Ditch Him

by admin on June 16, 2014

A friend is getting married next weekend and me and the bf are invited. My bf doesn’t like my friend and doesn’t want to go. I get that he doesn’t want to go but my friend is getting married and I’ve asked him to go with me for me but he’s still adamant that he’s not going and is now giving me the silent treatment because I won’t back down on him going.   I‘ve gone to so many company events with him that were so boring that watching paint dry would have been more entertaining. I went to his friend’s wedding without knowing anyone there.  Sure there were times that were fun but there were also times where I sat by myself looking at my phone. Did I complain, no. Did I give him the silent treatment because of it, no.

He has decided that my friends are horrible and boring and that he‘ll have a horrible time. In the 2 years we‘ve been together he‘s gone to maybe five events, involving my friends and family, together.    I’m so pissed off and hurt right now that I can’t even see straight. 0612-14

Ditch him. Now. Permanently.   Life is too short to waste on grumps, curmudgeons, party poopers and petulant, immature boyfriend who will morph into a miserable, party pooping, petty, antisocial tyrant if you marry him.

{ 157 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat June 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I always get very concerned when I read about this sort of relationship. It begins as, ” Your friends are boring/tell you what to do/don’t like me” and then expands to, “I don’t like your family. It’s time you cut the apron strings/became your own woman/learned to stand on your own two feet”. The third duck he shoots down is your job, “I’m the man; I’ll support us; you don’t need to work” and soon you are sans friends, family and money. He now has complete control over you. I’ve seen it done too many times.
He pouts/gets violent/screams/gets drunk/slams the door and disappears-whatever he can use to control you. You feel terrible. He says you made him act this way. Your fault!
You have a boy in your life, and you will be happier if you find a man instead. At worse, he is controlling and manipulative. At best, he is immature and won’t do anything he doesn’t enjoy doing. Why would you want either in your life?

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KimJ_in_Oregon June 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm

As someone coming out of an abusive relationship, I second everyone here who said, “Dump him.” and “Run.”
I wish someone had pointed it out to me years ago that this is an early potential indicator of much, much worse.

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hakayama June 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Awwwwwwww, people… But, but, what if she LOOOOOOOOVES him? ;-)

Looks like this guy needs some nice clingy gal that feels they “will be everything to each other”.

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mark June 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I’m not surprised the OP is getting the silent treatment. Based on her comment “and is now giving me the silent treatment because I won’t back down on him going”. If that means the OP is constantly pushing on this issue all the time. I probably would give her the silent treatment too. I mean at some point the ‘no’ has to be respected. I would just stop talking and turn up the headphones to just not hear it anymore.

OP, if things are as you say, perhaps you should reconsider your relationship with this guy. You don’t sound like you are very happy and life is too short to stay in an unhappy relationship. If ‘no’ is an unacceptable answer in this case, then break up.

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Cat June 16, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Most women don’t like to attend weddings alone. That is why women in a relationship expect their significant other to be invited as well. Going to movies, to lunch, to the beach, etc. with girlfriends are fine, but parties, weddings, and funerals are events in which a woman expects the man in her life to escort her.
If you don’t step up for those events, be prepared for a very unhappy girlfriend/wife. If you are going for a weekend hunting/fishing trip with your friends, she should accept that. In return, you have to make the sacrifice and share certain events with her.

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The Elf June 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

Sorry, but I’m a woman and I have attended weddings alone. It’s just not that big a deal. Presumably, you know more people than the bride/groom, right? Co-workers, mutual friends, etc? Socialize with them. It’s just not a problem. Same with parties and funerals. Now, if it happened *all the time*, I’d probably want to talk about it and find out why he doesn’t want to come. But 50% of the time? No biggie.

But I also go to movies alone, restaurants alone, hiking alone, and if my husband ever didn’t want to accompany me, travel alone. I’ve spent holidays alone. So maybe I’m just weird. I might be married, and have been since 21, but being alone never bothered me. I like my own company!

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Jeckie June 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Same here. We’ve been together 18 years, and have things we do on our own frequently. I’d rather he NOT go to certain things than to attend something he’ll hate. That just causes me stress.

