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Old 03-25-2014, 07:17 PM   #41
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Adding my 2 cents worth.....from a different vantage point. Had a friendship of 15+ with a wonderful person.....thought we would be lifelong friends. She also had 4 other female friends (of many years). When she and her husband retired, he began to accompany her to all outings with her friends. (Rarely had seen him before this.). His presence changed the dynamics of the friendship over time. Gradually over a few years, he became annoyed with petty stuff and convinced her it was important.....he related all the details to by one her friends went by the wayside.....I was the last friend standing. He manufactured something and I was dropped. Sad situation all around. Boundaries as mentioned in previous postings are important and healthy for a good relationship. My advice would be to set some healthy boundaries and see your friends on a regular basis on your own.

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Old 03-25-2014, 08:10 PM   #42
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Daylate---that CARE package is one of the most thoughtful gifts I've heard of. And while you don't know for sure that it changed your friend's life for the better, I definitely think you should take credit for it!

Healthyandfun, interesting story. Said that one person can disrupt the dynamics of a small group of friends. Wonder why he kept accompanying her if he didn't like her friends?

“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”.------Krishnamurti
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:07 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by tangomonster View Post
Daylate---that CARE package is one of the most thoughtful gifts I've heard of. And while you don't know for sure that it changed your friend's life for the better, I definitely think you should take credit for it!
She might have gotten out on her own anyway after a period of mourning the loss of her marriage. But I think the books at worst didn't hurt and maybe they did help.

I just know from raising kids with different personalities, getting out there and being around people is enough for some to make friends and others need some coaching. I think social skills like making small, showing empathy, giving compliments, looking for common ground, and asking open ended questions are skills that can be learned.

If your DH is socially awkward, just joining groups or being told to get a life of his own may not really be helpful compared to having him pick up some tips first from a Dale Carnagie type class or book. With help to overcome the social awkwardness, he might find social outings without you more comfortable and rewarding.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:24 AM   #44
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This is really interesting to me. I think there are 2 issues. One is your DH feeling left out when you go off with your friends. That is a hard one for me as stuff like that isn't an issue for DH or me. In the past when DH had a hobby that I didn't share he would go out for it and I enjoyed having the time to myself at home. When I went off to have lunch with a former co-worker, it didn't bother him either. I think if I thought that it did bother him, I would try to discuss it forthrightly with him and try to find out if he had any legitimate concern (such as me springing it on him at the last minute without him being able to prepare for it, etc). Beyond that, I would simply carry on.

The other issue is how does he develop his own social life so that he can have his own individual social activities. Frankly, as an introvert, I have difficulty with this one myself. We moved to our current locale 2 years ago and, while I like it a lot, the one thing I don't like is that I have no social life other than DH and our kids. I don't know anyone in this area and don't really know how to find anyone. The difference between DH and I is that this lack of social interaction with others is starting to bother me but it doesn't bother DH (and strangely enough I'm the more introverted of the two of us).

In the situation with your DH, you mention him basically feeling like he is missing out on eating out. I wonder about whether there are any dining out groups in your area where he could maybe attend by himself. Or maybe take a cooking class somewhere? Maybe a local community college might have some sort of classes like that (or on some other subject he might like). Around here, the CC has classes geared for people over 50 so you might look for something like that. Or rather, he might do so. I do think it is his problem to solve. But, he might need some help in developing those skills.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:58 AM   #45
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Community college classes, volunteering at the library, local museum, local historical society, Habitat for Humanity, all good ideas. Join a gym. For a couple of years when I didn't have a lot of work, I volunteered at the local YMCA. I made some friends and we got a free family membership.

Heck, encourage him to get involved in these forums! Maybe he'll come up with his own ideas.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:02 AM   #46
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Your description of your husband sounds very much like me. I love spending time with my wife and much of our social life is spend around her family and friends. The only friends I have are a couple of female friends, so time spent with them is limited out of respect for my wife and to keep things well away from crossing any awkward lines. I'm very much an introvert, am not depressed and don't suffer from Aspergers or any other disorders, diseases, syndromes or whatever. I love time with my wife and am very content with my time alone. When she goes out alone to see her friends, she worries about leaving me alone too. I do tell her I'll miss her, and I do because I love her. But I want her to have her own life and I also enjoy my alone time. I'm aware of activities in the community I can get involved in. Some days I go out exploring or check out things going on in town. But the last thing I want is for my wife to push me to do things I'm not interested in. You may be imagining a problem where there isn't one.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:59 AM   #47
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My husband and I participate in a lot of Meetup groups, so we socialize two to four times a week together. But it's becoming an issue that we don't have equal opportunity for independent socialization. As a female and being more outgoing than he is, I find it easier to make friends. Most of my friends, including single women, become his friends as well (in that we see them together)---but I still want some time just one on one with them. I think it's healthy not to be together 24/7.
I sound like your husband. In fact, the few friends I've had for the last 20-40 years I find I'm getting rid of them. And gasp, I'm really OK with not having friends.

My wife seems to have friends come into and out of her life all the time. While I like and respect it, her friendships are shallow (maybe not right word) and come and go. Probably good, because her life is so trivial, she can retell her boring stories all over again, just as long as she puts up with the stupid banalities of her new girlfriends. One such new girlfriend divorced over 10 years ago, still rags on her former husband as main topic of conversation.

So my wife asks for permission to hang out with these yentas and I say go for it. In fact don't even bother to ask me. I'm not your damn babysitter.

What bothers me is when I choose to do something, she needs to know exactly what I'll be doing and how long it will take. To say controlling would be putting it mildly.

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