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You Asked: My Husband Won't Disconnect From His Friends

You Asked: My Husband Won't Disconnect From His Friends

Dear Sugar,

I'm really bothered by the fact that my husband enjoys spending quality time with his single guy friends unannounced while he leaves me at home with the kids as if he's single. We've tried to compromise and organize a schedule where he can plan ahead to spend time with them, but for some reason we're not getting anywhere. When I want to do things as a family, he always invites his friends to tag along and expects me to tell him every time we do something as a family that I just want it to be us.

I end up getting upset when they tag along, and then when I try to let him know how I feel, he blows up in my face and gets defensive. I just wish he would make an effort to make plans for us instead of having me do all the work while he just goes with the flow. What's worse is that he sometimes acts like it's a chore to do something together. What do I do? Please point me in the right direction. What could I be doing wrong?

— Aggravated Ann

To see DearSugar's answer,

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Dear Aggravated Ann,

There are multiple issues here, so I think trying to work on just one of them — you mention a schedule so he can spend time with his friends — isn't going to solve the overall problem, which seems to be his dependence on his friends. I completely agree that having some real family time is important, but obviously your husband is having a difficult time letting go of his bachelor ways.

Instead of getting frustrated when he asks if his friends can come along every time you plan something, head him off at the pass. Let him know that going forward he should assume that a family outing is just that: a family outing. However, compromise is key, so every once in a while, work together to come up with plans that involve his friends too: a BBQ, a volleyball game at the park, etc. Perhaps being so reliant on a schedule is actually deterring your husband from sticking to the "rules." Let him have his spontaneity. That doesn't mean he should just decide to leave without letting you know, but giving him a little more leg room might make him feel less trapped.

If you continue to run into these issues, I recommend speaking with a family counselor. Your husband's attachment to his friends over his family is definitely something that needs to change. Perhaps he's dealing with some fears of commitment that are showing themselves in this way. Either way it's important to handle it before your resentment becomes too much to bear for either of you.