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Brit June 17, 2014 at 4:27 am

It’s easier to say ‘Stop asking me; I have said no and you need to respect that.’

It’s also a lot more mature than ‘the silent treatment’.

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mark June 17, 2014 at 9:53 am

I’ve been there before, where I’ve told someone no a couple of times and they have taken the OP approach which is to not take no for and answer. So what do you do at that point. I stop talking to them. Engaging them only makes it worse and makes it easier for them to keep harassing you. If they won’t take no for an answer every conversation likely will be turned into an argument about why they demand you accede to their wishes. The only real response is to say nothing.

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Vermin8 June 18, 2014 at 6:31 am

I’m with Mark on this one:
“is now giving me the silent treatment because I won’t back down on him going.” The boyfriend has communicated that – by her own account she keeps bringing it up for the purpose of insisting that he needs to change his mind. It is best to accept his answer and make other plans. If she refuses to accept his answer, I don’t blame him if he is shutting down the conversation every time she brings it up.

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Brit June 18, 2014 at 8:41 am

No, it’s to point out that if they don’t stop, you will walk away from them. Not to sit there in silence.

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Kiki June 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Anyone who uses the silent treatment method for expressing themselves is not mature enough to be in a committed relationship. If you are unhappy, it’s time to move on. People rarely change…no matter how much you want them to.

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NostalgicGal June 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm

My mother would do this to my dad, but only when she was so hopping mad at him she wanted to hide his body. [stubborn vs stubborn] I remember 3 sessions of it, lasting 1-3 weeks; then receiving it when I got married, over the fights we had about her fantasy and my college poverty reality (no way was she going to get anywhere close to getting that thing she planned, she was off by a factor of about 30x). When I was on the receiving end from her I just IGNORED her, so I called and she handed the phone to Dad. I just let her stew or whatever until she finally gave in. Dad, she’d get a rise out of or reaction; I didn’t give her the satisfaction.

I sorted it out with my DH about he’d scream at me to TALK, and I told him if I had something to say I would say it. I will NOT say what you want to hear just to make you quit screaming at me; because. I don’t mean it and you’re not getting your way on this one. So go away. So there isn’t silent treatment but there is the right to say ‘I have nothing TO say’ and leave.

If the OP has been ragging the BF to the point he doesn’t want to hear it anymore, then giving her the silent treatment on this, I can understand only that; he should have listed it more succinctly early on, why he didn’t want to go, and to iterate ‘Please don’t ask me again’. Then the onus is on OP. But in general as this is written, it can be taken the other way, and I reiterate, run OP run.

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Daisy June 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Run like a bunny, honey. A guy who’s a petty tyrant before you marry him is only going to get worse. If you stick around and marry him, you’re going to get a husband who won’t go anywhere , including the kid’s Little League games (too boring), their tap dance recitals, (just a bunch of kids jumping around), their graduations, and every special occasion you ever have.

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phunctor June 16, 2014 at 6:38 pm

His declining to participate in her agenda makes him a petty tyrant. Mote, meet beam.

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Cat June 17, 2014 at 1:01 am

I rather think it is more of the fact that they don’t seem to have a shared agenda that is the problem. Fritz Perls, the father of Gestalt psychology, said, “I do my thing and you do your thing…” but that is not a recipe for a happy life together.

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mark June 17, 2014 at 9:40 am

I agree with you here that is perhaps the only thing we can deduce from this short account. That they have issues with each others friends. And it makes her very mad.

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Lera99 June 17, 2014 at 7:02 am

phunctor, I think you are missing some very key points.

1) He expects her to show up for his functions, but is unwilling to make time for hers. He expects her to hang out with his friends, but feels perfectly comfortable expressing how much he dislikes hers.

2) When she doesn’t acquiesce to his desires, he uses the silent treatment as emotional manipulation. That is super passive-agressive and a huge red flag.

Relationships need give and take. But in this case it appears he expects her to always give and him to always take. And that’s just not going to work.

