To think it's not anti-social of me to not want to sit around with strangers whilst...

(38 Posts)
MrsMushroom Thu 13-Dec-12 10:24:52

DH works on his friend's house with him? We're currently staying in DH's home country and a good friend of his is renovating....DH wants to go and help him out tomorrow and asked me if I would come too so our DC could play with his and I could sit with the mate's wife and....what? Drink tea? Chat all day?

It's just not my idea of a good day. I told him that I didn't mind him going alone and I would find something to do with the kids alone....and that perhaps we could all go and visit as a family together at the weekend....he said I'm anti social.

Am I? I just don't want to be stuck with his mate's wife who I don't know...and their kids and ours all day whilst the men knock walls down.

AIBU?

ReindeerHooves Thu 13-Dec-12 13:28:25

Ooops sorry that'll teach me not to read an OP properly blush
I would go with what Mumsy says, say no this time (invent a prior engagement maybe) but suggest getting together at a time and place that makes much more sense.

Mumsyblouse Thu 13-Dec-12 13:00:12

MrsMushroom I feel your pain! Just say you don't think you want to come for an entire day (which it will be), but you'd really like to see them one evening for a meal (I'm guessing this is a culture where taking the children out in the evening is fine).

I am usually very co-operative and helpful when I go to stay with my husband in his culture, and go out of my way to welcome people to where we are staying/go out to things BUT a couple of hours is plenty, when you cannot easily access food/travel/language yourself. So, I tend to set very short visiting times, and go, take gifts, leave an hour later. We both know now that it doesn't work expecting the children to be well-behaved and not eat (as they often eat at different times) for hours and hours, so he goes off if he wants to do full-on socializing himself.

Just say no to this, but offer an alternative, thereby looking sociable but avoiding the all-day visit.

MrsMushroom Thu 13-Dec-12 12:55:02

Mumsy that is my fear! DH loves to spend HOURS with others but it's not him dealing with stroppy kids most of the time....and yes...it's all foreign to me here...I can't drive so no saying "Oh I'll just np out..."

Mumsyblouse Thu 13-Dec-12 12:53:23

And- this all comes down to the lack of control you have when you go abroad to a very different culture, so if you want to get food for the kids, or take them somewhere, or you don't speak the language that well, it's a whole different ball-game.

You can't really compare it to popping in for mince-pies for half an hour as a couple, which is more than reasonable.

Mumsyblouse Thu 13-Dec-12 12:51:08

I wouldn't go myself, because if your husband is from a similar culture to my own, this 'couple of hours' will turn into all day and night, and you will have to be there through several meals/children's naps etc. I would say that you don't think renovating buildings is the best place for children to play anyway (dust, falling stuff, having to tell them not to touch the tools 1000 times). I wouldn't want to be stuck there, getting irritable with him with him saying 'just another hour MrsMushroom

So, if it were for a couple of hours and you could leave easily, yes, it's a bit anti-social not to turn out at all to see them when you visit, but for a whole day amongst building work, no chance.

Thistledew Thu 13-Dec-12 12:45:08

If you don't want to be stuck around chatting all day, why not take some old clothes and get stuck in with the renovations?

I agree it is a bit unsociable not to go if you are expected.

MrsMushroom Thu 13-Dec-12 12:22:36

Reindeers no...because as I said in the OP, I am more than happy to attend get togethers which include both of us....I just don't want to be paired off with a woman and her DC that i dont know...for the whole day whhilst he does DIY.

Parties and BBQs I am happy to attend.

Dreaming it's not that I don't want to meet her....just not in those circumstances.

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 13-Dec-12 12:21:46

I think you are being mean to not make an effort! This is a very good friend of your husband and he obviously wants you to get to know them?

Is one day really too much to ask - your ds will have someone to play with and you never know you might enjoy it.

I have to say, I agree with Pandemoniaa. It's one thing to be shy, it's another thing to consider spending some time with someone a waste of time, or to think it only counts as socialising if your husband is there, etc.

I think if you tell your husband you don't want to go because it would be a big imposition to spend all day there, he should understand.

If you're saying you don't want to spend time with his best friend's family because you don't want to talk with her and it would be a big waste of your time, well, that's a bit harsh really.

helpyourself Thu 13-Dec-12 12:10:36

What will you do instead?

ReindeerHooves Thu 13-Dec-12 12:00:39

Looking at this from the other side, I really really wish that dh would make the effort to get to know my friends and socialise with them but he's not interested. I would never insist that he comes to parties or days out if he doesn't want to and I don't guilt trip him about it either. He just doesn't feel the need to have many people in his life.

Last Saturday night I went to a friend's 30th birthday party. I had a good time. I drank and danced and had a giggle with my friends. HOWEVER everyone else's dp was there and mine wasn't and it made me feel a bit sad. I'd love him to join in. I really wish he'd make the effort, every now and again, to be part of my social life.

