Husband Participating Socially
(Baltimore, MD, USA )
My husband is sociable, but more often than not he decides not to join me and the family in many of our social gatherings. Either he does household chores instead, or chores for others. He just doesn't seem to understand how important this is to me...
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For starters, my husband is very family oriented. We enjoy camping, taking trips to the ocean, movies, day trips, etc. He spends time with the children gardening and reading. It just seems a problem for him to extend himself to outside family and friends. Here's a couple of examples to illustrate my point...
So this last long holiday weekend we spent Saturday grilling and fishing in a local park with the kids. When we returned home, a couple from church invited us to a backyard BBQ
. My husband expressed that he really just wanted to work in the yard and didn't feel like company.
Keep in mind, this couple has been very helpful in our home renovations so it's not like he doesn't know them or would feel awkward. Anyway, he declined to go so I just took the kids and had a great time.
Later that night I received a text from my Aunt inviting my family to a cook out on Monday
. I told my husband and he huffed and puffed and said he really needed to work in the yard and house as we are still renovating. I told him it was important to me because my Aunt had invited us to other things prior and we were never able to attend. Then on Monday he states he couldn't go
at the designated time because he had to work on an elderly teachers steps. The teacher had been fined by the city for her demolished steps. This teacher is not an invalid and actually lives with her boyfriend. I told my husband that was a lot considering it was a Holiday and most people spent that time with family. He insisted, saying he would meet me at my Aunt's house later. Well, later never came
. I tried calling and texting him several times only to find out later that he left his phone home. He never apologized, just asked me how the cook out went and that was that. I am incensed! Do I have a right to be?
Of course there are two sides to every story and my husband has spent time with other family members of mine and usually there was heavy drinking involved and fighting. This didn't happen at my Aunt's. I'm just at my wits end because the day before I expressed to my husband that he never liked to do things I wanted to do. That it was all about what he wanted to do when it comes to family outings. It's as if he didn't hear a word I said.
STEVE'S ANSWER:"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
-- George Bernard Shaw
I think the best thing for you to do here, D, is to talk about the importance of your husband participating socialising from YOUR perspective - how it makes you feel when he doesn't join in.
Make this about you, and not about him - and what he *should* do.
And if that means getting angry
with him, momentarily, then so be it.
I think, right now, that both of you are communicating to each other without hearing what the other person is saying in response.
You two are different people with different ways of communicating, but it does not help when neither of you is saying what's really on your mind (your husband needs to directly tell you why he does not like socialising, for example, rather than just make excuses).
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Steve (Aug 31st, 2018)