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.
Is this a bit weird or is it just me??(86 Posts)
I just cannot get this out of my mind for some reason it keeps playing over and over.... DP is very extrovert, finds it easy to talk to people,make friends etc. been with him for 11 years now, met all his family and friends some of them just choose to think i am ignorant and not give me the time of day (im not im just painfully shy, and find it hard to speak to someone i dont really know)
Anyway we go to his cousins wedding last Saturday, most of his family where outside smoking, myself and dp dont smoke, so i was sat inside with his pregnant cousin who doesnt talk much, while waiting for him to reappear from wherever he had gone to.... didnt have any money to get a drink, he had the money that night, wasnt answering texts so all i could do was wait. he finally reappears and it seems hes made lots of new friends outside who he was now sitting with, bought me a drink, not once asked me to go join him, in fact took 25 mins to get the bar while he was chatting to people on the way, to get me a drink, i eventually had enough and wandered out to get some money from him so i could get a cab home, when i get there hes chatting away to his crowd of hangers on, so i had to wait until i could get a word in... i finally get my say and tell him hes a selfish prick be invited as a couple and then just leave me alone all bleedin night, i just got the impression i wasn't welcome outside, he finally got the hint and came and sat by me for once, by then he couldn't string 2 words together, i hate it when hes drunk so we then sat there in silence, and waited for the coach to pick us up, on the way out i overheard his cousin who's usually really quiet telling him he was a selfish t££t for ignoring me all night, so was quite pleased it wasn't just me being weird.
Thinking back now though our nights out always end up like this, he tries so hard to be the entertainer for everyone, make everyone laugh and its always at the cost of the person who has actually gone out with him, its not that hes being flirty or anything (although his own mum has said sometimes he does go to far cos he doesn't realise hes flirting) I'm just sick of being the odd one out, all his family are like this, i especially hate the next day when he doesn't realise how hes made me feel so i get all neurotic about it and always feel like its me who has done something wrong.
why would anyone want to go out and be ignored all night? is this really me feeling something that is actually there or being jealous of him being super confident? just really confused and its eating me up thats he treated me this way again. really sorry this is so long.
Honeypie, it sounds like you expect your DP to be your constant guardian in social situations, simply because you feel uncomfortable with them. Do you? Is this a role he understands that you expect him to fulfill, and is he ok with that? Because tbh, it's a lot to ask of a partner.
The only thing that sounds weird to me about with his actions vis-a-vis you is when you say "he had the money that night". Why can't both of you carry money?
I had a similar thing with DH in the days when we actually went places together. I think he just thought that we spent a lot of time together at home and that he wanted to take the chance to speak to other people while we were out. He always thought I was being jealous or possessive about him but really it was because I needed the reassurance of someone I knew there.
Things have got a bit better as I have got to know the same people and am more confident in being able to make small talk with strangers but there are still times when I get a panicky feeling and just can't think of anything to say.
We've had some almighty rows about this in the past and looking back I genuinely think he meant no harm and actually didn't realise I was unhappy but thought I was sulking. I think you need to speak to him in a non-confrontational way about how his behaviour made you feel, eg, 'I didn't really enjoy myself last night because I was sitting alone for most of the time and I would have liked to be included in your conversation'.
By the way DH is not super confident but socialising as a group comes easier to him, I prefer just one on one or a very small group.
20wkbaby you hit the nail on the head,i just think if your out with me, then at least spend part of the night chatting to me, we spend all week working so the only time we get to see each other properly is when were out together or the few hours after work before bed when everything else has to be done.
Its not even situations with his family though, it can be just us 2 and he will sit at the bar happily chatting to the barman and ignoring me all night, he sees this as being friendly i see it as a waste of my time being there,he may as well of gone on his own.
ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow No i dont expect him to be my babysitter, i do however expect him to at least sit with me and have a conversation with me for some of the evening. this was a one off as id paid all the bills the week before and was totally broke going to this wedding, which was why i was relying on his as we are a couple who help each other out.
Try tackling this from another angle, (and forget DP for a mo.)by your own admission-you are shy, and you say that some people mistake this for ignorance. If you dont want to come across this way, have you considered ways to build up your confidence and overcome shyness?
Yes i have been dealing with depression for years now and have only in the last 8 months started seeing a counselor I really wish i had the ability to go up and talk to strangers, i admire people who do... Im one of those people who loves my own company and can be at home for days alone without a care in the world, but as soon as im in a group i feel like im sat in the middle alone and everyone is in groups around me, i feel so out of place in social settings and i hate it. i feel at 31 i shouldnt be like this still, Ive missed out on many things through life because of my shyness, backed away from opportunities etc.
