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Holidays with another couple - ongoing

(78 Posts)
PinkCosmos Mon 24-Apr-23 15:38:39

Over the last three years we have been on five big (i.e. over a week) holidays with another couple. This has been when Covid has allowed.

We last went away with them in October last year for two weeks abroad.

Since then they have had two holidays on their own and we have had one. This is mainly because they had pre booked time off and made a late booking.

I prefer to go on holiday just with my DH as I find it too stressful going away with others. We don't always want to do the same thing but end up doing what they want just for an easy life.

I did post about this situation twelve months ago. Here is the link.

They had mentioned recently going away with us again later this year.

However, long story short, I have booked a holiday for just me and DH. We hadn't told them as we were worried about how they would take it.

They have now asked us if we want to book something so I had to confess that we have already booked.

Well, she has gone mental, saying that she is upset and disappointed with me as we more or less said we would go with them.

I said I was worried about telling them as I was worried that it would cause this reaction.

In fairness, I shouldn't have been such a wuss and told them we were going on our own before I booked. However, if it had been the other way around and they had booked without telling us, I wouldn't have reacted badly at all.

My DH has spoke to her DH and he said she was fuming. This has all been by text.

I don't know if this is the last we will hear from them. I consider them friends but we always seem to fall in with them and what they want to do. I don't think they like going away on their own.

I know I should put my big girl knickers on but I really don't know how to make this right so that we don't fall out with them.

I am very non confrontational, which has got me in this position.

Any advice on what I should say if we meet face to face. I am feeling really anxious about this.

I know I need assertiveness training.

Primrose53 Mon 24-Apr-23 15:46:52

You’ve made your decision and she is being childish.

TBH holidaying with anybody other than just my husband would be awful. We have been asked many times but I always say thanks for asking but we do just like being alone together. Everybodu has just said that’s fine.

Enjoy your holiday and don’t worry about it.

Daisymae Mon 24-Apr-23 15:53:26

I'm not really sure what you actually get out of this friendship. The couple seem to dictate what you do when you go away and you go along with it for a quiet life. The response that you got was exactly what you thought would happen as you know them so well. I would just enjoy your holiday and let them go their own way. Just be all smiles when you bump into them, you certainly have not done anything to feel guilty about. I personally would not want to go away with them again.

Spinnaker Mon 24-Apr-23 15:56:48

I would question whether a good friend should have the ability to make you feel like you do ?

You are quite within your rights to book whatever you want and whenever you want without being held to account by her. I get the feeling that she knows you are more easy going and gets her own way too often ? That says more about her than it does you. It's not a good quality to play on someone's easy going nature is it ? She should be taking a look at her own behaviour.

Next time you meet just be as you always are - let the first question come from her. When it does, just ask her very politely why does it bother her that you and your husband want to have a holiday on your own ? Nobody is saying that you won't ever holiday together in the future but just now and again she should expect not to be included in your holiday plans.

I hope it goes well and enjoy your holiday - without her !

Norah Mon 24-Apr-23 16:01:41

We're not about hols with any others. Sounds as if you're not either.

Let that be the end to it.

Smile and nod if asked questions, don't fuss with a bully. Never ends well.

Smileless2012 Mon 24-Apr-23 16:06:55

Why wait until you meet? Can't you 'phone her and say you had no idea that booking a holiday for the two of you would cause so much upset, especially as you've both holidayed alone before and as much as you enjoy holidays with them, you also want to go away as a couple.

I'd rather do this sooner rather than later, than wait indefinitely until you meet up again. If she remains fuming, you may never hear from them again anyway but at least contacting her means you're not on the back foot.

sodapop Mon 24-Apr-23 16:12:04

I agree with that Smileless2012 seems like a good way to resolve the situation.

Forsythia Mon 24-Apr-23 16:13:56

I think if it were me, I’d not be going away with them again unless it was just a very short mini break. I can’t understand why you aren’t cross yourself with this so called friend. It all sounds very controlling to me.
Ring her. Be direct. Tell her you wanted a holiday alone with your husband and if it upsets her so much, there will be no further quartets. It is just ridiculous.

AGAA4 Mon 24-Apr-23 16:15:22

Your friend sounds quite controlling. Be honest with her and say in future you will go on holiday with just your DH but you would still like to stay friends with her. The ball is then in her court. If she values the friendship she will respect your wishes.

dogsmother Mon 24-Apr-23 16:17:26

Agree with smiless too preempt any more aggro and it will make you a lot more comfortable.

Baggs Mon 24-Apr-23 16:20:57

I don't really see why you feel the need to explain yourselves to this silly couple. They sound ridiculously immature.

BlueBelle Mon 24-Apr-23 16:21:12

Oh dear the thought of a holiday with other than family wouldn’t work for me, I really wouldn’t worry too much you’ve done what you ve done for a reason and she can jump up and down all she likes
I don’t totally agree with smileless why say you enjoy going away with them when you obviously don’t that’ll just encourage them to ask again
I d just be quote bland if you speak again and apologise for upsetting them but explain you wanted a holiday as a couple and leave it at they If they never speak again you don’t sound as if you’ve lost a lot
Don’t bother feeling worried you ve done what you’ve done for a good reason

Smileless2012 Mon 24-Apr-23 16:23:24

I did think of that BlueBelle but thought PinkCosmos may feel more comfortable saying so. If it were me on the other hand .........

