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Fight with DH...not sure where to go (long)

ksmom14's picture

DH and I have been together for over 6 years. We got together soon after I moved to the state (not knowing anyone) and him going thru a divorce (and losing any friendships he did have because BM "won" those friends). So it's just been the 2 of us most of this time.I have a friend from high school that moved to the area that I go out to dinner with at most every other month. DH started a bowling league that goes every Tuesday after DD18 months was born because he needed to get out of the house for himself.

I'll try not to make this too long but DH and BM broke up, largely because she cheated on him. Well leading up to the divorce BM had gone back to school and spent a lot of time out going to "study groups" or "girls nights" with her new friends. I guess this has really stuck in DH's head because he does not like "girls nights". As in he promised himself he would not be okay with those in any future relationship and now has told me "he's gone back on his promise to himself" regarding these since I go occasionally. 

When DD18 months was born there was a coworker (I'll call her April, and her husband Cory) my age that had a son within days of DD18 months. We have since bonded and hang out outside of work frequently, as families, with kids and husbands, with just kids, no husbands, and sometimes just girls. She has introduced me to her large group of girlfriends that have kids similar ages as my DDs, which has been great. DH has had a little bit harder of a time acclimating to the new group of friends, which I think is normal for guys, but he gets a long with Cory just fine. 

April mentioned going to an event this weekend that I've wanted to go to for years, but have not been able to go to. We talked about going last year and brigning the kids, but we never ended up going. I asked April if we should bring our kids, and she responded that Cory didn't want to go so we could leave the kids at home and make it a girls day. I know DH didn't want to go to this event, because he didnt' want to go last year and complained about it so I figured that would work out.

This basically pushed DH over the edge, he keeps saying that he feels excluded and has caused a big fight. He keeps telling me that he thinks April is driving my relationship with her and that I'm just a doormat because when she wants to do a girls event I don't push back to include DH. In reality April just invites me to things she already has planned and I dont' feel like it's my place to invite my DH when it's suposed to be a girls outing. Our converation ended with me saying "I know you think April is making me a doormat, but I don't, and the only person I think I'm a doormat with is you". 

The other issue is that when DH and I go out just the two of us he does not like for us to talk about work or kids (which I totally get), however I literally have nothing else going on in my life, its, work, kids, gym, grocery store, repeat. When I feel like I finally have some opportunity to get out of the house myself (he has his bowling) and have some interests outside of just being a mom and wife, I end up feeling guilty about it. 

So, do y'all have girls only nights? Am I out of bounds here pushing to have some independence from my relationship? I honestly feel like this might break my marriage...I don't know what to do. 


ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

If I had more friends out here. i honestly would have some. I miss hanging out with people I'm close with. 

You should have friends. it's not like you're hanging out aloe with some random male. I don't see the issue with it.

You should still be an individual when in a realtionship. I get your DH has built up mistrust thanks to his ex. BUT, you've shown you can be trusted. So he needs to trust in that. You should be able to do things without him occasionally.

tog redux's picture

Let's see - last week I went out to dinner with a friend on Monday and had wine with 3 other women from work on Thursday.  If I want to go out with a friend, I let DH know to be sure there isn't a conflict, and he says, "Have fun!" (Oh and by the way, his ex cheated on him, too).  Same goes for him doing things with his friends. 

Your DH is really controlling. 

STaround's picture

But you do not have small children.  I do think that both parents should have the same amount of free time, but with young kids and a tight budget that might be tough

tog redux's picture

That's not the point.  She asked if people's husbands had trouble with them doing something with other women.

And he has his bowling night weekly.  It has nothing to do with money or the baby, as far as I can tell from her post. 

Why must you be so contrary all the time? 

ksmom14's picture

I would definitely say DH gets time out more often for his bowling. He's gone for probably 3 hours every week for his bowling. 

I go out with my high school friend for about 3 hours (which includes over an hour of driving) every other month. Recently I've started going out with April here and there for a girls thing, which has added up to maybe 6 hours over the last month at most.

