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Miserable friend

(70 Posts)
Abuelana Thu 19-Sep-19 00:07:30

We have a couple we go on holiday with very nice couple except he sometimes becomes moody and won’t talk to anyone for days. We were on holiday in April and wouldn’t talk to us or his wife for 3 days. After that I’ve said I’m not spending my good money on going on holiday with them. May as we’ll be by ourselves. They are coming to our house for a week. If he does the moody I’m not talking lark. I’ve no idea how to handle it - help! I don’t want to upset my friend his wife. But I see no point in spending time with someone like this?

GrannyAnnie2010 Thu 19-Sep-19 10:23:10

Ignore him completely from the time the sulks start: COMPLETELY. The worst thing to do is to try and "bring him back" into the group with "Cuppa tea?", or "Dinner's ready". It's oxygen to him. Just get on with whatever you've planned to do, ignoring him completely. Pretend he's invisible - don't even have a place setting for him. Make your plans for the day without him. I guarantee you, 24 hours of this is the most he can take.

Jools67 Thu 19-Sep-19 10:25:08

Unless you want to get more frustrated and upset by his behaviour. I think you should gently ask his wife first and if no luck, sit him down and have a chat. I couldn't do holidays with difficult people any more, my ex husband was certainly one of them, it's exhausting and upsetting. Good luck x

loltara Thu 19-Sep-19 10:26:49

Sounds like my ex husband. Petulant and moody man just brings everyone down. Cancel.

BusterTank Thu 19-Sep-19 10:38:54

Pull him up on it and ask him what the problem is . Address the elephant in room and tell him a few home truths , how it makes everyone uncomfortable . If he doesn't like it , he knows what he can do .

Coconut Thu 19-Sep-19 10:40:27

Personally I wouldn't tolerate this behaviour, has his wife never spoken to you about it all just out of sheer embarrassment ? Hard to know what to do without upsetting his poor long suffering wife. Like others I would ignore him totally, then when he snapped out of his childish tantrum, tell him you don’t want to talk now, you are having a paddy too !

nanou Thu 19-Sep-19 10:43:40

hmmm... cancel your invite so he'll have a good reason to sulk this time!!! He might also wonder why you cancelled it...

Applegran Thu 19-Sep-19 10:47:52

I think Sodapop gave excellent advice - talk to his wife first, or just talk to him,alone, and say his not talking is difficult and uncomfortable for you and ask him to change this behaviour - to join in in a friendly way. Ask if there is a problem or issue here and listen openly and without blame to what he says. It may help his wife if you to speak up and show him that others dislike this behaviour - it is the behaviour you dislike, but you are ready to like him as a person and listen to what he says.

rafichagran Thu 19-Sep-19 10:58:12

I would speak to his wife in the 1st instance to find out if anything is wrong.
This is just a thought but maybe he does not want to go on these holidays or stay at other peoples homes. Maybe he goes because his wife wants him too. I think also like another poster said maybe she could meet up with you on her own.

maddyone Thu 19-Sep-19 11:13:52

Perhaps you should see your friend, his wife, on her own sometimes, go for lunch or coffee. If they live a distance from you, perhaps you could meet her for a weekend, or just a day somewhere between your homes.
I wouldn’t go on holiday with them for sure.

Margs Thu 19-Sep-19 11:15:49

He sounds a right moody-b*gger attention seeker! Life's too short for tip-toeing around these Primma Donna types. You need to discreetly but definitely put some space between you and this other couple.

wilygran Thu 19-Sep-19 11:29:10

Even if this guy has some sort of problem, it's not likely to be anything you can solve. If he's got serious long term issues he needs professional help & that's certainly not something you want to cope with on an expensive holiday, that's meant to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment!
Can you talk to your friend on her own to find out tactfully if she needs some sympathetic support? It must surely make her miserable & uncomfortable too. Whatever the cause, you shouldn't ruin your precious holiday time any longer. I'd just make my own plans and if the topic of holidays comes up just say what you will be doing. You never know, your friend may be grateful to you for ending a difficult situation without digging into their private problems.

Tennisnan Thu 19-Sep-19 11:31:17

I actually think its about control. When in one of these moods I expect all of you, but definitely his wife make him the centre of attention. Poor wife is probably very embarrassed about it but powerless. If either you or your husband is brave enough to tackle him about it you'd probably be helping his wife.

icanhandthemback Thu 19-Sep-19 11:34:46

This man may be bi-polar or similar and whilst I appreciate it is difficult for you, his wife may need your company in order for her to have a break. I think you should talk to your friend about your worries about how to handle things.

Janiepops Thu 19-Sep-19 11:38:27

Have you known this couple 10 or more years? Has he always been like that? If so, could he be on autistic spectrum...

If it’s a newish thing, could it be early onset Parkinson’s disease, one symptom can be depression,not wanting company, finally, early onset ( don’t know how old you are!)
Dementia, which had myriad symptoms, not appreciating how your behaviour impacts others etc...
I agree with everyone else, he needs the “cold shoulder “ treatment, IF he’s not quite ill.

