My husband always accepts invitations without consulting me. On many occasions I am unable to attend due to conflict. He gets very mad and still goes by himself.
All his friends ask about me and he portrays me to be disinterested in our social life together. This is a major cause of conflict. Please how can I handle this?
Your husband simply does not believe that you are “an individual before being a couple.” He also does not know how to communicate. This is a major issue for couples. To him, you are one, your interests should be the same and you should like and enjoy what he likes and enjoys. But this is far from the truth because you are each your own individual and you have different interests. This is a big problem for couples, as they don’t understand that though you are together, you are still individuals and have a right to stick to your interests. Of course there are many things you ought to do together as couples but it is equally important that you do not lose your sense of identity.
Now instead of saying to the friends who invited you, “Thanks but let me speak to my wife, we would confirm later”, he goes ahead to accept and worse he does not communicate until a day before the event and you are supposed to scramble to make adjustments, and cancel everything else including that important meet and greet with the folks from the office. Of course you are very upset at this point and he doesn’t get it. He makes the worst blunder by saying, “Why can’t you go? Is this not more important than everything else?”
You know some men just do not know how to separate the “Me before the We” and then they also do not communicate effectively. In relationships it is crucial that each partner recognizes the importance of giving each other space or what is popularly known as “me-time”. Everybody deserves sometime alone to do things that are of interest to them. This is where trust comes in. Couples do not need to worry about what he is doing or who she is with if they have trust and confidence in their relationship. It is perfectly all right to hang with the girls or guys as the case may be without any fear of temptations. Couples must learn to enjoy their own company outside of the relationship.
The second factor in this piece is effective communication. Communication must be clear, concise and delivered when it can be most effective otherwise it can lose its meaning. It is imperative that you listen, talk and wait for feedback. It is most annoying to talk to someone and he either ignores you or just continues a different conversation as if you said nothing. Couples should invest in small classes on effective communication. It is important.
Your husband needs to understand these two lessons. On your part, slowly bring him into understanding that you have interests that may not be his interests but that with the power of an organizer, both of you could start a monthly planner of events right in your kitchen. Begin by listing all your activities for the month. Encourage him to inform you on time about friends’ anniversaries, birthdays, hometown meetings etc. that you are not privy to. This way, you can decide what activities can be canceled to accommodate the other.
There is no need to fight, just fix the problem.
ν Dr. NJ