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Stuck in the past - is it a man thing?

(41 Posts)
manny Thu 09-Apr-20 10:58:33

Anyone out there have experience of husband/partner who excelled in a sport or hobby in his younger years? And who remembers that as the best time of his life?
My Father was a bit like that, especially in his later years. But he had a very interesting and colourful war record.
Is it a man thing? Anybody ever come across women who do the same?

annodomini Thu 09-Apr-20 21:35:08

I can reminisce ad nauseam about my five years in Kenya in my 20s. My family and friends are usually tactful but I'm sure they could recite my memories by heart. blush

Callistemon Thu 09-Apr-20 23:18:35

Our family must be an exception.

I know lots of stories about my Mum's family and her childhood because she told me plenty of tales of her early days, how she met my father, her job and the families she worked for and their early married life overseas.

Dad never spoke of his WW2 experiences to me although he may have told my brothers. And I only learnt stories of his family from his sister, my aunt.

It's a pity because I am interested in family history and have uncovered a lot of things about the family and have lots of questions which will never be answered now. My cousin knew a lot which she told me but she has died too now, sadly.

Callistemon Thu 09-Apr-20 23:21:25

Perhaps this isolation would be a good time to write them all down for our children and grandchildren.

Daisymae Fri 10-Apr-20 06:03:27

Ah yes, reminds me of a Bruce Springsteen song 'Glory Days'. I think women do it a bit but some men find it hard to let go. We have someone in our family who had a very interesting job. Except that was nearly 40 years ago and it not really relevant now.

vampirequeen Fri 10-Apr-20 06:57:29

My dad would never talk his service during the war and DH also refuses to talk about his time serving in the First Gulf War. Perhaps it depends what they saw and had to do. DH still has nightmares.

rosecarmel Fri 10-Apr-20 07:04:13

I agree with Grandad-

BlueSapphire Fri 10-Apr-20 08:00:27

Well, I could talk for ever about the years I lived and worked in Singapore in my 20s. A vastly different lifestyle to the UK and have wonderful memories (especially as I met DH there!). So not a man thing.

JackyB Fri 10-Apr-20 09:23:07

There is a difference between having memories and recognising them as such and mentally not moving on from those "Glory Days". Which is what the OP was getting at, if I understood her correctly.

My DH doesn't go on about his time as a teacher, a student, or his National Service (which was only recently abolished here in Germany - my 2 eldest DS still had to serve. They both chose Community Service)

DH has moved on and will reminisce if asked, but has built a new life since retiring.

My parents both wrote down their life stories for us to refer to if needed, but both lived very much in the present. No doubt my father hankered after the years he spent sailing and woodworking, but he accepted they were over.

Callistemon Fri 10-Apr-20 09:41:56

I wish I'd listened more and asked more questions.
History is about people and that includes our own families, not just Kings, Queens, politicians.

manny Fri 10-Apr-20 11:04:40

JackyB. That’s what I was getting at exactly. It reminds me of Tom Buchanan in ‘The Great Gatsby’ who was doomed to ‘drift on forever seeking a little wistfully for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game’. That’s sad.
I agree entirely with preserving memories of the past and remembering and recording family history. But some of us find it difficult to move on.

gulligranny Sat 11-Apr-20 17:21:43

My DH was a tv lighting director (BBC, tv-am, Thames TV and freelance) and has lots of interesting tales to tell of shows he's worked on. That's the plus side, but the dark side is that he simply cannot sit and watch television without commenting on the lighting! Grrrr!!

Purpledaffodil Sat 11-Apr-20 17:38:34

I went to a family funeral in which the whole focus was the deceased’s Army career. Sadly that had ended 40 years previously so his subsequent life, his wife, his children got no mention. That was the way he wanted it.😭
There are times when we have to ban DH from beginning sentences “When I was a .....”. I’m finding there are a lot of those sentences during lockdown.
I do think it is a male thing.

JenniferEccles Sat 11-Apr-20 18:50:30

Maybe it’s because men think they have lead more interesting lives with work, hobbies etc than the women in their lives.

My husband often chats nostalgically about places he visited whilst he was working.

Grandad1943 Sat 11-Apr-20 19:06:26

JenniferEcclesvin regard to your above post, men may well have led more interesting working lives than women in decades past, but that is not the case today.

Within our own company, we have women on the assignment teams who carry out accident investigation and safety audit reports in other companies continuously.

We also have men working in administration carrying out work on accounts and client communication.

Now, who in the above has the most interesting and important employment? The foregoing is how it is in many companies today.

Esther1 Sat 11-Apr-20 22:39:03

My DH keeps on going on about the past - he calls it being nostalgic, but I’ve just heard everything so many times and he always tries to relate an incident as if I’ve only just met him - we’ve been married well over 40 years! He also can’t seem to enjoy any television made after the seventies or listen to any music after that period either. I just let him get on with it now!