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Guy Upset After Wife Hijacks Free Vacation He Won To Florida By Inviting Her Mom And Daughter

a couple seated on a couch arguing
Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

When someone says they’re taking a trip to Florida, a lot of people assume they’re talking about the Orlando/Kissimmee area where multiple family resorts and attractions are located.

But while it only ranks 22nd among U.S. states in total square miles, the shape of Florida makes traveling north to south a long journey. Orlando is rather centrally located, but it still takes hours to drive there from coastal cities.

So when a man won a trip to coastal Florida, he was shocked when his wife decided it was a Disney World vacation. After butting heads, he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” subReddit for feedback.

Freerideaita asked:

“AITA for not letting my wife hijack a free vacation?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“One of my (39, male) hobbies is entering raffles, sweepstakes, radio contests, etc… I’ve won tickets to concerts, sporting events, some household items, gift cards, but never a grand prize like a car or vacation.”

“Until last month when I won a free trip for 4 people to Fort Myers, Florida for 5 nights. Obviously, I was super excited and told my wife (38, female) about it right away.”

“After our initial excitement wore off and we started talking about details, it became apparent we had conflicting ideas about this trip. Before I could even make suggestions about what I want this trip to be, my wife brought up how excited her 11-year-old daughter would be and how we could go to Disney, Sea World, etc…”

“She then said that we can bring her mom with to help watch her daughter so that we could have some time for ourselves.”

“She was so excited about it and was getting wrapped up in planning things without even hearing what I wanted. I told her that all of that sounds like fun, but I was thinking that we could invite another couple and have it be an adult-only trip instead of bringing my stepdaughter and mother-in-law (MIL) with.”

“She did not like my idea one bit and told me that she wouldn’t feel right taking a free trip like that and leaving her daughter behind. She also said that her mom has never been to Florida and this would be a perfect opportunity for her to go there.”

“We argued back and forth a little bit before deciding to take a break and come back to it before telling anyone about it.”

“Well, that lasted about 24-hours before my wife let it slip to her daughter that I had won a trip. So, of course, stepdaughter immediately got excited about it and started looking into all the things she wants to do.”

“I asked my wife why she told her daughter and she said it was an accident, which, come on. It started a fight between us and emotions got a little high.”

“I told her she was wrong to bring her daughter into this after we agreed to wait and that I never agreed to take stepdaughter or MIL on this trip. I told her that I was the one who won the trip and she was acting like this was something specifically for her.”

“She told me I was being selfish and that we should include those closest to us in something like this, especially when neither stepdaughter or MIL have ever been to Florida. She said that bringing another couple and leaving her daughter home would be cruel, especially now that she’s so excited about it.”

“I told her that her daughter is only excited about it because she decided to blab to her about it instead of waiting like we had agreed. My stepdaughter and I get along fine and I love her.”

“But that doesn’t mean I want to spend this trip waiting in lines at Disney or Universal. The trip isn’t even to Orlando, it’s to Fort Myers. So, getting to Disney would require a lot more work than my wife thinks it will.”

“I don’t think she grasps how big Florida is and how much of a hassle it would be to get to Orlando from Fort Myers, even just for one day. I think she just heard ‘Florida’ and her mind immediately went to Disney.”

For those unfamiliar with the state, the total driving distance from Fort Myers to Orlando is 157 miles or 253 kilometers if back and side roads are included.

Google maps

The fastest route using interstate I-4 with tolls is 187 miles or 2 hours and 43 minutes one way in low traffic periods. The US-27 route is 156 miles, but approximately 3 hours one way due to traffic and reduced speeds for residential and commercial areas.

Google maps

That’s a minimum of 5 hours, 26 minutes for just driving to and from Orlando.

“I told her if she wants to bring her daughter and MIL then she can also pick someone else to go with because I would rather stay home by myself than go on a vacation where I don’t get to be involved in any decisions.”

“I said that if she wants to go that route, she certainly can, but I’m not paying for any of it—we have separate finances. Now she thinks I’m being a jerk and should be happy about having a free family trip.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I won a free trip to Florida in a raffle. My wife and I have conflicting ideas about what this trip should be.”

