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Old 03-24-2014, 03:10 PM   #21
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As I write this DW is off with her sister doing whatever it is that parents and aunts do when her niece is having a baby. Waiting in the waiting room, I guess. It doesn't bother me a bit. All I'd be doing is reading a book.

So I went to the gym, now I have some hot spicy food on the stove (which she can't stand).

We did go through that "joined at the hip" phase for a while after retirement and realized that it wasn't/isn't a good thing for either of us. So once in a while each of us goes off to do our own thing.

He really needs to get involved with an activity that interests him and not you.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:10 PM   #22
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tell him to find the local homebrew club, as there are sure to be some fun folks to be found in that kind of crowd.
I can assure you that the typical homebrew club includes a substantial percentage of socially awkward nerds. Good company!
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:11 PM   #23
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Yes, this is what I was suggesting.

Besides being a little jealous that you are able to make friends better than he can, is it possible he feels someone will take you away from him?
Nope, that isn't it. It's more like being a little child who is upset that they aren't getting to go out to eat!
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:39 PM   #24
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I can assure you that the typical homebrew club includes a substantial percentage of socially awkward nerds. Good company!
True.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:54 PM   #25
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Tango.......

If the main issue is, as I'm reading it, your hubby giving you a sorrowful look and worrying about what he'll feed himself when you go to lunch with a girlfriend twice a month, I'd say you have little to be concerned about. Don't make a big deal about his looks or whining. Let it go. Go to lunch. Don't worry about his pitiful facial expressions and bring him back your uneaten portion in one of those white styrofoam cartons. What he doesn't want, the cat will eat.

Hubby's independent social life is his own concern. Your desire to spend a couple afternoons a month with your own friends seems more than reasonable. While it's nice that you're concerned, your over-reaction to his frown and whimper are doing more harm than good.

I wouldn't take any of that "pitiful look" crap from the cat either..........
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:59 PM   #26
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Very true, youbet. Still working on not being the good girl/people pleaser. At 60, it's time to let that stuff go...and be true to myself. As long as I am convinced that I am not being a horrible wife by leaving him on his own twice a month, I need to just enjoy my time out. Thanks for the reminder!

I always wonder when I see married women out by themselves on a Saturday night whether they have a great marriage (following their own interests, not being joined at the hip) or a terrible one (don't want to spend time together). Guess every couple is different, with its own back history, motivations, preferences, lifestyle, etc.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:07 PM   #27
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I can assure you that the typical homebrew club includes a substantial percentage of socially awkward nerds. Good company!
In a small area within a few neighborhoods around here................

I belong to a Wednesday Night Group (we call it the "Choir") who meets at a local sports bar every week (typically 5 of us). We are a mix of introverts, retired guys, working guys and an occasional straggler. We drink beer, but no one makes their own! This group has been doing this for over 20 years (some folks died, some new ones, some originals).

There is a group of retired guys that meets every morining at the local Burger King for coffee and such. Same mix in that group.

There are lots of opportunities for Mr. Tangomonster to get out and meet some NEW friends. He's just got to take the initiative.

Question (medical)? Is there a chance he suffers from depression? I know that can be an issue.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:09 PM   #28
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Nope, that isn't it. It's more like being a little child who is upset that they aren't getting to go out to eat!
He needs to get over it, and you shouldn't feel guilty about getting away on your own with some friends on a regular basis, or feel guilty that he chooses not to go out with friends on his own activities.

One of my favorite Andy Capp cartoons has the vicar walking past Andy and Flo as they are having a row, and he says, "You two fight more than my cat and dog", to which Flo replies, "Just try tying them together!". In other words, we all need our own space and should recognize that.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:09 PM   #29
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Frankly, I think you should stop being so protective and tell him to get a life.
+1
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:10 PM   #30
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This thread like several others recently actually is all about the boundaries issue. An adult man or woman cannot annex another person to give purpose or interest to his/her life. That this other person may be a marriage partner does not make it any more valid. Won't work, engenders resentment and is an all around non-starter.

OP doesn't have to solve his problem, in fact if she tries she is actually enabling his dependency.

All she needs to do is get straight on what her privacy needs and rights are, then enforce them.
Even though this may be written like stereo instructions (), I agree with it: you need to tell him what you are going to do, why you want to do it, and then do it, and let him figure it out. This is a "him" problem, not a "you" problem.

I go through this quite a bit with my wife when I want to do my triathlon training on weekends. I tell her "I have a one-hour bike ride to do today", and then let her figure out how to occupy that time. She and I have "fought" (not really) about this for the 2.5 years we've been married, but most recently discussed it and she said "you did this before we got married, I can't honestly expect you to change or stop now that we're married and it's your passion/hobby. I need to find something."

When she goes to play tennis or judge gymnastics on the weekend, I go ride, run, swim, etc.

And now we have a dog who helps occupy some of her down/alone time, and keeps us busy together, too!

