Author Topic: I know this is for women only, but I'm going to conspicuously hang around anyway  (Read 9800 times)

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etiquettenut

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But the only thing the only male present/alpha male in that territory didn't do was piddle in the corners of the room....

I feel like that's exactly what he was doing; lifting his proverbial leg on the gathering to mark "his territory." What a boor.

VorFemme

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I meant really piddle in the corners of the room - but he certainly did the other alpha male dominance displays, didn't he?
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

SiotehCat

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If I were in the OPs position, I would have left. If asked why, I would say something about how I had signed up for a girls Bunco night and this is not what I had in mind.

Afterwards, I would send an email clarifying the rules. If Amy cannot host without her husband hanging around, then she needs to find a new group.

tinkytinky

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I wonder if Amy and her husband had words beforehand. I get the impression (I wasn't there and it's hard to judge exact tone and wording) that he really didn't want Amy to even have the get together in their house at all. almost like, "if I act like a boor, they won't want to come back" type of attitude. and Amy sounded like she was trying to make light of the fact he wasn't leaving by acknowledging the fact and changing the subject, kwim? like "yeah, yeah, we know you arent leaving.....now girls how about some beandip?"  now if she were joking with him and encouraging him, yeah, that would be rude.



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mspallaton

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It is amazing to me how people react so strongly to the characterization of banished and yet jump to the worst possible conclusion about the nature of the husband's behavior.  There is nothing in the OP that makes it sound like he was marking his territory or asserting dominance or any of the odd descriptions posters have jumped to over the course of five pages of discussion.

And I'm sorry - dislike of the term banished aside - if there is an understanding that him sitting in a common area of his home and speaking to guests (or there is a time limit to such behavior) then he is being banished.  The fact that is doesn't happen right away doesn't change the expectation that he either cease participating or leave.

I'm glad a couple of posters have pointed out that they too would be uncomfortable with a mandate of little to no presence of their spouse while hosting people in their homes, but deeply distressed that later posters again jumped to assumption that he was being willfully rude (as opposed to playful) and that there is some marital issue at play here.

At the end of the day, at least, the OP has gotten cogent advice from posters on both sides and the solution appears to be the same - talk to Amy, explain the "rules" and let her make the choice on how to deal with it.

AnnaJ

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It is amazing to me how people react so strongly to the characterization of banished and yet jump to the worst possible conclusion about the nature of the husband's behavior.  There is nothing in the OP that makes it sound like he was marking his territory or asserting dominance or any of the odd descriptions posters have jumped to over the course of five pages of discussion.

And I'm sorry - dislike of the term banished aside - if there is an understanding that him sitting in a common area of his home and speaking to guests (or there is a time limit to such behavior) then he is being banished.  The fact that is doesn't happen right away doesn't change the expectation that he either cease participating or leave.

I'm glad a couple of posters have pointed out that they too would be uncomfortable with a mandate of little to no presence of their spouse while hosting people in their homes, but deeply distressed that later posters again jumped to assumption that he was being willfully rude (as opposed to playful) and that there is some marital issue at play here.

At the end of the day, at least, the OP has gotten cogent advice from posters on both sides and the solution appears to be the same - talk to Amy, explain the "rules" and let her make the choice on how to deal with it.

But Amy agreed to host, and was certainly aware of the expectation that her husband wouldn't be participating in the gathering...again, the fact that her husband made such a point of saying he knew it was 'just for women' makes it clear that she had told him.  If she, like other posters here, was not comfortable with this situation she should have dropped out of the group once she realized it was counter to her beliefs. 

This is why I, and I suspect other posters, do think that either Amy or her husband or both were rude.  Either Amy had no intention of hosting a women's only event or she asked her husband for the simple courtesy of not plopping himself in the middle and he chose to behave like a jerk.  Honestly, those really are the choices.

BarensMom

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To me, the obvious solution is for the rest of the group to decline to attend the next "Bunco" night at Amy's.

SiotehCat

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To me, the obvious solution is for the rest of the group to decline to attend the next "Bunco" night at Amy's.

