Dh takes all the fun out of socialising.(37 Posts)
I'm upstairs close to tears because once again we have had a row about our social life. Every bloody time I arrange a night out or a party he will without fail moan and gripe about it or just start a row about something else but I know the real reason.
At the event he always, without fail, has a brilliant time and the morning after I will get an apology for his behaviour.
I'm just so tired of it.
If he doesn't want to do it, it seems unfair to involve him without his agreement, though. Why not just go by yourself?
Why does he do it? Does he suffer from anxiety?
not much info to go on OP! Eg does he moan when it's friends/occasions he doesn't enjoy? Do you do other stuff together as a couple and independently?
Sounds like socialising together is not an option until he pulls his socks up.
He does want to do it though. I will say something like shall we go to x place on Sat with our friends and he will agree but then he starts moaning,second guessing what will happen,generally being down about it.
I do go out by myself but sometimes it's nice to be with my husband.
DH is much more extravert than me and enjoys going out in groups, which I don't. I also don't enjoy all his friends' / partners' company, and everyone has limited time, so I just don't always attend.
Tell him you won't go out with him unless it's something he arranges and he doesn't moan in advance? I would tell him you will not go if he gives you earache in advance - and mean it.
My Dad was exactly like this. My parents had a good social life. Like you describe, Dad was always happy when arrangements were made.
Then, without fail, on the day he would moan and complain " I don't want to do this, I'm only keeping your mother happy." On and on and on. It was fucking horrible.
Then he'd go, have a brilliant time and be the life and soul of the party. I don't know how my mother put up with it. It made me, as a child, very anxious.
Now I think it was some kind of control thing. Looking back at things in our family life, I can see variants on a theme.
I'd try a serious talk with him about how miserable it makes you feel and how unreasonable he is. Then, if no change, I'd just socialise without him. That might wake him up if he realises you're just not going to put up with the moaning.
Maybe he has some kind of social anxiety. I'm like this before i go somewhere. In my head i imagine that it will be dreadful and no one will talk to me and I'll have a panic attack. This is a hang over from when i was younger and did have panic attacks at social events. Now when I get somewhere I'm fine but i have to force myself to go. Have you tried talking to him about why he moans and telling him how it makes you feel? If he apologises the next day it sounds like he is aware he is being difficult but for some reason continues to do it.
Gah, my DH does this as well! He's really sociable, and has a great time, but he doesn't half have a moan and put up a load of stupid 'roadblocks' at times if we have plans.
No advice, just letting you know you're not alone!!
I think he must have some form of anxiety. I have tried everything, talking to him,ignoring it,gently arguing, full on rowing. He knows it upsets me. The worst thing is he always has a brilliant time when we are out he's more extrovert than me then. The days in the run up are so upsetting. I have a new outfit and boots to wear on NYE,feel like he's taken all the excitement of a night out away.
Told him he could cancel but no that would make him look like the bad guy he said.
My DH is a bit like this. Even when he makes the plans he moans about how tired he is and how he does not want to go.
It came to a head with my birthday party. I organised everything, caterer, drinks, guests everything! He moaned and moaned. A week before the party I mentioned that someone would not be arriving till 9, he said that he hoped the party would be over by then! (it was not starting till 7.30) in tears I asked what the problem was, what awful thing was going to happen, why was he spoiling it for me.
He made up some excuse that I was going to get so drunk that I would be unable to do anything and leave it all to him. I explained that I had never done that before so it was unlikely, and I would ask a couple of my friends to step in and look after things if I did do that. Apparently the other problem was that some guests would not leave and would stay late, yes and we know who they are, so if that does happen I told him he could go to bed and as they were friends they would not mind.
In the end we had a great party, I did not get drunk and pass out, friends did stay late and he stayed up drinking and had a good time.
The pre party fuss was very stressful though.
Exactly the same here. When I call him out on it, OH says (truthfully) that they are all my friends - his live miles away and he is useless at organising anything with them - and that he constantly feels on display and that he likes them all but would like some time to do nothing with me and the baby.
Are your friends mutual or are they more yours than his?
What happens if he arranges the night out? Let me guess: he doesn't.
Days of stress is totally unreasonable.
We have a rule that if we don't want to do something we say so when it's being organised (and argue about it then!) , not when the time comes to go, except for illness/unexpected things happening.
I also go by "if you wouldn't fancy doing it tomorrow, don't book it in for six weeks/months time"!
