Gransnet forums


Misery loves company

(28 Posts)
GlamM Wed 27-Dec-17 10:17:15

Well that was a seriously underwhelming boring damp crappy Christmas, which kind of brings to the near end a pretty shitty year .
My DH whom I love dearly has the polar opposite idea of what family Christmas- family- joy-parties gatherings- is all about.
Now I know that some people don't really do large family gatherings.
With my DH this extends to all family at all times of the year for anything. My 50th birthday next year " I don't know why you insist on a party" for our 10th anniversary also next year " don't bother arranging anything I don't want a party or anything" "Don't buy me anything for Christmas I'm not buying you anything" ( he really didn't either) "don't buy me anything for my birthday I hate birthdays/Christmas/general joyfulness"

I find myself feeling very sad today, I've been thinking about all the times I always give him what he wants, when, where , with whom.

I feel very unequal, this is not a good feeling.
He would be upset if he knew i felt like this, because he is a genuinely caring man, he just doesn't understand or acknowledge the amount of allowances I make, and i guess I am feeling a little resentful.

Its kinda all his family, friends, wants , needs etc. how can someone be so kind but so blind...

Elegran Wed 27-Dec-17 10:42:37

Have you actually told him that it makes you very sad not to have any joyful celebrations of anything good in your life? Or have you gone along with his glumness for so long that it has become the norm? Make a stand - you are not asking for a wild party every night, you just want to be happy in the company of family and friends.

Invite people round for a New Year's Eve get-together. If he is as nice a man as you describe, he will do it for you. If he won't, he can go to bed early with a hot water bottle and ear-plugs.

The saying you quote in the title means that someone miserable loves other people to be miserable too - so for years he has had you join him in his boring isolation. Now it is your turn to have HIM join YOU in being more sociable for a change.

Eglantine21 Wed 27-Dec-17 10:42:48

Every time you put your needs aside and bow to his, write what you would really have liked on a post it and stick it up somewhere obvious so he can read it. He probably genuinely doesn't realise how often you give way, because he is content.
When he sees the total over a week say it might give him pause for thought.
Obviously tell him why you are doing it. And give him a different colour pack of post its so he can do the same. You might both be surprised smile

Fennel Wed 27-Dec-17 11:20:40

I think this attitude ( against family gatherings) is much more common among men than women.
OTOH it depends what you do at these gatherings. We used to have some great get-togethers based on low-level gambling (poker, Solo etc). Not that I joined in that side of it, but just provided the refreshments.
Another popular activity was big-group games such as Sardines, treasure hunts etc.

vampirequeen Wed 27-Dec-17 11:29:56

If you've never told him then he probably doesn't even realise how upset you are. DH didn't understand my version of Christmas when we first met because we come from totally different Christmas backgrounds. My dad was a Christmas fanatic whilst DH came from a family that....well let's just say that from being a child he wasn't included in any celebrations. He was a child of no importance. Over the years DH has come to see and enjoy my version of Christmas with presents, food and family. In fact, this year, he suggested we visit my mam (who makes it clear that she hates him) when she was unexpectedly home alone on Christmas Day because he knew it would mean a lot to me.

You need to talk to him.

Christinefrance Wed 27-Dec-17 11:30:28

Yes time to change things now GlamM sit down with your husband and talk it through. As others have said he probably doesn't realise how this is impacting on you. Start with low level things and look for ideas which suit you both. My husband & I enjoy socialising but not for lengthy periods so we agree on a time to leave but it can change if we are both happy with it. Give and take is so important in a relationship and one person can soon end up being resentful and unhappy.

GlamM Wed 27-Dec-17 11:40:43

He does know how i feel about family, gatherings, kids, grandchild etc its just not his thing. I feel like I am the only one that makes allowances and if he does " something for me or my family" I am always saying thank you for doing that, literally every 5 minutes. Its maddening really. I think it stems from his not having children * we were both married before and I have 2 DS , he has almost embraced being a grampa, he is exceptional with my DGS but he never wanted kids and as mine were grown it works perfectly. His parents and sister and not huggers or what i would class as overly warm, my family are close.

I know if I bring it up it will just result in cross words and frankly I havent got then energy to try to explain with yet another version of the same way to say the same things so as not to hurt his feelings. This is one of those ARggggggghhhhh moments.

appreciate the advice , its the need to vent before he returns from work!

vampirequeen Wed 27-Dec-17 11:44:16

You sound as if you're in a Catch 22 situation. Vent, vent and vent again on here whenever you need to xxx

GlamM Wed 27-Dec-17 11:46:27

He knows how I feel, but is very strong in his position on what he will and wont do. I like to entertain dinner parties , having people round, he doesn't & he thinks I go to too much trouble but I love to make the table pretty and our guests comfortable. I do tell him and explain why i like to do it, I guess its just not important to him in the same way :-(

Teetime Wed 27-Dec-17 11:46:36

Oh Dear that does sound sad. I wonder if you can change things by stealth if you cant talk about it. Gradually introduce small changes. My husband has changed out of all recognition over our 40 years. At the beginning he wouldn't socialise at all with anyone and gradually over the years he has become a good if still reluctant host but he would never initiate a social gathering. The last four days have been bliss for him to have me all to himself with no visitors - I am climbing the walls wanting to see and converse with other humans. Try some small changes at first.

Elegran Wed 27-Dec-17 11:54:52

You say "He would be upset if he knew i felt like this, because he is a genuinely caring man," but then "I know if I bring it up it will just result in cross words"

You can still do it - don't make it a moan or a fight, just a statement of wht you intend to do. Tell him you are not asking HIM to be there or do anything, he can retire to bed with a book or whatever, but YOU need this and you are going to have family round. Say that you have made allowances for his preferences, now you want him to make allowances for your preferences.

