. something my inlaws have had to accept .. Its not about them anymore its about you and Joe .. My friend has a rule, but its much easier done state side .. They can spend the first 24hours with him, then they have GOT to GO .. but I say no inlaws. This is your time together ...

Kayla Sue said...

You are NOT crazy for feeling this way, and I'm SURE I'd feel exactly the same way if I were in that situation.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to uninvite your inlaws without causing issues. I would just hope for the best, and if they do end up coming, hopefully they're smart enough to realize you are a married couple and you do need your alone time!! Maybe they'll take the initiative and go out a little every night without you even having to drop hints:)

p.s. I've been following for quite some time but I never comment! I'm thinking this should change? :)

Just a Girl said...

I would feel the same exact way! Although I do think it would cause problems if you were to call them and tell them not to come. Maybe, if the first date is the one that ends up happening you can have them come for a week that way you will have a week with your hubby all to yourself. I'll just be crossing my fingers that he gets the second date and you don't even have to deal with it =)

Sarah said...

Tell them not to come. Last deployment was a 13 month deployment with 14 days of R&R in the middle. It went WAY to fast. With family there, it will be even less time that you guys get to spend together, and he'll have less time to unwind. It will just add to the stress that is already going to be there. 14 days goes by REALLY fast, and then saying goodbye the second time so quickly is even more emotional than the first. If it was me, I'd put my foot down and say NO FAMILY!

A Lady in Waiting said...

This is a very tough situation and I think all of us have been there/thought that. You are not a bad person for thinking this, not AT ALL!! A and I are not married so I didn't really have the claim of him being mine. However, it was still hard. Everybody who loves Joe is going to want to see him; however, that's not really possible. If his parents are able to come for a week of his 2 then try to go with it. At least you will have a week alone. And during the time they are there you can explain to them that things need to be calm and not chaotic all the time so if Joe wants to do something that's fine, but you don't want him running around being chauffeur and tour guide! :-) Hope this helps a little. Good luck with it...and remember that you can always vent on your blog!

Little Momma said...

I don't think you're wrong at all. I can understand them wanting to see him, but it's your time to enjoy together.

Plus the fact of where you are & that you will have to spend a lot of time and energy entertaining them & showing them around. (I'm guessing it's not the type of deal where they just want to fly in for a weekend & then head back home...)

Anonymous said...

When hubs was in graduating BCT everyone wanted to come. So i was upset but i have a really understanding MIL so she made everyone leave after a bit and took the boys so we could have alone time b4 he left again.

If there is no way to uninvited them. See if they can come 3-4 days after he gets home and leave 3-4 days before he leaves again. That way he sees the family and you get your alone time. just a suggestion.

Hope it works out so that all ya'll are happy.

Chantal said...

(I didn't read the others, just so you know!)

I told Brandon from the beginning that R&R would be just us. This is why I told him no R&R around Christmas. I also said that first month he's home, no family or friends would be visiting. Yeah, it sounds selfish, but it's for the both of us. He needs to be able to be relaxed and not worried about anyone else. Thank goodness he agrees with me.

You need to "sit" Joe down and have a serious conversation about it. Tell him your feelings. But remember, it's his R&R, and if he really wants his family there... so be it. I'm sort of leaving R&R up to Brandon, but then again, he also doesn't want his family there. Just make your point and whatever decision happens, make the best of it. If it comes down to not having your in-laws there, your husband needs to tell them, not you. He's their son.

If they do come, make sure he stresses the importance that you two get some alone time. A lot of alone time. Maybe they could stay in a hotel for most of it. There have to be conditions for them for coming to visit.

I hope you get it worked out!

Mallory said...

My husband and I made the conscious decision while he was deployed to not see any family. We wanted our own time. I would have HATED sharing him and I told him that. When we sat down and talked about what R&R would be like if we involved everyone, he realized it would be overwhelming, not relaxing.

You are not a bad person for not wanting them there. I completely understand. Not having family around during R&R was one of the best decisions we ever made, but you have to sit down and decide together.

Canadianbloggergirl said...

First deployments are scary! I'll be praying for your both! Here in Canada we call R&R's HLTA and they usually last 3.5 weeks! We don't get to choose when they are at all. Once you get yours it could be a month after you first left or 6 months after you left. The one thing that we get is a trip. Anywhere we want to go the military will either fly your hubby home or you both to a mutual location. My hubby and I chose Rome, Italy! This way no family.
You have every right to want the time to be just the two of you, as it should be!
If you don't want to become the black sheep (some families can be touch I know) then give them a chance to see him, but be selective, give them 4 days out of 14. Explain that his arrival and departure days are yours. Make sure you pick the days they come. Have it all worked out so they get their time and you get yours. Pre explain to them that this will not be a vacation to check out your new post, they can do that at a later date!

I truly hope all wor,s out for you!

Alia said...

I think R&R is just for you guys definitely. I think you should really find out how your husband feels about them coming, but I think they should just understand that you need time together only. Good Luck!

Chelle said...

