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DH doesn't want to socialise with other familes ever.....I am at my wits end

(43 Posts)
saintpeta Wed 18-Mar-09 13:42:28

At first when I met him I didn't know anything about it but now after 6 years it hasn't improved - he says he's not interested in being with my old friends and their families for gatherings. Its driving me mad and limits us. I end up doing everything myself with other families. He can't even grin and bear it for my sake either and thats worrying too. I don't think I could have a relationship where we don't meet other people and it can't be good for our kids to never go out socially with other families.....wondering whether I can live with this but the more I think about it this "phobia" as I have come to see it (i'm not an expert) its driving a wedge and its stalemate all the time. Any suggestions on what I can do to make it work -short of saying it's over - as its affecting our relationship alot.

compo Wed 18-Mar-09 13:47:05

does he have any friends himself?

frumpygrumpy Wed 18-Mar-09 13:51:30

He sounds a bit like me. I have a very small circle of friends, people I like very much and who I would help with anything and who I know would help me if I rang them in need in the middle of the night. Apart from that, I keep people to polite conversation and breathe when its over. I come across as very chatty but given the chance.........I'm more a lover of my own company.

I have to be fairly social now that school is part of our lives but prior to that, I really did avoid people.

I am lucky that my DP doesn't have a problem with that. I think this really bothers you and you really need to find a way to chat with him about it and agree how to go forward and be united in that.

Try not to be on opposing sides. If possible, respect him for his choice and find a way to be comfortable about telling people that joining in is not his thing.

Joining in is not my thing. I would go as far as to say it makes me feel quite sick at times. Its not a phobia for me, I just don't like it one bit.

saintpeta Wed 18-Mar-09 13:59:58

No he has no friends and doesn't want any! Just loves his own comapany and his immediate family. I thought I was handling it well but it all flared up again last week as I suggested camping near a friends house in dorset....he lies and says yes we'll go...and I believe him but then it quickly turns to a no...and I accuse him of lying to me...I'm only 40 if I live another 30 years how can we never see any other people its not realistic! or even fair on me! Surely he can't expect me to live like that?

saintpeta Wed 18-Mar-09 14:03:09

frmpygrmpy i like the way you say you have to be fairly social now that school is part of your life but DP is not saying this! I do think like you it does make him fel quite sick thinking he will have to talk small talk to people he is not intereted in but is this not being rude? I call it a phobia but i don't know what it is...like you he doesn't like it one bit.

DOn't let him make you live like that. He can either stay at home while you socialise with the DC or, if you want to socialise with other adults, he can look after the DC. The only way to deal with people like this is to get on with your own life: if other people ask questions, just smile and say 'My DH is unsociable' and change the subject.
Basically, he has a right not to want to socialise, but he doesn't get to stop you from socialising, because he doesn't own you. And if all yoru friends are the sort of wierd suburban herd animals who are frightened into soiling themselves by having to socialise with a person who is Not Visibly In A Couple, find some new friends.

irises Wed 18-Mar-09 14:15:09

Can't you find a compromise? Maybe if he doesn't like being with other peoples' kids, only meet with friends as adults in the evenings.

If that's not the problem and he just doesn't really like anyone, maybe you could negotiate that he comes along to be polite a couple of times a year, and you all spend time just as a family at other times.

My dh would be perfectly happy not bothering with anyone outside work but he does so maybe once every 2 or 3 months to keep me happy, and does it properly, ie engages in conversation and doesn't sulk. Another couple we know don't know how to entertain themselves, and a weekend isn't complete without getting together with at least one other family. We find that very odd, tbh.

2rebecca Wed 18-Mar-09 15:30:32

It sounds as though he hasn't changed, you just married him before you got to know him. My husband isn't very sociable and complains his exwife was never happy with just his company and the kids and wanted to constantly be surrounded by people and always holiday in groups which he hated as he's quite introverted. I think you may have to compromise and have some small family holidays and some group occasions, although I'd be inclined to just take the kids and leave him at home as you'll have more fun. If the relationship is otherwise good then having some weekend outings and holidays separate may be better than divorce. Why does his not going bother you so much if he's happy for you to go without him?

milou2 Wed 18-Mar-09 15:49:45

My husband is similar. For many years I didn't know how to reply to an invitation from a friend of mine or relative when they would ask us together or as a family to visit. I didn't want to tell them that he didn't want to see them. So I stopped a lot of contact with my old friends and family.

Now I say 'he's not sociable, but I'd love to come along' and leave the children with him as they generally don't want to socialise much either...!! 'It's not really his thing' is a good phrase too.

So our lives have gone in different directions. I am making contact with my friends and my family again. They need to recognise that he is not sociable and genuinely want to see me, rather than a 'me plus husband' unit.

Funnily enough my husband used to always want me to come with him to see his friends and to events, but couldn't see that it was all one way. One day I decided to stop playing that game.

piscesmoon Wed 18-Mar-09 16:01:07

I wouldn't let him stop me.Go camping at the friends house with the DCs on your own. I would do everything that you want to do and take the DCs. He can sort himself out,either he sees that he is missing out and makes the effort to join in or he does his own thing. If he doesn't change or even see the need to change then you will have to review, and either be happy to run your lives that way or say that it is a problem and you need outside help or you leave him. He seems very complacent about the whole thing and it is controlling. I would get one of those family organiser calendars and have a column for each of you. Just write down what you are doing and do it!

saintpeta Wed 18-Mar-09 19:13:37

Thanks everyone, just want to say he doesn't stop me from socialising at all - he does stay with the kids (he doesn't go out!) and so most would say I've got it cushy but I find it lonely to be in a relationship where he cannot even "do it for me" or is that too selfish ? I don't know anymore

SenorToucan Wed 18-Mar-09 19:15:55

it must be pretty embarassing though to have to make excuses for your husband all the time, if mine was liek that id say that I dont like doing a LOT of things but I do it so my kids can see normal functioning relationships , not that their dad opted out of the bits he didnt like, tough shit!

piscesmoon Wed 18-Mar-09 19:26:14

I wouldn't make excuses-just say that he isn't very sociable but you and the DCs would love to go.

