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DH goes off table hopping at weddings etc

(29 Posts)
Kestrel Sat 09-May-20 10:57:36

I've been married nearly 30 years and DH has always done this so no surprise each time. When we go to weddings funerals etc he leaves me on my own to table hop, 'work the room' etc. I don't know most of the people (or have only met them superficially once or sometimes twice over the years). He says this is the only opportunity he has to get to know these relatives (he makes sporadic attempts to contact them by phone etc but it doesn't really come to much). I try to make the effort and chat to whoever's around but usually they're there as couples and soon ignore me and I end up on my own at a table feeling like an idiot or sitting in the foyer pretending to look at mobile (!) My solution now is to stop going to these events except for essentials eg father-in-laws funeral when it happens. I don't have family do's to go to - so its his family events. Should I keep pushing myself to go to these things or just not put myself thru this any more? hmm

Wibby Sat 09-May-20 11:17:40

Bit late to complain now if he has been doing it for 30yrs. Have you ever spoken to him about this and told him how you feel? Why dont you go with him when he goes off to chat to people? Sounds to me that he is just being sociable. Youve put up with it for this long why the sudden change of heart?

Septimia Sat 09-May-20 11:25:54

I wonder just how welcome his attentions are at these functions! Maybe everyone dreads his arrival at their table.

But, like you, I would hate being left on my own like a spare buttonhole!

You could go with him to talk to people, or maybe you could try to get to know one or two people better who might regularly turn up at these things. Then you'd have someone to chat to. Or just pick your events, as you suggest, and go to the ones that are essential.

paddyanne Sat 09-May-20 12:02:46

its a gathering of people surely the whole point is speaking to the other folk there .Why would anyone go to a wedding and just sit with the person they went with and ignore everyone else ?

Calendargirl Sat 09-May-20 12:13:39

Don’t suppose you are going to many weddings or funerals at the moment anyhow.

SueDonim Sat 09-May-20 13:17:41

Well, it obviously won’t be a problem at the moment.

You’re unlikely to be able to change your dh’s behaviour after all this time but you can change yours. Make more of an effort to chat to other people. Ime there are often people sitting alone at tables, certainly not everyone is sitting as couples. Be prepared with some chat eg introduce yourself and ask them how they know the couple eg relative/friend etc. If you find it’s slim pickings, say farewell and move on!

I’m not a naturally gregarious person and have had to come up with this strategy by means of experience over the years but it’s nice to end the day knowing you’ve got to know some other people, even if you never see them again.

Kestrel Sat 09-May-20 13:22:00

Most people at these functions do sit glued to 'their' table in their pairs - hence why he goes round to chat - his sister does the same. I have made the effort to get to know many of his relatives and I do approach them and chat, keep up with them on fb etc but it all seems to fall flat fairly quickly and they turn back to their spouse and I'm left floundering . I have spoken to him about it - he says he wants to go off and chat by himself and not be tied down by having me go round with him (!) but on the other hand he insists that he'd like me to attend functions with him, it would look odd if I didn't go etc etc. Social anxiety has worsened with menopause so may all be in my head

Lesley60 Sat 09-May-20 13:28:19

I would say blow you if you can’t be bothered to be with me for at least three quarters of the time I’m not going to come with you, surely he can speak to people when he’s on the way to the loo or going to the bar, he doesn’t need to leave you sitting there on your own for so long.

Jane10 Sat 09-May-20 13:33:30

In a shock new development, I agree with paddyann. These events offer the opportunity to meet new people. Chances are that people will be welcoming and friendly and glad to speak to you.
My DH is very good at 'working the room'. If he meets anyone he thinks would be interesting for me to speak to he brings them over. On my part, I look out for people on their own and go and chat to them. At smaller events it's a good opener to be the one handing round the snacks etc. That way you have a reason to talk to people but also an excuse to move on if necessary.
I'm actually less sociable these days somehow but I enjoy people watching and am not shy sitting on my own.

hallgreenmiss Sat 09-May-20 13:34:13

You could go round the room with him and make him introduce you. Join in the conversation.

SueDonim Sat 09-May-20 13:38:45

Surely only approximately half the guests can be relatives of your dh’s? Why not go and talk to the guests who are from the other side of the happy couple?