He’s a petty tyrant due to the silent treatment, not because he doesn’t want to attend the wedding.

Also, we KNOW most men don’t ever want to attend weddings. They don’t want to put on a suit, listen to some Priest/Rabbi/Preacher/Monk/Judge drone on, eat so-so food, listen to a mediocre DJ, etc… As women, we understand that in general weddings aren’t your thing.

But as our partner, sometimes we are going to ask you to suck it up and go.

Just like you’ll ask us to attend sports games we don’t care about, hang out with your friends who tell off color jokes that make us uncomfortable, attend wrestling or MMA fighting, etc…

Couples don’t necessarily share all interests and passions. That is ok. But sometimes you need to be willing to watch The Notebook just like I need to be willing to watch Transformers 17. Sometimes you’ll need to attend a Broadway musical just like sometimes I’ll need to attend Wrestlemania.

The good times is when we both love a thing so we can both be super excited to attend Comic Con or play cards against humanity with our friends.

This isn’t about “He won’t do what she wants so he sucks!”

This is about “He refuses to put himself out even a little and when he doesn’t immediately get his way he acts like a child so he sucks.”

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Jeckie June 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Actually, I don’t think it said that he “expected” her to attend his events. She said she did, but that could be that we are used to things being “couple” events and she didn’t think to say anything about not wanting to attend. Now, if she had said that she told him she didn’t want to go and he insisted? Different story.

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Vermin8 June 18, 2014 at 6:35 am

Years ago when I was in college and involved with my first SO I would arrange my study schedule around when I could see him. One evening I told him that I would like to see him and he said he couldn’t because he said he had to study. I reminded him that I was always there when he asked to see me. He pointed out he didn’t insist on that – it was my choice.
It was an eye opener for me and I learned from it.
So, given that, whether he is refusing to do what he expects from her (double standard) is inconclusive.

phunctor June 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Thanks for your thought provoking reply. I believe the root discourtesy here is that she has continued to push for her preferred outcome despite his demurral. Because of this, the conversation has changed in nature and is now about who is the boss of whom.

He could capitulate and be given Good Boy Pats On The Head. He could confront She Who Thinks She Is To Be Obeyed and tell her to knock off the nagging. Each approach has significant advantages, and costs. It all depends on how much you want those GBPOTHs.

I don’t see the middle ground of not engaging as particularly reprehensible in this context. But it’s useless in resolving the underlying power struggle, which will not spontaneously get better.

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Brit June 18, 2014 at 8:43 am

What about the part where he told her her friends are horrible and boring?

And could we please knock off the sexist rubbish about men not liking weddings? Way to generalise.

Softly Spoken June 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

You may have a point about relationships that I agree with, but I can’t support how you’ve chosen express it here. Why do you assume all women like to attend weddings and men don’t?
For the record, I’m female and 1) like the Transformers, 2) would kill equally for Broadway tickets *or* Wrestlemania tickets, 3) wouldn’t watch The Notebook if my life depended on it.
The suggestion that all men are overgrown children whose S.O’s have to become “mommies” to just to keep them in line is insulting to both genders.

A good relationship isn’t a continuous power struggle between factions, especially not a “war between the sexes.”

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Filmchick June 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm

My husband doesn’t like to socialize and doesn’t care for most of my friends but he’s the first one to make sure I keep in touch with them – going out to dinner, calling, emailing, taking trips – whatever it takes. He just didn’t care to go with me. If your guy isn’t willing to let you go in peace (or if you really can’t deal with going alone) then say goodbye.

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yadayada June 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm

It does sound like it’s time to cut the cord.

But not for the reason most have stated on here.

You can not afford to continue to be in a relationship that keeps you stewed up and angry like this over something that to me is not that big of a deal. Just because two people are in a relationship does not mean that they must like the same people, have to go to all the same places, and attend every event the other person does. Grown adults get to make their own choices and decisions. You can’t MAKE him go to everything you want anymore than YOU should have to go. And I think if you are sitting by yourself staring at your phone at one of HIS events, you pretty much told him too what you think of his events and friends. (right?) You might actually have been at his event, but you weren’t really.

