DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married nine years and have four children, ages 5, 3, 2 and 9 months. For the past three years, my husband has been attending a weeklong music festival where he camps with a group of friends, many of whom are single. He met most of them attending this particular fest.
When they are at these shows, they partake in psychedelics and other party drugs. The arena is wild, with scantily clad women and people partying to the fullest. I have explained to him how this bothers me and that I don't believe it's the best environment for a married man and father of four small children. I feel it threatens our marriage. He says I can "come if I want," but that I'd need to find child care for the week (an option we don't have since losing our parents).
In truth, I feel like a burden to him, and he prefers going solo to "get a release" from the everyday responsibilities of our life together. Each year, I ask him not to go, but he does it anyway. I'd greatly appreciate your insight about this. -- LEFT BEHIND IN REAL LIFE
DEAR LEFT BEHIND: You are not a "burden." You are shouldering the entire responsibility of caring for the family while he goes off and indulges himself. If this trip is your husband's one-week escape from reality, is he willing to agree to the same for you? I'm sure you could benefit from a week away from mothering three small children and an infant.
While I would equate your husband's escape to the music festival with the hunting and fishing trips some husbands take each year, the difference is that there are fewer "temptations" on those other outdoor pastimes. If he's a good husband the other 51 weeks of the year, and there is nothing you can do to dissuade him, then dwell on the positive. If he isn't, you may have some serious thinking to do about whether you want to remain in this marriage.