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Husband Hates Socializing

Husband Hates Socializing

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Dear Rachel,

I am a very social and outgoing person, yet I am married to someone who is just the opposite. This never really was an issue when we dated since when we were together, I didn't want to be with other people. But ever since we got married last year, it has been a strain. I want to go out and do things and he wants to always stay home. He is quite friendly and people really like him, so that is not the problem, he just never wants to attend social functions or socialize really at all. I am meanwhile feeling trapped and just want to go out but I feel strange attending an event without my husband. What do you suggest?

Trapped Social Butterfly

L.A., CA

Dear Trapped Social Butterfly,

We all know the saying that opposites attract, which while it may be very true, also means that there will be plenty of glitches to work out. You write about a common problem in many relationships. More often than not, one person is much more of a home-body and the other can't wait to be out every night. So how do you make it work?

For starters, it is essential that you have an honest and direct conversation with your husband. While you may assume he knows how you feel and that you want to go out, have you told him how important social outings are for you? Since you mentioned that when you dated it was not an issue, it is quite likely that he is not aware that it is an issue now. So before anything else, sit down and in a calm and warm way, let him know that while you absolutely love spending time with him, you also really feel the need to be with others as well and you want to socialize more.

Assuming he is aware of this, then comes the part about compromise. Chances are that he will never be willing to go out as often as you would like, and you will never be happy staying home as often as he would like. So you have a few different options. For one, the compromise is coming up with a schedule where he agrees to go out with you and you agree to not ask him to attend every event but rather choose the ones more important to you that he attend.

Have you considered that maybe when you do go out you are socially comfortable and start talking to people and he gets left in the dust? If he feels awkward around others, the more effort you put into including him in the conversation and speaking to him, the easier it might be for him. Also, make sure that there will be people he knows and wants to spend time with when you go out. It is always hard if one person knows everyone and the other doesn't, especially when the one who doesn't is anyway more naturally anti-social!

Another option is speaking to him about events that he would prefer you attend with a friend. There is no reason to feel guilty if you attend a dinner with a girlfriend if your husband would prefer to not go and is fine with you attending. If anything, it is a great opportunity to spend quality time with single friends. Now that you are married you may forget how awkward it is for those who are not to attend events that are filled with couples. Think about your friends who would love someone to go with them, and make plans with them. Then you are not only getting to go out but you are really helping make a friend more comfortable at the same time.

Lastly, if you know your husband likes to stay home, bring the party to your house. You write that he is friendly but just doesn't like to socialize outside of the house. Speak to him about how he feels if you were to invite people over. A great thing to consider would be inviting a few friends over on Friday night for Shabbat dinner. This way you get to stay in the comfort of your own home and yet you also are able to socialize and spend time with your friends.

Rachel

"Dear Rachel" is a bi-weekly column that is answered by a rotating group of experts. This question was answered by Sara Esther Crispe.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a non-profit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org and wrote the popular weekly blog, Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Rere Kentucky September 26, 2017

I have talked to my husband about him not wanting to do anything and it ends with us fighting. He says go by yourself. I say I don't want to go by myself I want to go with you. He says he don't like going to places I want to go to. Like shopping and restaurants. A short vacation to Tennessee.By the time we stop the discussion I have said thing I don't mean like Maybe I should find someone that wants to do things with me then. And he says if that's what you want to do go ahead.. I took years of him being so jealous he wouldn't even let me work. I did anyway because if I didn't we could keep up with the bills. We both have retired now but even though I have aged I know there would be problems if I did go out with friends ( Haven't had any friends in so long I would have to find one) or by myself. Sometimes I feel trapped lonely and not loved. Please don't let it get like this. Work something out don't be isolated and live just for him. Reply

Anonymous SC August 25, 2017

This advice, if taken without really thinking it through, can really backfire.

Remember that your introverted spouse really really feels stressed when pressured to socialize too much.

If you push your spouse with even subtle threats that you're trying to save the marriage, that's only adding more stress.

You need to really put yourself in your introverted spouse's shoes and understand him. Recognize your need and recognize his need and get your social needs met in healthy ways first before pressuring him.

Meanwhile, find his stress limits and work within them.

