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DH backing out

(51 Posts)
Greyduster Sun 22-Jan-17 15:33:04

DS has a stepson who is graduating from a Fine Art course at Oxford Brookes this year. They have an end of year art show in the Summer and a couple of weeks ago DS rang me to ask if DH and I would like to go down to Oxford with them for the weekend to attend the preview show and a reception. SGS has also been chosen to give the graduation speech. I asked DH and he said yes ok. Today, he said he didn't want to go, it isn't his thing and he would feel like a spare part, so he would stay at home and I could go because "you enjoy all that stuff and you can talk to people about it". I'm so disappointed with him. He rarely wants to do anything that involves mixing with people recently. I think it is because his hearing is not that good but he says that's got nothing to do with it. Now I have to either go without him, or not go. I feel rather let down by him.

MawBroon Sun 22-Jan-17 15:43:38

I sympathise entirely. Life is too often like that here. The alternative scenarios happen,1) we both stay at home and I sulk, 2) I go on my own and let himself off the hook with the excuse that he is not too well, and frankly sometimes I would rather go alone than drag an unwilling DH who will want to leave 10 minutes after we have arrived and 3) sometimes I read the riot act and remind him that he has family obligations and unless he wants to be a lonely old git he needs to make an effort from time to time. I have told him I don't want our DGCs looking back and saying "Grandpa never came to e.g. our birthdays" etc. Emotional blackmail? You bet!
Yes poor hearing and infirmity make it EASIER to stay at home but it is also selfish.
No easy answers for you, just a LOT of empathy!

Stansgran Sun 22-Jan-17 15:45:27

I understand your feelings but perhaps it's better to go on your own and enjoy rather than keeping an eye out for him switching off and looking bored. I feel as though I have reaced an age when if I don't want to do something I don't do it although for family I might take a deep breath. Go and represent the family.

Stansgran Sun 22-Jan-17 15:46:07

Reached = fat fingers.

rosesarered Sun 22-Jan-17 15:48:41

that is disappointing for you Greyduster as from your earlier post, you were looking forward to staying in Oxford and seeing the sights, as well as the graduation.
Have a talk to your DH and ask him if it's just the hearing loss or something else?Tell him that it matters to you to have him with you? If all else fails, still go, and try and enjoy it.

Mary59nana Sun 22-Jan-17 16:00:29

I understand your feelings of disappointment but als with your DH. I have very little hearing and have withdrawn from social activities of late. You have to understand that your brain has to work twice as hard and your balance is not always good all this can drain you. I am waiting for a operation hopefully improve my hearing,
is not easy living with deafness on a daily basis even traveling is uncomfortable, maybe if everyone put cotton wool in both ears to limit their own hearing they would be more understanding of the wide range of difficulties it causes.

Charleygirl Sun 22-Jan-17 16:06:43

Greyduster I agree with every word that MawBroon wrote. Your DH has some family obligations and it is not as though you are dragging him there every week. I personally think that he should make the effort, get up off his rear end and go! You never know, heaven forbid, he may even enjoy himself!

Rinouchka Sun 22-Jan-17 16:07:28

Congratulations to your SGS, Greyduster.
Whilst appreciating your disappointment with your husband's change of mind, I think you should respect his feelings, explain the situation to your son and SGS and go on your own. Perhaps your husband could write a lovely card to SGS?

Just enjoy the day at Oxford Brookes!

thatbags Sun 22-Jan-17 16:26:59

Do go, and have a lovely time, greyduster. In a similar situation, I think I would just say, should anyone ask, "He didn't want to come". It's his responsibility to explain more than that but I bet most people would accept such a straightforward reply as is, especially if they know him reasonably well.

Luckygirl Sun 22-Jan-17 16:29:59

Go on your own and enjoy it. I do everything on my own - OH does not come with me. I have got used to it and I enjoy myself.

If your OH has hearing problems why does he not get aids?

Luckygirl Sun 22-Jan-17 16:30:54

Do not explain the situation to your SGS - that is your OH's job, not yours.

seacliff Sun 22-Jan-17 16:42:42

I do sympathise with you, you've been looking forward to this weekend and he spoils it at the last minute. I have a similar OH. He is very anti social, but usually when I very occasionally "force" him to come to some event, he actually enjoys it, and grudgingly admits it later.

The deafness may be an issue, I know my sister in law suffers in a room of people with noise.

Is there another friend or family member who would come with you and enjoy it? I would definitely go yourself anyway, do not let him restrict your life.

Annierose Sun 22-Jan-17 16:49:43

I think it quite OK to go on your own (unless you wouldn't like it). That your DH says his hearing has nothing to do with it doesn't necessarily mean it isn't!

Hearing is one of those things you take for granted until it's a problem. Aids aren't always the answer - I understand that very often in a crowd you find that you hear extraneous noise, drowning out what someone is saying to you. Couple that with either standing, or sitting in an uncomfortable seat, and I can see that it is difficult.

