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Absolutely miserable after yet another social gathering...

(59 Posts)
Teaandcakes Sat 03-Jun-23 22:13:42

I've just returned home from yet another social occasion feeling absolutely exhausted from company.
I've never been gregarious but could strike up conversation, asking questions, being interested in the other person etc. Obviously I don't wish to sound like I interrogate anyone😬 I just used to be able to continue a conversation around a room and butterfly across to another group of feeling confident and happy. etc.

I don't know if it's since covid, or weather I'm doing something wrong (I am conscious of sounding desperate for friends of course and I am mindful of being too full on so I don't think it's this)
My partner asked me to a sports social this eve. We were standing on our own probably half an hour before anyone else looked up etc which is fine. I made some small talk about the lovely food and the effort everyone had gone to, found the host and said 'thanks for the invite ', we added acceptable offerings to the pot luck etc.
I found someone who was on their own and chatted for a bit but she acted rather miserable and after ten mins, the chat had dried up. This happened twice in a row so my partner and I sat and chatted quietly within the social group. When he got up to find something, I scooted across and joined in discreetly with some other women talking. I listened mostly but it was all about sauanas and spinning classes....neither of which I know anything about.
I sat on my own a lot trying to look fine but felt quite awful.
The notable thing my partner said all evening was he wished he was x age again ( it's when he lost his virginity which is very sweet but actually I don't feel the need to be reminded over again that he feels old and cronky and as he says ' the best years of his life are behind him'.
I have some lovely memories of old boyfriends and my first marriage but wouldn't ever tell him in front of others a out my good times. Just seemed a bit misplaced.
There was some beautiful people there (it being a gym with the people who train) I felt ok ish while there but it got more painful the more the evening wore on.
My partner didn't help by oggling the lady who does the training for him 🥺she is beautiful and deserves to be...she puts the time and effort in to make her body it's best.
He then told me a story on the way home about how when he was in the car with his Friend that she was walking along and waved at him. He took great pride in telling me that his friend was asking who the lady was ...and apparently he said ' ooh it's a long story'!?!he was trying to be macho and have a laugh but I didn't really know what to say.

I'd never ever tell my partner something like this if id had a silly moment with a girlfriend over a handsome man.

I've come back from the evening feeling flat emotionally and angry about the effort it took me to go when I wasn't feeling them put as much effort in as then feel exhausted on leaving.

I'd have muxh preferred a walk on the beach on my own, glass of wine and a book.

I don't seem to be able to entertain anyone anymore, it was clear I wasn't interesting or worth bothering with and I increasingly feel this when I socialise.
What am I doing wrong ? 🥹

FannyCornforth Sun 04-Jun-23 04:25:27

I’m sorry you had such a rubbish evening.
I don’t like going out either.
But in this situation it’s apparent to me that your husband is the problem.
His behaviour and attitude sound absolutely ghastly.
I would not be going on another evening out with him anytime soon.
I hope that you have a nice day today thanks

LRavenscroft Sun 04-Jun-23 05:59:33

Please don't think that you are doing anything wrong because you aren't. Sounds to me as if your husband is having a bit of an age crisis thing as he keeps harping on about former experiences. This is reflective of a lack in him, not you. I too would much prefer to have a walk on the beach and read a book at home. Are you a bit of a student/introvert at heart? It can be harder for people like me who were never very sociable/good at small talk. Many people in this world only see the detail but not the overview. Sounds to me as if you are a thinker and have a good grasp of the whole picture. Things are different now as I have witnessed just listening to conversations on the bus and in the ice cream queue. The content just doesn't resonate with me anymore and I feel like turning around and saying 'for goodness sake' but of course one would never do that! If I were you I would focus on what brings you joy and keep a diary of all the precious things that happen each day from a walk on the beach to a pleasant conversation with an old friend. Let your husband ramble and perhaps not go to the gym events or, if you do, go as an observer rather than a participant. But, please do not berate yourself as you are so not to blame.

Ashcombe Sun 04-Jun-23 06:15:27

I do sympathise with you as 50 years ago, as a young woman in my first marriage, I struggled with social occasions. This has improved over the years as my career gave me more confidence.

If your partner wants you to accompany him to such events, perhaps he could introduce some of his acquaintances to you. It would help to give you a way in to developing a conversation. Maybe, before you leave home, he could tell you some background to a few that he knows so that would give you a starting point for small talk.

