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un-social husband

(26 Posts)
soggy14 Wed 27-Jul-11 20:42:42

I can't seem to "connect" with dh any more. We have been together nearly 20 years, have children (oldest 11). He says (constantly) that he loves me and wants us to stay together. He works from home and doesn't really have any hobbies or friends - is happy being with the family. He is very unaffectionate - he will sit next to me and put his arm around me but only when I ask him to - I have to say (every evening) "can't you sit by me". He says that he is more comfortable on his own (eaten too much, arm gone to sleep etc etc - always some excuse). We didn'thave sex for years - he kept saying that this was because I didn't want to - (he was happy with mutual masturbation but not sex) in the end I got so fed up that I practically jumped on him and we now do have sex but no kissing (unless I ask) and he still appears to avoid penetration for as long as possible. He clearly gets visually turned on by me though. He just seems to want to do everythign on his own - says that he'd rather go to a football match alone then with friends as the company doesn't outweigh the hassle of having to arrange to meet up etc. He don't actively prevent me from having friends but it is very difficult - couples tend to want to see other couples and when he will not engage it is hard. Also he gets cross if I am not around to be with him at evenings w/es etc as he doesn't want to be alone - he wants me there - but doesn't want to really talk to me or anything.

Sounds trivial but an example is this evening - we were (as a family) having a take away (somethign we hardly ever do - usually kids eat earlier and us later). I lay table, start to serve and dh says that he wants to cook something different (kids choose takeaway) so goes off and does this. We are sittign around eating, he is in kitchen. He did come in an deat his with us when it ws cooked but couldn't understand why I wanted him to have the same as us (ie share the food). He argues that he hurts no one by cooking his own and that there is then more for us. Very rational - he can't undrstand why it matters to me that we eat the same thing occasionally. He is like it in restaurants - if he orders a different dish to me then he really hates it is I ask to taste it and offer him a taste of mine. Says that he has no interest in what my food tastes like etc etc.

Any suggestions please? Anyone else have a similar problem?

ImperialBlether Wed 27-Jul-11 20:52:42

He sounds quite strange!

Did you used to feel connected to him? If so, what changed?

soggy14 Wed 27-Jul-11 20:59:18

yes - when I met him he seemed very out going, had friends etc. We went out together with other couples a lot. I think that it changed when we moved and moved away from my "old friends" (thinking about it he never had any of his own) and I made new ones and we had the kids. It was almost as if socalising with the childen was enough for him and he then didn't need to make the effort to meet my new friends. I arranged various meet ups - he'd go along but announce that he didn't get on with one half of the couple so we'd not see them again. We then moved again and now he seems worse - now he works from home he sees no one at all except me and the kids day in day out. When he does go out (shopping etc) he just comes back and talks about how "unreasonable" the shop assistant was (didn't serve him quickly enough), how unreasonable other drivers are (lots of tail gatin getc). He just seems to be becoming increasingly intolerant of anything and any one.

confidence Wed 27-Jul-11 21:05:30

I could be way off-beam here, but it's just what jumped out at me while reading your post:

Might he have an autistic spectrum disorder?

iskra Wed 27-Jul-11 21:09:19

Might he be depressed?

ameliagrey Wed 27-Jul-11 21:12:01

Some of the things youmention I think are quite "normal" in middle aged men- re. the friends or lack of them, my DH is the same.
Cooking- no don't have those issues.
Intolerance- it can come with age! Grumpy old man syndrome.
Sex- maybe low libido, falling hormone levels, touch of ED?

If he is not very tactile, and unsociable, and reads other people's emotions wrongly or not at all, he could have Aspergers, but then, he could just be typically male!

Another thought that comes to mind is that he sounds controlling- he likes to be "persuaded" to cuddle you, to have sex, and has to assert his own wishes over food etc etc- bit like a stroppy teenager.

Have you talked to him about all the things you mention here and if so, what does he say?

whomovedmychocolate Wed 27-Jul-11 21:12:09

He sounds depressed to me too. If you can't see any light in your life you don't want to associate with anyone or bother with anyone. Does he have times when he is happy or is he always down?

Vicky2011 Wed 27-Jul-11 21:12:33

It sounds like he's stuck in a "grumpy old man" rut. I don't really know what to suggest as I suspect going on at him (in his eyes) will only make things worse. It does seem odd that he has become a hermit rather having always been one - have you asked him if he remembers a time when he was more sociable?

FabbyChic Wed 27-Jul-11 21:13:48

Is he depressed, he sounds like he just lacks social skills. Outside of work I only have my children no friends that I ever see.

soggy14 Wed 27-Jul-11 21:14:27

he says not. He doesn't have most of the signs - just the un social ones. He is very hard to talk to about it (he loses it if I mention psycology - says that it is like astology and bo**ocks - says that he isn't complicated and knows what he is thinking). he just keeps coming back to the idea that we (the family) are enough for him and that gettign to know anyone else is hassle and so why bother. When I then say "but you don't talk to much" he says "what do you want to talk about" and then listens to me but doesn't reply much. With the affection he just says that he is more comfortable on his own. he seems to just prefer his own company I guess. Problem is that he also wants me around.

soggy14 Wed 27-Jul-11 21:17:55

He doesn't seem depressed. He certianly enjoys playing with the kids and enjoys his work (computer geek) and goes cycling each day for an hour and enjoys watching TV, reading et. He just enjoys it all on his own and appears to see no benefit in sharing. He also seems ot avoid being alone with me (I suspect necause I then want him to talk/put his arm around me etc). so kids are always up (school say they are tired but i tis hard to put them to bed as he keeps them up).

whomovedmychocolate Wed 27-Jul-11 21:21:16

He may have lost his confidence. It can happen as men age. Their careers change and they lose their identity. Or the children grow and they just feel a bit redundant in the home.

