husband is "social butterfly"

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
husband is "social butterfly"
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 4:11pm
Hi I am 31 and married to a wonderful 34 year old man was married before. We have a fantastic stepdaughter (8 y.o.) and have a decent relationship with his ex. We have a great relationship and I hate to call it a problem, but my frustration is that my husband wants to go out more than I do. By "going out" I mean both of us going down to the bars with friends and staying out late sometimes til close. We have his daughter every other weekend and do not go out those weekends, but lately he wants to go out at least once during the week and on our "off" weekends, both Fri. and Sat. nites. He is a very responsible person in a high stress job, a police officer. He and his ex never went out during their relationship, they married young and "played house" for 4 years, so to speak. During their marriage his best childhood friend and college roommate, also a police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty. He had a brief and bad experience with a counselor then. I think he desperately regrets missing out on times he could have spent with his late friend. Also I think he realizes he is getting older and is clinging to this as something to keep him young. Several times I have opted out and let him go by himself but he acts like a hurt pup when I don't go. I am not concerned at all about him cheating on me, I trust him completely. It is getting to the point that I am not having fun and am resenting it all. Maybe it is just me getting maternal and wanting to be a homebody. (I have noticed that urge for kids is stronger lately, and we have discussed that and have a plan). When I try to bring up how I feel, it seems to hurt his feelings. Being a "social butterfly" seems important to him. I know it is not a major crisis but I don't know how to approach this. Please help!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 7:00pm
Itseems that compromise is in order. it isn't fair of him to pull the hurt puppy act every time he wants to go out. Why not create a schedule of how often you join him and how often the two of you go out together but without friends.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 7:48pm
"I can't understand what's wrong with Jay. He's turning 35 next week and he says he's down about it. I pointed out to him that we've got everything that anybody culd possibly want. We've got a nice enough house, and we've got a couple of decent cars,a nd of course we've got Sarah. And we share the travel trailer payments and options with my parents and we can pull that anywhere we want to go and take vacations like retired people. We alway take a trip every year to the NASCAR races with my parents. What else could he want?"

A lady at work said that to me the other day. I just about died.

What else could a 35 year old guy want that has been married since he was 26 and had a child and responsibilities since he was 27? Well, let's see. He could want some time to himself to pursue riding that Harley he bought and restored in his limited spare time in the last few years. He could want to take a few outings with the guys to fish and hunt, that having a child, and a wife, and obligations seems to have put the lid on. He might want to take his wife on a few dates or on a vacation without the obligations of Sarah and the rest of the family.

It's like I told her - being a husband and father and provider is just three aspects of the many facets of Jay. And he needs time and space and ability without being hounded for being wrong, bad, or inappropriate to pursue those personal goals and interests provided that he's not robbing the food off their familial table to do it, or depriving her or the child of his attention overmuch.

And that is what happens to PEOPLE (not just men) that have children early, and play house to quick. They never get the opportunity to fully define and establish an idependent identity....and they're left to do that in the miniscule moments of time and energy that they have outside the scope of what is massive responsibilities.

I'd say to consider something..and this might be far reaching becuase you give limited info about your situation.

He's 27? and he's got one child that he's responsible for financially for a lifetime. For putting thru college, for assisting in pursuing her independence. He's got some help with that in the form of her mother and you - but that is alot of obligation for one guy - and tat's just the financial aspect, which is the easy part. He had that child at an age where he was barely educated enough to have formed any idea of what he wanted in life as a whole and who he wanted to be...and he jumped into the venues that were most available and he MIGHT be considering total relocation, or he might just be figuring out that venue suits him just fine.

But, look at your financial situation and your total situation. Are you two prepared at this stage of the game to retain your personal independence...while handling the obligations of part-time parents while apparently you share few interests and goals? And then to add to that - are you thinking there is security in adding a child to your equation?

Personally today, as cold as it sounds, I tell women NEVER to have more children than they could fully support in the standard they desire on their own - independent of assistance. There's just no telling what can happen - especially in terms of police work. I've been there and done that, used to be in that.

So if a year from now you had a child but no husband due to a situation completely beyond your control - could you personally fully finance that child and rear that child in teh standard you desire, while still (if the situation were not divorce but death) still fulfill his obligations to the original child -= including and especially the rearing of her/him and not necessarily financial support?

If not...don't have more kids. At least not right now. For practical reasons if nothing else.

That said, it doesn't sound like he's had many friends (not uncommon for cops) and he was looking to this marriage to provide him with a companion and companionship. Someone to share his interests, and participate on his playing fields. You two might sit down and find out (albeit a little late) if you two really share the same vision and goals of marriage - now that you're married.

Some people view marriage as an insititution to which they're obligated to be in for social convention and familial acceptance, and they're obligated to provide support and assistance of a financial nature - but they were NOT looking for a "friend" in this relationship - they have plenty of those with no intention, desire, or willingness to give them up or the activities they dow ith them. That's a long street to walk.

Other people view marriage in that same way but with the expectation that this person will automatically become their best friend and companion, and do everything they do to some extent, and that ensures they'll never be alone or lonely again. That's a hard row to hoe.

So sit down and discuss what marital partnership means to you both - it can't hurt and it'll just lead to a world of enlightenment. And then let him tell you how he feels and what he wants regarding this going out all the time, and whether that is something he desires to do on an ongoing basis.

And then you see how that fits in with your goals, standards, needs, and requirements and you all can begin to compromise.

But what won't happen is compromise based on assumption. That'll lead to confrontation and concession...which inspires resentment and anger.