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Feeling inhibited

(58 Posts)
Antonia Mon 14-Sep-20 23:24:40

Before Covid, I used to meet up for a monthly lunch with two former colleagues. Now, it's by WhatsApp.
The trouble is, we live in a small flat and my DH I'd always in the room when I'm chatting.
It makes me feel very inhibited. When woman get together, they can freely discuss husbands & partners, which obviously I can't do with him sitting in the room.
He always asks about the conversations, and I feel like I have no real privacy any more.
He has briefly met my colleagues but isn't friends with them.
I can't go into another room as our signal strength is too weak
I don't think I can do anything about it, I just wanted to have a bit of a rant

Doodledog Mon 14-Sep-20 23:36:03

I completely understand, if that helps. I speak to a friend in Scotland every Sunday evening, but if my husband is around I can't have a natural conversation, even though most of what we talk about is fairly banal - 'have you decorated the bathroom yet?' sort of thing.

It's not that I have secrets from my husband, or that I confide anything particularly personal in my friend, but I can't relax if he's there, for reasons I can't really explain.

Similarly,I have weeks Zoom meetings to discuss poetry, which is an interest of mine (we used to meet in a discussion group, but clearly that doesn't happen just now), and I feel the same about those. My husband isn't interested, and wouldn't even listen in, but just having him in the room is, as you say, inhibiting.

Luckily, my husband understands and takes himself off when it's time for the call or the meeting.

BlueSky Mon 14-Sep-20 23:50:20

Can't you just ask him to take himself off to the bedroom or kitchen while you have the Zoom conversation? Tell him you find it uncomfortable to chat while he's present.

Antonia Mon 14-Sep-20 23:54:19

Doodledog I wish my husband was so understanding. It's not as if we don't love our husbands. We do - only it's so inhibiting not to be able to talk freely.
We only talk about banal things too, and I actually feel quite guilty, because DH doesn't have any friends of his own, except for our family.
There's nothing I can do about it of course. Just needed a rant, and thanks for your support!

Calendargirl Tue 15-Sep-20 07:42:09

I chat to my sister every week, on the phone. I always go in another room and shut the door. We aren’t talking about anything confidential, but DH would think it’s silly conversation, e.g. what we’ve watched on tv, the obituaries in the local paper, whether it looks a good washing day.....yes, we live a fascinating life!

Riverwalk Tue 15-Sep-20 07:46:42

Can you not resume the lunches in person?

Spangler Tue 15-Sep-20 07:48:48

My wife would say: "I'm talking about you, darling, not to you." But we know each other well enough to understand the mischief of that remark.

Gingster Tue 15-Sep-20 07:50:15

Yes I too like privacy with my phone calls. If DH is in the room, even watching tv, he is listening in and giving his opinions or saying ‘ tell them about ...... or ask them .......... I go to another room but sometimes he looks in and stays for a few minutes. Very off-putting.

tanith Tue 15-Sep-20 07:53:18

Can’t you go outside the house for a walk or sit in the park? I’m often Whatsapping with my GD in the garden.

Liz46 Tue 15-Sep-20 07:55:37

I used to meet up with six former colleagues for lunch. We have met up in a garden a couple of times all socially distanced and in a remembrance garden which has a lot of benches once.
We have been friends for many years and trust each other with problems. It is a different type of relationship to the one we have with our husbands but still very special.

MerylStreep Tue 15-Sep-20 07:59:00

Antonia
First off, phone your internet provider and ask to check your speed. It's well known that they turn the speeds down. I often phone virgin to give them a nudge 😉
But why aren't you meeting your friends for lunch.

Maggiemaybe Tue 15-Sep-20 08:15:59

Oh, that must be off-putting, OP. My DH just takes himself off to another room when I have my virtual reading group (there are too many of us to meet up in person). He spent a couple of happy hours in the kitchen yesterday with his newspapers, crosswords and music. He’d be bored to death listening to our gossip learned literary discussions.

janeainsworth Tue 15-Sep-20 08:53:11

I don’t really like chatting on the phone anyway, but in the days when we used the landline and BT charged exorbitantly for the privilege, MrA used to walk past making the yapping signal 🙄 in an effort to curtail the conversation.
I totally sympathise Antonia.

JenniferEccles Tue 15-Sep-20 09:44:57

Why does it have to be a phone call? Why don’t you meet them for a coffee or lunch?

Restaurants, pubs and cafes have gone to great lengths to provide a safe environment for customers and staff.

If we don’t use them, too many won’t survive.

TBsNana Tue 15-Sep-20 09:51:41

Headphones are great for this, not only does it cut half the conversation off to a listener it just makes it feel private which is half the battle. DH and I both have calls with friends and colleagues. In all honesty I don't think either of us are interested in the others calls, but headphones do provide that slightly shut off protected feel.

Kartush Tue 15-Sep-20 10:05:40

I usually take my ipad into the bedroom when i have a facetime chat but thats only because its usually at night and i dont want to disturb his tv, i couldnt care less if he hears my conversations

Grannygrumps1 Tue 15-Sep-20 10:09:24

Use headphones. Then at least he will only hear one side.

inishowen Tue 15-Sep-20 10:15:46

Oh I so relate! I try and time my phonecalls to when he is out. He on the other hand puts his calls on loudspeaker and chats away. I am very inhibited when I'm being listens to.

Bazza Tue 15-Sep-20 10:22:23

I so relate too! You just don’t talk to your husband in the same way you talk to your friends. I always feel ever so slightly inhibited talking to my friends if he is around. I’m getting over it thought because a. he isn’t remotely interested, and b. is so deaf now he wouldn’t hear much anyway.

polnan Tue 15-Sep-20 10:27:43

wow! the more I read some of your posts, your lives, makes me realise what a wonderful relationship/life I had with my dh.

25Avalon Tue 15-Sep-20 10:30:04

If your WiFi signal is too week have you tried switching mobile data on? There may be a small charge for this from your mobile server but usually you can get a limited amount for free.

25Avalon Tue 15-Sep-20 10:30:19

Weak not week

V3ra Tue 15-Sep-20 10:33:17

My husband barely listens to the conversation when it's him I'm talking to 🤣

JenniferEccles Tue 15-Sep-20 10:39:23

I don’t think the comments on here are any reflection on posters’ relationships with their husbands polnan.

It’s perfectly natural to want a bit of privacy at times and chatting to friends is one of those times no matter how loved our husbands might be.

Madmaggie Tue 15-Sep-20 10:58:14

You have my sympathy. We have a boxroom which houses our PC, he has already been in twice to see what I'm doing, even if I close the door he has started to stick his head in and start asking questions. If I'm on the phone in the lounge he will either pointedly turn the TV up very loud or start chipping in with comments that are really off subject because he only hears one side of the conversation or passes me a note to prompt me to ask this or that. He has a couple of lifelong male friends he can phone and I wouldnt dream of listening in or chipping in.
He has just announced too that he's decided not to return to his weekly group meetings once they recommence (male only cancer survivors). If I speak to any of the neighbours he wants to know, in great detail, what they said. He has started to sit in the same room when my mobile hairdresser (who is also a neighbour) comes to give me a quick trim so no chance of a girly gossip there any more. It reminds me of prison visiting when you're not allowed to be alone.
We used to have a small fibreglass boat on the canal and he would happily spend the day there pottering, reading, snoozing, fishing and nattering to other blokes about engines etc., but he announced recently its on the market now because its "too far to travel to get there & hes now bored with it".
We've been here before when he had no interests outside of the house & started to resent anything I did that didnt involve him and I can see it happening again and frankly I'm dreading it.