I hope you can relax and enjoy these gatherings in future and encourage your partner to appreciate what he has rather than dwell too much on the past. He is lucky to still be in reasonable health (presumably) that allows him to participate in the routines at a gym.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 04-Jun-23 06:31:18

It sounds as though this was an event where your OH knew and had something in common with the people there, it’s a pity he didn’t introduce you to anyone.

It wasn’t you it was them and it was certainly a failure of your OH. I find it difficult to talk to people if we have nothing in common, but if we have, then I can sit and chat away.

Next time, go for your walk on the beach and let him go on his own.

karmalady Sun 04-Jun-23 06:42:51

Teandcakes, your partner is the energy-sucker and it is draining you at your cost. You need to keep that energy, so take much more time away and on your own or with friends, by yourself. It is not you, your social mixing skills seem fine

It is a difficult one but nudge your OH into hobbies of his own, wood carving is a good one to glide into and there are wood carving social groups all over the place. Also mens sheds are very popular. Once he has found some new friends with a common interest, then he will stop looking backwards in time

Starrynight49 Sun 04-Jun-23 07:16:42

I agree with the previous poster - your evening wouldn't have been half as bad, if your partner had acted Like a good person. He was actually awful , and this is your problem.

Calendargirl Sun 04-Jun-23 07:30:27

It’s not you, it doesn’t sound like your partner had people queuing up to talk to him either. And all these asides about his past make it appear he is just harking back to former ‘glory’ days, long gone.

Let him go on his own in future, but I suspect he wouldn’t as he realises he’s not part of the ‘crowd’ either.

Juliet27 Sun 04-Jun-23 07:36:02

It just sounds as though the event was one where you’d have little in common anyway with much of the group so it’s a shame you had to attend it with your husband. Nothing wrong with not being gregarious - each to his own I say! You know what suits you,

Sara1954 Sun 04-Jun-23 08:59:57

I don’t want to do these things anymore, and so I don’t.
We used to have a very busy social life, lots of friends, out every weekend, but I suppose I just stopped enjoying it.
Now, when something crops up, if my husband wants to go, he’ll go on his own.
I’m still more than happy to go out with friends for supper, and we do a lot of family stuff, but the big events where you have to make an effort to meet, and be interested in people hold no interest for me.
If it’s not your thing, don’t do it, sounds like your partner didn’t make it particularly comfortable for you, so let him go on his own.

Caramme Sun 04-Jun-23 09:13:03

I was so glad to read this thread. I have always suspected I was a complete social misfit but now I see that others feel them same same. I too dread social occasions unless they are within my extended family or with my two close friends. Only then can I relax and either chat or simply listen to others without feeling excluded or awkward. Otherwise give me a good book any day.

Wyllow3 Sun 04-Jun-23 09:13:50

Two things stand out - you didn't really want to be there anyway
And your partner behaved atrociously.

Its absolutely fine, however you have been in the past, to only go to events where you absolutely feel comfy. Your are not weird nor alone in this.

Not sure what to do about your partner, as it depends on your relationship generally, but from what you say it sounded like older male trying to hang onto a self image.....

Redhead56 Sun 04-Jun-23 09:19:01

You are not the problem your DH clearly is you at least mingled with people you are not familiar with. Your DH dwelled on the past and talked about regrets how entertaining for you!
Tell him to go on his own when invited in future I am sure you can entertain yourself anywhere else. Even sitting reading a book with a glass of wine in hand would be better than listening to his selfish whining. Do not blame yourself it’s obvious you realised how boring he actually is and wanted conversation elsewhere. It’s just a pity the rest of the company you were in had little in common that’s not your fault either.

NotSpaghetti Sun 04-Jun-23 09:25:47

I think your husband wasn't actually comfortable there either!
The difference between you is that he seems to feel he should be comfortable there and I think that's part of the "going on about the past" when he assumes he would have been much more "in demand".

"Sports socials" are not for everyone. I am a gym member - I go there only to swim and am by no means fit and shapely - but I have made several acquaintances there who I'm happy to chat to (and three members I now consider to be friends). Nevertheless I would never go to the social events which would (I imagine) be rather grim.