I have no problem going out on my own for dinners and such if she's not around. I'm not a particularly social guy when it comes to needing a group outing. She likes having friends around. Many of "our friends" were initially just hers, and I'm fine with it when she wants to go out with them on her own. Seems like your husband just needs to find "his thing" or learn (it's not too late!!) to be comfortable in his own skin!
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:01 PM   #31
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We drink beer
And that's really all that matters, as I see it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:17 PM   #32
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Perhaps he would be more accepting if you bring him home a nice ToGo box :-)

He can entertain himself at home happily, but still get the Foodie fix?
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:04 PM   #33
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You've been the social director for your whole married life. Now it's 24/7. You may have created the issue by planning all your "meetups" over the years. If he's an introvert, it's not something new that you're learning.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:11 PM   #34
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I just can't understand why any adult would need to have activities planned for every moment of his day.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:19 PM   #35
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My wife and I do not go out to socialize much, both being introverts. Though we each have our own friends, we do not see them but a few times a year, my wife more often than I do. It never bothers me when my wife goes out with her friends, as I would not know to participate in their talks. The only common friends we have are our neighbors, whom we entertained often.

One of my aunts has a husband who nags when she wants to travel, not to visit friends but relatives out-of-state. I do not understand why a man can be so insecure.

This thread is just timely as I recently ran across this French rock song that was a hit more than 10 years ago. It's "Aussi Libre Que Moi" (As Free As I Am). I recently listened to more rock music than I ever did when in my 20s through 50s.


Aussi Libre Que Moi / As Free As I Am

Tu peux venir te poser sur moi / You can come & land on me
Je ne veux rien t'imposer / I don't want to impose you anything
Reste aussi longtemps que tu voudras / Stay as long as you want
Si le voyage à mes côtés / If the journey by my side
Peut simplement te garder / Simply can keep you
Aussi libre que moi / As free as I am
Aussi libre que moi / As free as I am
Aussi libre qu'on soit / As free as we are
Si tu es comme je crois / If you are as I think
Aussi libre que moi / As free as I am

N'ai pas à craindre de me bouleverser / Don't fear to upset me
Ce qui pourrait arriver / What could happen
Je te laisserai sur ma peau / I'll let you on my skin
Te tatouer / Tattooing you
À mon anneau t'accrocher / At my ring to hold on
Et sans barreau te garder / And without bar to keep you
Aussi libre que moi / As free as I am
Aussi libre que moi / As free as I am
Aussi libre qu'on soit / As free as we are
Si tu es comme je crois / If you are as I think
Aussi libre que moi / As free as I am

* Taken from Translation of "Aussi Libre Que Moi" by Calogero from French to English (Version #2)


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Old 03-24-2014, 07:37 PM   #36
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My hubby is like yours. Our solution has been to agree that it's OK to want friend-time or alone-time. We talked about it.

"I'm having an introvert day." (ie: Leave me alone unless you really need something.)
"I'm going out for Girl-Time with Amy" (ie: You're not invited)
"I could use some hang-out time with Shannon - can I leave you to your own devices on Sunday?" (ie: checking in before I commit)

Most of our time is couples time, and having these code phrases helps.

But for the record, if he did pout I'd just remind him that I'll miss him too, and then walk out with no guilt. I'm not his cruise director, and he isn't mine.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:44 PM   #37
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Thanks for all your input.

Mead---it's not that he is at a loss for activities. He is plenty happy piddling around at home reading and doing puzzles. It's just that when I'm going out, he seems to want a similar experience...probably more so for the food than the actual social aspect.

SV---the To Go box would be okay---except then I'd be home too late for him to have it for lunch, but maybe it could help appease him.

It seems he just wants to eat out a little more than we are currently doing, so I will make sure we eat out at least one extra time a week.

NW, loved the song.

ShortinSeattle, those code phrases will now be used in our home. I think that's just what we need. And you are so right---I don't recall those vows we took 37 years ago including a commitment to be a cruise director or be the only person in his life 24/7.

Of course this wouldn't be a problem if he could make just a couple of friends, but that doesn't seem to be a realistic expectation....
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:37 AM   #38
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What Youbet and Ha said, focus on your own needs and let him work on his. If he actually asks for suggestions, sure toss some out like the home brewing club but don't assume that because he would rather you stay home with him you need to solve his problem.

The whole issue is interesting. DW and I do most things together but she regularly goes out by herself with life long friends (she grew up in the area) whereas I don't. I have never been comfortable just calling someone up and saying "lets go out to lunch." On the other hand I am very sociable in a social setting involving some sort of group activity. I recognize that if DW dies ahead of me I will have to take a more active roll in generating individual social outings but I think it would be a hard change. Both fortunately and unfortunately I am fairly comfortable being alone and can easily occupy my time. But I would probably tend to become a bit isolated unless I learned to initiate individual social contacts.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:09 AM   #39
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I can assure you that the typical homebrew club includes a substantial percentage of socially awkward nerds. Good company!
+1

What other group could find contentment in sitting around watching water boil.

full disclosure: I'm a homebrewer
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:53 PM   #40
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Of course this wouldn't be a problem if he could make just a couple of friends, but that doesn't seem to be a realistic expectation....
When I had a recently divorced friend who was wanting a lot more of my time than I had to give (I was "the" friend) I asked her if she would be open to some books on getting back into the social world. She was open so I made a CARE package with books like How to Win Friends and Influence People and Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness. I don't know if it was the books or something else, but she became a club joiner and even club officer after that and now has a very busy social life with clubs and volunteer work.

If you husband is motivated maybe he just needs a few pointers / books on finding some clubs or hobby groups and how to make small talk.
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