Friends who book things waaaaay in advance stress me out - it's apparently a personality trait to like:dislike this!
I suffer from anxiety and it sounds very familiar to me. The pessimistic attitude and stress of what might happen is conflicting constantly with the genuine desire to be a normal, sociable person!
Maybe ask him about it?
My husband has a worrying habit of going blank at social occasions. As in, we will be socialising with friends and then suddenly he just shuts down and gazes into space and stops talking. It´s not drunkenness. It´s that something random has pissed him off and he just gives up on socialising. He never tells me what it is. It takes him anything between 12 and 72 hours to snap out of it afterwards, but he won´t look me in the eye or speak to me or interact in any way until the mood is over. When he´s not in a mood, I try to speak to him about it, but he refuses to. I absolutely hate it and try to avoid socialising together as it happens probably half of the times we go out, maybe even more, but when social invitations are issued he´s always excited about them and wants to go. It just makes me feel so fraught before and during the event, trying to make sure that nothing at all can piss him off.
Sorry, only posted the second paragraph. To the OP, I think your husband has some form of anxiety and I think you are doing the right thing to talk it through with him, i.e. what scenarios are likely to happen and how both of you can react to them. Keep going and gradually his anxiety will reduce, but it does take time (my dad is a bit like that).
Since you have tried everything and he does actually have a good time when you do go out I think you just have to manage this one.
I would come up with a stock phrase that you repeat each time he comes up with some party pooping nonsense.
'Dh, we've talked about this and you are upsetting me so I'm not going to discuss it any more. Want a cup of tea?'
'We've agreed that you won't keep doing this and spoiling things for me so I'm not going to talk about this. I'm going out now.'
'Ok, you don't have to come but I'm not going to discuss it. Let me know if you change your mind.'
He needs to learn strategies for managing his anxiety and dumping it on you is not one of them. Have a fabulous NY with or without him.
I don't suffer from anxiety, but am very introverted, although to at all shy, and will happily chat and talk to people. But it is just so so exhausting. I don't have a social life, as I just don't want one. I would hate to be made to go to events and would probably behave like your husband, but would rise to the occasion when there.
My sympathies are with him. He's an introvert. Leave him alone.
Yes, I would not keep listening when he does this. Others might be less forthright, but personally I'd be inclined to say 'Is this another complaint about going out? Are you going to say anything I haven't heard before? Well, I've got other stuff to do' and go out or go to another room in the house. He's basically pouring all this out and you are soaking it up like an anxiety sponge. Don't be the sponge! Especially since he's ok when the time comes - which is something else you might want to point out when a moan starts.
Oh, and in response to 'that makes me look like the bad guy' I'd have said 'but you are. You're the one moaning and spoiling things'.
I am exactly like Orange - very introverted. I would happily not socialise in groups/go to parties at all but I do from time to time (because I don't want to seem like a miserable cow when people have bothered to ask me) and although I to manage to rise to the occasion when I am actually there I find it exhausting. Your husband might fall into this category too - can't think otherwise why he's moaning if he is genuinely looking forward to it.
He would probably really rather not go, but you arrange something and because you are a couple and he wants you to be happy he will go along with it. Close to the event his anxieties get the better of him and he moans, but goes anyway and manages to "perform" when he gets there.
If that's just the way he is, then - as others have said - you need to come up with strategies to cope with the moaning.
It's controlling. I used to think it was anxiety when my xH tried to ruin a social event that he knew I looked forward to. But it wasn't, he just wanted to spoil any fun I had. The most successful way of doing that was to make me think he was all on board for it (after I discussed it with him, met diaries, confirmed with him that he wanted to do said event etc etc) and then he'd be a shit beforehand, cause an argument just before leaving, start to slag off my friends etc and either make me wish I was going on my own or ruin the whole thing because I would be on edge about whether he would be rude and humiliate me in front of my friends.
What you are describing thelaundryfairy is Control. He is making the weather in your social life and creating a very effective black cloud which not only spreads over him but over you as well. It must give him a great big ego-boosting power kick or similar. That's the only thing I could think of. Not nice at all.
p.s. I would have been much happier if XH had said, 'you go, I won't enjoy it'. Instead he led me to believe he would be fine, and then pull the plug near the time. Happened endlessly until I realised that this was just one of his weapons to make me miserable. I fell for it so many times, thinking that it was up to me to make him less miserable. Arghghghh!
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