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.

Does anyone else's partner.... never stay out later than 9pm??? Aaaagh!!

(76 Posts)
SweetSeraphim Tue 30-Jul-13 21:34:30

I know I am probably BU.

I love him dearly. But he's ALWAYS HERE. He goes out so very rarely, and rushes home as soon as possible to start making noise at me angry

I had the house to myself this evening. For 2 WHOLE HOURS. And I resent him coming home so quickly. I resent never having any length of time alone, I need it. I've tried to explain this to him, but he doesn't seem to understand. He says he does, but he clearly doesn't, or lese he would leave me alone sometimes!

I sound like a right bitch. But it is driving me up the fucking wall.

What do you do with these men? Give me some fucking space will you? Does it sound like too much to ask??

SweetSeraphim Tue 30-Jul-13 21:35:05

Ooops. It was going to be lighthearted-ish. Now I sound like I'm proper angry about it all blush

Caster8 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:42:29

Is he trying to control you?
Or does he not like being out at all.

CoffeeandScones Tue 30-Jul-13 21:45:23

Sounds bad doesn't it, but ikwym, and also in a half-jokey-but-half-serious way.

What happened to the persons we met who were out doing things and with goals and ambitions? It's too subtle a feeling for me to put in words, but it kind of makes you feel... Hmmm about whether this is it for the rest of life now. Coming back home, them being there and sitting watching TV. For ever.

It's harsh isn't it. I'm being harsh. But go out once, please!

newforest Tue 30-Jul-13 21:48:29

Mine's the same - usually in bed by 9 too! He chooses to get up really early so never stays up late.

We do give each other a lot of space though, so we don't have that issue.

It sounds as though he really loves being with you - so sweet! :P

SweetSeraphim Tue 30-Jul-13 21:59:30

Caster8 - I'm not sure. Not sure at all. I think he genuinely likes us to be together all the time confused That is something I really don't understand. But there is a nagging doubt at the back of my mind that thinks there is an element of control to it as well.

CoffeeandScones
<Coming back home, them being there and sitting watching TV. For ever>

Yes. This. angry

newforest, if he decided to go to bed early once in a while, I wouldn't mind so much! But he doesn't do that either. He stays by my side until I want to go to bed. If I say I'm having an early night, he comes with me.

I have been quite harsh in the past with him, and told him that I'm going to bed early to read, but he looks like I've kicked a puppy. It's maddening.

I am led to believe that introverts gain energy from solitude. I just never seem to get any! I've even been known to book a day off on leave just to have a few hours to myself in the house.

I honestly don't know how to sort this out. It makes me ever so resentful.

TheNewSchmoo Tue 30-Jul-13 22:20:14

My ex was like this. It is ultimately why he is now my ex. I felt utterly suffocated. I never got a minute to myself.

Every now and again when he said he was going to bed I would say "oh I really want to watch the news at 10", as I knew he hated it and just wanted some solitude. On these occasions he would persistently come downstairs as he "was thirsty". Whenever we went to bed at the same time, he never once got out of bed for a drink.

I would sit downstairs anticipating the creak on the stairs and sure enough! He never left me alone, he was there every morning before work and home before me too. I had literally no time to myself. It's probably no surprise to learn I live alone and my boyfriend lives in his own house!

Smartiepants79 Tue 30-Jul-13 22:30:37

I do know what you mean. I really need my own space. My DH does go out a fair bit but I always get irrationally annoyed if he comes home early or cancels a night out.
I have my evening planned out. I like remote control, control!

Unexpected Tue 30-Jul-13 22:34:02

That would drive me mad! But it's difficult for him to go out on a whim. Does he have any hobbies, does he go to the pub with friends? On the rate occasions when he does go out, what is he doing? If he doesn't have a reason to be out, then he can't just walk around the streets to keep out of your way?

ImperialBlether Wed 31-Jul-13 00:31:40

Do you have young children?

Could you take up a sport like running or swimming where you could go every day and have an hour or so to yourself? Would he go with you?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 31-Jul-13 05:35:04

I understand, OP! Even Iimperial's suggestion never worked for me, because it was time alone in my space that I craved. Mine is more of a night owl than I am, and I do sometimes find myself saying "you were awfully tired this morning, maybe an early night would help?" which I'm sure drives him up the wall but there we have it.