We don’t know the whole story here. We don’t know if they share children for instance, or how much give and take in the relationship there is in other areas of their lives. If he really can’t stand your friends, does he like your family? (that’s the real deal breaker there imo)

As for the “cold treatment”, I’d like to hear his side….maybe he is so tired of the constant hounding, whining and tears from OP that I think I’d revert to a cold silent treatment as well. Sometimes the silent treatment is someone trying to maintain their composure, keep their cool and stay in control–not hostility.

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Daphne June 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Be careful. I had a boyfriend like this in my 20s and when I finally left him he tried to kill me. You need to dump him but you need to be smart about it. Listen to your intuition. If you think he could be violent AT ALL, take precautions to keep yourself safe.
Not trying to scare you but control freaks tend to get worse, not better. Trust your gut.

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Vermin8 June 18, 2014 at 6:39 am

Refusing to go to a wedding with her and/or not liking her friends does not equate to physically violent.
We don’t have enough information to know whether or not he truly is a control freak. All we know he she feels he is not fulfilling his responsibilities as a BF.

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MM June 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm

first he’ll agree to accompany you when you see your friends reluctantly and then throw a tantrum before and after (possibly during!)
then he’ll never go with you anywhere stating how annoying and horrible your friends are
then it’s “i don’t like you when you hang out with your friends because they’re a bad influence on you and make you spend too much money/drink too much/some other thing that sounds like a genuine concern but is actually a passing of cruel judgment”
finally it’s I forbid you to ever see your friends again. People like this have an inexplicable hold on some people. I bet your partner can be really sweet at times so that when he “shows concern” it feels like he means it and if he cares so much, maybe I can compromise by not seeing my friends. Maybe I do turn into an annoying B-word when I’m with my friends. People like this are insidious in the way they can enter your mind and affect how you act around others and around each other.

In order for this to steer clear of becoming a man-bashing comment section, I had a college girlfriend who was similar to this (I came out a few months after we broke up but this had nothing to do with that). she hated when I saw my friends (most of whom were her roommates–we were freshmen in college and I knew no one) because in her mind I ignored her and talked to them. I got along with them really well but I swear I did not ignore her. It came to the point that whenever we were alone she kept asking me if I didn’t like her anymore and demanding that I shouldn’t hang out with them anymore. I mean, it was ridiculous. Finally we broke up because one day I woke up and I realized I didn’t like her anymore. Insecurities are really unattractive especially when efforts to make the person feel better only increase them. So many times I had to reassure that I wanted to keep dating her (although in the deepest part of my heart I didn’t) but my reassurances only made her worse.

OP, I suggest you reevaluate what you’re getting from this guy. From your letter it seems like not much. While I think it’s okay if our SOs don’t love our friends (after so much history, it’s easy to forgive/wave away their faults which may be apparent to a newcomer), a loving, supportive SO would make an effort and try to get to know them. He would not insult them in your presence and refuse to see them ever.

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Meri June 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Honestly, him not wanting to go isn’t what bothers me. Different people have different tolerances and, as long as a couple can come to an agreement about what’s fair, uneven attendance at each other’s events is fine. I’ve been to far more of my husband’s than he’s been to mine- what matters is that he agrees to attend the ones that really matter to me (family gatherings) and he doesn’t care if I go by myself to the rest.

What makes me agree with the “Dump him!” calls is how he’s handling this- the silent treatment and sulking is no way for an adult to handle this kind of thing. The two of you are obviously unhappy- time to move on and find someone who makes you happy.

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David June 16, 2014 at 5:52 pm

I think you should really think about if this is what you want out of your life. It’s been my experience that when someone you are in a relationship with wants you isolated from your friends and family that is not a good thing.

Go to the wedding by yourself though – it’s your friend’s wedding day, why bring Gus Grumpy to cast a pall over the celebration?

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MJ June 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Ditch him, but perhaps offer one last chance to him to grow and evolve. But then ditch him if he isn’t able to grow up a bit. It’s now 30 years since my very similar experience, and between that and having a Father like this, I’ve stayed happily single most of that time, not knowing what I’m missing.

