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Why does DH get all the respect and not me?

(34 Posts)
jamieandcersey4eva Thu 17-Dec-15 00:05:44

DH is super bright, and has reached the top in his field of expertise. As a result we have a nice house at a prestigious academic university where we host people to stay often. However, Dh hates it, and only does it because his job sometimes requires him to and because I like it. He is generally quiet, anti-social, hates small talk and (his words) "Doesn't want to meet new people." He gets annoyed with others easily - he doesn't care who they are. People are sometimes quite fearful and intimidated by him. I am often left in a room with a whole load of academics who I have to chat to through dinner, drinks and make beds for, while DH will just go to bed at 7pm and never come down again.

I am the touchy feely one with our friends. The one who sends flowers, cards, makes conversation when we socialise, remembers to buy food for dinner, cooks, cleans, remembers people's birthdays, remembers important events, looks after other people's children for days/weeks when they end up back at our house. I feel horrified if I think I have offended someone and can have anxiety about it for years. I like the idea of creating a community and helping each other out. I think you have the picture.

Anyway, because of his absence, anti-social behaviour and general not giving a shit what people think, some enigmatic aura has developed around DH in other people's eyes. They want more and more of him all the time, and contact him a lot. In fact, if he got angry at them the last time he saw them, the more they want him. All thank yous, all praise, all complements on the house, the cooking, the stay, the DC - are directed to him. Even people who were originally my friends previously, I find texting him, calling him, emailing him, wanting to meet up. He hates it. He doesn't respond, but it makes them surround him with even more mystery. If I see people, all they ask is "how is your DH?"

All my life I have been searching for acceptance and to feel like I belong (i had a narcissist mother who was never happy.) I thought that doing everything you can to please other people would make them like you and accept you - but they don't ever notice me bending over backwards or really care whether I'm there or not. They notice DH ignoring them and walking out of the room without a second glance and it seemingly makes them like him more. DH tells me I have to take a leaf out of his book and not give a shit what anyone thinks apart from him and our family.

Is this the way the world works?

Marchate Thu 17-Dec-15 00:08:32

Are you sure he hates the attention? Sounds like he has a good method for getting more & more attention. And sucking up any that could come your way too

Domino777 Thu 17-Dec-15 00:12:08

Who are these people? How many people are there? What do they do?

Imbroglio Thu 17-Dec-15 00:12:26

What is your relationship like? Are you getting the attention you need from him?

BackforGood Thu 17-Dec-15 00:14:16

Surely them asking how he is, is more of a concern thing, as he's clearly got some issues around his mental health from the way you have described him, and they are concerned for/about him.

Tartyflette Thu 17-Dec-15 00:20:15

Blimey. Is your DH Richard Dawkins? (Sorry, not helpful )

The only thing I can think of is perhaps you should try taking his advice.
But really, it seems he could not be who he is without you doing what you do.

Russellgroupserf Thu 17-Dec-15 00:32:44

As your DH is I assume a hall warden then he does actually need to do what he is supposed to do.

Higher education is full of people who think they are something they are not. My DH is a super bright academic, others are like small ants scuttling round him trying to please him, I refuse to pander to him.

TheTigerIsOut Thu 17-Dec-15 00:58:00

The truth is that you are nice, but if it is your husband acceptance they are after, they are not going to pay much attention to you. so, I would say that you really need to stop being so nice to people who can't appreciate it.

I'm very sorry that you are in that position, having being in a similar situation, I can only say that my life took a turn for the better when I finally decided that I couldn't continue being the conscience of my ex or the person who fixed all the social mess he inadvertedly created around him. It comes to a point that being proud of the intellect of your partner doesn't trump all the lack of happiness that his selfishness brings. Forget about your narcissistic mother, it is your narcissist husband you need to be wary of.

Sadmother Thu 17-Dec-15 02:11:53

Why surround yourself with these shallow, self-conscious people? Your husband sounds the worst of a bad, boring bunch.