Does the gym have a pool? Have you thought about joining for the gentle exercise in the water - which suits me fine - and you might enjoy it too.
Not at all implying you should join him there - but you may be pleasantly surprised if you gave it a go. The nice thing about swimming is the ease you can chat to regulars a bit as you swim, take a break and sit in the jacuzzi or if energetic plow up and down.

I never thought I'd say this but I am pleased I go swimming.

Going back to your husband - he can see his body doesn't match up to the body he used to have.
Poor him.
Realisation comes to us all eventually! grin

FarNorth Sun 04-Jun-23 09:40:26

Were the others much younger than you & your partner ?

I agree with those saying your partner is a problem. His remark about being X age again wasn't sweet; he was thinking about chatting up the gorgeous women there.

Consider whether your partner is really someone you want in your life.

Bella23 Sun 04-Jun-23 10:11:05

It wasn't you. A lot of us don't want to go to big social gatherings anymore. I do think the long lockdowns have played their part. lots of us have lost the ability to small talk and we are just learning again.
I also think getting dressed for such occasions is much more difficult for women than for men.
If your husband boasts about past experiences, I would tell him about yours and tell him how he makes you feel.
Next time say no you would prefer to stay at home and see what he suggests, if he goes on his own then you, unfortunately, have a lot of heart-searching to do.
Best of

Primrose53 Sun 04-Jun-23 11:10:55

If I were you I wouldn’t put myself through that misery.

JaneJudge Sun 04-Jun-23 11:18:28

I think you need to have a chat with your husband about how insecure he makes you feel sad flowers

henetha Sun 04-Jun-23 12:37:25

I don't like that kind of socialising either, but then I never have.
You seem to have lost your confidence, whereas you previously enjoyed such things, so can you identify what caused that? Your partner certainly doesn't help, does he. (sorry to be critical of him). As others have said above, you need to talk to him.
Don't put yourself through an experience like that any more.
You deserve better.

VioletSky Sun 04-Jun-23 12:45:09

Oh gosh, I think you have a husband problem too

He is putting you in uncomfortable situations and then undermining your confidence because it sounds like he is insecure in his own aging

I can't see anything you did wrong

You don't have to answer this but is it possible he was trying to put you off a social group so that he can enjoy it alone looking for an ego boost from other women?

hollysteers Sun 04-Jun-23 12:46:35

This reminds me of golf club then late husband’s private club (when they eventually allowed women in). My solution was alcohol, which I don’t recommend if used as Dutch courage.
Crumbs, I spent so many boring evenings at his private club, and elsewhere, stuck next to bores all night at dinners.
I can do small talk and don’t mind occasions when I can float around and talk to others if not getting on with someone, but I think getting older lessens our patience and we can’t be bothered making the effort. Some people are just bl**dy hard work! Covid effects too.
Don’t bother with them, let your husband go and please yourself.

pascal30 Sun 04-Jun-23 15:52:26

It sounds like your husband has a real problem with his ageing self image which doesn't allow him to look after you socially. Poor chap, hankering after memories
If you don't have anything in common with those people just do something you do like.. It's simply not worth wasting your time if you aren't enjoying yourself, our time is limited and precious

Sara1954 Sun 04-Jun-23 15:55:31

We used to do quite a bit of socialising with work, including trips abroad, I stopped doing it years ago, my husband hasn’t done much since covid, we leave it all to our daughters, our son has always hated it.
Life really is too short to spend time doing stuff you don’t want to do.
I think your partner sounds insecure and out of his depth, and probably people were trying to avoid him.

biglouis Sun 04-Jun-23 16:10:45

I dont think there was anything wrong with the way you interacted with the people at the gathering. Did your share of listening, made a contribution, stayed an hour and thanked the host. Job done.

Ive never struggled with social occasions or felt shy. However the older I got the more I disliked them. Ive forgotten how many I went to just for the sake of showing my face. Now that Im in my 70s I no longer make excuses about not going out. Mobility issues is its own excuse and I do what I want. I have never learned to drive so if I want to go anywhere its a taxi there and back. Another great excuse.

Nothing to do with covid. Just had my life working in customer and client facing roles and now I am just choosy who I socialise with.

MerylStreep Sun 04-Jun-23 16:31:34

Several posters have mentioned the OPs lack of confidence.
The OP said that when her husband went to look for something she scooted across to join another group of women This doesn’t sound like someone with lack of confidence.
I think your husband is rather sad and pathetic if he boasted about the non- fact that an attractive woman waved at him.