Before marrying my spouse I had dinner parties quite often and held fellowship groups in my home. I loved it!

So I was so sad to find out he really resisted every time I suggested getting together with others.

I figured out his limit is an outing with others once every 3-4 weeks. Meanwhile, I gather with friends on my own and rest in the fact that my husband provides for me. I connect a lot on the phone. Reply

Anonymous san jose, ca July 22, 2017

Husband is anti-social My problem is that my husband really does not like me socializing with people that I work with it made me look anti-social , his opinion is better to spend tome with family then with other people, he does not try to get that I need friends , Lonely wife Reply

Rita Kentucky June 22, 2017

My husband has always been like this. Does not like eating at restaurants, family reunions, going on vacations or shopping, A new restaurant the answer is no. He does try every now and then for me but it is there and back. I have lived like this for so long that I have started getting anxiety when I talk to friends family.I am starting to also feel as if i don't belong anymore. I have almost shut down and don't talk except on Facebook or web. I don't like being this way so I forced myself to talk to every family member at our reunion but was so nervous I probably talked to much and I bet my nervousness showed. If you have a husband like this don't give up your life style keep living or you will fall into the same pattern. Reply

Anonymous BIRMINGHAM September 22, 2017
in response to Rita:

This is exactly me! I used to be so social, outgoing and careless. Now I'm less social, hate going out. I even get nervous from asking him to go restaurant, fearing the usual 'what's the point' 'no!' and 'go with your friends'. he just doesn't seem to understand that I want to do it with him. But yeah I am really trying to not let his way take over the way I used to be. i try my best to go out with my friends or Just alone. Reply

Jasper July 24, 2016

My opinion(reply to it) For 3 years I rarely went out and never met her family. Since we got married, within a year, there have been 5 events I just had to attend because it was important and if I did not, 'I must not like her family'. Every other week its an issue that we do not go out.
Once again for 3 years it was not an issue like it is now.
So her family calls or texts to set plans, I get pre-irritated knowing what is coming. I try to explain I do not like attending anything, she can go it"s her family. I try to tell her she needs to go do things without me if she wants. I like to sit in the domicile I pay for monthly and eat the food I pay for and use the power that gets billed to me every month. That is why I work. But since we are in this onegether I do not care if she is out enjoying herself as long as its responsible, the same goes for me.
I just don't like crowds or functions. Reply

Anonymous Los Altos Hills May 3, 2016

I have this similar problem. My suggestion: compromise. We agreed to have one social event per month he will attend. I then go to events without him, but the ones that matter, I ask him to join.
This has worked out well for us. Good luck. You can still socialize without him. Do some things together, some things apart. I find the more you sit down and agree to a plan, the happier everyone is. Reply

Anonymous USA March 16, 2016

I'm living the same for 15 years, my husband is a good guy, he prefers just seat on the sofa and watch tv. I'm the opposite I love to dance and socialize. I would say he won't change if you really love him you'll learn to live with it. Although I got really tired of it now and I want to go out and dance with some friends, I will do it but not to often, at the end he's my husband and I love him no matter what. Reply

Lily USA January 19, 2016

husband Anti-Social My husband has no friends and really likes it that way, he likes going places but only when its him and me. He really prefers his shop and restoring cars than people. I'm the opposite I have to have other people to talk to. He prefers to have a root canal than associating with other people. Reply

Anonymous Tucson January 17, 2016

Socialize is not the point. I am not one who likes to travel to some family get together with my wife's family. Not that I do not like them but I feel it is somewhat pointless to travel 3000 miles to spend time with 10 people who I never communicate with and then have fun. I do not have fun. We hang out doing silly things that is not very comforting for me because this is not what I envision a vacation to be. I cannot relax when they pull me to do this or that or just sit and read or whatever. My wife loves it and I find it to be pointless fun. Then they sit and drink themselves into a stupor while I do not drink. It makes no sense for me and I let my wife know that. So I compromise for the benefit of everyone else. Not fun!

I like to snowmobile, ski, trail run, canoe and activities like that which are outdoors. Travel to new places.

My wife does not engage in these type of activities any longer although she use to in the past. Now after 40 years of marriage there seems to be this divergence in interests. Reply

Anonymous NYC October 16, 2015

Why Are You Insulting The Husband By Calling Him Antisocial? Maybe his wife has intrusive obnoxious friends and he rightfully wants to avoid them.