I am married to a natural hermit. Most of the time he'd prefer to be on his own. We've acknowledged this. We both have our own rooms so we have space to just be apart and it makes it better when we chose to spend time together. Is there any way you could make your home life work to support both of you in a similar way?

Withdrawal from social affairs does point to depression though.

ameliagrey Wed 27-Jul-11 21:22:22

have you thought about mentioning Relate/couples counselling to him? Honestly, my DH is very very simialar to this.

But, how long ago did he change? why did you marry him if he was like this?

Are you trying to change him into something he isn't- or was he always like this but you didn't notice - or ignored the signs?

He sounds very self-contained- nothing wrong with that- but if it doesn't suit you then he has to try to change a bit- or you might need to go your separate ways.

camtt Wed 27-Jul-11 21:26:34

Mine is similar and we have also been together twenty odd years. I try not to let it bother me as much as possible. I worked out some time ago that I wasn't going to change him so I get on with things on my own and turn up without him to social events mostly though he does come sometimes

SJisontheway Wed 27-Jul-11 21:35:56

I think one way or another you need your
Own social life. A hobby you can do without him. Bridge? Book club? Any sport you like. Just because he is unsociable does not mean you can't have a life of your own. You don't need his permission.

Ormirian Wed 27-Jul-11 21:40:40

He sounds like me TBH.

DH has a very active social life in which I join from time to time. But DH gets irritable at home because he doesn't seem to like being with just us.

soggy14 Wed 27-Jul-11 21:45:07

he wasn't like this when we met. What attracted me to him was his social skills, ability to be the "life and soul of the party" (I always though of myself as the quiet one). I've tried t talk to him about changing things - that maybe I could go out on my own etc but he says that I shoudn't want to (I'm enough for him so why isn't he enough for me). He doesn't actually stop me - just gets narky and ratty when I do and won't then help with the kids etc (we bth work from home) as "you have time to go out galavanting" etc.

I feel like he wants us to live entirely apart from the world in our own little family cocoon.

soggy14 Wed 27-Jul-11 21:46:21

I'd love my own socail life but the chaild care issue then crops up and so he gets narky and cross.

ameliagrey Wed 27-Jul-11 22:15:46

what do you mean child care is an issue? aren't your kids quite old now? if he is not going out anywhere in the evening then why does he object to staying in?

I think you are being a bit feeble TBH! if he wants to sulk and behave like a spoilt brat that's his problem. If you want to go out then go out! if he moans then tell him he can have 2 nights out a week and so can you ( or whatever.)

he can't have it all ways.

Either he joins in some things with you or you do your own thing.

He sounds very controlling.

Whatmeworry Wed 27-Jul-11 22:26:59

If you work from home all the time you lose the stimulation of others, and it all seems just such a big hassle to socialise - I think you can get a form of depression from it.

soggy14 Thu 28-Jul-11 01:10:38

>...what do you mean child care is an issue? aren't your kids quite old now?

what I mean is that it isn't just up to me as he needs to look after them if I go out (they are quite high maintenance still) so I can't just do what I want. I work some evenings and so he is already having to look after them then. I know that they are his kids too smile but relationships are about give and take and so I do feel that I need to ask. He never goes out adn never wants to go out so the childcae ends up all a bit one sided so I'm sort of put in teh wrong.

I read "Games people play" ages ago - there is a game where the husband makes sandwiches out of crusts even though the family can afford nice bread and in doing so he controls the wife's spending as she feels guilty buying a new dress when he eats crusts. dh is a bit like that (he even eats crusts grin but more so with the child care and paying for evening classes or meals out with friends. Most of the time I ignore the pressure but it is hard not to feel selfish when you are going out for a nice meal with your friends whilst your dh sits at home looking after the kids yet again whilst eating an ADSA value pizza. When he then says "you've been out xxx times and I never go out at all" it is hard to argue the point. It is controling but still hard to argue.

There's something wrong here in that he says that the family is all he needs but he doesn't engage with the family at all. And then he tells you that his company should be all that you need, yet he doesn't engage with you.

He sounds like a martyr type who gets off on making the people around him miserable with all his showy self-denial.

soggy14 Thu 28-Jul-11 02:06:08

I think that he is genuine in that he is quite happy in his rut doing his own thing often on his own and genuinely does not understand why I'm not also happy to do likewise sad

ameliagrey Thu 28-Jul-11 08:15:01

Soggy you said- When he then says "you've been out xxx times and I never go out at all" it is hard to argue the point. It is controling but still hard to argue.

No. it's not hard to argue. You simply say "But you never want to go out. If you do then tell me and we can share childcare."

The child care thing is a red herring. it doesn't make sense. More likely he is jealous that you do things on your onw- and he wants to make you feel bad to compensate for his in adequacy and non existent socail life. And he has succeeded.

Look- you really need to stand up for your self here.

To put it bluntly, he sounds a miserable git who resents you having any fun, but he is not willing to make his own friends or social life.

Either you accept the situation, or you change yourself so that you simply ignore his faults and get on with your own life.

One thing's certain- he has some issues and his behaviour towards you is not loving, It's petty , mean and controlling.

sayithowitis Thu 28-Jul-11 08:31:49

Like confidence, I also wondered about an ASD. There is another condition, not very well known, called xyy syndrome that may be a possibility. I have known a couple of children to be diagnosed with this after ASD were ruled out.
He could be depressed.
He could be behaving in the same way that role models, such as parents, behaved when he was a child.
Or he could just be a misery. But it sound more than that to me.

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