Money isn't an issue.

tog redux's picture

Would you keep a chart on the refrigerator or something? You know, to make sure no one gets more time than the other?

This isn't about a time balance.  It's about her husband not wanting her to do stuff that he "doesn't approve of". I'm guessing if she wanted to spend three hours a week with her grandmother, he'd be fine with that. 

STaround's picture

It is about time balance very often.  I did say unless he agrees to a fair split, they should cosider counseling.  Sometimes people cannot communicate their concerns, and counseling can help. 

hereiam's picture

I haven't had a girls night in awhile but my DH has never minded when I've gone out with friends. He trusts me. It sounds like your husband has a correlation in his mind between girls nights and BM's cheating.

It's good for couples to have their own interests and friends, as long as it's balanced. If couples start spending more time apart than together, it can become a problem.

ksmom14's picture

I think he believes that a girls night out is just all about bashing your spouse and complaining and that means the end of the marriage eventually (because that was his experience) 

We go out and do things as a couple frequently, and I even tried to point out to him that I don't ONLY do things with April as a girls only thing, that all of us (husbands and kids) have done many things. The only way things would be unbalanced is because DH doesn't seem to have guy friends to go have a "guys night" with, but should that then limit my abilities to go out?

hereiam's picture

His not having friends is not your problem or not having anything else to do is not your problem, that is his choice (and he does have his bowling night).

I don't mean it has to be balanced as in, if you go out, he goes out, it just shouldn't take over the relationship, like going out every night (which I know you don't).

If all women wanted to do was husband bash, that could be done without going out. I have better things to talk about with my friends when we go out. Besides, I don't talk bad about DH (even if I'm upset with him) to my friends, most of them know him (and like him) and I don't think it's right.

Your husband is a bit paranoid!

tog redux's picture

Seriously, he's rather full of himself to think that all you talk about with your friends is HIM, lol. 

ksmom14's picture

Thanks, yea I feel that DH can be very needy...he's the type of person that doesn't need or understand alone time which can be very frustrating. I need alone time sometimes, not a ton, but I need it and he only sees it as me not wanting to be around him.

Also, during this conversation he said "well you go have your fun, and when the opportunity arises for me to go boating that I'll go" because we had an argument last year during boating weather, he wanted to take off work and go and I could not because I didn't have vacation time available. So he wanted to go boating without me (which is fine by itself) but he wanted to invite another couple (male and female) and another female (single) coworker. I don't feel like that's comparable because I'm not going to be around someone of the opposite sex who's half naked. Not to mention I HATE when he makes things a tit for tat scenario. I did not want anything in return when he wanted to go bowling every week, I just wanted him to do it because it made him happy.

tog redux's picture

For the record, I also wouldn't care if DH went boating in that scenario either - because I trust him.  In fact, one of his best friends is a woman and I have no problem with that. 

Sounds like the lack of trust goes both ways in your relationship. 

advice.only2's picture

Relationships cannot exist in a vacuum, you both need healthy relationships outside of the marriage to help keep you both balanced.

DH should support you growing healthy friendships and vice versa. His issue of mistrust is with his ex and should not be carried over and placed on your shoulders.

How would he feel if you told him your ex boyfriend bowled and played footies across the lanes with other women, therefore you can't trust him every bowling alone...sounds pretty silly huh?

ksmom14's picture

I guess I just feel lost now...I feel like I deserve this right to have friends outside the relationship, and DH somehow sees it as me excluding or not wanting to hang out with him. 

I honestly feel like this will cause a major issue in our relationship. Is this a cross to die on? I guess that's something I need to figure out for myself, but I just don't want it to be, but feel like it already is.

Monkeysee's picture

Your DH not wanting you to have friends outside your relationship is not ony controlling, but also a form of abuse. Abusers alienate & isolate their spouses from outside influences, including friends & family. It’s not ok.

tog redux's picture

Yes, I agree. He's being very controlling. "I don't want you to hang out with your friends because my ex-wife did that and it led to our divorce".  Welp, I'm not your ex-wife!  That's a bullshit excuse.

