Wedding Woes

Say no to the second trip and don't accept their offer to pay (if you really don't want to go).

Dear Prudence,

My boyfriend and I have been together for two years, and I think I’ve finally found the person I’m meant to be with. He’s supportive, kind, and we have so much fun together. We rarely fight, but lately something’s come up that we keep arguing about.

My boyfriend’s dad’s family lives in South America. For some time now, we’ve been planning to spend Thanksgiving there (COVID permitting) so he can see his grandma who is in poor health. We’re both going to pay our own way for this trip and have been very excited—both to spend time with his family and to take our first big trip together.

Recently, I found out my boyfriend’s mom’s side is also planning a very expensive all-inclusive resort vacation for next summer. This side of his family is well-off, and the trip will cost up to $8,000 dollars. His family went on another vacation previously and paid for both my boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend. They have said for this vacation, though, that they are uncomfortable paying for non-married significant others. Despite just learning about this, his family is already pressuring him and I to attend. My boyfriend makes significantly less than I do and will need his family to cover his expenses to go. I am fortunate enough to have a good job and could afford both trips, but it would mean I need to cut back significantly in other areas.

I am really frustrated at my boyfriend and the position his family has put me in. We had already been planning a trip over Thanksgiving, but now I feel like I am being forced into another, even more expensive trip. I believe if I said I couldn’t go to the all-inclusive vacation, his family would offer to pay for some of my trip, but at this point I don’t want to let his family pay for anything knowing they’ve already told him they’re uncomfortable doing so.

Do I just say no to the second trip and deal with his family’s disappointment? Or do I suck it up, pay the money, and just tell him we’re done with family trips for the foreseeable future? I hate to disappoint my boyfriend’s family, who I believe will someday be my in-laws, but I have other things I would spend my money/vacation time on if it were my choice.

— Vacation Blues

Re: Say no to the second trip and don't accept their offer to pay (if you really don't want to go).

  • Say no to the second trip.

    IMO LW and her BF need to be clear about it and state they completely understand that the family does not want to pay for them to go on this vacation however that amount is also not part of what they're planning to spend.  Wish them well and let them know that they look forward to the photos.  

    This is going to be the start of boundaries if LW marries into that family. 
    VarunaTTei34charlotte989875levioosa
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I read this as the family would pay for him but not for LW- even though LW said they could afford to pay for both. They would need to decide if it is ok for him to go without them. It's fine if not, use banana's wording. 
    charlotte989875
  • "Thanks so much for inviting me, future Ma and Pa!  But, with the trip we are already taking in Nov., it is not in my budget to take another vacation so soon."

    They'll either say they understand and not offer any money.

    Or they'll offer half or offer to pay all of it.  Something like that.  And then the LW can decide if they want to do that.  Sure, the parents have originally said they weren't going to pay for it.  But they can change their minds, if they want the LW to come that much.  All of that is still their choice and the LW should feel zero guilt if they take advantage of a new offer.
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    charlotte989875
  • "Thanks so much for inviting me, future Ma and Pa!  But, with the trip we are already taking in Nov., it is not in my budget to take another vacation so soon."

    They'll either say they understand and not offer any money.

    Or they'll offer half or offer to pay all of it.  Something like that.  And then the LW can decide if they want to do that.  Sure, the parents have originally said they weren't going to pay for it.  But they can change their minds, if they want the LW to come that much.  All of that is still their choice and the LW should feel zero guilt if they take advantage of a new offer.
    This exactly. 

    Neither boyfriend nor his family can spend LW’s money for them. So go on the first trip that you’ve budgeted for, and say you’re sorry but second trip is hot in the budget. Boyfriend can decide to go alone, or not go without you and his family can decide to offer to pay, or not. 
    short+sassy
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