Glastokitty Thu 17-Dec-15 02:37:02

Your husband might be super bright, but it sounds to me like he needs to learn some manners.

FlorisApple Thu 17-Dec-15 04:25:01

Fuck, this pisses me off with academia. When I was with my stbxp "we" hosted the reception for a conference we had been involved in organising at our house. I : 1) Cleaned the whole house, 2) Cooked loads of food 3) Entertained the keynote speaker when everyone else was too in awe to make chit chat, and all this after already moderating a panel during the daytime. STBXP did: sweet FA. The next day, thank-you speeches were made at the end of the conference. The guy making the speech: "And thank-you so much to stbxp for hosting the great reception last night and offering your house." I got no mention. Nada. Looking back, I think this really was the beginning of the end for me. I just thought: fuck this shit.

FlorisApple Thu 17-Dec-15 04:28:55

And also: Well said TigerOut! That is so true. Much better than my rant.blush

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Thu 17-Dec-15 04:32:24

People are like cats? The more disdain you have for them the more they want you?
it doesn't really work like that, otherwise I would be swimming in friends and I am not

bittapitta Thu 17-Dec-15 07:22:22

Going to bed at 7pm and leaving you to it?! That's not enigmatic, he is being rude to you and the guests. There have been a few good news articles recently about women doing the "emotional labour" in relationships, worth a Google and a think on both your parts about how much effort you are putting into providing a good show and him not making enough effort.

chrome100 Thu 17-Dec-15 07:24:13

Your DH sounds like Uncle Quentin from the Famous Five. YANBU (not that you asked) it sounds like a very frustrating situation. If your DH buggered off like that in my social circles he would be thought very rude, not venerated for it.

chrome100 Thu 17-Dec-15 07:24:14

Your DH sounds like Uncle Quentin from the Famous Five. YANBU (not that you asked) it sounds like a very frustrating situation. If your DH buggered off like that in my social circles he would be thought very rude, not venerated for it.

MaybeDoctor Thu 17-Dec-15 07:38:16

Ah, the old chestnut of 'employ the man, the wife's labour comes free'.

MaybeDoctor Thu 17-Dec-15 07:47:07

Mrs Brian Cox wrote a guardian article about people fawning over Brian a few years ago.

poocatcherchampion Thu 17-Dec-15 07:49:45

I thought of uncle Quentin too. That guy is a loser.

Choughed Thu 17-Dec-15 07:52:45

Just stop doing it. Build your own life and stop propping up his.

AuntieStella Thu 17-Dec-15 08:06:47

"He has reached the top in his field of expertise"

This is why people want him. Not his manner (good or bad). And yes, that is how the world works, because those people who are genuinely exceptional and top of their fields will attract interest, whatever the field. If it's entertainment, there's a whole industry (fan clubs, magazines etc); in other fields, rather quieter but still intense.

That he is sought after is nothing to do with you.

AuntieStella Thu 17-Dec-15 08:11:12

And your DH sounds rather like Sheldon Cooper.

Not easy to live with. If the problem is really with him, you may have externalised it to everyone else behaviour so you don't have to face that. But if you both find the attention unpleasant, then perhaps you could look for ways to buttress you two against the world?

I suggest you stop hosting anything academic for him, temporarily at least.

HappyGirlNow Thu 17-Dec-15 08:15:06

This all sounds bizarre and if your husband goes off to bed at 7pm when you have visitors and ignores people who contact him then he's an absolute tosser and needs to get over himself hmm

BabyGanoush Thu 17-Dec-15 08:15:31

He's playing hard to get/hard to please

You are playing needy

You both get what you'd expect in that scenario

I imagine the accademic subject in question is not psychology grin

CatMilkMan Thu 17-Dec-15 08:19:12

Do your best to give less of a fuck, when you aren't thinking about people accepting you you will notice how they feel about you a lot less.

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