My DH's ex-wife also had affairs, but he knows I am not like her. 

SteppedOut's picture

Monkeysee is 100% correct! I suffered this way. I was completely isolated. Do not let yourself get to the point you have nobody "in your corner" EXCEPT him. 

DPW's picture

Of course this is a cross you want to die on....

1. Your DH is bringing in toxicity from an old relationship into a new relationship... not fair

2. You have to have friendships for a balanced life.

3. Your DH is being controlling

4. This is your DH's issue, not yours. Why should you be accommodating his ridiculous fears? Send him to therapy to deal with them. 

hereiam's picture

He wants you to be a co-dependent. Not good, and yes, it is a cross to die on (it would be for me, anyway). You have every right to have friends outside of the relationship.

ITB2012's picture

You both have the right to have friends, relatives, etc...your village. 

It took me a long time to find a group of women friends after my divorce. I had plenty of general friends and couple friends, but no girlfriends. I had my village after my divorce but realized I had lost connection to my girlfriends.

I don’t even ask DH. I tell him I’m going. And I love having girlfriends. We don’t bash our men. Pretty much the only mention of them is if we agree to ask one of them about something they know to give the info to another girlfriend. And I’m in a good mood when I get home.

Frankly it bothers me my DH has no guy friends. Work friends but he doesn’t have a dude activity he does. He should. 

Monkeysee's picture

Your DH not wanting you to have girls nights isn’t ok, it’s controlling & is entirely about HIS issue. It’s not appropriate to invite your DH to things that are supposed to just be for the girls. I ended a friendship a few years ago with someone because she kept doing exactly that & it was both rude & really irritating. Co-dependency at it’s finest.

Your DH needs to deal with his trust issues & deal with the fact that sometimes you’re going to do things with just your girlfriends. That’s a totally normal, healthy thing for someone to do. 

sunshinex's picture

I have a 17-month-old with my husband. He doesn't have too many friends nearby. I have a couple girlfriends. I tend to have more time OUT of the house than he does, but he has more time IN the house than I do, if that makes sense. If I need "me" time, I have to go out because my son will not let me put him down lol. He is very attached and he sleeps with me/wakes hourly all night so I really go crazy staying home all the time. I go out for the day with girlfriends once every week or two. 

He doesn't go out much, but he gets tons of "me" time at home because the baby is always attached to me and sleeps with me. He can play video games for 3 hours before bed while I'm upstairs with our son getting up hourly, so it works for us. I did plan a boys night for him, though, and he's going to another city to spend a couple of nights with his out-of-town friends this weekend. I really wish he could get out of the house more but his friends aren't close by so I had to plan something for him.

Point is, we both see the value in "me" time and know it's very, very important. Anybody with young kids should have time to themselves when they need it. Hell, anybody WITHOUT young kids but in a relationship should have time to themselves when they need it. It's also important to take personalities into consideration. Prior to our son, I went out overnight, after work, etc. all the time and my husband didn't mind. I'm not a homebody in the slightest - I hate feeling cooped up. But if my husband was feeling a bit left out or neglected, he'd let me know and ask for a night-in where we focus on eachother. I was always happy to oblige. 

Siemprematahari's picture

Your H's insecurities from what happened in his 1st marriage are really showing and those are issues he needs to work on. As much as time together benefits you both so does time apart. You are your own individual and should maintain your own identities.

So don't be afraid to spend time away from your H. Have a talk with him and give him reassurance that his past experience is not something he has to worry about now. You have to be able to reconnect with yourself.

Step-girlfriend's picture

I regularly have girl's nights and my SO gives no shits about it. He does not have a lot of guy friends and almost never goes out, but if he did I wouldn't stop him. He's very supportive of me doing things I want. I have also gone out several times with a mostly-male group of coworkers and he doesn't mind that at all either.