If you generally have a good relationship, I would say that you intend to go, that you think DH should apologise to son / stepGS for not feeling up to going, and if appropriate, send some money saying "all have a drink on me" or some other gesture to show that he cares. Then I would say, if asked "he finds it very difficult in crowds".

However,the tone of your post suggests that you & DH may need quite a frank chat about how you organise your social life so that you both feel comfortable.

Hope you have a lovely time

Christinefrance Sun 22-Jan-17 16:50:36

It's not about him though is it Greyduster, his family obviously want him there on this special day and he should be proud of that. Sometimes we have to do things we may not want to make others happy.
I think you should go to show your support and as seacliff says take another family member or friend and enjoy the day.

Greyduster Sun 22-Jan-17 17:24:09

We have had a "robust discussion" centred around the fact that there is a fine line to tread with DS, who knows that DH will go to the ends of the earth to watch our 10 year old grandson (DDs child) play football/run cross countrys/receive awards for this that and the other/blow his nose, without giving it a second thought. He is DH's sun and stars, and, yes, mine. It is "yes, we'll be there" and quite right too, but DS regards his stepsons as his boys and I think he has a right to expect the same or it may seem like a slap in the face for both of us to turn down an invitation to a big day. We have always taken an interest in them - me particularly with the older one as we share an interest in art. I think he should make an effort.

thatbags Sun 22-Jan-17 17:32:02

Why does your DH not wanting to go mean that you BOTH have to turn down the invitation. You are two people, not one.

seacliff Sun 22-Jan-17 17:58:00

Yes I agree it would seem as if he's not too bothered about his step grandson, if he now refuses to go, especially as you've both been personally invited by your son, and taking into account the support given by OH to your DDs child.Your son may feel it in unfair.

I feel it would be a blow to your son if you don't BOTH go. I think he would be disappointed and hurt that his Dad couldn't be bothered to go, as "its only the stepson" (that's how your son might feel). I would in this case be really saying it is really important that he should go, even if just for your happiness.

grannypiper Sun 22-Jan-17 18:01:53

I would go with no3 in mawbroons post, sometimes you just have to give them both barrels

Greyduster Sun 22-Jan-17 18:24:20

It doesn't, bags and I have told DH now that I will go, but as seacliff says, I think it would be taken amiss by DS if his dad didn't go. I will speak to DS and see how he feels about it. I'm afraid I gave him MawBroon3 with both barrels and it was like water off a ducks back!

ginny Sun 22-Jan-17 19:04:31

You should go and let your DH explain to your son that he isn't going. It may be something to do with his hearing but he is an adult and if he is otherwise fit and healthy , then he should deal with the problem.t

cornergran Sun 22-Jan-17 20:09:08

I do something similar sometimes. I say yes to something and then think about all the difficulties there might be and talk myself out of it. Since I've understood what I am doing I have mostly been able to over come the tendency and take myself, along with my anxieties, to whatever the event may be. Invariably I find the anticipated difficulties just don't materialise or are easy to manage. It may be that your husband does the same thing greyduster but can't get past the 'can't do it' thoughts. In this case not being able to talk to anyone as he doesn't understand Art. or maybe not being able to hear. Could he be afraid he will let you all down? I agree with others, it is for him to explain and apologise, not you. It's a horrid situation, I hope his sense of fairness will make him brave enough to go. If not, just enjoy Oxford, it's one of my favourite places.

Devorgilla Sun 22-Jan-17 20:17:41

You should go to support your son and because you will enjoy it. I am in a similar situation with a husband hard of hearing and unstable on his feet. He does normally give in and come with me but not always to the event. Perhaps that is a compromise. He comes to Oxford, decides when there re the event but joins the family celebration meal afterwards.

Cold Mon 23-Jan-17 11:06:54

Has your DH got the idea that this is going to be very "arty" and that he would have to discuss art with people? Does he perhaps feel that he wouldn't fit in because he "doesn't know about art". Could you reassure him that this is not a posh gallery opening - it is more like school open day and that most of the people attending are going to be the students' family and friends? (at least this is how it was with my niece's art and textile design showcase)

Greyduster Mon 23-Jan-17 12:51:08

Cold I think there could be an element of that in it. He did ask me, just after we accepted the invitation, whether he would have to wear a suit and I said yes (i don't actually know what the dress code is, but it wouldn't kill him to look presentable). He didn't comment at the time. Wearing a suit is not usually an issue for him. As for not being able to discuss art with people, I wouldn't think that would be in any way a prerequisite. He's not being asked to give a bloody lecture, he just has to be there. He isn't a complete phillistine; we often go to galleries and exhibitions and if there are artists there I will often chat to them about their work, during which time he just wanders about and does his own thing. I don't know what his problem is except that he is getting old! We have not discussed it today - yet.

Stansgran Mon 23-Jan-17 14:24:41

Book in at The Old Parsonage and that might encourage him.