SenorToucan Wed 18-Mar-09 19:34:36

But thats like how you would treat a child. tell him to buck up and be part of your life or piss off

piscesmoon Wed 18-Mar-09 19:43:55

It all depends how much OP loves him SenorToucan-she may not want to part. I think she should try ignoring him and doing her own thing and then reviewing how she feels about it at the end of the summer or end of the year.

2rebecca Wed 18-Mar-09 20:38:55

Why is going to social events you don't like part of a normal functioning relationship? I don't get this. I have some similar hobbies to my bloke and some different ones. We do the different ones alone. It sounds as though socialising is a hobby for saintpeta. Why should her husband be forced to socialise just because he is married to her? What harm does it do anyone by him not going? Why should people have to do nonessential things they don't like? We only have 1 life.
Why is socialising considered a better and more "adult" choice than staying at home?
Saintpeta telling her bloke to "buck up and be part of her life" is as unreasonable as him telling her to " stay in and be part of my life"
Both are very selfish controlling attitudes.

flibertygibet Wed 18-Mar-09 20:51:27

My dh is incredibly unsociable, even though he's got loads of friends, he just doesn't want to go out! After 15 years, I accept that. It used to bother me, but I think in a relationship you just have to accept that not everyone is the same. Mine just does not like groups of people where he doesn't know anyone. The school quiz night is his idea of a nightmare! Camping for the weekend with a bunch of people he doesn't know? No way! It irks me sometimes and makes me sad but on the other hand, he's a good husband and father and that's just his personality. I just go ahead and make plans anyway. I don't make excuses for him anymore, I just tell people he is just not good with crowds. I've also stopped feeling like it's a reflection on me.

ps. this 'phobia' extends to going to visit my family abroad!

frumpygrumpy Wed 18-Mar-09 20:57:13

My DP didn't tell me to change. He loves me. We do compromise and I would hope that, in a calm moment you can talk about it and find a compromise. As I said, I think its important that you stay on the same side and be united. You need to understand, he needs to understand. No-one needs to fight.

IMHO, its wrong to set down rules and attempt to force someone to follow them. Very Hitler. My DP accepts me and also I accept that I must make some compromises. Its just finding a balance. Your DH is not wrong and he's not odd. I'm not odd. I know my own mind, I am very strong, I hate chit chat, I hate wasting my time talking polity conversation (I'd rather eat my own legs).

Do you love him otherwise?
Is he a good husband and father otherwise?
Is he someone you want to spend all your married life with otherwise?

If the answer is yes, then you have your answer. You carry on socialising without him and accept him on his terms.

frumpygrumpy Wed 18-Mar-09 20:59:57

And I do have to be more open and out there now we have school and all its threads.......but that is also because I am the main child carer.

ShyTalk Wed 18-Mar-09 21:02:20

My DH is unsocial. I knew it when I married him. He really just wants us, our close family and a few nice friends. I could give him a really hard time and MAKE him socialise. I could also do that to DS, who is similarly inclined. To do it to DH or DS would be cruel and against their nature. I would hate it if they tried to make me act against my nature.

tigerdriver Wed 18-Mar-09 21:05:57

Agree with you, ShyTalk. My DH doesn't like some socialising, is ok with others - if i want to go, I do so, and we have got out of the routine where he'd say he'd go then have a "headache" five minutes before we were due to set out (gggrrr). Now I just say "you can come if you'd like to" and leave it at that, make arrangements for me only. I do what I want though!

beansontoast Wed 18-Mar-09 21:12:21

no help i am afriad,as i am in precisely the same situation.

knowing the facts doesnt help me to sometimes a)not feel lonely b)fantasise about having a partner who wanted to share some good times with my dearest friends....aswell as share himself iykwim.

i do get on with it...and most of the time it is more than ok...but it is a draaaag.

It isn't really unreasonable for her to expect him to make an effort maybe two or three times a year: everyone occasionally has to put up with being bored to death by an event but attending it because it is important to someone you care about. Of course her sociability isn't necessarily 'better' than his unsociability, but if she is prepared to compromise by leaving him at home, without nagging or criticising him, most of the time, then he should equaly be prepared to compromise by attending social events now and again and, when he does, being polite rather than whining all the way there and all the way back, or agreeing to go and then having a strategic attack of explosive diarrhoea minutes before its's time to leave.

ShyTalk Wed 18-Mar-09 21:57:04

If he has explosive diarrhoea, then he just has it. Maybe it's a nervous thing. I do fail to accept that the explosive sort of the shits can be "strategic". It is difficult to fake that level of splatter.

ADealingMummy Wed 18-Mar-09 22:24:26

My DH is exactly like this too . My old friends have got used to his ways (and don't like it) , but a few new ones have have tried to get to know him by inviting us to various places , I smile and say , sure i'll speak to DH (knowing inwardly he would just laugh , and say ''No way'').

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