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Feeling uncomfortable but know I'm being unreasonable - any coping ideas?(23 Posts)
My DH has arranged to go out for lunch with 3 ex-work colleagues (all women). I haven't met any of them. He hasn't seen them for about 2 yrs (since he left the company) and has only kept in very loose touch with them via facebook. They used to be a small team and I know that he really loved working with them. So with my rational hat on I can see that its perfectly normal to want to go for lunch with them for a catch up.
But with my less-than-rational hat on I just feel really uncomfortable at the idea of my husband going out for lunch with 3 women I don't know - especially 3 women who he isn't remotely close to anymore or even properly in contact with. It all just seems a bit forced/contrived and tbh I can't really see the point - I mean surely, if they were going to make the switch from colleague to real friend that would have happened at the point he left the company? Why wait 2 yrs with virtually no contact?
It doesn't help that I've heard nothing but glowing reports about them from him - which no doubt feed my stupid insecurities, as I generally have very low self esteem and little confidence at the best of times. They seem to be the kind of women I think, had it not been for some very stupid choices on my part, I would possibly have been. I feel very much like an also-ran in comparison.
When he first mentioned it, I said that of course I was happy for him to go if he wanted to, but that I felt a bit funny about it for the reasons I've mentioned above (because I do and I see no sense in lying to him about it and pretending I'm totally cool with it). He was quick to reassure me and tried to make me feel better and said that if I didn't want him to go, I only had to say and he'd cancel. But I absolutely DON'T want to be telling him who he can and can't have lunch with - that's ridiculous! I refuse to be that person.
So, he's going and I'm trying to find ways to feel better about it. I'm self aware enough to know that it all boils down to good old fashioned jealousy: of him having people that want to go out for lunch with him (unfortunately I don't) and of worrying that these clever/funny/attractive/successful women may make him realise that he could do better than socially-inept me.
And I can't help it, and I know its not cool, but I simply don't like the idea of my husband going out for lunch with 3 women - I know I'm probably going to get a kicking on here for saying that!! I have a very 'small' life (only know a tiny network of people) but can't imagine, for example, my dad going out for lunch with 3 women he last saw 2yrs ago - I know damn well my dear old mum would think it a most odd and wouldn't be amused I'm sure!!
So does anyone have any bright ideas on how I can help myself to feel better about this? This is all a bit of a brain dump and I feel a bit better for getting it all out. Thank you for listening!
Well I won't give you a kicking as you sound so down. Why is he going out to lunch with them anyway? Just a general catch up or something, working in the same field?
Yes, I'm glad it's 3 not 1 too!
Thanks for not kicking me SingingTunelessly. From what I can gather its just a general catchup. Definitely nothing work related.
You said you can't see the point here, and nor do I really! It isn't really typical to meet up socially with 3 members of the opposite sex you used to work with, if you didn't do that when you worked with them. Different perhaps if there were other men present.
Would he be happy if you went out with 3 guys you knew on facebook, from work, but that he'd never met? I mean it's ok, better than 1 person, but still....you can argue logically about it, but something doesn't sit right somewhere. Maybe it's just me though.
I'd suggest one of two things: 1) ask to come along,as you'd like to meet them too (it's what couples do, after all ) or 2) tell him you've changed your mind and don't quite feel comfortable with it.
Or just take a deep breath and let him go!
I am wondering if your OH takes you out for lunch/dinner very often? I only ask because maybe it is something you would like to do with him and so feel uncomfortable because he wants to do it with others but not you?
I have to say that I would be uncofmfortable too, but thats because it would be totally out of character for my husband. Is going to lunch with people something your OH does?
I think you need to stop thinking about the lunch and start looking at how to enlarge your "small" life. It made me quite sad to read you discribe yourself like that.
I'm so glad I'm not unique in feeling less than delighted about this! You've hit the nail on the head Wordy - logically I can't articulate a decent argument, but it just doesn't sit right.
Boodles - we're very poor at the moment so going out for lunch/dinner isn't something we generally do (either together or separately). So yes, it's quite out of character too. He does go out regularly (hobby) but that's a fixed evening club thing.
I agree with Bobyan. Your feelings are probably not helped by having a 'small life'.
Do you go out with other people without your DP? Maybe part of the jealousy is that you want to go out to lunch with other people too..
I don't think the situation sounds strange to me, but in the circles I mix in people do occasionally catch up with people they don't see frequently, it's nice for old colleagues to do occasionally.
I wouldn't worry about it, as my sister would say (she never feels gealous of her husband having female friends) "He chooses to come home to me, he chose to spend the rest of his life with me, I'm not going to worry about a few hours spent with other women, if anything it will confirm to him that he made the right choice" ! But she is very secure and confident, he is utterly devoted to her and lovely (am have more insecure jealous tendancies in me than she does!)