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soleetiud soleetiud 7 years
I have the same situation here....the more u ask him to compromise (with some argument and tears of course) the more it looks like he has to do it as an obligation and not out of love and I really hate that...he told me to have my own quality times with my friends which unfortunately most of them have moved to far places...I actually like to spend more time with him and the kids cause that I consider my ultimate quality time and he's just the opposite...Urgh! silly me for feeling that way...I'm in the process to find new friends (which is a long way to go) so I can be just like him...spend more quality times with new friends..and if possible to forget my husband's existence. I know it would be hard but I think I just have to try. wish me luck...LOL
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I think the best part of spending time with his friends for him is escaping your house when things get tough or boring. That is why he's going out with his friends without making plans. Guys aren't exactly going to make plans just so their married friend can come. It's not going to work. I definitely understand why you're upset and I would be too. Tell him that he has to give you a little notice and use the time when he goes out to either get a babysitter and spend time out yourself or spend alone time with your kids. Don't let your husbands bachelor friends hang out with your family unless other people are involved too. If your girlfriends or other married couples are there than it's totally fine. You have a right to spend time alone with your husband and kids.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Try to come up with a compromise you're both happy with. It's hard for me to make concrete suggestions because I don't know the details of your lives. But I'm sure there's a way. If you both want this to work, there's a way. Truthfully, I relate to both of you. Like your husband, I value my time away from my husband, doing non-wife things. Sometimes this means going off by myself, with friends, or with my parents, etc. Also, like you, I value the time I spend with my husband, being a couple. We have a lifestyle that satisfies both these needs in me (and in him). Good luck. I think you two can resolve this.
mtothawhat mtothawhat 8 years
Oh boy do I know how you feel. I went through this a few months ago and it got really out of hand. It's not that you care so much about the guys, it's the fact that you're thinking "Hello! We're married! I'm here too!" He knew how I felt about it but continued anyway. So I stopped telling him how I felt all the time and just scheduled a random night out with my gfs without telling him until it was time. The first time I did that, he was speechless. The second time, he whined about it. The third time, he got upset. It's like the roles were switched. Anywho, once he realized how it felt he stopped doing that. He still hangs out with the guys every now and then and we all hang out together sometimes but we finally compromised on it. Sometimes men learn by us just doing things rather than communicating all the time. It sucks that some men are so stubborn but at times they need a kick in the butt. Good luck!
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 8 years
I really agree with Dear. You need to specify to him when something is strictly a family activity for you two and your kids. He needs to respect that some things that you do as parents are for the fun and enrich of your children and they may not necessarily be fun for him. On the other hand, you do make it seem as if you don't want your husband to hang out with his friends at all. Are you unhappy about having to be alone with the kids when he leaves? More importantly, do you have female friends that you get to hang out with on a semi-consistant basis? If you don't, is it possible that you're blaming him for going out because you really don't have too many friends to go out with? I think these are all important questions to ask yourself. Likewise, I agree that there should also be "friend events" in your free time where you and your husband both invite all your friends to a gathering. Just because they are not direct relatives doesn't mean they shouldn't be welcomed into your family life.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
I think the fact that he is doing these things even though it bothers you is disturbing. But, his behavior itself isn't inherently wrong. He may run out with friends at the last minute, but there's nothing really wrong with that as long as he's fine with you doing the same thing. And as far as bringing them along all the time, my husband and I are friends with a couple who are both like that. As far as they are concerned, family is bigger than just the nuclear unit and they consider very close friends to be family. I find it kind of odd that they don't seem to be concerned about getting to do things with just the four of them, but that's just the way they are. When you are around his family, are they like this as well? Always having a million people over and including friends and family in the mix? If so, then you might try to be more understanding of what he's comfortable with. He should also try to be more understanding of what you're comfortable with. It should be about compromise, not just expecting your spouse to fall in line with what is familiar to you.
lolababy575 lolababy575 8 years
I was watching SATC the other day and the scene where Miranda and family head to Brooklyn to look at a house makes me think of this. She had her "Oh my god. I'm married." epiphany and it sounds like your husband needs to have one pretty soon too. He needs to understand what he is a part of now and what needs to become a priority. Plus, it seems like he really needs to be spending more time with the kids too - he's their role model now and he can't be running off to go "hang with the guys". When you get married, that person becomes your number one. No arguments. When you have kids, the "family unit" becomes your number one. Sure, it's important to spend time with friends. But if you took the steps and made the choices to become a family, he needs to step up to the plate.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i can totally see how this would be annoying, but it sounds like the poster is controlling and naggy he's just rebelling because she's being un-fun she needs to lighten up, and do what Dear said - plan more BBQs and stuff that can be done with all, and invite her girl friends along too
jaxon jaxon 8 years
Turn about is fair play...I hate the games that people play but sometimes people need a "dose of their own medicine". Call him up very last minute and tell him you wont be home for dinner and he needs to take care of the kids. Even if you have no where to go, see a movie or wander around the mall. On a saturday make plans for a girls day. Before he can even get out of bed be gone... for the entire day. When he asks where you went or why you did not tell him just say "Oh it came up at the last minute and I knew you did not have any plans" Be casual! Dont be snarky and let him know you are doing it to teach him a lesson
jessie jessie 8 years
I know how you feel. My hubby would take off with his friends and leave me with our 3 kids. Even for our boys soccer games would he rather go with his friends. I ended up in a breaking down in tears asking him if his friends were more important then his family, and if they were then he had to make a choice. Now his family comes first. It wasn't intentional, it's just what it came too. Don't let it come to that. Good Luck.
jillerin457 jillerin457 8 years
It sounds like he doesn't want to grow up! Honestly, the dynamic between you two has some elements of parent-child interaction, with you wanting him to act like a grownup, and him "needing" to be told he can't bring Wally and the Beav along for every activity. Maybe getting married and/or having kids came a little fast for him, but it's all reality now, and he needs to deal with it. You have to be careful you're not nagging him, though. Men can be such whiny bitches if they even SUSPECT they are being nagged! Then whatever you're asking of him can backfire. I like Dear's idea of having some activities where his friends specifically ARE invited, so he knows that you don't just hate them across the board. But I guess you will still have to be very explicit about which activities may or may not include them, at least until he's "trained."
shelleybaby32 shelleybaby32 8 years
your husband is very selfish and self-centered. Seems like you need to end this problem immediately. I have two children and my husband and i both TRY to schedule time to ourselves. It's important to have your own time and space once in awhile. The key word is once in awhile. My husband can schedule time to spend with his friends but there are restrictions. Seems like your husband doesn't want to be around his family for some reason. Hope you get it worked out. I would definetley tell him exactly how you feel and what your expectations are. Spell it out for him CLEARLY...
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 8 years
Men do seem to hate schedules and rules... I would try to find a compromise and be very very honest and upfront about your feelings. Sometimes if you imply, hint, or infer, they just won’t get the subtlety of it. You have to say what you want to say as clear as possible without belittling him or offending him or taking digs at the situation (I know it’s sometimes hard to do in these situations where you feel you are 100% right). Just be clear, but do know that sometimes we cannot get everything we want. Find a compromise you are happy with.
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