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Is dh's anti sociability acceptable?

(12 Posts)
anxmum Mon 08-Jun-09 13:03:01

Am a regular but have name changed for this. On the surface, I have a very nice life - DH in v good job, earns ridiculous amount of money, I have a part time job, one teenage son who is happy, popular, doing well at school bla bla bla.

My problem is that my DH, who when I met him was a real party person has, over our 18 year marriage, become gradually less and less sociable to the extent that now if I suggest inviting someone round for a meal maybe every 3 months is so resistant that although he goes along with it and is outwardly amenable, I know hates it really and just does it to shut me up for a few more months.

I've got to the stage now where I refuse invites even though they don't come through very often rather than him have a big, sighing, eyerolling strop about going.

It's not helped by the fact that we don't get invited to much anyway, it's all youngish families in the village who don't seem to bother whether they do much socially, though I suspect that most of our friends do do stuff more frequently than we do.

Am I the only one who avoids the Waitrose supplements with ideas for firework, Halloween, Christmas etc parties as the thought of our quiet life is too depressing?

I do see my girlfriends fairly regularly, esp. when dh is away and I'll have 4 or 5 people round for drinks etc and our ds's friends are always around. It's not that dh wants me to have no social life, just that he wants no part of it himself sad

bigTillyMint Mon 08-Jun-09 13:07:34

Strange that he has changed so much - it would be more understandable if he had alwou ays been like that.

Have you talked to him about why he doesn't want to socialise? Maybe he doesn't like the people or is all socialised out after work? What does he do when your DS'x friends come round? WHat about the extended family?

I would hate it - I love doing stuff with friends.

thirtysomething Mon 08-Jun-09 13:09:00

I can sympathise, my DH has some of these tendencies, or rather, he doesn't like the DHs of some of my friends and isn't very sociable when around them, so we've kind of fallen out of the social loop with these people. I've come to the conclusion that it's up to me to satisfy my own social cravings differently - so I see my friends for coffee/lunch/cinema evenings etc and I keep our family stuff separate. I do feel left out when I realise all the other families we know are getting together for BBQs etc but I know that DH won't/can't change - this is what makes him who he is - and I don't want to force him to be different for my sake as it wouldn't be fair and would put strain on the marriage maybe.

For me it's about accepting the hand you've been dealt and making an active choice about how you will deal with it, rather than feeling sad over what you don't have!

SolidGoldBrass Mon 08-Jun-09 13:10:05

Well you do have to talk to him about it because you have to work out a compromise: it's not OK for one partner to get their own way 100% over something which makes the other partner miserable. So if you agree on having occasional social events, ie fewer than you would really like, he has to agree to not spoiling them by acting like a petulant toddler.

anxmum Mon 08-Jun-09 13:21:27

SGB, that is pretty much the situ at the moment, ie if it were up to me we'd see friends every weekend, he can't really be bothered more than once every 2 or 3 months.

To be fair to him, he doesn't act like a toddler at these events, he always makes a big effort to be sociable.

I think he is a bit talked out by the time he gets home, he talks in meetings all day long and frequently goes abroad for yet more meetings and just wants to hang out with me and ds.

He's perfectly friendly to ds's mates, but they tend to all hang out in his room as that's where the big tv, ps3, music stuff is.

Last time we had some friends round who we've known on and off for years, he basically said he doesn't feel he has anything in common with them and felt pressured to have to "give up" his Sunday to make small talk over lunch and a walk when he'd rather have been gardening (his big hobby).

anxmum Mon 08-Jun-09 13:24:17

Thirtysomething, sad that you feel left out of your friends' get togethers. You've hit the nail on the head, though, about choosing how to deal with the hand you've been given.

docket Mon 08-Jun-09 13:27:49

How is he in himself? Could he be a bit depressed?

anxmum Mon 08-Jun-09 13:51:11

Don't think so, I did ask if he was, but no, he frankly can't be arsed to make "small talk with people he barely knows".

It's prob. not a dealbreaker, everything else in the marriage is good, maybe I'll just have to do what 30 something does and do more with my own friends.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 08-Jun-09 14:39:53

Yeah, you probably do have to make a social life for yourself that doesn;'t involve him too much (though he needs to make an effort for you sometimes, your wishes matter just as much as his).
Are your friends noahs-arkers, though? (ie everyone is in a couple and anyone who is not gets looked at funny and poked with sticks?)

thirtysomething Mon 08-Jun-09 15:04:02

anxmum I really have learnt to live with it....but it's taken a few years! DH will do the odd social thing but prefers to blitz - he'd far rather we had a huge, everyone we know kind of party once a year than friends over once a month for dinner, so I have learnt to adapt.....I think a lot of it is down to not wanting to "waste" time making small talk when he'd rather spend time with the kids or as a couple - he gets very little free time due to long working days so I can understand what makes DH like this....

sarah293 Mon 08-Jun-09 15:06:41

Message withdrawn

warthog Mon 08-Jun-09 15:18:36

ok well my parents had the same problem. my dad was unsociable, my mum very sociable. he used to eye roll widly, get grumpy, cross, you name it but when he went he was always charming. my mum felt under enormous pressure not to do much socializing. but she did as you're doing, and kept on every couple of months or so and endured his behaviour. they never really resolved it, as it stemmed from my dad's deafness, and now he's died, she's really glad that she kept up with her friends.

i'm like my dad. wouldn't see anyone if i didn't have to!

i think you have to make a compromise. try and include his friends more. agree a number of times a year that you'll have friends over. and agree specific time that he gets to garden while you go to more events on your own.

not a deal breaker, but does need to be worked on.

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