Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

DP has no hobbies and v few friends

(29 Posts)
Eastie77 Fri 04-Apr-14 22:34:18

Not sure this is actually a 'problem' as such but I do find it a bit sad. DP has very few friends here (4 at the last count) and no hobbies. He is not from the UK originally but from what I can gather he has very few friends in his native country as well. He has 22 friends on this Facebook account and half of those are people he does not actually know and has never met but they are contacts he has made through forums he joined online. His one 'hobby' was walking the dog that belonged to his ex flatmate twice a week but the dog sadly passed away a couple of months ago. So he comes straight home after work and does not really socialise with anyone. He does not join the after work drinks as he doesn't like pubs which is fair enough but as he works in a mainly male office with a team who all socialise and have drinks together he hasn't really bonded with any of this team. His manager mentioned in his review that he is 'distant' and does not seem to make an effort with colleagues.

Now his preference to not go out much obviously has its advantages, we have a 9 month old daughter and he always encourages me to go out with my friends in the evenings/weekends as he is happy to stay at home with her which is great. Weekends he 'takes over' and takes her out for walks etc so I can catch up with sleep, go to the gym meet up with friends for lunch etc. I will be going back to work FT in June (currently doing 2 days a week) and he picks her up from the childminder after work. I asked him to nominate a day when I pick her up so that he can pursue an interest after work or do something with a friend and he said he has no desire to do this and is happy to leave work at 5 and pick DD up straightaway every day.

I guess my concern is that this kind of life is not sustainable and he will eventually get fed up / regret not making an effort to develop a hobby at all. I cannot imagine not having my friends to lean on or the 'me time' I get when I pursue my hobbies so I struggle to understand how he can just do the work - home thing every single day and then spend the entire weekend just entertaining DD. He actually does have one main interest: current affairs / politics and he spends hours reading articles and watching videos of his favourite politicians from his home country when DD is asleep but this is obviously a solitary activity.

I've introduced him to all my friends who all seem to like him and the guy who lives next door who I get on with really well and who is from the same country as DP. They have actually been out together a few times for a drink / meal but lately I've noticed they are not in contact much. I asked DP about this and he just said "I guess he doesn't really have time for me and finds me annoying like a lot of people do" which is very sad. DP DOES have a lot of annoying traits (that is a whole 'nother thread) but is a genuinely nice, kind person. Not sure why I'm posting really but I'd be interested to know if anyone else has a similar DP? He is not an introvert by the way. He is very opinionated, lively, humourous guy and when we do go out with my friends (albeit very rarely nowadays as we have DD) he is the life and soul of the party.

mameulah Fri 04-Apr-14 22:41:12

Some people are not interested in a huge group of friends. Don't worry about it!

JupiterGentlefly Fri 04-Apr-14 22:52:29

My sister in law is like this (also from abroad) she is happy. My brother did use to try and get her to pursue her own interests more but she vis happy with her life as it is. They are happy. Like you she isn't clingy either. Does it bother you? I would let him be

Joysmum Fri 04-Apr-14 22:57:14

My DH is like this. He gets all the social contact he wants from being at work and we have an active life as a family. He loves his forums too.

Eastie77 Sat 05-Apr-14 00:25:44

Ok thanks, I guess I am over-thinking things! He seems happy enough and adores DD so always wants to rush home to see her & spend time with her over the weekend but even before she came along he didn't socialise at all really. It doesn't bother me as such but it concerns me that he doesn't have a close friend he can turn to if he needed to and that he is so insular. As an example, he will be reducing his hours at work when I go full time and looking after DD for part of the week. I asked him to continue taking her to the Stay & Play / baby classes I've been taking her to and his response was "sorry but you know I don't do groups".

DrCoconut Sat 05-Apr-14 00:42:47

Some people just like to be on their own and not do anything in particular. i love time and space to myself and find lots of company suffocating. Keep an eye on forum use though. A bit is OK but if it is a lot check it out. My DH is an introvert and went on forums "for social contact". Turned out he had got involved with another woman on there. We have only been able to sort things out because he had not met her yet and agreed to cut off contact. I have no evidence to suggest he has not.

aurynne Sat 05-Apr-14 02:27:22

I would not class having 4 friends as having too few... how many true friends do you have? I would think 4 good friends in a place that you have only relatively recently moved in is not bad at all!