In our case, I just told DH straight out that sometimes I needed to be alone, and I will say "I am going to bed to read for a while". It's partially fixed itself as a problem now anyway, since mine suddenly joined an art class a couple of years ago and never misses a week (this after twelve years of living together, if that gives you hope), but I would still like more time alone then I get.

coffeewineandchocolate Wed 31-Jul-13 05:43:47

can you just be blunt? say to him ´ I'm feeling suffocated and its affecting how I feel about our relationship so every Wednesday I want a night to myself. go to the cinema, pub, anything but I don't want to see you before 11pm.'

it may hurt his feelings but I'm guessing he would be more upset if it all came to a head and you ended the relationship!

Numberlock Wed 31-Jul-13 05:52:16

What do you mean by to start making noise at me?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 31-Jul-13 06:02:55

But coffee, you can't kick someone out of their own house until late in the evening once a week, you just can't. You can take yourself into another room, you can take yourself out of the house, but you can't ask someone to sit on their own in a bar nursing a beer and watching the clock every week.

drinkyourmilk Wed 31-Jul-13 06:03:11

I'll have to show my OH this thread, because I'm sure he thinks I'm mean and abnormal when I tell him to Bugger off every now and then. I have friends I see, and hobbies out of the house. He doesn't. I also work longer hours than him, and go to bed much earlier due to work hours. Therefore he is always there. I just want him to go out every now and then. Let me read, bake, watch SVU in peace. Alone.

coffeewineandchocolate Wed 31-Jul-13 06:13:10

Tortoise, why not? If you are in a relationship surely it's normal to discuss any issues and needs you have? if not weekly then fortnightly? it sounds as tho it would do him some good as well to find a hobby/ friends and loosen his grip on OP.

It's unlikely him being in another room would allow OP to relax unless she could be confident he could relax and occupy himself rather than be counting down the minutes.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 31-Jul-13 06:17:43

Of course you can discuss issues! I said up-thread, I am blatant about going to bed to read/be on my own, do not follow me. And I think it's fine to say, having some space in the house is important to me, can we work something out. But some people are not very sociable, they're shy or they're not joiners or they're just homebodies - until my DH found his art class, this was absolutely him. He would have found the idea of going out weekly excruciating, he wasn't good at making friends, the friends we do have are mutual and he never initiates social events with them, etc. So home is his comfort zone - kicking him out once a week is just not reasonable, honestly I can't see how it could be.

Vivacia Wed 31-Jul-13 06:29:10

I agree, I wouldn't dream of telling someone they couldn't be home just because I wanted to be alone. My needs don't trump theirs. However, we do spend time in separate rooms, probably once a night.

Can you get a long, hot bath alone?

coffeewineandchocolate Wed 31-Jul-13 06:30:24

but there's no suggestion from op that it's an issue that her dp struggles socially- just that he likes to spend time with her at home. Yes, not going out with friends might be suggestive of it, but not exclusively. My dh doesn't go out in the evening except for his specific hobby. if he didn't have his long term hobby he probably wouldn't bother at all. it's not because he struggles socially but because he works all day and (by his own admission) has become lazy about meeting new people.

When we first got together he wasn't doing his hobby as he had moved. I had exactly the conversation I am suggesting with him- highlighting my need for space and his need to have his own life and interests. It was a little awkward at first but he has since commented how he it's so glad he has HIS Wednesdays!

I still think that if it has the potential to build resentment on the relationship it's worth a try. weekly was a suggestion as that fits with classes/events etc but maybe initially fortnightly or monthly if he struggles socially?

Carolra Wed 31-Jul-13 06:30:45

I lived with a boyfriend like this once, he worked from home and didn't have a lot of friends so he was always in the house -always. It drove me insane... He was an absolute sweetheart though and he'd dutifully "go out" every now and again to give me some time on my own, but it was impossible to relax because I knew he was just out there somewhere waiting till he thought he could come home. It was pretty awful, I don't think it directly led to us breaking up but his reluctance to socialise and have any interests at all certainly did. He was just so boring to be with. That said, I hear he's moved out to the country now and regularly surfs and mountain bikes, so perhaps it was just me smile

ofmiceandmen Wed 31-Jul-13 07:25:20

Perhaps I am reading this wrong: are you saying OP that you do not go out to work, that you do not socialise, that you do not go out with friends or take time out at a museum or theatre or anything.

You do realise that for him to always be at home with you, You are technically always at home with him too?

So a guy loves you and after a day at work playing "lets pretend to be someone else" he wants to spend an hour (I assume you sleep at a descent hour) with his wife or dear partner? Wow what an evil chap.

Look at what you are doing rather than what he is doing. go out get a life, then you've solved your problem. He's not saying you can't go out, he's saying he wants to be near you when you are together.

