wife doesn't want to spend time with my family, friends - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-03-2010, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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wife doesn't want to spend time with my family, friends

ok, Please let me get some perspective on this issue. Are my issues legitimate or are these minor issues i should just deal with?

When I first dated my wife she was very social and would visit my family with me (out of state) and would occassionally go out with my friends. After we married, she slowly withdrew. She no longer wanted to come with me to visit my family for the holidays or any other time although with much guilt tripping I would convince her to visit for short trips. she did so begrudgingly, but would occassionally have "panic attacks" and would want to immedialy get away from my family or friends. My family and friends are very social and gregarious folks. not threatening. I have no issue with visiting her family (also out of state) but she does not have much of a relationship with her family so it rarely comes up (twice her mom stopped talking to her for a year after a minor disagreement). SHe tells me that if I want to visit my family I can go without her.

However, to appease me, she communicates with my mom via text, phone calls, and emails, which means a lot to me. I love her for at least doing this but I would want visiting my family, especially since htey are getting older, to not be a constant issue.

With regard to my friends, she never wants to go out with them to dinner, a bar, a party, etc. She says she has been like this with all her previous boyfriends. When she does, she sometimes stays glued to her cellphone checking facebook or texting. On the flipside, she does go out with her friends to bars, restaurants. She gets really excited to visit her friends out of state (3 times this year) and talks about going out and such. I'm not invited to these trips. this is for her to spend with her friends. I am not bothered by that actually, but I would want her to also occasionally have fun and spend time with me and my friends. She says I can go out with my friends without her, which i do.

I see other couples go out together and it seems like so much fun. I imagine, as I get older these are the ways people socialize and I do not want to miss out.

I really love my wife. I really do. When it is just us two alone, we are great. We are both attracted to each other, affectionate, and enjoy just laying in bed and cuddling. She is very thoughtful in her own way such as buying gifts for birthdays and such.

She also gets depressed occassionally and becomes really dark. sometimes she says stuff like she doesn't think she will ever be happy. other times she just gets silent. She has proposed we divorce three times in three years. one time said she liked the idea of being single.

her behavior really makes me depressed. I would describe it as selfish. I feel like i have to live two lives. one with just me and her, and one with my friends and family. At one point we tried to have kids with no success. Nowadays I don't want to try. If I have a child, I would want that child to grow up in a social environment so that he/she will benefit from it. In contrast, I do not want a child to grow up seeing us living these two lives and seeing this as normal.

I have been depressed about these issues since the summer and have thus have distanced myself from her. In turn, she distances herself from me, and it gets worse.

I scheduled us to go to marriage counseler (our second attempt). Her response is to propose we seperate for a bit and I date other people. I think she believes that I will see how much I miss her and love her and overlook these issues.

Part of me thinks maybe I should see if I can find someone that fits my expectations for a healthy relationship but other times I think I will never find someone I love as much as my wife. I am so torn.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-05-2010, 05:16 AM
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Re: wife doesn't want to spend time with my family, friends

I will not assume that your wife's situation is the same as mine, but I've been there and maybe you can make sure she doesn't feel like I did. It's extreme, so maybe this is no more than an anecdote.

I had no close family because it was very disfunctional. My wife is very insecure (and has BPD), but with her family, she is accepted and always assumed to be right, whatever she does. When I would rent a beach home for the month every summer, she would always invite her family.

So, if we played a board game, her family loved to work together to take out the muscular, brainy guy (me) because they thought it was funny. They loved practical jokes, and I was always on the recieving end. Many cups of coffee filled with salt, sand in my side of the bed, etc, and I was the one paying for the whole thing.

I was okay with this, and wouldn't presume to think your family would do this, but what really bothered me is that they had a lifetime of history, ways of communicating and roles, and my wife never once tried to make me a part of it, or insist that they try to fill me in on the background. After about ten years, when it was time to rent the place, I told her no.

Even though my family is dysfunctional, I am very close to my brother, who is a modern Tom Sawyer of sorts. We visit every year. He'll schedule permission to explore his nearby Indian reservation with the elders of the tribe (he did some important work for them) and invite my wife and kids to see things that very few people get to see. Other days, he'll set up adventures.

I suspect your family and friends really try to include your partner, but maybe there are underlying causes. If not, it seems that she's trying to tell you through the separation offer that she would like you to look at the big picture of her and make your decision.
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