I’ve been married to the love of my life for 14-plus years, including two beautiful pre-teen children. He’s a loving, devoted father involved in all aspects of their lives. They idolize him.
I’m writing about my love’s lack of personal relationships outside of work. He has some childhood friends (males), but I’ve only met them a handful of times at our house over 10 years ago (a surprise party for him). We’re now both 40.
He gets along well with his colleagues. One even invited to him to visit their cottage on a weekend.
I’ve spoken to my husband about the importance of nurturing relationships beyond me/the kids/his family. But he’s content to be introverted and at home 90% of a weekend, except for when he visits relatives.
I’ve encouraged him to join social groups or a league but he shuts me down and once asked me if I have a problem with him always being around.
He says that he’s already experienced friends, hanging out and partying in his bachelor days.
I yearn for him to have at least one male friend he can meet up with periodically, invite over, etc. but he’s not interested. It also feels weird when my friends visit for functions and ask how come they’ve never met my hubby’s friends.
My husband’s a confident man, happy by himself, yet I feel it’s not “normal” for him to not have “bros” to call to vent. Any suggestions?
Or, is this more my issue than his?
Yes, it’s your issue, and that’s a good thing because writing about it marks the first step in finding out why.
Facts: You describe a near-perfect partner and home life. You have your own women friends so you’re not lacking for female company.
Something else is bothering you. Also, there’s no mention of your actual relationship together e.g., he’s your “love” but you don’t say whether he’s romantic, sexy, fun, etc. with you.
More discovery’s needed as to why he’s “unsocial.” From his visits to relatives, maybe there’s a clue regarding his upbringing.
Start asking direct questions. Did something in his partying bachelor days cause his social retreat? Was alcohol a factor? Or some other significant factor?
Now, tell him directly why you’re upset, and how it does affect your life (and possibly your children’s).
If he won’t see a psychologist or psychotherapist to explore this with you, go on your own to discuss why he puts up a barrier against socializing.
Dear Readers-Many thanks for thoughtful responses to help lonely newcomers find friends and purpose (August 16):
Reader #1 – “After I moved here, I made two now-treasured friends through volunteering for the library. I’ve also made great friends through aquafit and joining a fitness class. Connect with people through your religion, if that appeals.”
Reader #2 – “From a wonderful Government of Canada website: Search “Newcomers to Canada, Services.” Input your postal code, and a host of options appear for your local neighborhood:
- Community centers in your district; or being matched with a host family who volunteer to help you integrate into your new country and city; sports opportunities, clubs, etc.
Reader #3 – “Join a group activity: an art class, a pottery studio, learn to cook. Choose an activity where you see the same people for six-to-eight weeks. It fosters connections and gives you something to look forward to.”
Reader #4 – “Search online for newcomer groups/meetup groups, designed to connect people with many activity choices.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the friend whose girlfriend always picks loser guys and does anything for them (August 13):
Reader – “This was me for over 25 years and I never understood (nor would my friends) why I tolerated so much from those men.
“Very simple answer: My very-low to zero feelings of self-worth, and my not truly believing that I deserved anything else. Unfortunately, it all stemmed from my childhood and the feeling of not being loved or wanted.”
Ellie - That was then. Now, you’re older, smarter and have realized that you don’t have to own that hurtful treatment. You’re an adult who can love yourself, through self-care including good health habits, fitness, expanding your knowledge and interests.
Also, choose friends who show that they care about you (especially close female friends you trust).
As for the past, reflect who you’ve become by walking away from users and losers without looking back.
Tip of the day:
In a relationship, long-time quirks need to be discussed and understood by both people.