Norah Mon 24-Apr-23 16:26:58


I don't really see why you feel the need to explain yourselves to this silly couple. They sound ridiculously immature.


Don't explain, "talk" endlessly to idiots.

I'd hate hols with others, just me. And sounds like OP.

Smile, nod and move to talk about your garden/films.

Ziplok Mon 24-Apr-23 16:37:00

I really fail to understand why she is getting so upset. You say that both of you have holidayed alone (ie just yourself and DH, not as a foursome), so it’s not as if she has never had a holiday without you and your husband before. She sounds very immature in some respects and controlling in another respect as it seems from what you have said that you have to fall in with them. Time to loosen ties, I think, especially as you say you find it too stressful going away with others. To feel stressed negates the point of the holiday, really, therefore stick to your guns. She has two choices - she’ll either get over it or she won’t. If she doesn’t, that’s really not your problem, but hers.
Really, do not feel guilty about what you have done, you have nothing to be guilty about.

annodomini Mon 24-Apr-23 16:47:08

As you say that they have been away twice on their own, I can't imagine why she should be taken aback by your decision to go your own way. Let her fume!

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 24-Apr-23 16:50:02

I think this friendship has probably run its course. You don’t seem to get anything positive out of it. This woman sounds very controlling and highly strung. If she’s so easily upset that you’re afraid to tell her you’ve booked your own holiday, that’s not good. Enjoy your holiday and don’t even hint that you might take so much as a short break with them ever again.

pascal30 Mon 24-Apr-23 16:57:52

don't justify yourself, no need.. enjoy your holiday doing what you want to do!!

Oreo Mon 24-Apr-23 17:35:34

If they consider you as good friends and you’ve had lots of holidays with them I see why she would feel disappointed, but not that she would be openly angry with you.
They obvs value you and enjoy being with you.
Say that you want to plan one holiday with you and hubster and another with them next time if you really do want another hol with them?
If not, you’ll have to come clean and say that tho you love going out with them as friends, as you’re getting older you and DH want to enjoy holiday times together.

Calendargirl Mon 24-Apr-23 18:16:17

What does your DH think? Does he still like going on holiday with them, or would he prefer to go with just you?

If it makes you miserable, whether he agrees or not, he ought to support you.

But if he prefers going as a foursome, he probably isn’t happy with that.

Why do we give ourselves grief over things like this though? Life is too short to keep doing things to please others.

I hope you and your DH agree about the way forward, I would ring the ‘friend’ and say you are sorry she’s upset, but times change and you want to holiday differently now.

Tenko Mon 24-Apr-23 20:14:21

I don’t get why she’s upset about you having a holiday with your DH , when she’s also had holidays just with her DH . She sounds immature and I’d ask her why she’s upset , if you value her friendship you need to discuss it.
Are you going to a place she’s wanted to go to ? Or is it a place the four of you have discussed going to together?
We’ve had a lot of holidays with very good friends. It started with our kids, who are the same age . And then moved to just us four . We tend to do road trips with them as her dh can navigate and my dh drives. We’ve also done a few city breaks as well . We’re different in our holiday requirements as they like exploring, museums and galleries and hate the heat , whilst we love a beach holiday with a few exploring days thrown in . So our differences make it easy for both couples to holiday on our own .
Tbh I wonder about a couples relationship when they always go on holiday with others .

Ali08 Tue 25-Apr-23 13:31:22

Tbh, you're nor exactly getting a holiday when you go with them if it's all they want to do!
Do they ever ask you where you want to go, or do they choose that, too?
Holidays with others are all fine & dandy as long as they accept that you won't be doing everything they want to do and you'd like to go off on your own/with your husband at times, too. They may prefer to lounge on a beach drinking sangrias, while you may want to see certain sights or visit museums etc.
It's only a holiday for everyone if everyone gets to enjoy it!
And, as you said, they had 2 extra holidays that they booked and took without you, so why shouldn't you do the same?
If she's that upset about it, it may be time to just go your own way and do your own thing - be happy - and let her find someone else to tell how to have their holidays!!

NanaDana Tue 25-Apr-23 13:36:05

It seems to me that you're way over-thinking this. If you don't want to go, then just don't.

PinkCosmos Tue 25-Apr-23 14:55:50

Thank you all for your replies and advice.

I think her issue is that we had discussed going on holiday but had not made any proper plans. None of us are retired. They have to book time off work quite far in advance. The dates I had booked did not coincide with their dates. I didn't know what dates they had booked off. The holiday I booked was the best dates for the cheapest option.

It makes it worse as I had talked to my DH to try to come up with a way to tell them that we don't want to go away them, without them getting too upset. However, when we met up my DH just went along with their plans and I ended up barely saying anything. I feel like I am the odd one out.

I do think that she is a bit of a bully - though a subtle one. Her DH is totally under the thumb. They do everything together. Over the years they have always seemed to prefer to go away with other people rather than just the two of them. As one poster said, that says more about their relationship than anything else.

I did say to her that I was sorry for not telling her before we booked and that we would be happy to go away with them another time.

When we do go away I usually go along with whatever everyone else wants to do. One time she wanted to do something and I said I would prefer not to, as did both DH's. She was clearly not happy and sulked for quite a while.

Dalfie5577 Tue 25-Apr-23 15:45:53

Does being with this couple bring you joy? Or do you dread seeing them because of the angst they bring with them?
If it is the latter, maybe the friendship has run it's course.