We haven't hit this topic yet since we haven't actually hit deployement yet BUT I feel the same way you do kinda. His mom has already told me she plans on coming out or demands that he flies to her to see them when he comes for R&R. (No he doesn't know her wishes yet) My feelings are when we lived in San Diego, we were 18 hr drive from them. They visited us TWICE in 6 years. But they would go on vacation 4 times a year, were always buying new 4 wheelers/dirt bikes/campers/trailers/etc. So if they can afford that, not visit us more then twice; then why should the kids & I have to sacrifice our 2 weeks with him. I don't know though. I know in the end that I'll support whatever he wants but doesn't mean it won't bother me some.

stacie-marie said...

this is a tough one.. I will say that even though you are his wife going through your first deployment this is his parents going through their first deployment worrying about their son and if your hubby is anything like mine the wife gets all the phone calls and yahoo dates and passes the messages along to his family.. now I had an idea this is what we did last deployment is maybe split the time and have them come out for a week but not right at the beginning or end.. now last deployment since he was gone 15 months we did get 21 days and this is how we worked it out since I was living in salt lake for a job he flew into salt lake and we spent 2 days together before we both flew to california and since I couldnt get his whole R&R off work and they wouldnt give me the days off w/o pay we wound up spending a week and a half In cali running all around with his family and then the last week we flew back to salt lake and he stayed with me (where he was able to just get his rest while I worked).. the plus side is his family wants to come to you cus I will say running around trying to fit everyone and everything in when your family and his family lives a few hours apart is a pain in the arse and maybe if you work it out so they come in the middle and make them painfully aware this is his rest and relaxation time not tourist run around everywhere time things should work out where everyone is happy.. I am lucking out this time since we spent the month of march in cali before we moved and I have to go to cali in a few weeks it will be just him and I during R&R granted since we live in Germany it will take him alot less travel time to get home which he loves... but i do know people want to come out for his coming home ceremony next summer and then I will just have to suck it up and deal

Expat Girl said...

This is such a hard one an I blogged about how I was struggling with it just before Mr Soldiers R & R. Families can cause drama even when they have the best intentions so I think the less time spent thebetter. He is YOUR husband, you guys are each others family now, anyone else is extended family once you ge tmarried so I would explain that you want him to yourself and that once the deployment is over everyone can see him. I had to share Mr Soldier during R&R because Baby Girl was born etc but we have decided that when he is home for real he will tell his family dates fr one week when they can see him and then thats it, hes all mine!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

I think you are completely in the right. My in laws would have major issues with it too so trust me, I get it. I would flat out tell him and them how I felt. Isn't marriage all about leaving all others and cleaving to the wife? Why cant you get to spend that time with him and then take a trip to see them when he is home for good? I just don't understand how some in-laws don't think this way. Yes, its your son but like you said, reverse it and see how'd you feel ya know? I'm totally with you!!

Just Another MilSpouse said...

OK, first off, I agree with you. I have been wrestling with the same problem recently. I want to spend the entire R+R with my DH. He needs to spend one on one time with each of our three kids, and that is SOOOOO important. Then on top of that we both have very large families and getting everyone together at the same time is impossible. So between the kid's time, the family time, and the Honey-Do list that can't wait until Homecoming I fear we will only see each other at night in bed... too exhausted to do anything but sleep (wink).

Here's my thing though. If I insist that R+R is for the kids and me ONLY, I will automatically turn into the bad guy in the family's eyes. If I suck it up and just deal, in the end my husband will realize that I DID sacrifice, rather than sabotage. So, I decided that while I will make mention of my desire to spend more time with him I don't plan on pushing the families away.

This doesn't mean your situation is the same. You have different circumstances, I just thought sharing my dilemna might help.

ThatArmyWife said...

Only you can decide what's right for your family.

For us, I leave it up to my husband. While I have my own opinions and preferences, I feel it's *his* opportunity to recuperate from his time in the sand. If he wants my opinion (and he always does), I give it and we discuss it.

Dave and Ashley said...

Do not feel bad about this at all, girl! We haven't even told his parents about the concept of "R&R" because we don't want to deal with them! The only suggestion I can give is to let your hubby decide what he wants to do. Let these 2 weeks be for him and then when the deployment is over, you two can decide what's best for his after deployment leave. Just know, I feel the same way and you are not alone!

ACUs and ABCs said...

I went through this just a few months ago. When he were in Spain for R&R, we had 12 of his family members with us. I was very anxious to see how it would all work out and how I would deal with sharing him. Thankfully his family is EXTREMELY understanding. They offered to let me go to the airport to get him alone so it could just be the two of us, but I wanted his mom to be there. She helped calm me down and was able to take pictures of me jumping on him! If I thought I was going to have to fight her for the first hug, it would have been a different story, but I knew she understood. We then spent the first two days completely on our own before meeting up with everyone else. We also took several trips to other cities without everyone else, so we had alone time and family time pretty evenly interspersed. I ended up completely loving the set up we had because I was able to get to know his family so much better too. I think the key is that everyone is on the same page. My husband and I had long talks before R&R about how having time just for us was important. His entire family understood that as well and allowed us to do our thing. There are a lot of military in his family so I think everyone knows how it is and was very supportive of us. Anyway...I agree with what a lot of other people say, maybe have them come down for part of it (the second part) but have them leave before he does. You are going to want to spend your last day just the two of you.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I don't think it's horrible of you to want that. Maybe you guys can make a compromise where they just come out for 2-3 days?

Newlywed and Deployed said...

We just spent our pre-deployment leave with his family, so the R&R is just the two of us... hopefully the MIL doesn't want to come along! I think you are completely normal for feeling the way you do! You need time as a couple. And you are right about if the parents come to town for the first time, it won't be relaxing for anybody! If the parents HAVE to come for the R&R, maybe you can arrange touristy things for them to do each day while you have time together?