I understand the fear your DH has, because I have been cheated on several times. But that doesn't make it ok to control your spouse and restrict them from having friends. Friends need alone time to grow that relationship- not everything is done with couples only.

ksmom14's picture

Thanks everyone for your support

I'm not sure how best to verablize to DH that I want time to be an individual and do girls nights without him spinning it back to me "excluding" him. How best do I explain to him that it's not that I don't want him around, but that it's just a different friendship. I guess I just don't know how to explain to him that it's different having a girls only outing vs. having my husband there.

tog redux's picture

You can't explain it to him in a way he will get - he doesn't want to get it. Just go do it, and let him handle his feelings. 

Monkeysee's picture

Why does he always need to be included? That’s really strange. I wouldn’t dream of inviting myself out when anybody DH goes out with his friends. Nor do I mope around the house when he’s out, moaning to myself that DH didn’t include me. Why should he include me??? 

Why should you have to include your spouse every time you spend time with your friends? That’s not healthy, no matter how you play it. Couples need time away from one another in more ways than just being at work. You need to find your spine with this man, his expectations are outrageous. He absolutely needs counselling. You both do.

ksmom14's picture

We work together we eat lunch together every day too!

We don't work directly with one another so we only see each other occassionally in the building, but always lunch.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Your H's emotional baggage is impacting his present relationship. 

You already handle the lion's share of household labor. In fact, you put up with quite a lot. But it seems as if your H wants to keep...draining more life force from you?

Please assert yourself and claim some space for yourself in your relationship. You're not doing anything wrong or abnormal. Look, I get it. I'm married to a socially inept man diagnosed with chronic depression. He depends on me a lot for emotional support, but I've learned the hard way that I need to include other things and other people in my life in order to maintain my equilibrium and emotional health.

You're a lot of things for a lot of people - wife, lover, mom, stepmom, friend, co-worker, etc - but if you don't prioritize your own needs, you'll find yourself depleted and unhappy. Stop allowing your H's insecurities to dictate what's best for you, and take care of yourself.

SM12's picture

In my first marriage I was forbidden to do anything outside the home like girls nights.  I could spend as much time as I wanted with my family or his but no friends.   I went out one night with the girls while he was out of town. His mom told on me and I got a raging phone call from him (states away) telling me what a terrible mother I was for having my Mil watch the kids so I could go to dinner with the girls.

I refuse to be told what to do now.  My DH is my best friend but I still enjoy girls day out or spa days. It’s healthy and necessary to have that time away.  Your DH is being selfish for wanting his time away but refusing you to do the same.

i once told my DH that by holding on to tight he would push me away vs bring me close.   Let me breath and I will come to him.


futurobrillante99's picture

I think the safest translation is, "I don't want to watch the kid so you can have fun!!!!!!!"

It's okay for him to do it because "that's YOUR job" to take care of the kid.

still learning's picture

I've been in a similar situation with exH and from experience he will not listen to you and this won't resolve itself.  Your best bet is to go to couples counseling so a neutral outside source can talk to him rationally about the both of you needing your own lives.  

If this continues unchecked it could get real ugly.  exH constantly accused me of cheating even if I went for a walk around the block.  Turns out that he was having a thing with one of his therapists (he had some health issues), he was the one who was messing around not me.  Then there are men who will cheat first because they think you're going to cheat on them anyway.  

Do not isolate yourself for his sake. You are allowed to have fun and friendships independant of him.  

I promise he won't change if you stop going out. He'll only get worse and start monitoring your phone calls, emails, accusing you of cheating while he's at work...

Bottom line, get help. A Needy Insecure Clingly Emotional (NICE) husband is above your paygrade. Do it for your daughter so she can see what a healthy marriage and happy momma looks like.  

Aniki's picture

I agree that your DH is carrying over his emotional baggage from his previous marriage to his current marriage. Does he not trust you??

BioHo is a serial cheater and was unfaithful with countless men. Her inablitiy to keep her legs closed has absolutely NO effect on our marriage because DH trusts me. DH and I work separate shifts, so we each spend quite a bit of time alone. My DH is not a very social creature but he occasionally has a few drinks after work or meets friends for lunch/drinks. He actually thinks that *I* spend too much time alone and wants me to be more sociable than I am.