Bet if he went out often and switched his phone off or just wasnt in touch you'd suggest he was having an affair. He can't win can he- he's well and truly set up. hmm

liquidstate Wed 31-Jul-13 07:47:12

OP - Am an introvert so I feel your pain. However three months of counseling at Relate finally drummed it into DHs head that I need space. Fortunately I have a job where I can work from home and this helps (although I don't get much work done!).

It has got better but I feel less guilty about doing things to make sure I get my time. I pretend to meet up with friends for girls nights out but actually just go to the theatre or cinema by myself. I do meet up with friends occasionally. Am actually fairly sociable.

I think very few people understand how introverts work. My heart sinks when DH returns home earlier than expected and I haven't had enough time to recharge. I do love him though.

Boosterseat Wed 31-Jul-13 07:56:08

DH is a homebody, he likes chilling out with DS so very rarely goes out. I used to worry about it, he never seemed depressed or bored so i spoke to his DM who said he never went out much as a kid, preferred to be home relaxing playing games with his brother.

DH is happy the way he is so I just let him be.

Plus, neither of us watch much TV so there are no remote control issues.

Perhaps your DP just likes his home comforts? Having said that, if you feel there is a control element then you need to have a discussion, his anti-social habits should not impact your life choices.

filee777 Wed 31-Jul-13 08:02:52

I couldn't imagine being sad that my husband was at home, I can't imagine asking him to 'stay away' on my behalf

Occasionally I have asked him to do something else while I Zumba in the lounge but that's all.

Caster8 Wed 31-Jul-13 08:18:19

Is he your husband?
Do you have children?
Are his parents the same as him?
What were his previous relationships like?

It looks a bit less like control, if even in the house, he goes to bed at whatever time you go to bed!

MrsPennyapple Wed 31-Jul-13 09:07:53

I understand how you feel, OP.

My DH does go out, most Saturday nights, but doesn't normally leave the house until 9.30pm. I'm sitting here thinking "haven't you gone yet?" I am pg at the moment, so getting tired earlier and earlier, and right now I can't stay awake much past 10.30, and I'm really missing my few hours alone. Just being in a different room in the house doesn't really fulfil the "alone time" need in me. However, DH does understand my need for solitude, and does what he can to give that to me, which I am very grateful for. It must be difficult when your DH doesn't really get it, it does sound suffocating.

A PP makes a valid point though, do you go out, have hobbies that take you out of the house of an evening? I know you want that "at home" time, but getting out of the house to do something you enjoy might help. In spending a little bit more time apart, you might appreciate your time together more.

oracleselfservice Wed 31-Jul-13 09:40:07

You sound a bit like my ex. He was quite an introvert and liked his own space (to the point of sitting on the other side of the room and ignoring me quite regularly). He didn't like to socialise himself but criticised me for not being out with female friends or at the gym several night a week so he could have his space. All I wanted was to snuggle up with him on the sofa and watch TV after a 13 hour day in a very demanding job.

That was just one way in which he had particular standards for me which somehow didn't apply to him because "men are different". Like me having to always look good / stay thin / be groomed while he never washed and looked like a walking scarecrow. Or like me having to visit his parents every weekend and him never visiting mine. Or like me making the effort with his friends and him not returning the favour.

Fortunately I now have a lovely DH who likes nothing more than to spend every waking minute with me snuggling up eating takeaway and has dealt with my baby weight / lack of toned arms etc. With complete indifference.

If you want time to yourself then do something on your own. But don't criticise him for never going out when you actually want to stay in yourself!

Trust me you could have far worse problems. If he was out every night until 12am leaving you on your own you'd be very unhappy. And a man like this is one who is at least likely to be around to help you with small children rather than buggering off to the pub.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 31-Jul-13 09:51:06

This is an interesting one - I've always thought it was a big issue that would make a relationship fundamentally broken.

I don't need alone time. In actual fact, I hate being on my own. I'll tolerate it, but I like having other people around. I especially like having DP around...I can be totally normal then, there's no need to try to impress or play perfect hostess, and I genuinely like him being around.

DP doesn't mind being alone, he's a lot happier in his own company than I am, but he doesn't need alone time. If he did, I'm not sure how well we'd work. We are together 99% of the time - apart from work, we do most things together.

I'd feel hurt and baffled if he suddenly decided I needed to go out on my own more, so that he could have time to himself. When I do go out, or go for a walk, it'd be odd to think that I needed to stay out longer so that he had more time. In the end, it'd breed resentment, I think. He'd resent me for not going out and giving him space, and I'd resent him for not wanting me around, and forcing me to be out doing things.