You sound young and bright enough to adapt and find a better partner, and I wish you well.

We’ve all thought a lot about the issue of petulant, self-indulgent men who we might love but can’t thrive with, and I’d like to open the conversation up just a wee bit.

These boymen did not happen overnight. There were women in their lives asking nothing of them and indulging the monster that they have become from birth to what passes for adulthood. Watching a teenage nephew, I see it now, and at this point, with a brain that won’t mature until his mid-20s and hormones in full flush, he is biologically unable to rise above some urges.

Why doesn’t he have to grow out of it? Because the women and men in his life don’t set different expectations. He is this way because his world allowed it, and we are that world. We help make these monsters, so where does our responsibility lie?

OP has indulged for two years the same sort of isolating and hostile behaviors so many of us recognize, and we blame him. He’s just doing what has always been accepted and normal, and likely (when he pulls his head out) is surprised that some are offended.

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Just Call Me J June 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Run. Run away now. He’s not going to change this pattern of not caring about events unless they’re “his” events, and the isolation will get more and more restrictive.

As for the wedding, go by yourself. If you drag him to it, at best he’d just whine about how he was sooooo booooored the whole time, and that’s no fun for anyone.

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starstruck June 16, 2014 at 7:37 pm

i guess i will be the lone wolf here with my opinion, but there are usually two sides to every story, and for some reason i feel like there is something missing here, this girl is leaving out. maybe her friend really is a horrible person and her boyfriend isnt willing to go fake nice for a whole evening with someone who he never wants to see again. we have no idea what kind of history they have. she said he has only been to five events in two years? who keeps track of that? its probably way more.but even if its not, we have no idea what her family is like, and maybe five events a year is being generous. we have all dated that person who has a crazy family and/or questionable friends. its hard. you love your significant other but have to grit and bear their family. and who knows, maybe her friends and family are fine and he is just a jerk who isnt making the effort. he should suck it up for her sake. and if he doesn’t , then she needs to move on to someone who is willing to make the effort to be a part of her whole life which includes family and friends. if he doesn’t then he isnt looking to lay down roots with her and she is better off without him.

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Meegs June 17, 2014 at 9:21 am

There are not always two sides to every story. Trust me, there wasn’t in my case and obviously many other posters’ in this thread. Some guys are really just selfish jerks. I know, because my ex was one of them.

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starstruck June 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm

actually, there is. in the south we say, no matter how flat a pancake is, it still has two sides. lol like i said, maybe he is jerk i don’t know.but to me it sounded like there could be more here. thats all.

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Vermin8 June 18, 2014 at 6:42 am

You are not the only one Starstruck. And just because someone is a jerk (which is inconclusive from this account) doesn’t mean the other person is behaving well.

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Meegs June 18, 2014 at 10:03 am

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. The only other side to the story in my case was that my ex was a mentally abusive jerk. And I suspect I’m not alone in this experience.

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starstruck June 18, 2014 at 5:06 pm

i am sorry for your experience :( at least your better off without him. thank goodness. i would love to hear from the boyfriend in this story. i will say, that in the beginning of a relationship we all play nice with the friends of the person we are dating. you got to make a good impression and win the friends over at first. but two years in, if the friends are that bad, its easier to tell him i love you, but i don’t like your friends. maybe this is whats happening with this guy. as long as he doesn’t try to keep her from seeing her friends , he is free to spend his time how he pleases. thankfully i like all my husbands friends now but i haven’t always. in the past there were some real stinkers. lol

starstruck June 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

also , ive noticed several comments on him being controlling and not letting her see her friends and family and reading her story carefully she says nothing of the sort. the boyfriend never says SHE cant go , only that he doesn’t want to go. there is a huge difference.

