Re meeting other mums and always having DH/DP with you?

(31 Posts)
Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 10:41:27

I think I really might be BU here, in which case it would be really interesting to hear other opinions. I'm just getting slightly bemused by friends who do all their casual socialising with their DH tagging along.

To put it in context, I moved to where I live when pg so all my local friends are other mums with a 1yo-ish. I'm now back at work f/t so can only meet them at the weekend. DP works most weekends. Now I really do appreciate that for the majority of couples the weekend is family time. I do try not to encroach upon that and ask friends to do something that would eat into their time together, but I like to catch up with the other mums I met during mat leave and so I tend to ask if they are free for a quick coffee. It's been a few months back at work now so I've learnt which friends would rather not do something like that on the weekend, which is fine (I see them if we go out in the evening or we rearrange bigger group meet-ups at soft play etc). But there are a couple of friends who seem happy to meet up quickly, so I'll generally go to them for an hour or so, quick coffee and catch up, the babies have a play, all nice.

However the bit that bemuses me is that their DH always sits with us too. This is quite different from how me and DP are, which is why I might be BU about this. If a friend of mine comes to our house and DP is in, he comes and has a chat for half an hour or so, plays with the kids if there are any, but then he will excuse himself and go and do something else (normally housework, which is great grin). The logic being that it is my friend who is visiting, and while of course we like to know each other's friends and get on with them, we also appreciate the other person might want a bit of time alone to catch up with their friend. Other mums I visit, their DH sits in the room with us ? not really getting involved in the conversation, not really playing with the kids, just sitting there as if... well, as if it has been a bit enforced. They always know if DP is not coming with me. And as I mentioned before, no one is old friends, these are new friends made through baby groups etc.

This is just one example, but it is the one that has really intrigued me. Do other people always catch up with friends with their DH with them? Are DP and I really odd for not doing all our socialising together?

If my DH likes the friend, he'll hang out. If he doesn't, or if I ask him to go away, he'll clear off.

LokiTheCynicalCat Wed 03-Apr-13 10:47:39

YANBU for not doing all your socialising together. But they are NBU for doing their socialising during family time at weekends, as a family.

We do our separate socialising in the evening after work - either he goes out from work or comes home to relieve me (SAHM) and we go out. The number of daylight hours in which the baby is awake and available for play is very short when you work full time, so we spend weekends together. The thing is, DH is a parent too, not just me, and he likes to take part in conversations with other parent friends. He doesn't get to talk about his lovely baby much during the working day, and maybe wouldn't have the same opportunities I do to make new parent friends. I'd certainly always ask him if I'm meeting someone for a quick coffee on a Saturday, unless he specifically wasn't invited!

Coconutty Wed 03-Apr-13 10:48:27

I agree that if DH likes my friend he will sit and chat too, if not he'll fuck off.

Coconutty Wed 03-Apr-13 10:49:19

Weekends are definitely family time here too.

lecce Wed 03-Apr-13 10:49:28

I completely agree with you and I do find it quite odd that some couples seem to find it impossible to do anything without the other. DH is a sahd and we like to divide weekends between time as a family, and me doing stuff with the dc alone- to kind of 'reassert' myself as a parent with him not there. Of course everyone is different, but it amazes me how some people are happy to both go to every event and don't take the chance to do something they couldn't really do with dc there- even if it's just catching up on housework.

I find it completely changes the dynamic when you are used to seeing someone alone but then their dh is constantly sitting there, not really participating but just 'there'.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 03-Apr-13 10:49:44

DH & I have lots of mutual parenty friends so if it's one of them coming round, he likes to catch up too. If it's one of my girly mates though, he always offers to make himself scarce.

Sometimes, if they're visiting in the evening, he'll hide himself away in the kitchen and cook up an epic dinner for us all. He's a good'un grin

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 10:50:46

I don't do all my socialising with my DH around, but if someone was coming over to our house for coffee and DH wanted to sit with us, he'd be more than welcome to. In reality, he wouldn't want to, but if he was the sort of man that did want to, then that would be equally as nice to me.

I wouldn't want someone to come to our home that wanted rid of my DH while they were there. If the aim was to have some DH free time, then we'd go out.

HollyBerryBush Wed 03-Apr-13 10:52:29

>slams head on desk< I have a colleague who insisting in bringing her other half to a girls night out. Why? just why? I have pointed out that he isn't welcome female so why bring him? Because he'd be lonely apparently. And why is that? because he has no bloody friends, that's why

I'm not sure why you find it odd for the DP to be there, in his own house.

Yes, it would be weird if you met out for coffee and the DP just tagged along, but you're sitting in his house, a lot of people probably feel like it would be rude to get up and do some housework while a guest is there. (I don't personally find it rude but I know people who would.)

Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 10:55:18

Yes, leece, it's a bit like that. There's one mum in particular who's DH just sits there, not participating. Another friend, her DH goes all out to entertain the babies so that me and her can have a relatively hassle-free chat, which is really nice.

