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Q. My partner of 2½ years relocated from his home of 15 years to live with me, leaving many possessions of his former life behind (we are in our 50s).
I came home one day and out of the blue he said, “I’ve booked a flight; I’m going to get my things and bring them back here.” We’d talked about doing this as a team — kind of a mini-vacation. Well, he only booked the flight for himself. I was very hurt by this and an argument ensued as I questioned his motives and actions.
He then purchased me a ticket. I told him I wouldn’t go because I hadn’t been included in the first place. I said he hadn’t given me the heads-up to ask for time off from work. I told him I didn’t want to be an afterthought.
He’s now begged me to go on his trip. I still have two weeks to decide, but I’d bet my home I’m not going — I’m feeling very left out. We have a strong relationship otherwise. Thoughts?
— Stay or Go?
A. Jumping to anger in this kind of situation doesn’t give you the opportunity to ask simple, thoughtful questions about his choices. Does your partner need emotional space as he picks up the last of his possessions from his former home? Does he want some time there without an audience? If you haven’t asked about his feelings around this trip, you need to. He may not even have thought about his motivation for buying that ticket on his own.
It’s OK if he wants to take a trip by himself, by the way, especially one that involves a life left behind. His only mistake was not being clear with you. For a productive argument, focus on that.
At this point, your best bet is to stop being angry and tell him you want to do what’s best for him, even if that means staying behind. But if he continues to beg you to join him, don’t skip the trip just to punish him. It won’t make this better, and the whole point is to learn from this and move on.
Whatever he is going back for, he is buying himself a roundtrip ticket, so he’s coming back. I do get the disappointment if the two of you had planned a little vacation around this. And he probably should have mentioned this before booking the ticket. But you’re overreacting and now seem firmly entrenched in spite. ASH
You didn’t mention if he has family there (ex-wife, children). Maybe he has some unsolved problems he wants to take care of by himself. PINGO
Maybe it really was just an oversight. Maybe his underlying motivation was that he wanted to wrap up his old life by himself. Either way, he’s obviously sorry for leaving you out, and is trying to make things right. So let him. You are going to need to take it down a notch if you don’t want to run this relationship into the ground. SEXUAL-CHOCOLATE
I’d be more concerned about the 15 years’ worth of junk he’s bringing back. JACQUISMITH
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