AveryJessup Sat 05-Apr-14 02:50:06

My DH is the same, not a group person. He has a couple of good friends a work that he goes for lunch with but outside of work he has no friends really. He hates FB and thinks it brings out the worst in people.

He has always got on well with his colleagues at work though and most people like him. He just has his own way of doing things and no real hobbies that would encourage him to socialize (partly because he works very long hours).

If your DH is happy and not lonely then I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It does sound like he might have low self-esteem though when he says that people find him annoying. Can you socialize together with other couples maybe, like go out for a couples dinner? I've done this a few times with DH to encourage us to get out of our little bubble. It might reassure your DH too that he's likable and group situations aren't scary!

Spellcheck Sat 05-Apr-14 05:26:09

You have lots of friends and an active social life so you are assuming that everyone wants the same.

He sounds quite content as he is!

I can't understand it, either. My dad is like this, but is perfectly happy doing his own thing. We just leave him to it now.

I wouldn't worry!

8isalotoflegsDavid Sat 05-Apr-14 05:35:29

I find this is more of a man thing than a woman thing. With many couples I know all of the social contacts are made and maintained via the woman and the man tags along happily, is included happily enough, but if the relationship broke down and sides needed to be taken they would be her friends, not his.

But many women (in fact many people in general) are like this. Some people are quite happy to be this way and do not feel any obvious sense of loss because of it. Is he happy, that's the main thing?

Do you think he is aware that people find him irritating so he lacks the confidence to pursue friendships because of knock-backs? In what ways is he annoying?

Logg1e Sat 05-Apr-14 06:12:45

You seem to be presuming that your kind of social life is the correct and normal one, and his the abnormal and wrong one that must make him unhappy.

Are they not just different? Have you not found that all sorts of people make up the world?

LongTimeLurking Sat 05-Apr-14 06:30:32

Why do extroverted people with lots of "friends" (but few real friends) always assume that introverted people need to be more like them, "encouraged" to socialise more and are somehow "missing out" on something?

It is a very arrogant point when you stop and think about it. What you are saying is I run my social life this way and it is the right way, there must be something wrong with you if you don't like groups of people or have lots of friends.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sat 05-Apr-14 07:29:25

Sounds like my DH. He wouldn't do groups either.

I don't think it's anything to worry about. Just accept him as he is. (it is annoying tho!)

Eastie77

When you wrote the words " very opinionated" re him that triggered a memory re yourself, I thought I had seen you mention him before now. I was unfortunately right and you have written about him at some length before now too. It certainly did not make for happy reading.

You have far bigger issues re him rather than just his lack of friends and hobbies. He continues to distance himself away from other people as well apart from you and your DD (whom he is probably now completely obsessed with).

He has and continues to make your life far more difficult than it should be. He has not altered and will not change. Given his previous behaviours as well are you really happy to go back full time whilst he becomes the main carer to your DD?. I would not want to give this man any such power at all because he could well go onto use that against you. He's already encouraging you to go out as much as possible which is normally wonderful but in this case he is doing this so he can show and prove to others that he spends more time than you do with your child.

JupiterGentlefly Sat 05-Apr-14 11:19:12

Oh my gosh I think I remember those! If that's the case then heed attila!
Just be careful.

I would be concerned that he won't take DD to playgroups because 'he doesn't do groups.' It's not about him - DD may need and want to be with other people. THere's nothing necessarily wrong with being an introvert, but you need to be able to get a fucking grip when it comes to making other people suffer. He does sound a bit selfish.

MadeMan Sat 05-Apr-14 12:05:44

I have heard it said that most people only have about five close people in their lives at any one time and the rest are just acquaintances.

I know this is true in my case, there are only around a handful of people that I would call close to me, reliable and trustworthy. The rest are just people I know through work or whatever.

Eastie77 Sat 05-Apr-14 15:31:59

Attila - yes well remembered, I posted before I had DD as I was worried about his obsessive behaviour regarding health matters and his insistence that there would be no vaccinations etc. Unfortunately there was quite a scene after I gave birth as he did not want to have the Vit K injection and he began shouting at the doctors. Fortunately I have parental responsibility since we are not married and pushed on with getting her jabs (compromised re. Vit K and she had the oral dose). He still remains anxious and hovers over her but he has made an effort to improve. Also a lot of his concerns are culturally driven, there is an excellent thread on here about the ways babies are raised differently across the world (I think it is called 'I'd be a bad mother in Germany') and the comments about Italian parents struck a chord I.e worrying obsessively about babies getting a cold, only feeding purées due to fear of chocking - DP is exactly like this.