I guess I'm also slightly amazed when the DH, after being friendly, doesn't seem to have something they want to do for half an hour.

Socialising in the evening would be ideal but is more difficult, between various shift patterns of work it's not always possible. I really do appreciate that weekends are family time for most people and like I said, when I get the impression that they don't want to spare time at the weekend I've stopped asking and see them a different way. But if people reply to me and happily invite me to pop by for tea and a chat (its a small town, it's easy to do that), then I can only assume its because they don't mind.

EarlyInTheMorning Wed 03-Apr-13 10:57:56

YANBU, I agree with everything you've said OP

Another similar thing I strongly dislike is emailing my friend without realising that the account is for the family/couple. There was a friend in particular I really wish she had told me it wasn't just her reading my emails but also her DH. I felt like a right idiot. Maybe my fault, I don't know, I should have asked....

Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 10:59:00

X-post, dreaming. I agree it would seem very odd or rude to completely ignore a guest in your own home! But then other couples, in my experience, sit and chat and be friendly for a while, and then say "oh, excuse me, I need to go do x". That wouldn't strike me as rude at all.

Some of them do bring their DHs along for a meet up outside the house, though. Sigh. And not even a similar 'we're in town, we'll meet you for a coffee, DH will pop to another shop while we're chatting' thing.

eosmum Wed 03-Apr-13 11:03:10

I was discussing something similar with my sister yesterday, we were out for the day with mums from her DSs class to a science museum, they often do this, and have nights out mums only. The whole class seems really close and everyone knows everyone else. DS is my third child with a 10 year gap between him and DD2. When my girls were at school the mums met a 3 or 4 times a year and had a night out, nearly all the mums went, we'd arrange days out with the DCs etc. couples just didn't come. With DS the couple of nights out arranged half the people there were mums or dads by themselves and the other half were couples, the whole dynamic seems to have changed. When I tried to arrange a night out at christmas it just didn't happen, a couple of the mums I asked didn't want to come as it seemed strange with some couples and some singles, as a result we just don't seem to know each other.

Arabesque Wed 03-Apr-13 11:03:41

YANBU and I was going to start a thread about this exact subject myself.
I honestly cannot understand couples who want to do absolutely everything together and have no separate friends or time apart. It is particularly annoying when a group of female friends are meeting up for coffee and a gossip and someone's DH or DP is sitting there in the middle of it all. It's as bad as bringing a child along to an 'adult only' occasion - completely changes the dynamic and puts certain topics of conversation out of bounds. TBH I think the guys always look a bit stupid on these occasions; totally unaware that they're not bloody welcome.

I don't think that's rude either but I definitely know people who would think it's the rudest thing ever to leave a guest to clean the house. They would simply not comprehend doing such a thing!

I think meeting outside the house is very different. I don't understand people who never leave their partners either.

ImperialBlether Wed 03-Apr-13 11:05:37

Well, speaking as a singleton, one thing I hate is when a friend tells everything you've told her in confidence to her husband who may not even like you.

This topic (re telling all) has been on MN before with most women admitting they tell their husband everything that a friend has told them, even if it's clearly not for his ears. They tended to shout en masse, "But husbands don't count!" Some even spoke of the sanctity of marriage, which was going a bit far when I read other threads by them which showed the bloke was clearly taking the piss with their relationship.

Schooldidi Wed 03-Apr-13 11:06:46

I find it odd when other people seem to do all their socialising as a couple. I know it's not actually that odd but I'm so used to doing all my socialising on my own with the dds because I was a single parent for 6 years, then met dp who is a massive introvert and hates socialising if he doesn't have to. Luckily my friends all seem to like doing the socialising bt on their own too, so we'll go as a group to take dcs to soft play or swimming at the weekends leaving dps/dhs at home to do housework or take older dcs to activities.

Early It would never occur to me that an email address would be shared by a couple. I'm not sure you should have to ask about that, surely having an individual email address is more common isn't it?

MewlingQuim Wed 03-Apr-13 11:13:44

Yabu.

I am with DH all the time. In 15 years we have only spent a few days apart. We socialize together etc. Sometimes I seem to be the only person on MN who actually likes their DP hmm

If you came to my house and expected me to chuck my DH out of his own front room I wouldn't be inviting you back, sorry.

Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 11:14:06

Shared email address - what on earth is that?!

Even when we are meeting in the house, I sort of thought that after me popping around a few times, always without DP because he is at work, the friend whose DH hangs around all the time might have mentioned to her DH that he is welcome to wander off if he wants to. After several months of this I'll admit that it is getting a little tiring that everyone is arranging meet-ups and that which always involve DHs during the day. But that really is me being selfish and petty.

Maybe it's me wondering, do these DH's have no hobbies or interests? I can barely talk, I'm a lazy arse, but half the friends I've made recently, their DH's go to the gym, play football etc., so it's convenient for everyone that I pop around roughly when they are going out.

firawla Wed 03-Apr-13 11:20:03

yanbu OP i would find it a bit weird and after a while, a bit annoying too!

Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 11:24:37

Mewling, that's a perfectly fair point that you would see it as me expecting you to chuck your DH out of his own front room. That's why I asked on AIBU as I suspected that, like with you, for some couples it would just be too odd not to be there if there was a guest in your house.

However, don't imply that just because people like to see their friends on their own they don't like their DH. I like my DP very much, thanks. I also like my friends a hell of a lot, and I know DP doesn't want to listen to a monologue about how my friend's friend's new boyfriend is an arse, nor do my friends want to listen to a detailed review of the latest Bioshock game...

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 11:24:46

What happens when you invite these same people to your house Thurlow? Presumably when you have invited them to your house, their husbands don't tag along.

If they did, I'd think that was a little odd, but I do think you are bing a bit harsh to think they should remove themselves from their own kitchen or living room and not have a cup of tea when one is on the go in their own home.

I think in some situations it's a control thing, by the dp. If they are in the room the whole time, it means they can't be discussed or any ishoos that may be difficult for your friends. Test my theory and see if it's possible to get the friends to come to you alone for a cuppa hmm

LIG1979 Wed 03-Apr-13 11:36:55

I am in a similar position in that my dh works weekends and plays football on Sundays. However, I have no issue if dh/dp s are around if I visit and it is nice to see them as i don't get to see them in the week.Similarly my dh is always welcome to come along with my baby friends when he is off during the week but he will often choose to have a lie in or go to the gym.

Joint email addresses are a different thing and in my experience it tends to be couples where one of them is controlling the other. Having said that I wish I had access to dh's emails when he double booked going to a whole weekend stag do with the weekend we were moving house.

Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 11:41:30

There's one friend in particular, her DH comes along if its an invite to my house. The first time I was a little surprised but they said they were heading in to town afterwards, so that was perfectly understandable. The second time they were just coming around and then going back home, and he came around too.

I'm willing to concede on the 'in their own home' front, I can see that while that might me normal for me and DP, its not for other families. Though I really don't mean they should just bugger off completely! I'm just more used to DH's who stay for half the time, have the tea and the conversation, then leave the friends to catch up for a while alone. Same as if I have a single friend around for dinner - DP will have dinner with us, but then might go and do something else while we continue to get drunk and gossip.

Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 11:41:56

Oh, and LIG, how have you not killed him yet?! grin

Mumsyblouse Wed 03-Apr-13 11:42:53

I would find it odd if my husband went off to do some housework anyway, but he certainly wouldn't hang around like a bad smell if I had a friend over in our own home, he's say 'hi', chat for 5 min, then say 'I'll leave you to it' just as I do when his friends come. They don't want to chat with me there and vice versa. It's awful when you encounter the 'two headed person' who literally can't do anything without each other, I used to know someone like this who would constantly engage in PDA's when you were trying to talk with them. Unless you are two couples out as couples, then it's nicer for the closer friends to spend time without their partners.

monkeymamma Wed 03-Apr-13 13:11:00

This is interesting as I think dh and I mainly do stuff together. But we're not joined at the hip or anything, we just aren't sexist enough to see male friends as 'his' and female friends as 'mine' (including 'mum friends' - although I have a number of mates I see in the week/met due to having babies the same age, if dh is around while we're hanging out, he loves to chat with them too. Then they're 'parent friends' which I think is less sexist too.) we definitely do lots of different activities/nights out/days out separately too, but in the main he is my best friend so I do enjoy having him there and vice versa. Maybe we are weird...

LaQueen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:49:58

DH wouldn't dream of sitting with us, if a friend came over, and we were having a chat and a coffee...he'd be polite, say hello, then he'd disappear off and do his own thing.

Wouldn't matter if it was during the week, or at weekends. He'd do the same. He likes my friends, but just really isn't interested in chatting/gossiping with them, as such (I genuinely don't know any men who do?). He's always got stuff he wants to surf on the Internet, emails to send, stuff saved on Sky+ he wants to watch, he'll take the DDs out on their bikes for an hour.

We've never been one of those couples who need/want to spend 24/7 together [shudder]

Our weekends tend to be family time too, as DH works long hours in the week. But, luckily our family won't implode just because I go and sit in another room, on a Saturday morning with a friend for an hour, and grab a quick coffee.

Thurlow Wed 03-Apr-13 13:51:35

I know, I don't enormously like the term 'mummy friends' either. I was struggling to find a way to explain it. These are women I've met through baby groups and so there's never been any socialising as couples; some of the friendships really are based solely on having children the same age. As in I like these people very much, but we don't always have much in common other than our children, iyswim. So there's no relationship with the DH's at all.

Other than that, we have a large group of old friends who DP and I always socialise with as a couple - well, at least we did before the baby arrived and we lacked a babysitter!

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