“She wants it to be a family trip with her daughter and mom. I want to invite friends and have it be an adults-only trip.”

“She told her daughter about it after we had agreed to wait and now she thinks I’m being a jerk because I’m not happy about it being a family trip. I ended up telling her to go without me.”

“I think I might be an a**hole for not wanting to go on a family trip with my wife, stepdaughter, and MIL.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors felt the OP was not the a**hole (NTA) even if some took outsized exception to him calling his stepdaughter his stepdaughter.

“NTA. I see comments negative to OP, but he presented his idea and his wife presented hers. They were supposed to continue the discussion later. That’s good.”

“The disconnect came when she involved the daughter. His wife plowed ahead with her idea. That’s not what they agreed to. They agreed to discuss a plan.”

“As a Floridian, I point out that Ft. Myers is nowhere near Disney. It’s a minimum of four hours away, requiring a hotel that negates the free hotel night they’d be giving up.”

OP should proceed as if his wife hadn’t already told the daughter. Does the wife want to go to Ft. Myers? Then no Disney. no Universal.” 

“Yes? Let’s ask x couple. No? Then bros, brother-in-laws, his mom, whatever. Or take the cash and pay the taxes.”

“The daughter should be told by the wife, ‘I heard Florida and got excited. I jumped the gun. It’s way away from Disney. We’re not going to Disney without you, but no one’s going to Disney on this trip’.” ~ Popular-Way-7152

“Fort Myers is about 160 miles from Orlando—it’s not the same destination.

“That’s like winning a trip to Syracuse, New York and saying ‘let’s see a Broadway play while we’re there!’.” ~ Sad_Construction_668

“God, don’t do it even if you do end up taking them. My parents own a vacation home in Fort Myers. We started going when I was like 12.”

“I still remember the absolute PAIN getting from Fort Myers, into the Disney area. It was a headache even for us as kids.”

“Fort Myers is more of a ‘relax and do very little’ area. I wouldn’t waste an entire day fighting traffic, long lines, and screaming kids at Disney.” ~ 1nfamous_outcome

“Does your wife know the trip is to Ft Myers? It’d be even more disappointing to get her daughter all excited to go to Disney just to have to let her down when you’re there because it’s a logistical mess.”

“She needs to see a map of the driving distance. Dollars to donuts, she’d be miserable in a car with a miserable child, miserable mom, and miserable husband if she tries to stick to her ‘plan’.”

“What good is a free trip if you spend half of it in a car and the other half with someone’s hand in your wallet?” ~ fomaaaaa

“She needs more than a map of the driving distance, she needs to see the drive TIME!”

“I live 35 miles from Disney, we go maybe once a year and it takes at least an hour and a half to get there, park, walk and or take a tram, and get into the park. I’m usually ready to pull my hair out by the time we get in.”

“And that’s not even taking I-4 into account, I usually take backroads because I hate it so much, it’s the deadliest interstate in the country and just a general pain in the a**.” ~ rhinofantastic

“NTA. It’s true that in marriage, communication and compromise are the keys to resolving conflicts, but it seems like your wife stepped over those crucial elements by making unilateral decisions regarding the trip.”

“The trip you won should be a collaborative decision, not a presumption on her part to include just her family without respecting your wishes.”

“Moreover, her decision to prematurely excite her daughter about the trip without your consent was a strategy to box you into a corner, which is a manipulative move and not indicative of a healthy partnership dynamic. This is especially concerning considering the separate finances aspect—it feels like a boundary issue as well.”

“You are allowed to envision your own happiness, especially about a prize *you* won. Her inability to see your perspective or offer a respectful compromise is troubling.”

“It may be worthwhile to explore deeper issues at play within the relationship dynamics, especially considering your stepdaughter’s place in the family structure and how everyone’s needs can be met while still respecting individual desires.” ~ BakerZealousideal623

Using a child to manipulate someone isn’t fair to the person being emotionally blackmailed or to the child.

Hopefully mom doesn’t decide to make this a habit.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.