I don't know if there is a solution to this. It might just be one of those scenarios where you have to weigh up the relationship as a whole, and see if it's worth learning to live without alone time, or if that's just not possible/not worthwhile/will make you miserable.

BenedictCumberbitch Wed 31-Jul-13 10:01:18

Just explain to him that it's what you need & without it, you're starting to feel negatively towards the relationship. I'm sure he'd rather give you space, even if begrudgingly, than you leave for good!

I like coffee's suggestion but the other way around, so you do your own thing one evening a week.

BenedictCumberbitch Wed 31-Jul-13 10:04:23

^ I agree that maybe this is an issue that will end up being the make or break for the relationship.

You clearly need some alone time and feel suffocated without it, and it's not going to get better by itself.

Maybe see what his says to a suggestion of 'one night a week' you somehow work some space in (whilst emphasizing how critical it is for you) and take it from there...

If he can't manage it then maybe you need to reconsider your compatibility?

Have you posted about him before?

There was a previous thread where the OP couldn't even read in bed without her dp sitting watching her, such was his longing to be with her. It sounded dreadful.

Just tell him you would like time alone, it won't get any better unless you speak up, sod his puppy dog eyes.

WhisperingShadow Wed 31-Jul-13 10:32:19

Perhaps he wants time alone in the house, and is annoying you so that you go out!

WhisperingShadow Wed 31-Jul-13 10:50:55

I am a big introvert and love alone time, however I love my husband and being with him is different to being with other people. Perhaps he isn't the 'one'?

I do have stepteens living here and a DD so I just had to get on with it really. I do feel frazzled at times so just gostairs and read.

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 11:33:20

Right, let me address some of these points....

Unexpected - I can't ask him to go out and walk the streets!

Imperial - yes, we have young ish children and also teens. I've just started a fitness plan and do sometimes go out for a walk/run, but he always asks to come with me. I do say no to that though.

Tortoise - exactly. It's time at home in my own space that I crave - I don't particularly want to go out, I want to stay in and just chill in my own house.

Numberlock - I mean, he never shuts up! He just talks at me constantly.

ofmiceandmen - no, we both work full time. And I do go out regularly. I don't think there's any need for the hmm face - I have already said that I feel horrible saying this about him, as I love him very much. He is ideal for me except in this one way. I just don't want to hurt his feelings. So hmm back atcha.

liquidstate <I think very few people understand how introverts work. My heart sinks when DH returns home earlier than expected and I haven't had enough time to recharge. I do love him though.> This sums up how I feel. It doesn't mean I don't love him.

oracle I am aware that there are worse problems! It's just a gripe that I have, nothing more.

Thanks so much everyone else, I honestly really do appreciate all this advice. I'm not a horrible person, honestly, I just resent not being able to recharge by being alone. As we have dc between us (none together), there is little time to do so, and when he goes out for a couple of hours and comes back ridiculously early, it annoys me. He says he misses me, which is lovely - but I don't get the chance to miss him!

Caster8 Wed 31-Jul-13 11:44:35

I dont know why some people do this. My DD broke with a boyfriend because of this. If she was at a party and went to another room, he would go too!

is he scared when you are not there?
And you didnt answer a couple of my questions upthread. Not that you have to.

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 12:13:08

So sorry caster I'm at work and trying to sneakily read blush

Let me read properly and catch up with your questions!

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 12:31:41

Right.

No, he's not my husband, we're living over the brush wink

We have children - I have 2 and he has 2 that we have half the week.

His dad has sadly passed away, and his Mum is very independent and always off on a jaunt somewhere with her friends. I don't know what they were like together, as his dad had passed away before we met. But I do know that he spent a lot of time in his shed!

He was married for 12 years before we got together. He has always said to me that exw wanted to spend every waking moment together and he never got any time by himself as she accused him of neglecting her - which makes it even odder that he can't seem to see things from my pov!

Caster8 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:53:05

Got to go out myself shortly.
Will try and unravel your DP later.

peggyundercrackers Wed 31-Jul-13 13:30:23

instead of trying to force him to go out why dont you go out? when you want him to go out where do you expect him to go? where ever it is you expect him to go why dont you go and leave him in the house?

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 13:54:53

I don't try and force him to go out confused

I just don't understand why he never wants to! And on the very rare occasion that he does go out, he never stays out later than 9pm.... I just find it odd and a bit stifling.

