08-03-2012, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
| | Re: How do you help your (male) partner find friends?
Or having tried and failed too many times.
Not finding any activities of their interest near where you live.
All of these were my husband until about 4 months ago. He moved to stay with me in my country of origin, and found it very difficult to make friends here at first. I tried to help, I took him with me to social gatherings with people he might enjoy (pub quizzes, house parties of some of my more awesome friends). He had a good time but he never made friends. I suggested starting a hobby or volunteer work of some sort. He hated all my ideas. I even posted around the internet looking for other expats to hang out with. He hated them all.
So I stopped trying. I thought: "his problem, his to fix". I continued to support him. I made sure to always validate his feelings of loneliness or longing for his old friends. I made sure he had time to still talk to those old friends without me hovering over him. I made sure to show interest and approval if he came up with an idea to try, an event to go to or someone to meet, with or without me.
Finally he started finding people that he enjoyed spending time with. Most of them by coincidence, and then through mutual friends, some he met in meet-ups and some he started talking to online over common interests. He's much happier, as am I, because I don't have to carry the burden of being his one and only supporter and company.
(Some people here love being the one and only best friend of their spouse. I love my husband and he is my no 1 in everything, but I also have a need for close friendships and good contact with my family. Before my H made friends here, I think we could both feel the unbalance of him clinging on to me while I felt the need to reach out to a support system of my own, in order to have enough energy to support my H w/ the difficulty of immigration.)
Why was his EA the only one to provide him with a social life? How much do you two hang out together? Do you bring him to meet your friends or do things with him together with other people? Even though I learned to think "his problem, his to fix", I did make sure to envite my husband along if I was invited to something he could find interesting, made sure to introduce him to my friends (even if these were girlfriends that I would most of the time want to meet alone for girly chatter) and just tried to find things to do together in general.
Anyway long story short my point is: in my experience there's not much you can do. You can't make him have friends. But you can create an environment where he feel supported and encouraged to try out new ways to find mates and to socialize (note: both actitivies you both like and interests of his you don't share).