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Why did I react like that? I surprised myself

(72 Posts)
Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 16:16:17

Can anyone understand why I feel so upset? Because I am not entirely sure myself.

DH and I don't live in each other's pockets. Never have. Been together 20+ years and been contented and stable most of that time. DH is very sociable and has loads of acquaintances and a few really good friends. I am not. I am by nature a loner. I have a handful of good friends my relationship with whom is strong enough not to require maintenance - from either side! I have lots of people to pass the time of day with but not many I'd call real friends. And all that is fine - just as I like it.

Couple of years ago DH started teaching again. Works in a small school with lots of TAs. All of them women as are most of the teachers. He socialises with them often - again, that's fine. He even went on a Hen night for one of them last Saturday complete with pick satin sash confused. They were all invited to his b'day BBQ with families - but TBH even when I tried to be friendly I was mostly ignored by them all and made to feel more like a fucking hired help than DH's wife. Not to mention one of them let their kids trash the house and garden hmm! Dh was having a good time so I didn't make a fuss - just spent time with the people I knew well.

Anyway DH and I were both shock invited to the evening reception for the wedding. I have no desire to go TBH as I don?t feel I will be particularly welcome but we're going. Just got a call from DH to say that one of the guests isn't able to attend the actual wedding so the bride has asked DH to go instead. I actually burst into tears blush - and I am at work. And I don't know why I am upset. It's not like me at all. DH was upset but I couldn't really talk. I think I just feel excluded but that's daft ! I am an adult woman and I don?t live via my DH. I think that I don't want him to want to go IYSWIM

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 17:07:11

When I finish work I have to call DH and try to explain but I don't think I can.

Doha Wed 20-Jul-11 17:14:16

I think it is wrong of the bride to ask 1/2 of a couple previously asked to the evening reception to go alone to the aactual wedding. It displays a lack of respect to you the OH (you) and l am surprised that your DH would even consider this.
I am not surprised that you are upset, it is almost as if you are invisable/being ignored.
Perhaps your DH doesn't quite see it like this

SingingTunelessly Wed 20-Jul-11 17:15:40

Ahhh Orm sad

Your feelings are perfectly valid you know. His colleagues are hardly making you feel welcome are they. So DH is going to the day wedding while you will now be expected to turn up just for the evening function? Seriously I would not be happy either. It's rude to invite just one half of a couple for one thing.

Just tell him what you are feeling. Sounds like he is so wrapped up in his new work life that he really isn't thinking logically.

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 17:20:06


And he is so used to me not minding that he doesn't think I will. But this is different. I always socialised with his colleagues and their wives and children when he was working as a carpenter - still keep in touch with them now. But I feel completed sidelined now.

Funnily enough one of our friends told DH she didn't think I was all that happy about him going on the Hen party but at the time I thought that was nonsense - maybe it wasn't.

TherapeuticVino Wed 20-Jul-11 17:20:28

I completely understand while you feel like that - I think it's v bad form of her to invite just your DH even if she barely knows you... and they haven't tried very hard to GET to know you by the sound of things.....

Explain to your DH and get him to say he can only go to the evening - it will help you feel better if he makes it clear that you come as a package deal smile

ShoutyHamster Wed 20-Jul-11 17:22:34

I think for you it puts the tin lid on the whole feeling of being sidelined that you seem to have got from the BBQ. It sounds like you were fine about this group until you actually met them... and then felt that they were cliquey, a bit rude and not that great to be around. I am sure you'd fondly imagined this nice crowd, that your DH has a lot of time for, being welcoming, glad to have been invited, keen to chat to you and get to know you. People as nice as I'm sure you feel that your DH is!

You say that you weren't keen on the wedding even when it was just the two of you going to the evening - that you wouldn't be particularly welcome. And the invite seems to have confirmed that.

I don't think you are wrong to be upset and I understand it. It's really rude to ask one half of a couple to the full day and one to the evening. Very crass. It would confirm to me that they were a bit of a crap crowd - and that WOULD really upset me, as I would want my husband's crowd of friends to be people I would have time for, people I would rate. I would HATE it if my DH were enthusiastic friends with folk I thought were a bit shitty and rude. It would upset me.