Numberlock Wed 31-Jul-13 13:57:03

I resent never having any length of time alone, I need it

OP you need to work out what the issue is:

- is it that you don't get time on your own, in which case this is easily solved as you can go out any time without him to re-charge

OR

- is it that you don't get any time at home alone, in which case this is more difficult for all the reasons given above about asking him to leave for a set amount of time once/twice a week.

To me it sounds like you're not fundamentally compatible...

eurochick Wed 31-Jul-13 14:09:38

I completely understand this, OP. I love my husband dearly, but I wish he was less of a homebody so I could have some time indoors by myself. He gets loads of time in by himself - when I am out seeing friends (a couple of nights a week), when I'm at the gym, when I travel for work or work late. I can probably count on one hand the evenings I had had the house to myself since we moved in together 5 years ago. We even converted the spare room into a den for him so he could shuffle off there and leave me in the living room occasionally as a sort of substitute for having the house to myself occasionally, but he rarely uses it. Stifling is exactly the right word.

He's not generally clingy - if we go out together he doesn't stick to me like glue. He's just not very sociable and so doesn't see friends often. I get plenty of time without him (we both work full time and have the other times I have mentioned apart) but I really miss being indoors by myself. If I'm completely honest I was happiest living alone. I'm very jealous of the arrangement HBC and Tim Burton have - they each live in a house that ajoins the other's. I reckon that's pretty much perfect.

WeGotTheKrunk Wed 31-Jul-13 14:19:37

I just don't understand why he never wants to!

OP I could have written your post myself, my P never goes out either! While most of the time I think it's a good thing, it does sometimes mean that he's a bit needy (i.e. having very little social contact with anybody other than me - means he's reliant on me for everything). On the whole his antisocial introvert tendencies make us a good fit, although I am quite a bit more sociable than he is.

But there are times when I wish he'd take the initiative, make friends, or join a club, or something. If nothing else it would give him more to talk about!!

I was over the moon when he got a job that took him out of the house during the days, and into an environment when he was working with other people all day. It got him out of his own thoughts a bit, and I thought it was a good thing for him. Before that he used to work from home and literally days would go by where I was the only person he ever spoke to. This is a lot of responsibility for one person and there were days when it used to drive me up the wall.

He wouldn't go out and see anybody ever when he used to work at home. I'd always try to encourage him to get out of the house, and he'd say "No, I'm fine as I am." Of course he was fine!! He wasn't the one taking the undammed battering of verboseness ten minutes after getting in from work!!! (literally - he used to follow me from room to room telling me things when all I wanted was a quiet five minutes to myself...)

So I understand your feelings OP. I've been there, but haven't really got any good suggestions...

Southeastdweller Wed 31-Jul-13 14:28:41

Gosh, this is very familiar. I know it's not quite the same but my live-in-landlord does nothing apart from work and the occasional gym session which pretty much means he's always there in the evenings and weekends. I've even been using up some of my annual leave just to get the place to myself and have some decompressing time. It's utterly essential for some introverts to have time to themselves (and for some of this time to be indoors with that door shut!) and I fully understand the frustration and resentment - I'm moving out in September. It's a more complicated situation in your case but I agree with Youstay about talking it through and soon otherwise the resentment will fester. Tbh, I agree with those who've said that you and him may be incompatible.

I don't recall you saying he's a lack of friends but I'm wondering if this is the case?

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 14:34:10

He has a core group of really good friends, and a sport that takes him out once a week for 4 hours at the weekend. But he never stays out a minute later than he needs to, never goes for a drink after the game, never goes to social events, or stays if there's food provided..... He just always wants to get straight home.

I do enjoy his company, you know. It's not like I hate spending time with him, as much as some posters on this thread might like to imply that. I just crave time by myself, in silence, with the tv off and no talking!

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 14:36:46

And I'm the same Krunk - when I've been working all day, or in the 10 minutes after the kids have gone up, I just want to 'be'. But then I feel like he's demanding my company.

After work, and kids and housework etc, I just sometimes feel like it's just yet another demand on my time. Does that make sense?

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 14:38:02

eurochick - I have great envy for Tim Burton and Helen B-C - I think that's partly why their marriage has lasted so well.

woozlebear Wed 31-Jul-13 14:47:38

I am a big introvert and love alone time, however I love my husband and being with him is different to being with other people.

Totally second this. I am extreeeeeemely introverted, but my DH doesn't somehow 'count' as social interaction that I find draining and need a break from. And besides, we spend a fair amount of time pottering about in different rooms, or sitting together but not talking.