I think this is a question of Why Doesn't DH Trust You.

bananaseedo's picture

Ok, just food for thought.  When a guy strangles you (figuratively speaking) doesn't it make you want to run away from him?  I'm wondering how he was in his 1st chicken or the egg.  Did his own insecurities push her away to the point of an affair just to get away from his stanglehold?   Or did what SHE did cause him to now thing everyone is the same as her.  I don't know.  Things to ask yourself.   When you ask most women why they cheated (not talking about serial cheaters here)-it's for a result of neglect, emotional/verbal/abuse, or extreme control that pushed them away. 

Your dh's expectations are NOT normal-nor is his feeling 'not included' -so WHAT if you aren't always included or WANT to be w/out him? That is normal and healthy, we are still individuals are we not? Put your foot down and let it fall where it may.  Yes, marriage is a priority but sounds to me like you guys have plenty of alone/couple and together w/friends time enough that you can have girl time just like he has his bowling time.

I would let him deal with it and let him know in no uncertain terms that his insecurities and issues from his past or just that, his past and HIS to deal with. 

Cover1W's picture

What first stuck out to me in your original post is that he thinks April is too controlling of you.  My exH said this of at least one of my good friends who I got together with frequently.  And so I stopped doing it so often.  And then a cascade of mental abuse started and served to make me question whether I needed friends or if I could even do things with people without him because he'd get upset about my not making dinner, who I was with (was I having an affair with someone or someone from work?), what I was doing or wearing or whatever...

I'm not saying that's your DH but it just caused my skin to crawl.  It sounds like your friend and you enjoy each other's company, that's that.  With or without kids to get together, and with or without other people.  It's normal.  As for the boat, using that as a "gotcha" is also a problem - my ex did this as well, he's complain I didn't have enough vacation time (I did, but I had to schedule it and can't just take off with a day notice most of the time) and then if I couldn't go, he'd just go anyway and rub it in, and then not make it up with me for more time together.

I never worry about DH doing things without me and vice versa.  We make sure it's good for our schedules and go with it.  Friendships are important for both of us.  I meet people for lunch, drinks, shopping, dinner, just to hang out, etc. 

I would watch to see if he gets worse about it if you continue to do it.  That would be a red flag.  Does he not want to take care of your DD?  Is that a problem for him? 

Livingoutloud's picture

I have regular girl days or nights out. When I’ve met my DH I warned him that’s important for me. He knew it and wouldn’t dare to object. In fact he likes it that I am social.

I had an exSO who objected to my time with my girlfriends. I’d never go for it again. I’d not be married to someone who objects to it. Saying that, if I went with girls all the time, it would be weird. I think healthy balance is important. 

momof3smof2's picture

My biggest regret from my first marriage is that I allowed myself to be secluded from anything outside the relationship. I didn't have girlfriends. I didn't have "me" time. That very much contributed to the breakdown of my marriage.

So, what your husband is insisting on would be a deal-breaker for me. I have hobbies I spend a lot of time on now. I also have friends with whom I have girl's night. This doesn't have to be expensive. I host "girls night" at my house every month. We hang out and play board games or watch movies or do puzzles or whatever. The activity isn't important, it's the time that's important. Heck, last year we spent months using these girls nights to make decorations and such for the wedding of one of the "girls".

Independent time is important, in my opinion. I'm curious why your husband thinks it's okay for him to have a hobby/alone time, but not you. That would be a big red flag for me, and not one I'd be willing to live with.


Curious Georgetta's picture

and  well rounded when you met. Neither of you should have needed tell other to make you whole. In a healthy relationship you would have been to whole and happy people coming together to to complement eat other.

A spouse is a partner not a possession You are not joined at the hip.

Neither of you seem trust the other and seem to feel as though you have the right to dictate the circumstances in which the other can spend  free time - him with the girls night out and you with the boat situation.

You seem to be 2_people who have not given your partner a reason to be jealous or controlling and yet you are both controlling.

Maybe counselling would help.