Galaxy Sat 09-May-20 13:40:50

Why not stay at home if that's what youwant. He is doing what he wants which is absolutely fine, you get to choose what you want to do too.

Kestrel Sat 09-May-20 13:46:55

I do go over and speak to people on my own, including people I've never met before, people who are on their own, people I've chatted to before at similar events etc etc. Its interesting but exhausting after a while. Just wondered what other people's experiences were - everyone has different ideas about what 's acceptable at social functions I know

MawB Sat 09-May-20 15:21:33

Isn’t it called “circulating” ?

Well his wings should be clipped for the foreseeable future!

lemongrove Sat 09-May-20 17:51:22

I don’t think it’s right for him to leave you for long periods of time at functions.His relatives hardly sound to be over friendly anyway, either to him or you.
I would say that you will go, but only on the understanding that he doesn’t leave you high and dry for very long.Then try and have a word or two with others there, if they don’t seem to want your conversation, then at least you will have tried.
In the end, it’s your choice to attend or not, if it’s making you anxious.

NotTooOld Sat 09-May-20 18:10:38

Well, he sounds a lovely sociable chap! A bit like myself and my DH except I am the more sociable one. In the same situation (ie me wanting to catch up with rarely seen relatives of mine) I tend to wait until DH gets into conversation with someone and then I pop off for a while. I do keep an eye on him to make sure he is alright, though, and if he was sitting on his own I would wave him over and introduce him to whoever I was talking to.

GagaJo Sat 09-May-20 18:48:45

I don’t go to parties anymore if I can help it. They’re never fun for me. Sometimes I’ll go with him but then leave earlier and let him carouse until the wee hours.

Kestrel Sun 10-May-20 14:34:03

Thanks for comments - good to get some points of view. @GagaJo I think we feel the same way - thanks for your comment. I'm probably an introvert - I love small gatherings - my bookclub, choir and walking group but flounder a bit in large gatherings with people I don't know too well (getting better at it over the years tho). @Lemongrove - I think it's a big attempt to get to know his rellies at these things. They can be a grumpy lot tho and it's usually him who contacts them between events.

Baggs Sun 10-May-20 15:12:26

I'd stop going to these contrived functions if I were you, kestrel.

jeanie99 Mon 11-May-20 03:15:33

No why would you, find something interesting to do on his family events.
To be honest if my husband behaved like that I wouldn't be very happy I consider it extremely rude and no consideration for how you feel said on your own.

Kestrel Mon 11-May-20 08:29:42

Thanks @Baggs and @jeanie99 - I have decided to limit it to essential functions - and then I might get a migraine at the last minute and not be able to go lol

grandtanteJE65 Sun 17-May-20 12:08:12

Give the poor man a break! His wife obviously makes no effort to make small talk at these occasions.

Why do you attend them if you are not going to try to talk to others?

No-one attends a funeral, wedding or any other event and talks solely to their spouse!

Kestrel Mon 18-May-20 09:58:19

Are you trying to be provocative grandtanteJE65? As I explained above I do go round socialising/chatting to new people (esp others on their own) etc etc. Part of the problem is that others do stay chatting with their partners at their table. I do not. This was my first post as a newbie - thanks to those who replied constructively. Have noticed other newbies being baited - what is wrong with people?

Urmstongran Mon 18-May-20 10:36:08

I’m another who completely agrees with you paddyann!

MawB Mon 18-May-20 11:09:00

Oh why oh why does disagreeing have to amount to “baiting newbies” ?
I am with those who think family occasions are an opportunity to develop relationships and perhaps even make friends in your own right. My DH’s family were (are?) my family by extension and I would agree that to go to any social event and only talk to the person you went with sounds like a waste of time .
Wait until you have to go to “his” family’s events on your own because circumstances have changed . Or do I stay at home alone?
I am deep down a shy person but recognise that there are times when you have to pin a smile on your face and make friendly polite conversation.
Your DH sounds like a friendly man who finds it easy to circulate , you have chosen not to , but so often what goes around comes around, ie if you hold back, people may see you as stand offish and not bother either.
A hard one , but please don’t think anybody is being deliberately controversial or provocative, just saying it the way they see it.