People do have very different instinctive ideas about these sorts of dynamics in a relationship. I had an ex who would announce very formally every week or so that he needed an evening by himself and we'd have to schedule that in. And then sometimes when we were together he'd complain that I was sitting reading and ignoring him. It was very all or nothing, whereas my default setting is to have lots of low-key interaction with my partner , rather than 'together time' and 'apart time'.

Potteresque97 Wed 31-Jul-13 14:49:34

Ooooh I so get this, especially about it being another demand. DH has no friends apart from me but luckily his job takes him away on trips and to dinners that run late. Why don't you frame it as saying how you are not like his ex, and he can do spontaneous things now like stay out a few hours more etc and that you have hobbies you like to do at home that are solitary? He may get the message better that way. DH gets very hurt if I try and indicate I want to be on my own.

Angelico Wed 31-Jul-13 14:52:53

I understand your pain OP as an ex-BF was like that. It got to the stage I would feel panicky when he was coming for the weekend because I felt completely suffocated when he was there. We broke up needless to say.

When I met DH the first time I stayed for a weekend I blurted out that I needed some 'me' time to just read a book. He got it straight away as he needs some 'him' time too. It might just be that you are different types of people?

Angelico Wed 31-Jul-13 14:55:51

Although I do agree that I can relax in the same room with DH in a way I never could with the ex! So know what people mean when they say their Dh doesn't 'count' as draining social interaction (awful as that sounds).

garlicagain Wed 31-Jul-13 15:38:09

Someone else may have suggested this - I've only read your posts; sorry. It's an adaptation of something I used to do when travelling alone. Find a nearby cafe, pub, library, art gallery, beauty salon, gym ... some place where you feel calm, comfortable, quiet and unmolested: a place that suits your purpose. This will be your "study". Make a regular appointment with it. Tell everyone it's your quiet time, and go there as scheduled.

I would have suggested adapting a room/garage/shed/attic in your home, but it's not going to work, is it? Physical distance will provide the separation you crave, I think smile

MaitreKarlsson Wed 31-Jul-13 15:50:01

Oh OP, so glad to read your post - I could have written it! The talking at me all the time...the upset-ness if I go to bed early...I wonder if its a form of possessiveness.
He does go out regularly but it's just not often enough for me! I have lots of stuff I want to do alone and never manage to get time on my own to do it.
Last week he was out for what was scheduled to be a long-ish night. I was so excited -put kids to bed, tidied up, cooked quick supper - sat down at pc - then in he walks at 8.10 as it had finished early. I was so annoyed I couldn't hide it - packed him off to watch sport upstairs. I think he got the message. wink

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 16:01:00

Oh Maitre I do sympathise! It's so frustrating. You do exactly what I do when mine goes out, and then he comes back after an hour and a half hmm and I could scream.

What prompted this post was that this happened last night - and when he came back so soon, my disappointment was palpable. And that's why I feel so awful about all this. Although that doesn't stop him from talking absolute bollocks at me when he can see I'm in the middle of something and trying to concentrate angry

WeGotTheKrunk Wed 31-Jul-13 16:17:22

Although that doesn't stop him from talking absolute bollocks at me when he can see I'm in the middle of something and trying to concentrate

^ This!

I'm starting to wonder whether all of our husbands / partners are in some sort of anti-socialness club together. But not the type where they ever have meet-ups, obviously.

Although it's nice to have some alone time, be careful about the message you give out. You don't want your DP to feel unwelcome or unwanted at home. I inadvertently did this to DH. It was one of many things in a long catalogue of misunderstandings that nearly destroyed our marriage. He'd cancel a night out at the last minute expecting me to be pleased to see him, and I'd be a bit grumpy seeing my night in watching rubbish TV with an M&S dinner going out of the window.

Schedule some me time, talk about it, but think about you'd feel if your DP looked pi55ed off to see you when you walked in the door. Pretty unwanted I'd guess.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Wed 31-Jul-13 16:28:52

Carolra were you with my ex?

He was exactly the same down to the now surfing and everything!

Can't you make him understand its not him it's you?
After many years of similar behaviour DH finally understands that as an introvert I need time to decompress. I have claimed a room in our house with all my books, sky, etc. that's where I go to relax.
DH is welcome to come up for a cuddle wink but his man space is downstairs. This means we both get to do/watch what we want in our own space. We are very happy grin

Cerubina Wed 31-Jul-13 16:55:40

I recognise a lot of this too - I'm an introvert and married to an extrovert who isn't clingy as such, but nonetheless I am his major source of social activity so he rarely goes out without me. As I work 4 days a week and we have two young children, my need for 'me time' is absolutely acute all the time and I feel almost primal about personal space and recharging time.

