“My husband is a keen golfer and is very involved with the running of his local club. He’s been spending a lot of time at the club house lately – much to my disgust, as I really don’t think it’s safe. He also chooses to get very involved in the many social activities, which, before the pandemic, seemed to take place every other week.
“Over the past couple of years, I’ve accompanied him to nearly all of these. I’ve come to realise, though, that I really don’t like these people and I’ve better things to do with my life than socialise with them so often.
“I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if my husband didn’t feel obliged to stay right to the bitter end of every single social event! By this time, I am usually frantic to get away, and this has been the cause of some heated arguments. Despite this, I still don’t think my husband realises how much I detest his golfing activities. I don’t begrudge him playing the game, but why should I have to take part too?
“He wants to organise a special event for December – lockdown restrictions permitting – but I’ve told him I really don’t want to go. We’ve had a huge row about it and he’s currently not speaking to me. We’ve got an otherwise very happy marriage, so why can’t we find a way around this?”
“I can understand your frustration, but this really is a question that you should be putting to your husband. I imagine he is hoping to be elected club president at some point and feels the need for someone (ideally you) to support him. He wants you there to help keep the conversations flowing, but some people are cut out for this role and others aren’t.
“If you really hate going to the parties and social outings so much, then there really is no point in your being there.
I suspect everyone knows you’re there reluctantly anyway, as a miserable guest always stands out.
“While the pandemic has been awful for everyone, the lockdown has probably been a good opportunity for you to opt out of these events. You can avoid the December party by making a strong case for it being unsafe to get people together at this time – even if the official rules have changed by then. However true that may be though, you need to find a more permanent solution to get him to understand that you’re not prepared to accompany him to these events all the time.
Like most things in relationships, what is needed is compromise…
“Like most things in relationships, what is needed is compromise. Perhaps you could agree to go to one or two important events each year with him, if he doesn’t push you to attend everything he wants to organise. If he still puts pressure on you to go, though, point out that he would surely have a better time if you weren’t constantly trying to drag him away early.
“One final thought, I think it would be a mistake to completely stop going out with him. If golf is his only sociable outlet, this might be the only leisure time you have together. That’s not healthy and it could be that he’s pouring all his energy into his golfing socials because he’s missing social interactions of other kinds.
“Could you consider organising social events you would both enjoy and get him to accompany you to those? You might achieve a better balance in your marriage if you could do some things, together, that make you both happy.”
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