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to want to see my friend alone rather than with her DH and DC sometimes?

(18 Posts)
OTheHugeManatee Wed 17-Aug-11 14:49:40

I'm fully expecting to be told off for being a cowbag here. But here goes:

My oldest friend lives abroad with her DH and two DC (4 and 9 months). She comes back once or twice a year, and we always try and find time to meet up when she's in the UK.

When we do meet up, it tends to be along with her DH and DCs. While this is enjoyable enough, it also tends to mean

a) I don't get to chat to her one on one
b) We end up going to child-oriented venues eg Giraffe chain restaurants, which I don't like
c) Conversation can be a bit stilted and general, as English is her DH's second language and I don't speak his first language.

AIBU for wishing my friend and I could catch up one-on-one now and again when she's in the UK? I appreciate that it wouldn't really be fair on her DH if she just left him with the DC while gadding about with all her old friends all the time, but I still wish we could at least meet up for a chat in a venue that doesn't have paper colouring-in cartoons as placemats.

ImperialBlether Wed 17-Aug-11 14:52:14

I absolutely agree with you. You can't talk in the same way if he's there, just as you can't when the child is there. You have the right to a private conversation together.

I think that if she's living in her OH'S country (where he can see his friends on his own) then he has to accept that sometimes she will want to see her old friends from home on her own.

JosieRosie Wed 17-Aug-11 14:52:21

You're not a cowbag grin I would feel exactly the same. It's not fair to expect you to have to do kiddy stuff all the time. She's your friend and I would imagine you want to see her much more than you want to see her DH or DCs.

Do you think there's any reason why DH tags along all the time? Do you think he would have a problem with her going out without him and DCs?

LemonDifficult Wed 17-Aug-11 14:58:47

While I don't think YABU to want this, I just think that this is the way things roll once everyone has children. It won't be forever.

If she needs to have very family friendly places (and 4 and 9mo would suggest that) then maybe she thinks she'll have a better chance of a chat with you if she meets there. Also, if she's only got a few days in the country then, yeah, she'll have to fit you in and that probably means the whole family will be involved, if there doing something in the morning and something else in the afternoon then lunch is probably going to be together too.

If you're great mates, she probably wants you to have a relationship with her DH and DCs too. Can you chat on the phone one-to-one the rest of the time?

LemonDifficult Wed 17-Aug-11 15:02:28

'You have the right to a private conversation together.'

Not at all sure about this. I don't really think you do. I'm sure she'd love to have a private chat with you but, being in a different country for a few days with her small child and her baby, your friend will need to make some compromises. Personally, I wouldn't make demands on her.

boudiccasSideKick Wed 17-Aug-11 15:06:47

Know exactly what you mean. I have a friend who's daughters used to come and plonk themselves down at the kitchen table when I was there for a cuppa and a chat. Had to stop grown up chat (exchange of wildly inappropriate gossip). If a friend came round to see me I'd always tell DS to bugger off and stop being nosey go and find something to do.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 17-Aug-11 15:43:37

I don't think there's any sinister surveillance-type motivation for him always being with her (he's a lovely bloke) - it's just that it's always been kind of taken for granted that where I saw her before, after they got together it was her + him. And now it's her + him + two littlies.

It's not as though I expect to be able to spend all night drinking nasty wine and listening to Dr John records like we did as teenagers. But she's had a number of quite dramatic changes in her life over the last couple of years and I wish I could have the one-to-one time to ask her a bit more about it. Getting her to talk about emotional stuff can be like getting blood out of a stone and takes time, and often a bit of wine IYSWIM. And also I'm just not that into dining out at places where there's a risk of ending up with play-doh in my soup hmm

Anyway, I guess her DC won't be tiny forever. I must be patient smile

JosieRosie Wed 17-Aug-11 16:35:35

I guess like you say it won't be forever but you have my sympathies OP. My best friend is planning babies (under duress from her H, but that's another story!) and I'm worried about what will happen to our friendship. An older and wiser childfree friend has told me that the first few years when your friend's DCs are little are the hardest, and after that it gets easier.

LemonDifficult Wed 17-Aug-11 18:05:29

OTHM, how old are your DC? Can you not compromise and take them too and go somewhere that would tick the 'Treat' box for them at the same time?

Chundle Wed 17-Aug-11 18:09:57

Next time she comes why don't you ask her out for the evening to a pub or an event or something? Tell her a girly night would do you both good and see what she says

dreamingbohemian Wed 17-Aug-11 18:24:07

YANBU at all.

It's easy enough to say wait it out until the kids are older but I think friendships sort of wither a bit without that great one-on-one time.

Next time you all meet up for lunch, maybe you and she could go for a cup of coffee somewhere after while her DH does something with the kids for an hour or so? it's something at least.

Also, can you skype when she's away? Video chat? you can even have a drink while you do it!

deariedearieme Wed 17-Aug-11 18:30:03

what did she say when you suggested meeting up one evening in a winebar?

joric Wed 17-Aug-11 19:45:46

Don't like it either OP and hate it even more when old friend's without children bring their husbands !! I am a cowbag!

joric Wed 17-Aug-11 19:46:38

friend's friends

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Wed 17-Aug-11 19:48:50

So why don't you just say to her "I'm really looking forward to seeing you all, why don't we all meet up at such and such a place one day and then another day, let's me and you go off together for a coffee and a natter, just the two of us."

MuddlingMackem Wed 17-Aug-11 20:11:04

YANBU at all.

I have a single friend who often drops in to see us for an hour or so when in town visiting her parents. On one occasion she texted to ask if we were around that afternoon and could she drop by. I said yes, that would be great but that I was the only one home as DH and the kids wouldn't be home until later that evening. I was really looking forward to spending part of the afternoon having an uninterrupted, child-free chat with my oldest friend and was gutted when she rearranged her day so that she could visit in the evening when the kids would be there as well! envy

OTheHugeManatee Wed 17-Aug-11 21:14:43

Update: it worked itself out grin

She turned up for our early evening meetup solo, having worn out the DH and DC with a day of outings. So we got our 121 chat!

Was so glad, as there's been everything goIng on: deaths, births, redundancies, engagements, house moves, the works. And some questions are just more likely to get a straight answer fi you ask when there are no DHs or DCs about... We worked slowly through a bottle and some grub, her DH kept the home fires burning, and she got home in time to tuck her littlies up for the night. Result!  


JosieRosie Thu 18-Aug-11 08:56:24

Good OP! Glad you had a good time grin

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