(Closed) Going out problem when married

posted 5 years ago in Married Life
Post # 18
Member
2340 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Hi Christine, I appreciate how diificult this must be for you. i would really struggle in your shoes. It sounds like your husband has already made a lot of concessions, which shows his commitment so I suppose its all about where to draw the line. 

I wouldn’t fancy the idea of him going on “boys trips” given the prevalence of hostess clubs and similarly dodgy stuff, but maybe you should encourage him to go on/ say yes, to a few more week night social things with his colleagues and friends? 

One thing that stood out to me was you saying that he barely has any time to write you during the day. This is a bit of a bug bear for me so forgive me if this comes across as harsh, but while I know you are less busy than him during the day and so miss his company, when a person is at work they are at work and their time is their employer’s. Pre mobile phones, when callers had to go via the switchboard, significant others did not expect to be able to check in/chat/ make arrangements with their partners during the working day. Every office my Fiance or I have worked in these past 10 years, has had at least one poor bloke (I’m afraid in my experience it has been that way round) whose wife rings or texts him at work. The rest of the office is always aware of it and it and comments behind his back. Perhaps unfairly, it’s an eye-roll thing and the wife or gf come off as “needy” and the bloke is either sympathised with for having a clingy OH, or seen as a sap. To be fair I think it would be seen the same the other way around. He clearly gets no pleasure from it as he is self-conscious of it. I would try to cut out texting him at work, or at least cut it to the bare essentials like “Can you pick up some tea on your way home?” when unavoidable. 

If you cut him that bit more slack on a week night and back off while he is at work he may feel less pressured by you and you can save your guns for the big stuff.

 

I would hate to have to live in a relationship in that kind of male culture, I really do sympathise and I don’t think I’d cope very well at all so please don’t feel any guilt. If you weren’t living in Japan my advice would have been much more harsh on your husband but it must be so difficult for him too, which you clearly appreciate. Tough one! x

 

 

Post # 19
Member
2340 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Just another thought, – you say you are introverted but could you afford/fancy doing an evening class? Maybe Japanese language classes or cooking or painting or something? You might make friends as a side benefit, you would gain a skill and have another focus than your husband and something else to share with him.

Post # 20
Member
5224 posts
Bee Keeper

ChristineJp:  Why not designate a weekly date night? That can be the night that you guys put aside to spend time together. You can maybe also designate one other night a week that you know for sure will have dinner together.

Honestly, I don’t think he should have to get your permission before going out with his friends. He sounds like an extrovert, and he relaxes by spending time with his his friends. Compromise by having your date nights, and then let him have the option of doing as he pleases the rest of the time. He will probably enjoy spending time with you more when it doesn’t feel like an obligation. 

I’d also look into things you can do to occupy your time. I don’t know much about Japan or its culture, but are there anything like book clubs or charity organizations you can get involved with?

Post # 21
Member
723 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

This sounds like a tough situation you’re in! I have many thoughts:

-First, this may go without saying for you, but it is really important for your husband and you to keep in mind that this is not a you vs. him situation. It is a relationship problem that both of you will be instrumental in tackling together. It is imperative that both of you share your feelings about the situation openly so that you can have all of the information as you work together to create a solution that is good for you both.

-Your time with your husband may need to be thought of in terms of quality, not quantity. What do you two do when you spend time together? Do you feel emotionally connected to each other? Do you usually end up watching tv together when you’re home? What about setting up two date nights a week so you two are actually focused on each other when you spend time together? OR if it’s more of an emotional connection that you crave, what about establishing a time (maybe every night or every morning) where you spend 20 minutes being vulnerable with each other. The time you spend together could look like a lot of different things, but the goal is for you to feel connected to your husband regularly while also allowing for his needs to get met. 

-If you are unhappy & isolated & lonely, no amount of time with your husband will fix that. You are in a period of painful growth right now, meaning you are recognizing that you need a lot of things in your life (friends, a support system, fulfilling activities to occupy your time) that you don’t have right now. I wonder if your husband is functioning as a security blanket for you right now. If that’s the case, then your goal should maybe not be to figure out how to spend more time with him, but figure out how you can build a life and a community that is supportive of you.

-To that end, what you may need from him is help taking risks & forming bonds with other people. Do you have social anxiety? If so, maybe he can help you work up the courage to go out on your own & try out new things. Do any of his guy friends have wives that you could befriend? Could he support you by helping you find a class to take? 