My personal theory on it (and a major generalisation it is too) is that women tend to juggle more of a variety of thoughts every day than men do (paid employment, childcare, being a spouse, dealing with wider family and domestic matters) whereas men tend to do one role at a time in quite a linear fashion. So they're never at work thinking "I must remember to buy x a birthday card at lunchtime, oh and Billy needs more socks, and when will be the right time to start potty training, and have I paid that bill..." as well as actually doing their job too.

If you're an extrovert woman, you can probably do all of the above and pass straight into your evening at home without the need for clearing your head of all the noise, but if you're an introvert then you do need a little bit of time each day when the rest of the noise is switched off and you're just "you".

So whereas my husband can come home from work and step straight into his domestic/fatherly/husbandly role, and actively wants to start chatting about the day, I'm sitting there desperate to draw breath from the children-work-children melee that was the first 13 hours and just "be" for 10 minutes.

Before the children came along, I had far more gaps in my day for that to happen and so it's only something I've noticed in the last couple of years. But it needs adjusting for somehow in order to keep me sane - what's tricky is finding the compromise when being alone or not alone is such a binary distinction!

motherinferior Wed 31-Jul-13 17:00:39

I am, for once, appreciating Mr Inferior reading this thread grin. We very rarely spend an evening together in the same room. It is bliss. Very occasionally we'll watch something on the telly that we both like, but sometimes he looks at me when we're doing it shock. Fortunately, we then both revert to spending time in separate rooms.

Caster8 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:15:00

Had a reread of you earlier post.
His exw accused him of neglecting her if he didnt spend all his time with her.

Was that a reason for the break up?
And he is afraid that you will accuse him of the same thing, so he keeps following you everywhere?

Tada! [though that of course could be way off the mark]!.

Lizzabadger Wed 31-Jul-13 17:36:55

I am with you, OP. I have to have regular time alone else I go nuts. I think you just have to have a frank conversation with him. If he can't be out of the house maybe at least he could go and use the computer for a few hours some evenings and give you space.

ofmiceandmen Wed 31-Jul-13 17:59:50

At the risk of sounding awkward, this is how it reads to an outsider -
You spend a lot of time out with friends, you work, you have a very social life outside without your DP, and when he gets home early it frustrates you.
So it's not really "you" time you want. it's more less "him" time.

Is this equivalent to "I love my kids but sometimes I wish i could just have time alone"
He's joined the ranks of 'needers' in your life.

Well it works with the kids because you know they'll one day come of age and leave, so that end date helps you accept their needs. But if this man is to be a long term fixture, you know it will never end.

Why not flip it. stop concentrating on the non important times. rather plan time together.
Date night wednesday. where he has you all to himself, you both listen and talk. just focus on each other. fill his boots.

You may be surprised that after that he will be less 'clingy, needy'

So far you're feeding each other scraps and wonder why you are both (in your own ways) insecure.

MaitreKarlsson Wed 31-Jul-13 18:26:12

Great thread Seraphim, very helpful, hadnt realised so many others were feeling the same! Yes Krunk, what is it with the talking - its always something really complex about his job while we are doing kids tea/hairwashing/teeth cleaning. He also pauses regularly to check I'm keeping up. Then when i don't remember the fine details several days later he gets annoyed!
Good advice on here though. Cerubina - i was just the same pre-kids, think i expected the kids to change things but his behaviour is probably more of a change. Maybe our other halves feel a bit squeezed out with kids.
Worcester - you are right of course. I normally do hide any annoyance very well. I guess better communication is what is needed!
OfMice - good plan but to be fair we do go out together quite a bit and talk a lot...I dont find it makes much difference to the day-to-day need.
The main thing that works for me, I'm afraid, is heading to a parent's house for a long weekend with kids as I get a bit more space there!

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 20:33:26

Thanks so much for all this brilliant advice!

Caster I don't think it was a cause of the breakup tbh - and I have told him that I need time alone in order to be happy - he listens and then promptly continues to behave in the same way.

ofmice you are so right in some of the things you say. I often wonder if I ever should be with anyone, I never tire of my own company, and rarely, when I get it, it's never enough. So he probably can't win.

Poor bloke. I see loads of women on here complaining that their OH goes out all the time, and I'm envious. That's wrong isn't it?

Thing is, I love him. He is a really, really good man and we love each other very much. It's just this.