So I get where you are coming from. If I were your DH, I would certainly turn the invite down, and wouldn't be shy of showing my surprise that they would ask one without the other. Not Done.

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 17:29:11

"you'd fondly imagined this nice crowd, that your DH has a lot of time for, being welcoming, glad to have been invited, keen to chat to you and get to know you"

That is it exactly. But they weren't.

It wouldn't be so bad if the school wasn't such a big part of DH's life but it is. It's a school for DC with severe EBD and he invests a lot emotionally.

He spent an entire saturday on a birthday party event.

i think a long talk and a 'thanks but no thanks' to the wedding invite - I am going to look like the nasty jealous wife aren't I? hmm

Doha Wed 20-Jul-11 17:30:23

Agree with the posters who feel that these are crap friends that your DH has made. Perhaps they like having the "token" male as part of their set up and would prefer to keep him to themselves and pretend you don't exist.
I am finding myself getting very angry at the bride, the crap crowd and also to be honest at your DH. How would he feel if the situation was reversed

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 17:31:36

Thanks doha.

I get that feeling too. Dh is very popular amongst the people at the school. I think I get in the way.

But I had been feeling bad for thinking like that. Not so much now.

lawnimp Wed 20-Jul-11 17:33:49

it's rude of the bride to invite him without you!

i'd be livid too - sounds like you're too nice!

ScaredOfCows Wed 20-Jul-11 17:37:42

I think your feelings are perfectly valid. His friends have acted generally prooly. The friend who has extended this invite has surpassed herself in her bad manners.

Because of your lifestyle, it obviously hasn't occurred to your DH that you would be upset by this. That's fine, but now he needs to take his head out of the sand and realise that you are his priority and he needs to put you first, not his friends.

Could you show him this thread?

ScaredOfCows Wed 20-Jul-11 17:38:32

prooly??? poorly - obviously!!

Doha Wed 20-Jul-11 17:39:16

No it's about time that your DH had a think about this. Does he not see that you are being excluded and being treated shabbily.
My DH would have said NO without a thought, we come as a package, invite both to the event or none.
Your DH has had his own way too long. You need to toughen up dear and make your presence felt. In a nice way of course.
I am sure none of this group would have been treated like this regarding partners.

Malificence Wed 20-Jul-11 17:47:21

He wouldn't actually go to the wedding without you, would he?

I can understand exactly why you feel so crap about this, My DH has some female friends he used to work with and we get invited out with them a few times a year as they have regular events for charity, I've always been welcomed but if I wasn't and felt excluded like you do , I would expect DH to distance himself from them without me having to spell it out to him.

Does he know how they acted at your BBQ?

ShoutyHamster Wed 20-Jul-11 18:00:47

I don't think that they would at all think of you as the jealous wife - not as long as your DH was willing to play his part - as in, 'I'm very sorry, but I really wouldn't fancy being at the day on my own, we've made our plans for the day now so will just stick with the evening if that's ok. Thanks for asking, though'. Or even letting it be known in some way that he's a bit cross about your not being invited to the day along with him.

I'd actually be quite cross at the whole set-up. They sound a very immature bunch... I find that there's a certain kind of female set-up which likes having token men within it, and with that man they play a certain role. It's a mix of slightly mothering and very safe flirting (not proper flirting, not suggesting AT ALL that that comes into the mix). They see the blokes as nice teddy bears that they can be a bit silly with. This kind of set-up NEVER likes the wife/girlfriend, as the women would look very silly playing the same role in front of another woman that they don't know. It's very childish and cliquey - your DH has been given his place in the clique, but you would spoil it a bit - you make him a bit too three-dimensional.

I don't know whether that makes sense, but I've seen it many times!

It's actually quite demeaning to your DH too - as is this invite. That's why, if I were him, I'd be trying to get my cojones up to make it clear that I - him, not you - felt insulted.

msfishneedsabycycle Wed 20-Jul-11 18:06:11

He may be their token male but he is your husband! You could annoy them by going to all the events in future! Don't let them exclude you.