That sounds like the best solution for Amy, but not for the group. That option means she gets to be in the group without actually hosting the group.

mspallaton

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It is amazing to me how people react so strongly to the characterization of banished and yet jump to the worst possible conclusion about the nature of the husband's behavior.  There is nothing in the OP that makes it sound like he was marking his territory or asserting dominance or any of the odd descriptions posters have jumped to over the course of five pages of discussion.

And I'm sorry - dislike of the term banished aside - if there is an understanding that him sitting in a common area of his home and speaking to guests (or there is a time limit to such behavior) then he is being banished.  The fact that is doesn't happen right away doesn't change the expectation that he either cease participating or leave.

I'm glad a couple of posters have pointed out that they too would be uncomfortable with a mandate of little to no presence of their spouse while hosting people in their homes, but deeply distressed that later posters again jumped to assumption that he was being willfully rude (as opposed to playful) and that there is some marital issue at play here.

At the end of the day, at least, the OP has gotten cogent advice from posters on both sides and the solution appears to be the same - talk to Amy, explain the "rules" and let her make the choice on how to deal with it.

But Amy agreed to host, and was certainly aware of the expectation that her husband wouldn't be participating in the gathering...again, the fact that her husband made such a point of saying he knew it was 'just for women' makes it clear that she had told him.  If she, like other posters here, was not comfortable with this situation she should have dropped out of the group once she realized it was counter to her beliefs. 

This is why I, and I suspect other posters, do think that either Amy or her husband or both were rude.  Either Amy had no intention of hosting a women's only event or she asked her husband for the simple courtesy of not plopping himself in the middle and he chose to behave like a jerk.  Honestly, those really are the choices.

Again - I don't think it was obvious.  I never once met someone who took a 'girls night' so seriously that it would actually be considered rude if the husband hung around for more than a few minutes.  I'm not saying such a group doesn't exist - obviously from this thread it does.  But I think it is an unfair assumption to claim that they "had to know".  They didn't have to know and the most forgiving interpretation of their behavior is that they didn't.

Teenyweeny

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It is amazing to me how people react so strongly to the characterization of banished and yet jump to the worst possible conclusion about the nature of the husband's behavior.  There is nothing in the OP that makes it sound like he was marking his territory or asserting dominance or any of the odd descriptions posters have jumped to over the course of five pages of discussion.

And I'm sorry - dislike of the term banished aside - if there is an understanding that him sitting in a common area of his home and speaking to guests (or there is a time limit to such behavior) then he is being banished.  The fact that is doesn't happen right away doesn't change the expectation that he either cease participating or leave.

I'm glad a couple of posters have pointed out that they too would be uncomfortable with a mandate of little to no presence of their spouse while hosting people in their homes, but deeply distressed that later posters again jumped to assumption that he was being willfully rude (as opposed to playful) and that there is some marital issue at play here.

At the end of the day, at least, the OP has gotten cogent advice from posters on both sides and the solution appears to be the same - talk to Amy, explain the "rules" and let her make the choice on how to deal with it.

The thing is, Amy knew the rules. She's been to 6 such events, and openly stated that she knew her husband wasn't supposed to be around. Casually assuming that the rules don't really apply to you is rude. Of course, Amy is free to dislike the rules, but, you know, she wasn't conscripted into this bunco club.

Sometimes my wife has get-togethers with her old school friends. I understand complete that I am not welcome at those events, even if they are hosted in our home. There's a specific vibe that they want to have, and including somebody not from that original group alters the vibe. I get it.

It doesn't mean that I have to be like Harry Potter at the Dursleys', making no noise and pretending I don't exist, it just means that I hang out in another room for a few hours. If I need something from the room where they are, I can get it, and I'll say hi, but I won't attempt to include myself in their gathering.  Certainly if I had an issue, I'd raise it with my wife beforehand. I wouldn't be a big baby and try to force the whole situation to bend to my will. And if my wife felt uncomfortable excluding me for the evening, the right thing to do would be to be honest with her friends, not to try to passive-aggressively alter the nature of the event.

Amy and her husband get no passes from me. The group is what it is, accept that, or go elsewhere for bunco. Is that really so hard?



AnnaJ

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Again - I don't think it was obvious.  I never once met someone who took a 'girls night' so seriously that it would actually be considered rude if the husband hung around for more than a few minutes.  I'm not saying such a group doesn't exist - obviously from this thread it does.  But I think it is an unfair assumption to claim that they "had to know".  They didn't have to know and the most forgiving interpretation of their behavior is that they didn't.