Could it be that your dh feels the same?

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Thu 13-Dec-12 11:57:04

I assume that English isn't the OP's Husband's first languge. If this is the case then he may not see the cultural distinction between unsocial and anti-social - anti-social has a strong negative connotation to it in the way unsocial doesn't eg ASBOs

Crinkle77 Thu 13-Dec-12 11:53:29

YANBU. It would be ok for a couple of hours but not all day. It is very tiring have to make conversation with a stranger all day. Saying that perhaps if you are staying in your husbands home country maybe he was trying to encourage you to make friends so you would have some company

MrsMushroom Thu 13-Dec-12 11:51:01

I have no idea if the wife knows...knowing DH he has casually mentioned "Oh I'll bring Mushroom and the kids so they can all play" and not waited for any yay or nay.

But this is a casual country so that's not really an issue and he's probably asked if X is around too.

I wouldn't be able to leave at my leisure...I cant drive and this country is boiling hot....poor public transport too.

kittykarate Thu 13-Dec-12 11:32:42

i Does the wife know about this plan/ has she invited you?

One of my husband's friends does this to his wife all the time - invites people round to do something and leaves his missus to entertain the other half, regardless of her having other plans. (e.g. wrapping Xmas presents/going shopping/marking homework)

Onemoreforgoodmeasure Thu 13-Dec-12 11:30:00

Some people woul dbe totally happy doing that, and I can imagine it could possibly be a light easy way to spend some time, but not for me either. I'm social, but an introvert, I get my fill of other poeple quite quickly.

TheCountessOlenska Thu 13-Dec-12 11:27:03

I need to know more!

Are the kids a similar age?

Are you in this country long term and therefore, do you need to meet people (or is it short term and not worth making a special effort?)

Does the wife know about this plan/ has she invited you?

Are we talking hot weather and playing in the garden/ pool or inside as it's snowing outside?

Is there a language/ cultural barrier or some kind?

Pandemoniaa Thu 13-Dec-12 11:22:52

I'd have been rather more sympathetic if you didn't use expressions like because I think time's too precious to waste and such a bother because it doesn't suggest shyness. Instead, it comes across as being too self-important to make an effort.

Your DH is right when he says you were anti-social although I think "not being sociable" is probably a fairer expression. I can see why you mightn't want to spend a whole day at his friend's house but would it be such a terrible thing to compromise and go there for a couple of hours?

RedHelenB Thu 13-Dec-12 11:18:15

Agree with your husband I'm afraid! Why not give it ago, you & your kids may have a wonderful time & get to know some nice new friends. I have often done things I don't really fancy & they can often turn out to be really good.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 13-Dec-12 11:13:57

I'd pop in for a couple of hours to say hi etc. and then go do my own thing.

Lesbeadiva Thu 13-Dec-12 11:08:09

If you don't want to go don't. If your DH is angry that is his issue not yours. It is his friend. I wouldn't go either if I didn't want to. Why should the op feel obliged in any way to go? If your husband wants to take the kids to play, he should! If he wants to go help his friend renovate, he should. If you want to do something else with your day, you should.

MrsKwaziipanFruits Thu 13-Dec-12 11:08:04

I agree that having your children play together while you drink and chat with their Mum is sociable. However, I wouldn't fancy being there all day having to wait for DH to finish work.

The other thing is, have you actually been invited or is your DH just assuming that it will be OK? His mate's wife may have plans already that day which she may not be able to break for instance. Also, having a whole extra family over all day presumably means that she'll feel obliged to make lunch and most likely dinner too? If she hasn't offered for you to come over, that's quite a lot to organise on the day itself.

Alternatively, if you have been invited I think it would be rather rude to turn it down. Or why not give her a call and find out if there's anywhere you can get out to with all of the children.

Tbh, overall you sound like you're just looking for any excuse not to go. I know it's hard when you're shy, but making a bit of an effort here would be nice. Esp as it's your DH's best friend.

MrsMushroom Thu 13-Dec-12 11:00:07

I just don't like sitting in other people's homes when I don't know them well...it's such a bother! All day is too long....she'll feel she has to "host" and the kids will be unsure of rules and where things are...as will I. I don't think it's antisocial...I can't drive so we'll be stuck there.

Tryharder Thu 13-Dec-12 10:55:34

Wow! Nice attitudes on this thread. Maybe you and your DC will have a fab time with people you get on great with. You are being unsociable. No wonder your DH is pissed off with you.

To the poster who doesn't want to go to the small North London flat: I assume you live in a big house sarf of the river or have I got that completely wrong?

helpyourself Thu 13-Dec-12 10:45:49

What's the alternative? YABU unreasonable if you'll be at home watching Jeremy Kyle or dragging your dc round shops. If the children are a similar age it could be fun.

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