From the forums:
I understand that he plays a role in maintaining the flow of everything and he has responsibilities for the weekend. I understand that this is not a “romantic getaway” for us two. However, I’ve always viewed these getaways as a 2-for-1 sort of deal. We are able to travel to amazing places and stay at beautiful resorts at a discounted rate. These are opportunities that we would not be able to afford otherwise. The compromise is that I understand that he’s working, and, when we have down time, we also are able to do our own thing. I have tried to make sure that I am not too needy and don’t demand much of his time while he is working. And I know that it is possible for us to make this work (there are several other couples who come on this trip with partners who are working).
I just can’t understand why he doesn’t think that we can make it work. We have discussed starting a family in the next year. Once children are involved, I definitely won’t be able to go on these types of trips anymore. I don’t like the idea of being told that I can’t go on this fun social trip because he doesn’t want to feel like he has to tend to me. How would you all feel if your significant other said that you can no longer accompany him on these “business” trips because he wants to keep it separate from his personal life? Especially when you know that this is the only real opportunity that you will be able to afford to travel to these places? — Tripping Out
You say you’ve been on a few of these trips and now your fiancé is asking that you not go because you’re a distraction. Have you asked him what he means by that? I suspect that when you “try not to be needy or demand too much of his time,” you are, in fact, being pretty needy and demanding of his time. The truth is that over a 72-hour business trip, your fiancé probably doesn’t have any “down time” in which he is “able to do his own thing.” If the point of this trip is to build business relationships and your fiancé has the added responsibility of hosting the whole thing, I can’t imagine that he actually has any down time at all. And I imagine that when you’re there, hoping for a dinner or two together and some private time, he feels pressured to give that to you even though it’s at the cost of time he should be devoting to the actual purpose of the trip.
Before we had kids, I used to accompany my husband on his business trips. He got to go to some pretty cool places, and I was happy to tag along and have a free place to stay. But I understood that he was working very long days and was literally only working and sleeping until the business part of the business trip was over. There was no down time. While that was exhausting for him, it was fine with me — I’m great an entertaining myself and was happy to go off sight-seeing on my own while he was busting his butt getting work done. Then, at the end of the business trip, we always extended our stay a few days so that my husband could decompress and we could have some personal time together, enjoying some of the sights together.
If it’s not possible for you to 100% entertain yourself on these business trips, and it’s not possible for you two to extend your stay a couple of days and pay out-of-pocket for your lodging (your husband may be eligible for a discount), I’d suggest you drop your argument and focus instead on affordable ways the two of you can enjoy quality time together. You may not be able to afford fancy resorts, but what about a weekend get-away in a modest hotel a couple hours from where you live? Away from his work responsibilities, your fiancé could give you all the focus it sounds like you probably desire without any distractions.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning a couple other possibilities for his change in welcoming you on these business trips. For one thing, maybe your fiancé is embarrassed by past behavior of yours. (You mention the 72-hour open bar. Is it possible you’ve taken too much advantage of this amenity?) Or perhaps your fiancé has another woman, or wants to be free to pursue other women, on these trips. The latter seems unlikely since this is a work trip and he’d risk his reputation and career by philandering or being perceived as sexually harassing his colleagues, but you know his character and his behavior and, if either has been questionable lately, this is worth considering (certainly before marrying him).
Bottom line: This is you fiancé’s work trip. If he doesn’t want you to go, don’t go. Discuss why he doesn’t want you to go, but don’t fight him on the topic, and find other ways you two can spend quality time together since a business trip is not the time or place for that.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].