SweetSeraphim Wed 31-Jul-13 20:37:51

Oooh I'm a bit depressed now. I feel bad, what if he read the thread? He'd be gutted and wouldn't understand.

It's true what someone said up there, it really isn't him, it's me.

MaitreKarlsson Wed 31-Jul-13 20:53:36

Don't be depressed! I'm just the same - everything else great with us. This is only a minor rant but just good to let off steam!
Better go - he's back - it's 8:50!! grin

crazyhead Wed 31-Jul-13 21:13:20

I do think that quite a lot of men get a girlfriend/wife and then have no interest in their other friends/social life and are quite pleased to jack it in! Odd isn't it?

Me and my OH hardly go out at the moment because we have a toddler, I'm preg and we're doing a big house renovation which involves us working constantly. Naturally I'm more of a goer-outer than he is. But I never mind him being in because within the house, we give each other space. I have a bath or read in one room, he is in another - I do the garden, he does stuff in another. He's a deeply unobtrusive person and though I am chatty when I am being social, I am a quiet presence too. I like knowing he is there and feel I have space.

However - I have a decorator in at the moment who is a noisy presence. When I work from home, he is constantly popping in to say or ask stuff/muttering to himself. He just seems to be one of those people that is constantly 'there'. I really feel crowded by him in the house although he is a nice person and I feel guilty saying it. What it sounds like to me SweetSeraphim is that your bloke is a bit of a noisy presence too. Could you just set some space rules somehow? It would do my head in too but I'm not sure it is just about staying in.

OneMoreChap Fri 02-Aug-13 13:59:39

Well, we can hardly say LTB, can we - but if he makes you so unhappy wanting to be with you (cf. I have told him that I need time alone in order to be happy - he listens and then promptly continues to behave in the same way) maybe you'd better tell him to leave:

I resent never having any length of time alone, I need it.
Give me some fucking space will you?

I sound like a right bitch.

I think the phrase is harsh but true. You do, a bit, but you recognise
it really isn't him, it's me.

All you can do, I think is persist in encouraging him to give you space; if you make too much of a fuss, he may well think you're firing him and leave anyway. Which would be sad, on balance?

SweetSeraphim Fri 02-Aug-13 16:16:45

Oh it would break my heart, truly. Sometimes I think it really is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things - there are so many good things about our relationship... but then I don't get a minute to myself for weeks and weeks and I just get resentful over it.

I certainly wouldn't consider ending it because of this. I just wish he'd understand.

delilahlilah Fri 02-Aug-13 21:26:52

Could you possibly 'treat him' to a day out / weekend away like the experiences you can buy - flying lesson / racing car driving etc etc they cover so many things even cookery / photography and many more
If anything matches up to an interest for him, he might even pursue it for himself as a hobby later giving you some freedom?

arctern57 Sat 03-Aug-13 03:18:35

Mein Gott. As a man, I was probably the other way. My (then) wife was always onto me to stay in. So that she could demonstrate the cold shoulder, big style.
You ladies never cease to amaze me. Hence my now life, in sublime solitude.

SweetSeraphim Sat 03-Aug-13 15:06:19

Erm actern - we're just all different, the same as you are? Nothing like a bit of sweeping generalisation, is there? hmm

MerlotforOne Sat 03-Aug-13 17:44:49

OP, I'm also an introvert married to an extravert. Please believe me that it's likely that he genuinely cannot understand why this is so important to you. I would strongly recommend 'Quiet' by Susan Cain. I read it, then DH read it and it's helped us understand each other so much better, so that he now actively helps me get my quiet time and we make more of an effort to spend quality time together.

Good luck.

joanofarchitrave Sat 03-Aug-13 17:57:29

' I often wonder if I ever should be with anyone, I never tire of my own company, and rarely, when I get it, it's never enough. So he probably can't win... Poor bloke. I see loads of women on here complaining that their OH goes out all the time, and I'm envious. That's wrong isn't it?'

Oh this is totally me. I do worry that I'm not really capable of a proper relationship, so it's nice to hear that it's not just me that perks up massively when dh talks of going out somewhere. Thank goodness our door lock takes quite a bit of opening, so when I hear his key in the door at 9pm, I have a few moments to rearrange my face to 'happy to see you'.

I do love him, honestly.

SweetSeraphim Sat 03-Aug-13 21:34:02

Merlot I am going to look for that book RIGHT NOW smile

joan - that's me, that is. He must see my face light up when he says he's going out and be really hurt. Hopefully I show him how much I love him in other ways smile

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