Would wife be able to persuade him to go for a ‘well man’ checkup?
Best of luck! 🍀🍀🍀🍀

GabriellaG54 Thu 19-Sep-19 11:44:13

He's being incredibly rude.
I wouldn't put up with it but maybe you could just invite your friend and not her DH.
It goes without saying that she knows he does it, maybe for attention, but that doesn't mean it's acceptable.
It isn't.
Be honest and tell her why you feel he spoils the atmosphere and you don't want future holidays or visits spoilt with his childish moody silences.
I don't put up with moods. Tell him straight.

red1 Thu 19-Sep-19 11:53:04

kick him into touch, life is too short, maybe he is mentally ill, if so he should get help,dont be his therapist.My father was like this till he died at 93,if i could put the clock back, i would have walked away when i was 21.Toxic people only take from others and life.

LondonGranny Thu 19-Sep-19 11:53:57

I knew a couple like this. She was lovely, he was a complete pain in the fundament. It was my eldest who gave him a few home truths (stroppy teenagers can be magnificent). After her saying her piece he stomped off in high dudgeon, the wife stayed and we barely saw him after that. I think he was so embarrassed by being put down by a thirteen year old.
Here's a precis of her diatribe.
Do you think you get invited because people like you? No, it's because your wife is so fab while you are barely tolerated. I know five year olds with better manners. If I was your wife I would have divorced you years ago. I've tried hard to think of something positive about you and the best I can come up with is that your shoes are quite nice.

LondonGranny Thu 19-Sep-19 11:58:35

By the way, he wasn't mentally ill or autistic. Some people are just self-centred deeply unpleasant people which isn't a feature of mental illness or autism.

DuchessGloria Thu 19-Sep-19 12:08:12

It sounds like she's put up with this behaviour to keep the peace or maybe there are other factors you're unaware of - he could have depression, MS or be on the autistic spectrum for example. Ask her and be frank about your observations and feelings. She may be carrying a huge burden here that you as a friend can help with. On the other hand tread carefully - it's possible he's driven friends away before and she will have her pride, and is possibly feeling isolated. Perhaps you and her could have a short weekend break away somewhere without hubbys to break up the tradition of all four of you going for a week? It's possible he has something like depression, MS or autism. On the other hand he could just be being a self-absorbed moody arse! Also just because she doesn't address is (probably keeping the peace), there's nothing to say if the four of you are away together that you should hold it! It's not your marriage. Alternatively could your bloke have a pint with him and address it? Good luck.

Buffy Thu 19-Sep-19 12:12:10

Can’t understand why on earth he ever leaves home. If she’s a good friend can’t you find out what the problem is.
If my husband were like that I wouldn’t inflict him on anyone else. In fact if he’s like that all the time at home I’d go away on my own - often.

Cabbie21 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:17:52

I think you should definitely break the cycle of going on holiday together with this couple. I wonder why you have invited them to stay with you for a week? That is a long time to have someone miserable in your house, where there is no escape. At least when you are away you could opt to spend days separately, or have a meal out without them.
If the two ladies are good friends, then why not stick to ladies only get togethers. Ask his wife whether there is a problem. She may be relieved to be able to offload.
I have just come back from the hairdresser feeling fairly upbeat, to find that DH is miserable because he had to see a student before he saw his GP. Also he has managed to agree a date with a tradesman forgetting that we are going to be away just then. Nothing is right, he is a grumpy old man. Often he is in pain and it is hard to be upbeat when you are in pain, but often being grumpy is just the way he is.
When we are with other people for a short time he is lovely, polite, friendly, but if he had to keep it up for very long he would revert to type. Maybe your friend’s husband is like this, and she needs your sympathy.

LondonGranny Thu 19-Sep-19 12:18:42

DuchessGloria. MS? I wasn't aware that Multiple Sclerosis symptoms included stroppy sulks and bad manners.

Jinty44 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:21:46

"I don’t want to upset my friend his wife."
But you're OK with her imposing a person on you that upsets you? Why it the potential of upsetting her more important than the actual upset he causes?

I'd talk to his wife (and frankly I'm surprised you haven't already done so) about why he does this. She might be so inured to it she hasn't realised what she's asking you to put up with.

And if he goes into a not-talking mood when he is a guest in your home and should be behaving accordingly? Look him in the eye and tell him to leave. Point out how rude he is being and how uncomfortable he is making his hosts, and that whilst you put up with it on holiday for the sake of your friend his long-suffering wife, you will not put up with this imposed unpleasantness in your home.

The more you put up with his shitty behaviour, the more entitled he feels to behave that way. Pull him up on it! And stop worrying about upsetting your friend, she's not worried about upsetting you.

Craftycat Thu 19-Sep-19 12:24:35

We have only gone on holiday with good friends once & never again.
We discovered that he sulked if everyone did not do what HE wanted to do. She was her usual lovely self & we felt so sorry for her as it must have been embarrassing.
I still have a photo of the 3 of us laughing by the pool while he is sitting a few feet away with his sunbed turned away from us.
Very odd.
At home he is a really nice person.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 19-Sep-19 12:27:13

Have you ever had confrontation with this friend as some cannot let sleeping dogs lie.? Not saying this is the issue but the only way you can get to the root is to be with this person on their own, explain your feelings and why does he choose to act like this as it is not fair to his wife ,yourself and others in his presence. Another reason for his actions could be mental. This would be a delicate one to get round and the first step would need you having a one to one with his wife.Until this situation is addressed you either carry on as before or, much as it may cause upset, cease friendship.