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AIBU?

Copycat Spouse

14 replies

AnnaSewell · 22/01/2024 14:34

Over the last few months, my husband has been constantly wanting to read the books I've got from the library. 'Can I have that after you?' has been the question with each and every book.

I had got interested in a very particular type of novel and feel somehow irritated that he seems to keeo echoing my interest.

If he just wanted to read, say, one in three of them I wouldn't mind. Especially if he ordered other, different books that reflected his own particular tastes. But it happens every time.

A few months before Xmas I also took up an old interest, one that dates from the time we first met - to do with singing. I'd put this interest on one side for some years because of work, children etc. But I've recently had more time and joined a local singing group, and really enjoyed making music again. It felt great to be having a regular evening out, with a new activity and new people.

Now my husband has announced he wants to join a singing group.

I pointed out that he is copying me both with the books and with the singing, and he is being rather defensive about this.

What would you think/feel/say if your partner was doing this?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

58 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
72%
You are NOT being unreasonable
28%
SisterMichaelsHabit · 22/01/2024 14:36

I would feel excited about sharing something with DH and would think "great! Something we can talk about that isn't kids/bills/other life stuff".

Muddywalks34 · 22/01/2024 14:59

He’s wanting to share something with you, books you have both read so you can talk about them, a shared hobby of singing. I think it’s sweet, he is making an effort to be a couple, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I see lots of people on here moaning their husbands show no interest in them or their hobbies, sounds like your husband is just doing something so you have a connection.

MILTOBE · 22/01/2024 15:01

I can absolutely understand the books. Don't you want to read something that a friend of yours has loved?

As for him singing - well, can he sing?!

Charles11 · 22/01/2024 15:04

Does your husband generally irritate you? I would be happy about both though I may prefer him to not come to the same group as me.

Thehamsterthatcametotea · 22/01/2024 15:06

Surely shared interests in your marriage is a good thing?

sandrapinchedmysandwich · 22/01/2024 15:21

Muddywalks34 · 22/01/2024 14:59

He’s wanting to share something with you, books you have both read so you can talk about them, a shared hobby of singing. I think it’s sweet, he is making an effort to be a couple, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I see lots of people on here moaning their husbands show no interest in them or their hobbies, sounds like your husband is just doing something so you have a connection.

This. You sound a bit mean about this

AnnaSewell · 22/01/2024 15:24

I feel rather more as young mothers do when they can't even take a shower on their own, because a small child is trailing round after them and knocking on the door.

I'd be happy to discuss the different books that we were reading. Or if, say, I'd been with the singers for a year or so and he announced he was thinking about piano lessons, that would obviously be fine.

I do think it's good to have some shared interests and activities. But I also value having some personal space.

I think it is more that some big project of his is coming to an end and he doesn't know quite what to do with himself. So the easiest option is to sort of trail after me, rather than taking the time to work out what he wants

OP posts:
Mistlebough · 22/01/2024 15:30

I would be glad to be able to discuss books, like your own private reading group😂I would also be glad to sing with DH but I wouldn’t like him not having his own interests and ideas as agree with you OP that need some shared times and some individual just about you. He obviously does do his own thing as has just completed a project so maybe he just lacks inspiration. Can you suggest some other ideas for him to do with a friend? I do get what you mean about needing some personal space. Also great that he doesn’t play golf 24/7 though like some🙄

Charles11 · 22/01/2024 16:02

Ah so you want him to show strength of character and to be his own person rather than a lost lamb hanging on to your interests.
I can get that.

Solocup · 23/01/2024 02:36

This is so weird. We all pass books onto the next person in our house. Why on earth would you not want him to read a book after you?! You sound nuts.
The singing group fair enough if you want your own thing to do, but you didn’t actually say he wants to join the same one.
Poor guy. Maybe he’s trying to connect with you and thinking shared interests will help. You sound like you don’t like him at all.

thinslicedham · 23/01/2024 03:02

I voted YABU primarily because of the books, but I can still see where you're coming from. If DH wanted to do everything I wanted to do, I might worry that he'd take the shine off of some of my interests that would no longer be just 'mine', particularly if he was in any way competitive or turned out to be naturally better at my hobby than I was. With books, that seems less of an issue, but I'm not sure about the singing.

Can you encourage him to take up something else as hobby? Is there anything he was once involved in or has expressed an interest in pursuing? If he's just currently at a loss for what to do next, maybe this will be a brief phase that ends when he finds a new project of his own.

coxesorangepippin · 23/01/2024 03:04

I'd find it irritating too

Get your own hobby

anasweet · 23/01/2024 03:29

My ex used to do this. Not books particularly, but sometimes, but I'd tell him about a new interest I'd taken up and I'd find that he'd copy me, but he'd make sure to do it more, or better, or spend a lot of money on it, and never acknowledge that it had ever been an interest of mine.

For example I bought hand weights then so did he. I started to do more yoga at home so bought a mat etc and then he bought more; the straps and blocks and looked for a class. There's so many examples.

There was one activity I started where it's mostly a female activity. I said to my friend that at least he couldn't copy me on that one, but to my surprise he did and he almost immediately booked a very expensive course, three nights a week initially.

I never ever confronted him about any of it. He didn't stick at anything though and eventually would drop them. I think he was possibly driven by competitiveness and had no hobbies or interests of his own. I didn't understand it, but it definitely wasn't to have a shared interest with me or some common ground.

AnnaSewell · 23/01/2024 08:58

With the books, it was slightly strange. I've been reading some classic fiction. So if he wanted to read, say, an Austen and a Dickens novel after me, that would make sense. They're books that are widely admired, discussed, adapted for TV etc.

But - partly for reasons relating to some study I might undertake - I got hold, with some difficulty, of a much more obscure book that would be relevant for a possible dissertation. It's a slower read, with some quite dull passages. It was when he announced that he wanted to read that too - that I felt I wanted to challenge why he was wanting to do everything I did.

I think his happiness does depend on finding the interests that are right for him.

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