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Cami June 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

I would ditch him solely on the silent treatment and here’s why. Apparently, my mother did this to my father (and other people) prior to getting married/having kids. According to my father, it never occurred to him that she would do it to her kids. But she did. She’d get mad at us and refuse to talk to us. Not one word. And we NEVER knew why she was mad. Seriously NO idea. She wouldn’t tell us, she wouldn’t tell my father, she wouldn’t tell her mother. All we knew — at the tender age of 3 or 4 or 5, etc, was that our mother would not talk to us. I probably really cannot convey how horrible that was to a child, so dependent upon a parent’s love and affection.

It’s emotional abuse. It really is. Later on, I also realized it was a way for her to”win” 100% of the time. She got to control the relationship without doing anything “loud”. But control it she did. Until I realized what she was doing and stopped caring.

So I’d dump him, if not for myself, for any future kids I’d have with him who might be the victims of this hideous behavior.

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Vermin8 June 18, 2014 at 6:43 am

I understand. My mom would do that to me (still does) and doesn’t understand why I don’t turn to her like many women do their mothers.
However, if she keeps bringing up the subject and he has already given his final answer, that’s no better. In that case, shutting down the discussion to discuss other things isn’t emotionally abusive (in fact, I could argue that her refusal to drop the subject is).

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The TARDIS June 16, 2014 at 8:14 pm

I hate to sound like a devil’s advocate, but the impression I’m getting is the OP is nagging him to go so much he gives the silent treatment because “no” isn’t good enough to make her back off.

However, if he starts forbidding her from seeing her friends, that is a very big red flag and she needs to leave him.

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mark June 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm

I’m wondering the same. Maybe what we should really be doing is advising this guy to to run from his nagging girl friend.

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The Elf June 17, 2014 at 11:21 am

You have a good point. I think one thing everyone here can agree on is that this couple isn’t in a healthy relationship.

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Liz June 16, 2014 at 9:35 pm

My first thought was: Why would you want to subject your friend to someone that doesn’t want to be at their wedding?

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Brit June 17, 2014 at 4:31 am

Good point.

I would also lay money that the friend can’t stand the OP’s boyfriend.

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Noodle June 16, 2014 at 11:26 pm

I find myself wondering what the other side to this story is. It doesn’t say that he is forbidding her to see her friends or family, just that he doesn’t really want to be included.

I ended up being like this with my son’s grandparents (paternal; my own parents are deceased). Every time I tried to establish a relationship with them I was met with condescending comments about my ethnic background, my perceived socioeconomic class (an assumption they made based on my ethnic background), and the fact that I was adopted. It was awkward at best and infuriating at its worst. I decided after my son was born that it would be best to distance myself from them not only for my own sanity but also to reduce the likelihood that they would start saying those things in front of my son. It caused a lot of fights with his father but I stood firm.

Maybe OP’s BF is being petulant but maybe there is more to this than he is letting on. She doesn’t mention if he gave any reasons as to why he thinks they’re horrible and boring.

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Noodle June 16, 2014 at 11:28 pm

I forgot to add that it never even crossed my mind to forbid my son or his father from seeing the grandparents–I just bowed out myself.

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cicero June 17, 2014 at 5:30 am

totally agree with the Admin on this one. BTDT and trust me when i say it never gets better, only worse.

Your BF doesn’t have to like your friends. your bf is allowed to think they are stupid and boring. your bf is allowed to disagree with you. but what he should do is put on his big boy undies and go *because you asked him to*. and while at the wedding – he should act like he’s having a good time. because that’s what people do in a relationship.

I went through this with my now ex husband. I went along on his outings, movies, weddings of his family etc, but when i wanted him to come with me he would pout, find some reason why he was having a terrible time, pout some more, make it so uncomfortable that we ended up leaving early. there is a reason (a lot of reasons) that he is now an ex.

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Mya June 17, 2014 at 8:12 am

I think the story is lacking in context and perspective. You’ve been with him for 2 years. I think it is important to determine exactly what the pair of you want out of the relationship. How old are you? Are you living together? These factors put the situation in context. If you’re not living together and aren’t aligned on the ‘serious commitment’ side of the relationship, then it’s not surprising that your Boyfriend is reluctant to get involved with ‘family’ events. Perhaps he doesn’t want that level of commitment out of your relationship?