I am trying to get help, i just dont think my dp sees it as a real issue between us, where for me it makes me not want to go out with him for fear of being alone, i know this sounds like im babbling, im trying to get my head around it.
It doesn't sound like babbling, Honeypie. It makes perfect sense.
When you are feeling depressed, you think the whole world is against you-especially the people you are closest to. Its good that you aknowledge and are getting professional help with these issues.The first step to beating your depression is realising that you cant change other people but you CAN change the way you 'react' to whatever happens in your life. the problem would be if you felt really lonely and isolated, but you say that you are happy with your own company-see this as a positive! most people would envy you! have you thought that maybe you are more secure within yourself than those people who are desperate for social situations? Also, what exactly is it that you feel you have missed out on? Clubbing, getting pissed every friday night, etc is not everyones idea of a good time. Find something that interests you-there are still millions of opportunities available to you!-now Im the one babbling! must say though-can you really blame DP for mingling at a mingling event? sounds like he just wanted to enjoy the evening. youve been together 11 years, he luvs ya, next time there is a 'doo' have a compromise, ie attend wedding but not reception-let him go out with his mates-you go off to a spa or whatever. Its perfectly normal to enjoy different things/situations x
Sorry but if you are shy and insecure it is up to you to learn a few more social skills. Your DP is not responsible for your happiness at all times, he is not your keeper or therapist, you need to be able to hold a conversation not just sit there with a face like a smacked arse all night. It's not unreasonable for him to want to talk to his family when they are all together, it is unreasonable for you not to want him to talk to anyone else when you are out with other people.
Exactly what sgb said.
Whilst I sympathise and think he was being a little bit selfish, because he knows how you would be - I can't bear being someone's babysitter when I'm out. If you (the generic you) can't hold your own in a social situation, then don't go. I'm not there to hold your hand, I can do that at home. Does that make sense?
Think thats a bit harsh sgb.
OP, yes, it would be good for you to try to help yourself to feel more comfortable socially but he is your partner and, especially as you have been depressed, should be more supportive. I think before you go to something like this you need to have a proper talk and if he's not going to spend more time with you then, if it was me, I probably would stay home.
Another option is if any of his family/friends have female partners who you could 'chum' along with, even someone's mum, you don't have to be the same age to be friendly.
Another option, if there are children present & you are good with kids, offer to help, or a granny sitting by herself. Children/Older people always much more accepting, IME.
Really Abby? If my partner of close friend, relative had been depressed and was shy socially there is no way I'd feel like I was 'babysitting' to keep them company. What kind of friend/partner feels like that?
On the other hand, if I thought they wouldn't enjoy being there and would be awkward I would probably encourage them to stay home but sometimes for family events people are 'expected' to attend.
I will go against Abby & SGB.
I do think that when you go out with someone, wether it is your partner or a friend, the least you can do is to spend some time with them. Not leaving them alone for hours, not answering texts, taking half an hour to bring a drink back etc...
In that case, the Op couldn't have a drink because he had the money. I would have expected him to actually be careful enough to ensure she had enough money with her/bring her a drink etc...
As for being shy, you ARE already taking steps and doing something abut it. I think you should be proud of yourself for that and give yourself a paat on the back.
In the mean time, could you have a chat with your Partner and agree on what would happen next time you go out together like this. That he is welcome to go and talk to everyone but he also has to talk to you. Even down to saying 'I need you to spend 30%, 50% or whatever of the time with me too' perhaps?
There is no thing I didn't quite understand though. If he is so good at chichat with people, why couldn't he say a word to you on the way back home?
I'm with SGB. I find Shy people very difficult, despite trying to engage and involve them, many come across as plain rude and ignorant, I have not the time for those types of people, if you cannot acknowledge my trying to engage with you, I'll move on to the next person.
It is up to us to change how we act, glad you've acknowledged you have depression and have sought help for it, but don't lay the blame on your DP. He just wants to have a good time, were all guilty of that
DH and I nearly always go our separate ways at events, it's nice to talk to fresh faces and then tell each other about it later. I would hate to have to babysit him however if either of us was having a tough evening we would stick with the other. I wonder are you always sitting there with a sour face while he's having fun or is it just on this occasion?
I'm a little disappointed at the lack of empathy shown by some, usually very kindly, posters here. You can't tell a person who suffers from social anxiety to just pull themselves together and start talking to people, any more than you can tell a person who suffers from depression to "just cheer up FGS". Would that it were that easy.