Perhaps it's a cultural difference - I've been in several groups that are hosted by one member of the family and it is understood that other members of the family are welcome to say hello but are not expected to stay.  To me once Amy's husband made it clear that he knew he was expected not to join the group but still planned to stay it meant that he knew and decided he didn't care what the group wanted. 

mspallaton

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I've said my peace.  Knowing they were "rules" instead of a cute little "ladies only" giggle is NOT a fair assumption, even after six months.  Saying "I know I shouldn't be here" sounds verbatim like something I or my husband would say in jest.  It goes without saying that Amy can find a new group if she doesn't like the rules.  It does NOT go without saying that Amy and her husband were rude - only that they were mistaken.

Since I am in a cycle of repetition here, I will bow out after this - especially since I do think the OP has gotten good advice on how to resolve the situation.  I'm just surprised at how many people jumped to the worst possible conclusion on Amy and her husband's behavior.  That is not something I've seen here on other threads.

TurtleDove

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My experience with girls nights is exactly the opposite of yours, mrspallaton. When I host a girls night my husband may it may not be home. If he is, he is likely to poke his head into the room to say hello to my friends, perhaps a minute or two of small talk. And then he goes and does his own thing. Same thing for my friends' SOs. I have never had it happen where an SO inserts himself into girls night in the way Amy's DH did. I find it quite rude, especially because he and Amy knew the rules if the bunco group.

blarg314

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The thing with this rule is that it requires the compliance of people outside the group. Amy's husband is not part of the game group, but he is being expected to abide by its rules, in his own home.

So I would say that the husband was not actually being  rude - he was interacting with people in his own home, and using his own household resources. It's perfectly within his rights and etiquette to not be okay with spending an evening hiding in the bedroom, away from the kitchen and computer, because his wife's friends want him to hide. If anything, the guests are being rude to object to the presence of and interaction with one of their hosts.

In this case it's up to *Amy*, who *is* a member of the group, to either come to an agreement with her husband, or to tell the rest of the group "Hey guys, my husband really doesn't like being kicked out of the house while we play, so we can either play with him around, or we can have someone else host."


MurPl1

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I think you say something to *Amy*, not to her DH.

I don't think it's fair to ask people's spouses to leave the house or hide in the bedroom.

The guy was probably reacting a bit defensively and territorially to the idea that he's not welcome in his own home suddenly. So I wouldln't go there--it will just emphasize the very thing he's reacting to.

I think you check to see if other people felt the same way, and then you sort of announce now and then, "Remember, the idea is that spouses and kids aren't supposed to be part of the group, so clue them in before we come to your house." Don't single Amy out--mention it here and there.

Say stuff like, "Thank you DH for us, for letting us gab, just the girls."

And then say to Amy, "Don't forget--it's just us girls. I know it seems antisocial to the guys, but it's one night a year. Would you ask your DH  to fade out for the night."

Or you say to Amy in quiet, in a personal way, "What was with your DH? All the other guys fade out for the night and leave us alone; it's only one night a year. Does he have an issue with that? What's up?" And speak w/ her as her friend.

Yeah I can see that, I mean, about it not being fair. But that's the agreement of the group. If you can't host according to the agreement, then, well, I hate to be harsh, but you shouldn't be in the group. Our agreement is that you'll have three tables and 12 chairs and snacky foods and wine. And that husbands and kids will be scarce.

Now, if for some reason, you can't provide one or more of those things, it's perfectly understandable. But then you can't expect to be hosted by all the other members and then not do your part when it's your turn.

I'm not sure I could say anything like what you suggested without making it painfully obvious that it was my way of complaining about her husband. I mean, this has never been an issue before and if I said something to the host about thanking her DH for letting us gab, people would think I'd gone nuts.

I guess saying something to Amy would be preferrable... I'm not sure how I would put it as other than bunco, I don't know or socialize with Amy so we're not really friends.

But you *are* complaining about her husband and justifiably so.  There is nothing wrong with complaining provided you aren't making making personal attacks or yelling at her.  And honestly, I find it better to complain to her than about her.