Thing is, workmates can sometimes become a very close 'gang' and still retain a fondness for each other years down the line. I have at least an annual dinner with two colleagues from a former job; we were great friends when we worked together and still very fond of each other though our lives have gone in different directions. I rather suspect that the fact that these three former colleagues are all female is a bit irrelevant - the shared bond will be the workplace.
Which is why it would not be a good idea for you to invite yourself along, you would be thoroughly bored listening to them all reminiscing about the number of staplers they got through/the precise taste of vending machine tea/the nicknames they had for other colleagues.
You also mention that your H has a hobby: do you have one? If not, it's time you got one. It's actually a bit unhealthy to be as insular as you sound, or it can become that way; everyone needs a hobby and an opportunity to socialise with people other than family members.
It isn't really typical to meet up socially with 3 members of the opposite sex you used to work with, if you didn't do that when you worked with them.
No offence ladyWordy but I disagree. A reunion a couple of years down the line, when they were a small team, seems normal and fun.
Better 3 than 1, absolutely.
OP, your husband sounds nice - he reassured you, offered to cancel, didn't insist he'd go just to prove a point or any rubbish like that. And good for you for not asking him to cancel. Reading between the lines, I think he loves you a lot.
Shame you don't love yourself a bit more Sounds like you need to expand your life a little bit, take up some new interests and feel a bit better about yourself.
Good luck and try not to sweat about the lunch.
I agree entirely that my 'small life' is compounding (creating?) the problem. It makes me desperately sad. I'm trying very hard to change the way things are but it's bloody hard to make the necessary changes when you're starting from such an insular position. Sadly I'm yet to master the knack of manifesting the version of me I want overnight! Which of course means that I have to try and find ways of dealing emotionally with situations such as this in the meantime. Small world = small frame of reference = no fecking clue what's actually normal!! Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.
Don't be too hard on yourself OP. It's not easy to 'expand your life' when you're a bit broke either, is it?
Letting this one go is a good start though. I don't think you'll feel better about yourself if you make a fuss about it.
Sadly I'm yet to master the knack of manifesting the version of me I want overnight
That's normal. Some of us still can't after years. ;)
on reflection I am probably being Victorian about it
<adjusts lace, hoists bodice
I can see it with both hats, as you do, bigmrsa, so you wouldn't get a kick from me - BUT - having said that, I'm sure it will be OK.
Perhaps it will be a catalyst for you to have more fun together (eg have lunch together)? Maybe that's a way to feel better about it - if you use it as a chance to suggest that to DH?
You're being silly. Stop it.
It's completely normal to have a catch up with old colleagues - make or female is irrelevant. I always try and look up some old office mates when I go back to London although we don't stay in touch consistently.
And please don't ask to go along. You'll be bored, you'll ruin it for them because they will have to take turns making polite small talk with you when they really just want to rehash 3 year old office gossip and gripes. You will also look like an insecure jealous bunny boiler. Which may be the case but you don't have to advertise it.
YY what needssomeperspective (how apt!) said.
Get a grip and stop driving yourself crazy about this. It's perfectly normal to go out with people of the opposite sex occasionally. Any relationship where either of us thought that it wasn't is not a relationship I would want to be in.
And as for asking if you can go too... sure, go ahead...if you want to look like an absolute loon and lose the respect that your (lovely-sounding) dh has for you.
You should definitely make an effort to create a part of your life which doesn't revolve around your family.
I understand the whole worrying that the "clever/funny/attractive/successful women may make him realise that he could do better than socially-inept me". I've felt like that before.
But I know I'm being silly, so even though I feel like that, I let it go. 3 is better than one and it will be just fine.
Sorry you're feeling so down..would you like to talk more about that?
Jealousy is such a crap emotion.
You are being irrational
I think you're being unreasonable...meeting some ex colleagues for a catch-up, big deal! Ive done it twice this month (one was with 4 males) and Ive 3 planned between now and November. Id not describe them as 'friends' but thats no need to not want to keep in touch with them.
I'd not be best pleased for the fact that you're strapped for cash at the moment and he's going for an unecessary lunch? Can you afford for him to? Can you also afford for him to have his hobby?
Two months ago, I met up with a guy I worked with five years ago. He's a great person and we never get to see each other- absolutely nothing sexual sometimes it's just nice to keep in touch with good people.
It makes me sad that marriage is all about Giving Reasons or Keeping Score.
Lunch is always 'unnecessary' but most of life's small pleasures are! What's the alternative- giving him a packed lunch and telling him to meet them on a park bench?
I think you are over thinking this. It's normal for people who have worked together to keep in touch and meet up. I've spoken to an ex-colleague on the phone this morning. We haven't me in 3 years but will meet in a couple of weeks.
Old friends meeting socially - no more, no less
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