If you’re in a committed relationship and present yourselves to others as a ‘united front’ rather than individuals, then he SHOULD participate in family events etc.

I’ve been with my partner for 6 years and we’ve lived together for 3. From the outset we both agreed that we were ‘in it for the long haul’. We were both looking for a potential long term partner and so the success of our relationship has naturally progressed into living together, engagement and trying for a baby. But these are things we BOTH want and we BOTH made clear right from the beginning.

It sounds to me, OP, as though you both want different things out of the relationship and it is probably time you sat down and talked about it then agreed mutual expectations. If he won’t have that conversation then you should value yourself more than that and tell him you’d like to spend some time apart. If he wants what you want then you need to talk about the responsibilities that entails – such as attending family events and weddings of friends, and agree a level of involvement that is fair to both sides.

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Library Diva June 17, 2014 at 9:34 am

I disagree with others that this guy sounds like a potential abuser who’s trying to isolate OP from her friends. I do think he sounds very immature, though. He has that eight-year-old’s mentality of “I won’t do it unless it interests me,” and he can’t handle conflict well. He sees how important this is to you, and he still won’t suck it up for one night. If there’s a real reason why he doesn’t want to go, he’s not communicating it to you.

It sounds like you’re at a crossroads. For two years, you’ve tolerated going to things alone. But his attendance at this one is so important to you that you won’t back down despite his silent treatment. Why? Only you can decide if this relationship is worth being in, but like the others, I would suggest you think about it long and hard, or resign yourself to going to social events by yourself.

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mark June 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

Quite frankly neither of them appears very mature from this short account.

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Elizabeth June 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

If he isn’t interested in your family, friends, interests … then he isn’t that interested in YOU.

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lkb June 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm

I’m torn on this one:

I can see from the male respondents here that it is possible that the OP nagged the bf so much that he’s shut down.

I can also see that, depending on the rest of the relationship, that the OP can suck it up and go solo, a few of my friends from various stages of my life came solo to my wedding, which was sweet of them. (Their significant others were invited but chose not to come. That’s their business.)

However, I know from personal experience and close-hand experience what it may be like for the OP: I recall a friend of mine from high school took up shortly afterward with someone who seemed to isolate her from her friends. I heard through the grapevine about a camping trip with other friends from high school. The guy pretty much stuck to himself all day and then the both of them left without explanation in the middle of the night. I believe they married but it did not last long at all.

I also recall dating someone for a year or two(?), who did not like to socialize at all. We went out one or two times with my friend and her fiance and also to my employer’s Christmas party but that’s all. I chalked it up to his being shy (which he was) but he always seemed to not really pay attention to things that were important to me. The straw that broke the camel’s back of our relationship was: First, he declined to go to my Dad’s retirement party (okay, fine, a weeknight that would have been difficult for him to schedule around), but then the evening of the party, he calls wondering where I was at the usual time we talked (I had reminded him several times about my dad’s party). We broke up soon after and I soon met and married someone who has my back like I have his, 26 years later. (But then so do the friends who went stag to my wedding.)

Perhaps it’s time for the OP and the BF to sit down and hash out what exactly is so “horrible” about her friends and also what can each of them do to survive those “boring” events the other wants to attend. Possibly both of them could learn the art of “small talk”, rather than looking at their phones.

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Mya June 18, 2014 at 3:28 am

It really worries me how immediately the comments here have jumped to ‘OMG potential abuser’. As I said in my previous post we have little context in the original post to enable us to jump to this conclusion immediately.

If the poster and her boyfriend aren’t living together, then it puts the ‘behaviour’ in a different light – I think we should be cautious of jumping to conclusions.

I agree that it doesn’t sound like their relationship is healthy but that may simply be because they want different things out of the relationship or it has reached a natural conclusion and he’s prevaricating about ending it.

Either way, OP, you need to have that difficult conversation and be prepared for him to say ‘I think we should go our separate ways’, or YOU be prepared to do it.