-Him going from spending time with his friends all the time to 2 times a month seems very extreme to me. I think he should feel comfortable spending 1-2 nights a week with his friends. As long as you two have sacred time that you spend together (date nights, time built into your schedules to connect, etc.) then he should not carry guilt over spending time with his friends. You two should maybe test out different arrangements until you hit on something that works for both of you. Maybe literally do a month or two of “trials” by testing out a new system every week. One week, try out one date night + having him come home by a certain time (say, 11pm) for you two to spend 20 minutes for emotional connection time at home & give him complete flexibility to spend the rest of his time as he desires. The next week, try having him only have social time on two designated nights & be home the rest of the time. The following, try having him set aside three nights for you two to spend quality time together & have the rest of the evenings for himself. Etc. Etc. There are a lot of possibilities on how you two can structure your relationship, you both just need to be open & willing to explore them. Some of these experiments will be disastrous, some of them will be awesome, but the main point is for you two to open yourselves up to creative ways of looking at how you spend your time together.

Post # 22
Member
723 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I meant to add that I also wonder if part of why you feel so isolated from him when he’s spending time with his friends is because he’s not doing a good job of including you in what he’s doing with them. I do not mean that he has to invite you along, but maybe he needs to learn to share more about his work & friend life with you. Small things like texting you on his breaks, or calling you for five minutes to share a funny story about when his best friend hit on the waitress, etc., may help you feel more connected to him even when he isn’t spending time with you.

Like I said, I have lots of thoughts about this & there are lots of ways that you could structure your relationship to help address the problem. Good luck!

Post # 23
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I agree that the solution is finding ways to fill up  your time. Take a class or teach English to some people. Or maybe set up an English conversation night out with some local neighbors who want to practice their English. There are so many crafts you can learn in Japan. It might be ackward since you don’t speak Japanese, but I found living there (and my Mom is Japanese), that most people are super patient and would love to teach you how to make fabric flowers or sew.

Maybe look into online hobbies or groups. Maybe start writing a blog about Japan. Maybe taking a Japanese class AND a blog about your struggles with the language and the mistakes you make. 

At this point, your Darling Husband has given up almost everything (social wise) to please you. What compromises have you made? I think the next move is totally yours. Find ways to fill up your time, and let him go out 1-2 a week.

PS- do they have an ex-pat version of Meetup there? There has to be other women like you living in Japan, you just have to find them. 

Post # 24
Member
1228 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’ve heard that working extremely long hours (by our standards) and mandatory socializing with your colleagues afterwards is the norm in Japan?

If it were just that you’d prefer him to see his friends twice a month and he’d like to see them several times a week, I’d say to meet in the middle.  Maybe 1-2 time a week is a good compromise.

But it sounds like you don’t really see him during the week and he’s burnt out on weekends.  And he needs a lot of alone/friend time because he’s so stressed.  Have you considered him getting a new job or moving to a different country? It may sound extreme, but this problem has been dragging for years and you both sound unhappy.  If you ever have kids, the problem will get worse.  Maybe him finding a job that’s 8hrs a day will give him better work/wife/friends balance?  You both seriously need to consider whether you can be happy with him working 12 hour days until he retires.   

Post # 25
Member
2057 posts
Buzzing bee

I can only really advise you to keep working on this. One of the things I love the most about my current SO is that we like to spend our time the same way, meaning we have a very agreed balance of time together versus work time and friend time. I like to be with my SO a lot and have probably one night a week to every other week that I do a work function or go out with friends and we see friends together on the weekends.  And this works for him as well. I’m not saying this in particular is the right balance but that it is great that the same balance makes both of us happy.

In my prior relationship I felt like I was always fighting for my boyfriend’s time. Begging him to spend a night watching a movie with me instead of going out with his friends or compared even to us both going out I felt we never had quality time, at least not enough for me. My prior relationship was doomed to failure because we didn’t want the same things in a lot of ways. But, with your husband it doesn’t sound like you are ready to end things. You have to keep working to find the right balance is the only thing I can advise. I don’t want to say divorce him! Just because you can’t find this balance but you have to continue making adjustments to see if its possible for both of you to be happy.  

Post # 26
Member
1042 posts
Bumble bee

ChristineJp:  I thought that this issue sounded familiar and it turns out you posted about this 5 months ago. I re-read your original post and there seems to be inconsistencies between the two. It also seems (if the first post was true) that your husband has compromised more than you. 

From going out nightly to 1-2 times a month is kinda extreme. And your first post you said you had friends. What happened to them? Why is it such a bad thing for your husband to spend time with his friends? Is it because they are single? Or you’ve isolated yourself and want your husband to fill that void?

There is no reason why there can’t be a healthy balance between him having a social life with friends and being married to you. 

Maybe you guys should get back in counseling, or at least you should. 

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