Need help- FI has extremely strange problem

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 16
Member
122 posts
Blushing bee

You need to talk to him and ask him why, because there are two different answers to your question depending on his answer. If he has extreme social anxiety and would like to be more social, I cannot recommend therapy enough. If he is just introverted and does not want to talk to people, this is not something you can try to change. Maybe try to read him at your next social event: does him seem nervous/uncomfortable or just disinterested, because there’s a huge difference.

Post # 17
Member
9614 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

girlfromtexas1088 :  he will never change. I think you need to decide if youll be okay going out on your own, working the room at parties etc while he sits in the dark alone. I personally would not be, and would not marry someone like that. It will really mess with your future/potential kids heads…

You need to love and accept him as he is, or move on and find someone more suited to you.

Post # 18
Member
665 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Being an introvert and having social anxiety are different. 

While they CAN go hand-in-hand, it is not a nessesity. 

I am an introvert by nature, but when I do need to be social, such as at weddings and parties I can do it without fear or anxiety. But when I return home I am spent and just want to relax. 

I would much rather spend my time at home. Or one on one with people. But it is just a preference, not an anxiety 

Post # 19
Member
2210 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

girlfromtexas1088 :  None of what you describe is “extremely strange”

He sounds like a stong introvert who might also have social anxiety. Both of those conditions are quite common, actually. Just because most cultures favor extroversion as the “preferred” or “normal” state of being, doesn’t mean that is correct. 

Most introverts would be totally overwhelmed by the scenario you are describing. If what you are hoping for is that he will one day snap out of it and suddenly love huge social gatherings, I’d say it would be best to part now and save both of you a lot of heartache. Not only is that NOT going to happen, it shouldn’t be something you are banking on. 

If the two of you can find a balance between your need to socialize and his preference for isolation, then you might have a chance. In my experience, if you are at totally opposite ends of the spectrum, someone will always be unhappy. 

This is a profound compatiblity issue that a lot of people overlook, or think can be “solved” Ultimately, this isn’t something to fix. It is something to identify and acknowledge might be a irreconcilable difference.

Post # 20
Member
14 posts
Newbee

curiouscat2017 :  I wish some (not all) introverts understood more that in some situations like small dinner parties their non-participation puts all the burden on others. It’s hard maintaining conversation with people you don’t know, and extended absolute silence can be weird.

In those situations, though, introverts usually aren’t bothered by extended silence. It wouldn’t occur to most of them that others might feel obligated to talk to them, because they’d rather be left alone to eat their meal in peace. In most cases, an introvert who agrees to attend (or help their partner host) a small dinner party is already making a significant compromise by doing something they actively dislike, just because their partner wants them to do it. They’d almost certainly have preferred to just stay home in the first place, so I’m not sure it’s fair to complain that their presence or behavior is a burden.

 

Post # 22
Member
9540 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

This is not an “extremely strange” problem. There are many, many introverts and people who have social anxiety living in the world. 

If he sees this as a problem or thing he would like to change about himself then I would suggest therapy. It won’t make him into an extrovert or even like going on social outings but he could learn some ways to make it more tolerable for him.

But if he’s perfectly happy the way he is, then you really don’t need to try to “fix” him. Introverts don’t need to be fixed. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert.

What you need to decide is if this is something you can live with for the rest of your life. Would you be willing to go to your social outings alone more often than not? It would also helpful to recongize that just because he isn’t being super social at a gathering doesn’t mean he’s unhappy. He’s probably perfectly content to be sitting quietly. You don’t need to feel sad for him, that’s projecting your wants onto him. 

This is a pretty big incompatibility. I would give some serious thought to how/if you can make it work in your relationship.

Post # 23
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Ugh I hate it when people paint introverts as these special snowflakes who can’t bear to ever interact with anyone. I’m sorry but being an introvert doesn’t excuse being a dick. If you’re at a social event and you’re being awkwardly silent and disagreeable the whole time, then you either have social anxiety (a real, legit problem that’s separate from being introverted) or you’re just self centered and are way more concerned with your own personal comfort than with that of the people around you.

I get it, I am introverted and I don’t really relish making small talk with people at social gatherings. But I have to go to events periodically with my husband for his work. I do my part to at least not make it awkward for other people (within reason). It really doesn’t take that much out of me to go to some dumb event for an hour or two now and then and make myself agreeable to those around me by engaging in harmless chit chat. Would I rather stay at home and read a book? Of course, but it’s called being a functioning adult in society and occasionally putting the needs of others over my own.

I just feel like there’s this trend lately to glorify introverts as these superior creatures who are so much deeper than everyone else and need to be handled with kid gloves due to their delicate sensibilities. Again, not talking about social anxiety which is a totally separate thing – just regular introversion. If I see one more dumbass meme on Facebook about “how to handle an introvert” I might lose it lol. 

Post # 24
Member
854 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

This sounds to me to be more like social anxiety vs anti-social.  I used to struggle with social anxiety and it made big events debilitating.  That said I found meds and therapy to be invaluable.

Post # 25
Member
617 posts
Busy bee

I have a friend whose boyfriend changed her attitude toward socializing by constantly looping her into conversations he was having with people. Like introducing a story then giving her the space to tell it and then taking over when she’d get weird. It seems to have worked, she’s so much more talkative now. Other than that I have no idea how to overcome something like this, maybe therapy, maybe there’s a bigger underlying issue about how he was raised. 

Post # 26
Member
1498 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with the previous poster that said it was probably ALOT just for him to show up to the ceremony and cocktail hour,  so he probably deserves credit not pity. He clearly cares and is doing his best. 

It sounds like you really love and care about him and vice versa. I’m curious about your wedding plans. Are you doing a big wedding or something smaller he can manage? If you can try to work some breaks in the day for him when he can take a breather. I’m a introvert with anxiety and for our wedding I’m planning a few moments with just me and my Fiance in them to give me a minute to feel calmer. I even went to a wedding where the groom left and had a nap LOL! He came back refreshed and partied the rest of the night away. 

Post # 27
Member
146 posts
Blushing bee

Your groom could also have Asperger’s Syndrome. It is a mild form of autism that shows up in less social interaction. 

Post # 28
Member
1186 posts
Bumble bee

This sounds like more than simple introversion to me. Have you spoken to him about it? xo

Post # 29
Member
6936 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Your fiance doesn’t have anything wrong with him, that being said your relationship might. Like someone else posted I think there is definitely something to be said about marrying someone you are both compatable with but also want the same things out of life and can enjoy hobbies together. For me personally, this would be a deal breaker. While I have grown to love being home in my PJ’s relaxing over going out, once I’m out I am really social. I would not enjoy being married to someone who couldn’t at the minimum stand and hold polite converstaion with someone or whom I was expected to leave home and do everything “social” on my own. At this point you need to decide if it’s a deal-breaker for you. If you can live with this, great. If you can’t, you need to cut ties and move on.

Post # 30
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Just because the extroverts need every silence filled with incessant talking, doesn’t mean that everyone must comply. It’s only awkward if the extroverts make it awkward by their relentless need for stimulation. I rarely find silence awkward. It’s peaceful. Calm. Not distressing in the least. Companionable silence is a good thing. I’m always a little put off by the neediness associated with the extroverts in my life. It takes a lot of work to be in a relationship with a true extrovert. They crave attention, drama, excitement… and are looking for other people to provide it. I don’t suffer from social anxiety. I like a (very) occasional party (though, I usually need to be talked in to actually attending, because I’d rather stay home). I don’t at all understand the angst people have over someone NOT putting on a social performance-  go, talk and laugh, do your thing. It’s just not my thing.

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