‘He only booked the flight for himself’

My partner of 2.5 years (we are in our 50s) relocated to live with me, leaving many possessions of his former life behind. He lived there for 15 years.

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 always talked about doing this as a team – kind of a mini-vacation. Well, he only booked the flight for himself, not even mentioning it to me until it was booked. Needless to say, many thoughts ran through my head, and an argument ensued as I questioned his motives and actions. I was very hurt by this.

He went back to his computer and purchased me a ticket. I stubbornly 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. I don't even go to the store without thinking of letting him know I'm leaving.

He's now begged me to go on his trip, and I still have two weeks to decide. I'd bet my home I'm not going – I'm feeling very left out and confused. We have a strong relationship otherwise. Thoughts?

– Stay or Go?


The problem with jumping to anger in this kind of situation is that it 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 to have some time there without an audience? If you haven't asked about the feelings associated with this trip, you need to. It's possible he hasn't even 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. If you want to have a productive argument, focus on that.

At this point, though, your best bet is to stop being angry, and to 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 be able to learn from this and move on.

– Meredith

Readers? Should she go?