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AIBU to want mu OH to join in just once in a while?

(8 Posts)
isme10 Fri 22-Nov-13 11:29:38

My OH is very sociable when out and about,,, he goes to the local every day but he NEVER wants anyone to come back to our house. I always knew he was a bit anti social and doesn't suffer fools gladly.

I like to get out and about and since we sort of semi retired we have worked out a system that works for both of us. At first I found it hard to join in things on my own in a new place (we moved abroad) but now I have lots of friends and belong to different things. Some of my friends are in couples some are single. Some know my OH some have never met him.

This is where it gets difficult. I can't invite people for a meal becaue he won't join in and lurks about, noisily, in the background and that makes even the most thick skinned of my friends feel uncomfortable.

My friends always invite me to there houses for dinner etc and I always insist on providing something substantial or even doing the whole meal on occasions because its more comfortable than being at my house. When I am invited they always say and bring OH too but they know its not going to happen.

I must say he is never resentful of me going but often makes little comments that remind me of the kid in the school playground that just longs to join in but can't quite summon the courage.

AIBU that just once in a blue moon, however uncomfortable it might make him feel (I know that for all his bluster he is very shy when cornered in social situations) he could make the effort to come along with me? I just find it so tedious explaining all the time and making excuses, especially to new people that I meet and who genuinely are interested to meet OH too. I feel that they feel insulted that he just wont do it.

isme10 Fri 22-Nov-13 12:18:21

just re-read this and would like to say I do know the difference between there and their (spelling "there house")....clearly my fingers and brain were not engaged at the same time ....

CoffeeTea103 Fri 22-Nov-13 12:43:30

Yanbu, does he have anxiety issues with being around people. Some people prefer their own company but not to this extent. It must be quite frustrating to feel on edge when you around people with him.

Does he give you any reasons why? Has he always been like this.

isme10 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:34:16

No he can't give reasons other than to say its just how he is. His family are all pretty insular I have discovered. I really do understand that he finds it difficult and can feel his discomfort when we have been in unavoidable situations and he really is not comfortable. He doesn't like to feel out of control of his situation and refers to being "trapped" in someone's house when he has simply been invited to dinner with nice people.

Its just that once in a while there is something going on that I would really feel more comfortable attending if I had his support and company. I have been on my own i.e. without a partner after a separation and that is easier but when you are one of a couple and its all couples I almost feel that people think there must be something wrong with me. They give me the Spanish inquisition then make it a mission to try to get him involved which only makes it worse. They come out with silly statements like, "if I invite him he won't be able to say no to me"... Don't you believe it..not only will he say NO but he will assume I put the pressure on and, therefore, have been talking about him behind his back and so will then very likely be really rude to them and cross with me for days.

I suppose I am just feeling miffed because its that time of year when things go on and I would just like him to make a small effort to put aside his feelings just once and at least "offer" to join in. I suggested he join a small group of us who meet up regularly and we are having a pre-Christmas get together...very informal. All I asked was that he turn up for the pre-eats drinks and we could make an excuse why he had to get away. It would be easy to arrange but he just point blank refused and then was very rude about my friends who he doesn't even know except from what I tell him about them.

I think I must just accept it will ever be thus. He is a sort of "if cornered take flight" sort of a chap and will NEVER talk about his feelings.

FredFredGeorge Fri 22-Nov-13 13:52:52

It sounds very much like your OH has done a very good job learning to deal with his anxieties such that in the social situations he's learnt to follow he comes across very well - and he's possibly even comfortable in some of the situations (e.g. out to the local)

However unusual situations are still so difficult for him, given that you were asking him to a situation with complete strangers, it's not that surprising to me that he was very defensive over doing it. Can you not bring the strangers to his comfortable socialising place, rather than get him to go to places where he's already uncomfortable to make him even more uncomfortable with strangers?

He knows the "rules" of his local, he can deal, maybe suggest bringing your friends to there?

Ihavenopigs Fri 22-Nov-13 13:55:50

Ya by do wish for what you want. But yabu to want to change him. Wanting to drag him along to such things is as bad as if he insisted you didn't go because he doesn't want to. He's just not sociable, he doesn't enjoy that kind of company. He's happy to let you do what you want so let him do what he's happy with.

Ihavenopigs Fri 22-Nov-13 13:56:57

Yanbu not 'ya by'

isme10 Fri 22-Nov-13 17:30:34

I would like to be clear that I am NOT TRYING TO FORCE HIM TO DO ANYTHING. I understand completely that he has anxieties. Perhaps,however, I wasn't very clear about the thing I wanted him to come to. It involves some people he hasn't met and some he knows well as we meet in the local bar from time to time. He is perfectly happy in that environment because he can up and leave when he wants to and is control of the situation.

I suppose I posed the question because we constantly do stuff that he wants to do and go places he wants to go even though its not my cup of tea but I go because I know he wants to. So really I am just asking him, not as a way of life but once in a while to join me in something. I chose this particular thing because he knows a lot of the people and because they would be happy for him just to show up for some of the time and then leave under his own steam.

I don't expect him to change his entire personality as he is too long in the tooth for that but at the same time when we were in business he managed well and frequently admitted that he had enjoyed social events that he had not been expecting to enjoy. Now he simply says no and thats that.

I would add that we are living in a non English speaking country and he is not good at the language. I have had to learn and am not good but cope. He doesn't even try. I would also like to be clear that we are living here as a matter of his choice..I had my doubts but do love it now but it has been hard work to learn to communicate. The social group I am in is a mix of English and English Speaking locals and some locals that don't speak much if any English.

The event however would not be a language challenge as I wouldn't never consider putting him into a difficult scenario like that. I have worked really hard to speak the language and I think he does resent the fact that I cope and sometimes have to do the lions share of sorting things out. Its another loss of control but I always try to do it sensitively.

Fact is I do a lot of tiptoing and I can't decide whether to make a stand or just give in and carry on as we are. I probably won't get what I am hoping for but wondered if it was unreasonable to want it?

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