Do it, it will work.

But if you keep finding reasons not to, I will suspect that you are not as serious about being miserable as you claim.

OldMeg Wed 27-Dec-17 12:02:55

‘He would be upset if he knew i felt like this, because he is a genuinely caring man’

I’ve picked out the same quote as Elegran as presumably that’s what jumped off the page for many of us. Are you a woman or a mouse? Tell him. Be prepared for him to be upset. Either that or you’ll just have to suffer in silence.

I know thst sounds a bit harsh, and I’m sorry, but it does need saying clearly without pussyfooting about. Honest!

sunseeker Wed 27-Dec-17 12:10:59

Perhaps his family never celebrated Christmas or birthdays and he doesn't know how much it can mean to others. My DH came from a very poor background, no money for celebrations. Like your DH he was very generous and kind but didn't understand why anyone would make a fuss over birthdays and special occasions. My DH would however always join in any festivities I arranged.

If yours really doesn't want to do anything then before his birthday tell him you are not buying a present, not arranging anything special and then go out with your friends for the evening, leave him a tin of beans and tell him he can make himself beans on toast. If he really doesn't care about celebrating he won't mind but you may find he will miss the fact you are not doing anything for his birthday.

ginny Wed 27-Dec-17 12:13:23

If you enjoy socialising and he doesn’t then talk about the occasion or invitation. Tell him that you would like to go but understand he doesn’t enjoy these things but would he like to join you. Then go either with or without him. Inviting people to yours maybe a little more awkward but if he really is as kind and nice as you say he should be willing to put up with it now and then. It’s your life too.

GlamM Wed 27-Dec-17 12:14:31

So the table is set, the lunch is prepped and the chat is on countdown.... thanks for all the support and the non sugar coated strong women or not get a grip stand up for your self etc etc!

NanaandGrampy Wed 27-Dec-17 13:13:09

It might not be important to him WHY you want to make your guests comfortable or your table pretty Glamam but shouldn’t it be important to him BECAUSE it’s important to you ?

He may not like parties, family , gatherings etc but if you do where is the compromise. Grampy doesn’t always enjoy things I like but he does them with good grace because I do things with him I wouldn’t necessarily choose to.

If he IS a genuinely caring man he might be upset if you tell him how you feel but that gives him the chance to show you he really does care. If he doesn’t take that chance then he’s not as caring as you think.

Good luck

Luckygirl Wed 27-Dec-17 15:25:15

Well tell him, just tell him. If he is the caring man you say he is, he will want to make you happy.

jeanie99 Sat 30-Dec-17 10:10:18

I think you need to sit down with him and tell him the facts of your life together.
I make absolutely certain my husband knows what he is like to me.
I never get presents for birthdays, anniversary's one Christmas I received nothing (I cried that year I was so upset)he said he didn't have the time to buy one.
You cannot change some people but you can definitely let them know how it effects you.

mollie Sat 30-Dec-17 11:33:02

This isn’t a man/woman thing, it’s just how half the population are. Some love big sociable gatherings, some hate them. I know it’s a pain but it’s a fact of life. The trick is understanding on both sides and accepting that if one of you wants a shindig as a celebration then the other will probably find the whole thing a torture unless you let him be elsewhere. Would you really enjoy yourself knowing you’ve insisted he be part of something he absolutely hated? I agree it’s unfair you don’t get to celebrate your way sometimes but there has to be a middle ground. Someone here once wrote about her compromise over Christmas - one year it’s a full on Christmas with family and the next it’s a quiet one his way. The same with other things like holidays and birthday gatherings. They happen but he gets to opt out and everyone understands and has a good time anyway. It’s a compromise.

Baggs Sat 30-Dec-17 11:43:36

Organise what you want for your birthday/anniversary/whatever and send him an invitation same as everyone else. If he decides not to attend, that's his choice. You can still do what you want. Would you be miserable at a birthday party without old misery-guts or could you just go ahead and enjoy yourself with family and friends. If the latter, what are you waiting for?

I think what I'm saying is just accept that he's different and, by your behaviour, make him accept that it's not fair if his difference limits you to the extent it has so far.

And buy yourself a Christmas present. Also birthday.

Alexa Sat 30-Dec-17 12:19:48

Glam, is it necessary for you , or for your husband, to behave as if you are joined together at the hip? Why not have your family gatherings without him? Why is this poor man required to be present?

soop Sat 30-Dec-17 12:22:57

Well said, Baggs. GlamM Take that vital step away from what your husband wants and give yourself the treat that you need and deserve. There should be no loitering. Start making the necessary plans for a celebration of your choosing. flowers

Luckylegs9 Sat 30-Dec-17 21:41:14

I think if he is the caring man you say he is you should speak to him, you have to strike a balance, perhaps you can have a family get togethers without him there if he can't do it himself. Buy yourself a lovely present each birthday and Christmas from him, he isn't mean so will be pleased you are happy. I know friends that do that as their husband used to buy them household items, like an iron or slow cooker!

soop Sun 31-Dec-17 11:53:17

Luckylegs9 tchgrin

Sam1965 Sun 07-Jan-18 13:16:54

If he really knows and their is no compromise why don’t you volunteer at a Christmas food shelter or arrange things on your birthday that he doesn’t need to be part of ...
Theatre and meal with friends say and then do a small meal justbfor tou two ...