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Cher
Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 18780
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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Theproblem is my boyfriend has a group of married friends and

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Theproblem is my boyfriend has a group of married friends and they all do stuff together off and on. Before I met my boyfiend, he was the only single one around them. They all love him and they all party and get tipsy a lot. I am 26 and he is 29. The guys are high school buddies and grew up together. They are nice but I am more proper than the wives and I really don't care for any of them. There is one that decided that she was jealous of me and started doing and saying stuff behind my back. The situation is well known and the husbands choose to ignoe the problem. She is hot and cold and I do not trust her . She is a gossip and malicious. The girls put up with her but I don't think they really care for her. My problem is my boyfriend doesn't seem to think that I should feel uncomfortable and just suck it up. He goes to the gtherings and drinks and leaves me with these boring snobby girls. He and I are fighting more when an invite comes up and I dread seeing her. I say no. what do I do
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi, and thanks for your question.

It sounds, from your description, like you're in a difficult situation.

While you don't care to spend time with these women and their husbands, it would be a mistake to cut your husband off from any social interaction with them, completely. You should talk with him calmly, about not enjoying the time you spend in the company of these people, but tell him that you realize it's important to him to spend time with his longtime buddies, and you would never deprive him of that. Suggest that he get together with 'the guys', just guys, to go bowling, to the movies, play pool, have a drink, etc., once a month or so, and the 'gatherings' don't have to be at someone's house, so wives are included. Explain to him that on that night he's out with the guys, it would be a good opportunity for you to have a 'girl's night out', with your friends, relatives, etc., or maybe you'll stay home and catch up on some reading, laundry, etc.

It's understandable that he would enjoy bringing you to these gatherings, if it's couples only, he wants to show you off, and you're doing things AS couples; but if the guys are drinking and the ladies are sitting around, separately, there's no reason for you to be there.

I would continue to say no to these invites, but tell him that if it's that important to him, he can go by himself. There's no reason for you to agree to be put into a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable and unhappy. Ask him to put the shoe on the other foot. Ask him how he would feel if you brought him along to a gathering of people YOU were very familiar with, he didn't particularly care for, and you left him alone to be with your female friends, while you expected him to socialize with the 'men' who he didn't know that well and really didn't share anything in common with?
He might protest and say, 'oh no, honey, I'd go if it meant a lot to you', but 'call him' on it, and say, you know very well that you would never agree to go again, after the first time, when you saw how things turned out. You wouldn't/didn't have a good time, and would NOT want to do it again. I would never make you feel obligated to socialize with people you didn't feel comfortable around (except for purposes of business), and I'm asking you to please not put ME in that position.

Tell him your relationship means a lot to you, HE means a lot to you, and something this silly shouldn't cause you to fight. Make it clear that you are not preventing him from seeing his friends and enjoying their company, you just have no interest in going on that particular night, and you'll find something you enjoy better, to do, even if that other thing is staying home and relaxing or catching up on housework.

If you don't allow fights to ensue, after receiving an invite, but handle it calmly and consistently, stick to your guns and your rational reasons for your decisions, I think you'll be able to make him understand how you feel. Even if he continues to say he doesn't understand why you don't want to go, what's the big deal, etc., don't continue the argument with him; just say, I've already told you why I don't care to go, and you'll have to accept that. I have nothing else to say--I've said it all. You go and have a good time.

I wish you much good luck!

Cher
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Cher, I know that you are right in what you say but the hard part is the invites are parties that he will miss out on or they are a big birthday party or a lakehouse for the weekend. He is an outgoing person and I am more of a one on one person and love to be snuggled in bed reading a book with him or going to a coffee shop and talking about a movie. We don't socialize with them casually so it's hard when he gets excited to go to a great(in his words) party. He knows how I feels and he will bring it up anyway. I say go alone and he can't stand that answer. I'm afraid that this will ruin our relationship. I know that we are totally opposites and I try really hard but I don't stay up late and I'm over getting intoxicated. He is happy with his friends and quiet with mine and vise versa. We are to marry in Feb.
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, and you're most welcome.

Thanks for the additional detail, which paints a more complete picture of the situation. I can appreciate how you feel; I'm very similar. I didn't realize you were to be married in only 2 months!

It would be a shame to allow this situation to ruin your relationship, if you truly love him. I'm sure you've heard that opposites attract, and this is very true. It's part of what nurtures your relationship, and keeps it exciting.

I didn't realize the types of activities you were doing when you got together with his friends; I just thought it was a gathering at someone's house, every few weeks. A birthday party, you can't allow him to miss, a weekend at the lakehouse, although you dread it, again, if you stay home, you'll be miserable and if he's not with you for the weekend, he'll be miserable.

You don't have to drink and you don't have to stay up late. When you go to these parties with his friends, I think you should propose a compromise. A successful marriage is filled with compromises, a little give and take, and everyone's happy, so you can start doing that now. You BOTH can start doing that, now! : )

Agree to go to these functions, but set a time before you go, that you will leave to come home, and tell him you expect him to stick to his promise of this time to leave. It doesn't have to be late. Also, don't feel obligated to drink alcohol, stick to soda or whatever you like, and try to find some common ground with these women. I realize they're not friends you'd choose, but try to find something you all like, or have in common. Movies, tv shows, books, ask them to tell you funny stories about your fiance from before you met him, or from high school, etc.

In exchange for going to these parties without complaining, your fiance will have to do something YOU like, that he may not like so much (you didn't think there wouldn't be a trade-off here, did you?
: )). Don't choose something to punish him, but choose something you've been asking him to do for you or with you and he hasn't had time or said he didn't want to. Approach it with humor and tell him you'll accompany him to see his friends, but 'don't forget, you promised you'd "whatever" with me, next week!' and hold him to it.

If you don't have many friends (couples) that you spend quality time with now, start working on that, so you'll have other people to have fun with, whose company you BOTH enjoy. Once you're married, the dynamics should shift a little bit, and you might have more leverage, in gracefully bowing out of these gatherings. Also, keep reminding him that you wouldn't mind going, if he spent more time with you. Drinking with his buddies and leaving you to socialize with the wives, who are not really YOUR friends, nor your type, is hurtful to you. He can spend 'some' alone time with the guys, but for the major portion of the evening, tell him you expect him to be with you, which is how it should be.

I just had an idea. What if you were to bring along another couple, with whom you feel comfortable, and then you won't feel so alone and uncomfortable at these parties? Ok, for a weekend at the lakehouse it most likely wouldn't be appropriate to ask if you could invite another couple, but for a birthday party or just a get together, ask your fiance to ask the host if it would be alright. I don't see why not.

I realize this is a difficult situation and there is no simple solution, but I do hope you can use some of my suggestions; try out different methods of compromise and getting him to understand more of your needs.

Cher
Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 18780
Experience: Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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