IslaValargeone Wed 20-Jul-11 18:10:35

Absolutely everything that shouty hamster has said.

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 21:01:49

Thanks everyone. It feels a bit better that you can see why I feel upset.

I did tell him about the BBQ - he just looked bemused as he didn't notice and to be fair it wasn't all of them - one of them group was quite friendly - but the younger ones were distinctly rude.

He doesn't totally understand. But he is turning down the invite because he could see made me unhappy.

I think we are going to have to start spending more time together - with work an 3 DC there is too much else going on as it is - effort required to make more time.

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 21:03:58

hamster - yes I think the situation is as you suggest. I made a joke out of it at first - called them his harem (only to DH) - but I tend to feel that if there is a joke it's at my expense.

TheProvincialLady Wed 20-Jul-11 21:18:15

No one has the right to be rude/cliquey with the hostess of a party, even if they only know the host. It is the height of bad manners and it doesn't say much for their fondness of your DH that they treat his wife with disrespect does it? I am not one for having to do everyting together as a couple, but I would not stand for my DH being invited to the whole wedding and me just to the evening - if the bride had already shown lack of manners to me. I would expect him to stand up for me. You need to have a serious chat with your DH and tell him how you are feeling.

springydaffs Thu 21-Jul-11 02:15:49

I think that when you're in a clique, it can be so heady and enjoyable you don't notice you're in one. The work your husband and his colleagues do is probably very intense and will bond them as a crowd. That doesn't excuse the behaviour of his colleagues though and I wonder if he's a bit star struck at his popularity and doesn't realise that you're not included. His commitment is to you first, before his job.

fwiw I worked in a cafe for a while and we used to get the local teachers coming in - all young, all rude, dismissive, unpleasant. There's something about being a teacher that can go to peoples' heads iyswim - they can think they're above the usual rules. Generally, that is, of course! It's the young ones who can be tiresome.

Ormirian Thu 21-Jul-11 11:25:04


spring - most of them aren't actually teachers but assistants not that that is relevant I guess!

One of the things that wound me up was DH being assaulted again in the classroom. It happens once or twice a week by one or two specific pupils with severe problems. DH can cope with the asssaults although he clearly doesn't relish then hmm but not with the need to physically restrain the children. This particular assault was worse than usual because the assistant present didn't intervene to help DH in time - because she was small and female and scared of being hurt - which I understand but it made me cross. DH got punched in the eye - if it hasn't been allowed to escalate it might not have happened. And he tells me that he will always try to protect his female staff - he shouldn't need to feel the need to protect the people who are there to help him IYSWIM, at his own expense. But I know it's his job and his call.

Aislingorla Thu 21-Jul-11 11:46:30

I totally,totally agree. He should not feel he has to support the female staff!They should all have had 'positive handling' training, male/female, big/small.
I am 5''1, light and can restrain teens (also work with children and young people with behaviour problems) if needs be.

Your story strikes a cord with me, Orm. My DH works with a lot of women and I have experienced similar things, to a lesser degree. Mostly they are friendly towards me, but some of them claim this 'ownership' of him.He was invited to a Hen once, as the honourary man! It was a punting party and he punted the whole time(eejit!).

Anyway, we had a crisis (won't go into details as it has no baring on your situation) and as a result rethougth our relationship, lifestyle, etc. We now make a massive effort to spent time together, alone! And ,as a consequence my H spends less and less time socialising with colleagues. This happened naturally but reading your thread made me realise how problematic it could have become because as a result of our 'crisis' I became jealous and insecure ( I never was before, I actually used not mind how much he was out, which was not good for our marriage).

Ormirian Thu 21-Jul-11 12:01:44

Blimey aisling! So many parallels shock.

I think we need to do a major rethink. As much of my behaviours as his TBH. But in his favour, he was very worried that I was so upset about it so I am hopeful we can approach this positively. If he has just acted as if I was being a silly woman and the issue was too trivial to concern himself with I'd be more worried .

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