No of course one wouldn't expect a couple to sit joined at the hip during a family gathering - mingling is good - but one half of this couple does have a very real problem with being left in a group of others. I believe it behoves the more "socialised" partner to meet her half-way on this. To have consideration for her anxiety. By the sound of it she isn't enjoying it or using it as an excuse to control him. She would like to just flip a switch and feel at ease with people, but it doesn't just happen. And being left alone in the very situation she fears doesn't sound to me like the best way to help her get more comfortable.
Oh, and that's before we even get on to enquiring how the situation arises that one partner has all the money because the other one has just paid all the bills.
Do you feel like you are suited to each other in other ways?
By the sound of it she isn't enjoying it or using it as an excuse to control him.
To me it does sound like she is so lost in her own anxiety and depression that she is becoming controlling of her partner:
- "he... wasnt answering texts"
- "i finally get my say and tell him hes a selfish prick"
- "i hate it when hes drunk so we then sat there in silence, and waited for the coach to pick us up"
Yes, the OP's problem is very real and I empathise. But it sounds to me like she is laying very heavy expectations on her partner to shield her socially, which he may not be able or willing to fulfill. Not saying either of them is right or wrong, just that their expectations of each other's role during outings seem very mismatched.
Thing is, he DID return to sit with her, albiet half cut, but he was having fun. I can only speak from my perspective, and my Boyfriend suffers from Bi-polar Type II and has severe anxiety, but he manages to cope fine in public/social situations despite his mental illness.
Ah yes, DH used to be like this sometimes, he's a very gregarious person and I remember one NYE when I had a very bad migraine and had to go outside in freezing temperatures for a lie-down on a garden bench. He didn't even notice that I was missing for 4 hours. Happy days.
He got the point when I took him to a colleague's wedding and left him alone for all of 20 minutes while I was off chatting to some people I used to work with
not at all on purpose oh no . Apparently it was the longest 20 minutes of his life and I was a heartless bitch for doing that. Seemed a bit stunned when I reminded him that he'd been doing the same (but for significantly longer periods of time) to me for years and calling me over-sensitive when I pulled him up on it. And that I assumed he'd be okay with it as he isn't over-sensitive at all.
Just as well I'm not particularly shy and can usually find some poor random to chat to. I think it must be hell if you are shy, and I do sympathise.
DH used to do this to me all the time, and my God did I wanna launch him into next week lol. I'm not shy and can quite easily make conversation with people I don't know. I just found it rude that we'd go to an event together and he'd dump me on someone and clear off. I certainly do not need babysitting and I understand that he was probably just excited to be around other people but we barely get to spend time together as it is so at times it annoyed me. However, this all changed when I got more involved with other family members. Now I just march off and sit with the people I know and have a laugh with them and guess what? DH wants to be around me more and very rarely buggers off anymore
Moral of the story is, persevere with friendships and make him want to come and sit with you.
Also it was his cousins wedding, he'll be wanting to have a drink, catch up with family/friends etc. I guess I take his side because your OP comes across as rather selfish and aggressive, IMO
I agree about the expectations, Puppy. But he knows she's like this, so instead of running away to avoid the miserable face - taking the money with him! - he should, don't you think, make a point of seeing she's ok every half hour or so, performing polite introductions, "letting" her sit with his new mates without having to hold up her end of the conversation... lots of different ways of playing it. After 11 years he surely can't say he doesn't know what she's like at parties. And she didn't say he had to be with her all the time; he chose however to be with her for none of the time, until she made a fuss. Thus rewarding the fuss and perpetuating the anxiety.
Hairy, your boyfriend could have a different type of anxiety. I got all sorts of phobias and anxieties and heaven knows what when I was post-natal and again whilst divorcing, but I never had difficulty talking to people, because talking is not a thing I have difficulty with. That doesn't mean either that I don't have "real" anxiety or that the OP doesn't. It affects people in different ways. No (reputable) clinic specialising in overcoming phobias would dump a client in a roomful of spiders, smother them with feathers, shout at them, throw them in a swimming pool etc. You treat these things gradually, sympathetically. You don't drag a socially anxious person out to a party where they don't know most of the people and then just leave them alone all evening. Not if you give a pair of fingers about their feelings you don't, anyway.
I also have an issue about getting so drunk that you can't speak, as the DP apparently did, especially (though not exclusively) if you're out with someone who drinks very moderately, but maybe that is just me being a bit Puritan...
Join the discussion
Please login first.