Anyway, back to the questions above: he annoys people because he is so very, very opinionated and tends to lecture them whilst adopting an air of superiority and a hectoring tone. He thinks he is an expert in a lot of areas and in my opinion this is what puts people off. He is aware of this failing and doesn't seem the slightest bit bothered. When he told me he thinks our neighbour finds him annoying he wasn't upset or sad, it was just a stated fact.

Yes I agree with the poster who said it is unfair not to take DD to playgroup. Childcare arrangements will be revised and he will be with her 1 day a week, she will be with a childminder on the other days as I worry that he will sit indoors with her all day and make no effort. He does take her to the park on the weekends.

I'm not trying to impose an extrovert personality on him but yes I admit I find it odd that he is seemingly content to spend every evening and all weekend at home and not socialise with anyone unless I bring him along to an evening out with my friends. He rarely sees the 4 friends he does have. But he does seem happy so I guess I will just leave it.

Eastie77,

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours does he meet here. Are you still hoping on some level that he will change?.

It was only the words "well opinionated" that triggered my memories of him. His lack of friends is primarily because he is so bloody opinionated; he drives people away. His attitude towards you is the same really because he sees you as wrong all the time; he only knows best. He could well be a narcissist in terms of personality; they are bloody opinionated and importantly do not have any empathy at all for any other person. He needs to take her to playgroup too; its not about him as SGB rightly stated.

I am just glad that you will be using a childminder. I would think twice about letting him actually look after her 1 day a week because he likely will not be at all bothered.

I doubt very much that his concerns are at their root culturally driven because he is both neurotic and obsessive. He could well make his child anxious and neurotic as well; you cannot fully protect her against such an influence even though your presence is more calming. Presumably he is still insistent on the no vaccines as well.

Re this comment:-
"But he does seem happy so I guess I will just leave it".

Oh yes he is as happy as a clam but how happy are you exactly?. Leaving it could also become a decision that you will live to regret.

kutee Sat 05-Apr-14 19:21:08

I'm like thissmile I'm very happy!!

RandomMess Sat 05-Apr-14 19:31:07

I have a H who is very introvert and few (no?) friends, has a hobby that means he socialises doing that for a day/weekend about 8 times per year tops.

It is causing an issue now we've been together over a decade. I feel that all the socialising, buildind a suppor network, having an adult relationship falls to me sad

Fairylea Sat 05-Apr-14 19:38:45

I'm exactly like this. Happily having no friends and no interest in having friends isn't a problem. It's just a personality trait.

I am a sahm and one of the reasons I don't want to return to work is simply that I don't like being around other people. I genuinely enjoy my own space and quiet and even my family drive me insane if I've been around them too long.

I have all of 28 friends on Facebook most of whom are from parenting forums. I enjoy forums because they don't come with any responsibility. I can log in and log off selfishly as I choose and no one can ring me up or pop round on me.

I am nearing middle aged and always been like this. Maybe some of it is that I was an only child. I remember crying once because mum told me they were considering having another baby and I wanted to be an only child!! The thought of having to share anything with anyone was awful.

Some people are just truly introverted.

sussexmum38 Sat 05-Apr-14 21:51:20

I also have a dh with no friends. Its not an issue to him. He is quite contented in his own company and will quite happily not speak to anyone socially but if someone strikes up a conversation he will talk. He is quite relaxed about being introverted but can turn on being extroverted when the occasion requires.

Just let him be himself.

alemci Sat 05-Apr-14 21:58:19

my dh too. I'm used to it but would like us to do more together other than watching tv. my dad was also like it to some extent.

plus side is they are usually there for you and unselfish.

he did used to be funny about me going out but has mellowed over time.

Orangeanddemons Sat 05-Apr-14 22:05:59

I shudder at the thought of socialising.

I never ever go out in the evening. The idea is hideous. Too much vacuous noise. I have lots of solitary hobbies. I am very very happysmile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now