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Angel June 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

To me this is a huge red flag in any relationship. You have been together for 2 years and he’s been to 5 events, that doesn’t seem like a lot. But if seeing friends and family is important to you, I wouldn’t waste time on a guy who doesn’t value this. If he doesn’t value seeing your friends and family he probably doesn’t value you all that much either.

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Jo Bleakley June 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

I’ll be another lone voice disagreeing that she should dump him and run. They’ve been together for two years, so there must be SOMETHING there. I also get the impression that the silent treatment is possibly a result of her going on and on about him going.

My Other Half and I lead very seperate lives sometimes. We have some of the same interests, but our real passions are polar opposites. I don’t like some of his friends, he doesn’t like some of mine. It took me several years and lots of arguments to learn that nagging really doesn’t work. They just switch off and literally don’t hear you.

I’ve learned to go to him, calmly and quietly and say, “I know you don’t want to go to *thing*, but it is important to me and I would really like you to come with me.” Then I walk away and say nothing more about it. On all except one occasion (and I understand why he didn’t go that time), he’s come up and gone, “What’s the dress code? What time are we meant to be there?”

It works for arguments too. “What you said/did really hurt my feelings. I can see you’re upset, so am I. We’ll talk about it more when we’ve both calmed down.”

The OP doesn’t say whether or not she nagged, whether she explained why it’s important, or any of the real details. Saying dump and run is a bit knee jerk and premature in my opinion.

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Emmy June 19, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I agree. I think part of the issue is the OP attended several events she found boring for her bf’s sake and he won’t return her the favor. They need to have a talk. I do feel the boyfriend would be a hypocrite if he expected the OP to attend his events, but won’t attend hers. Maybe he didn’t know she found his events dull and is happy to go solo to more work events and other events she would find boring. If the OP finds herself very disappointed over this issue, it may be time to move on to another relationship. Unless all the OP’s friends are part of one group that is rude, cliquish, ect., I find it odd that her boyfriend would have such a strong dislike for all her friends. I can see if he doesn’t click with any of them, but to label them ‘horrible and boring’ seems to reflect more his attitude then any problem with her friends (especially if he barely knows them because he won’t accompany the OP to gatherings).

I do think the silent treatment is a terrible way to handle a problem. However, if this is a situation where the OP is nagging him and not satisfied with any explanation, I imagine he is exasperated. However, if he just decided to shut off instead of discussing the problem and trying to come to a compromise, that would say a lot about his character.

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Enna June 21, 2014 at 9:04 am

If this bf won’t do anything with you than that is not a good sign. Does he say how your firends are bad? For example: they always ask you to buy them drinks and talk behind your back? What are his firends like? Does he have any? If the answer is he has no firends why does he not have any firends? Could it be that he is too much of a scrooge? He could want to contorl you. But then if you want to go to the wedding then go: don’t feel that you have to have a man in your life to make it possible.

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 24, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Wow! It seems like almost all of us have met or dated “that guy”. The one who can’t see past his own needs, insecurities, self-centered ways, and plain bad manners. Why do we fall for this stuff? (Not all of us, but some of us). Maybe we don’t want to be alone. We’re already weary from a bad family of origin or bullying in school or some other trauma. Or our parents were less than ideal role models of healthy relationships. Life is indeed too short. If you are being abused verbally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or financially- if you are being isolated, made to feel as if you are not enough, made to fear being left, made to feel badly for asking for support then DO get out. It won’t get better. It will get worse. One kid, four kids, no kids, sad, sick, broke- whatever the excuse, don’t let it stop you. There are better ways to spend the very little time that your lifespan is than wasting it on a man like this. You might as well pour water onto concrete and hope for a harvest as to pour so much love onto a willfully hardened heart and hope for a return. Many years ago, a friend’s baby sister left an abuser. He was in shock. He spent two years wooing her back and she fell for it. Having kids and having to face the struggles of supporting them alone was not easy, but she was making real progress. Once he had her back and they remarried, he went straight back to his old ways. There was no more incentive to reform. Myself? I never went back. It’s not all awesomeness but the journey has been better since that decision.

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