My point is, suggesting that his wife bring their people over so her husband doesn't have to go out to socialize I think misses the point if, If he doesn't want to socialize at that moment. I would think having people over would make it worse. Reply

Anonymous sc August 25, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Exactly what I was suggesting in another comment. What's wrong with accepting that he's not that social?

My husband honestly tells me, "I'm not shy, I just don't like it- it's like work to me."

Figure it out - you can be happy and social and stay happily married to an anti-social guy-- really. I promise.

I was single for years before meeting my hubby. I have a million friends from that season in my life. If nothing else - call them-- meet with them- make sure he's not feeling left out, but get your social needs met. And get his need to space and rest away from people met too. You can do it! Reply

Anonymous October 10, 2015

SAme here My husband is exactly the same. Married for 20 years.. with lots of pblms.
One thing to understand is socialize doesn't always bring good. They all just party and say bye. At the end of the day the real relationship works only with husband. Whats most important in life is peace in home. You have to deal with it. For me, leaving my husband is beyond option. It is hard but had to live with. Reply

Anonymous October 1, 2015

Mismatched = Miserable! What horrible advice! She married him knowing how he was, so there was no surprise that he was a homebody. Why does she think she can change him now? Absolutely no foresight was made for their future, they would've been happier marrying someone closer to their personality type. Do NOT attempt to change a spouse. Consider both of your traits while dating and then think five years ahead. If you're still okay with each other's quirks and can live with them long term then you're both good to go. If not, move on. It's unfair to try to force changes that will damage your relationship. Reply

Kez Oxford, England August 12, 2015

Do your own thing You absolutely have to do your own thing. You must go out with friends, or make new ones.
There is no reason for a woman to stay at home just because his husband is a crushing bore. This is not the 1950s.
You'll probably find he's relieved that you can go out without constantly hassling him to join you.
Accept your differences. Allow him his quiet time and get out there and enjoy your own life. Reply

Anonymous August 29, 2014

my god what bad advice! If your husband would rather be at home than socializing, do NOT under any circumstances invade his (hallowed and secure) space with a social event. This is gasoline to a fire - he will find excuses to leave his house on Fridays. Probably to just sit in his car somewhere and spend hours resenting you. Reply

Sarah August 27, 2014

"When will women stop trying to change men?! It is completely unfair and dishonest to be one way when you're dating, and then flip-flop after you get married. Leave him alone and go to your events yourself. If your too self-conscious to go by yourself, that's your problem, not his. If you make him come, you're using him and being selfish. Why can't women take care of their own needs WITHOUT HELP the way men do?"

Misogynist trolling much? Reply

Anonymous August 22, 2014

You knew he didn't like to go out, and you still married him. Now you're upset. When will women stop trying to change men?! It is completely unfair and dishonest to be one way when you're dating, and then flip-flop after you get married. Leave him alone and go to your events yourself. If your too self-conscious to go by yourself, that's your problem, not his. If you make him come, you're using him and being selfish. Why can't women take care of their own needs WITHOUT HELP the way men do? Reply

Elle Maryland June 23, 2014

please learn about introverts! It's too bad that so many cannot empathize with introverts. Small talk is toxic, and we only bond w/ certain people. Don't ask introverts to change, just like you wouldn't ask an extrovert to stop being social. Read the comments below for all the different types of misery that result when we force people to change their natural ways. The key is compromise, and most people gloss over the best solutions: "I feel strange going w/out him" or, "He says I can go out without him, but I feel bad." Either you feel awkward/bad, or you feel trapped. Stop feeling bad. Go out w/out him. And compromise: ask him to accompany you to events that have a serious social consequence if you went alone, like weddings. Leave him out of work events. Ask him to go to your friends' birthdays, but leave him out of casual weeknight hangouts. If he doesn't let you go out without him, break up. If you can't go out anywhere without him, break up. Healthy adults talk, compromise, and find the courage to say goodbye. Reply

Seth April 9, 2014

He's an introvert - get used to it. Your husband is an introvert; like I am. I test at 95% introversion on the Meyers-Brigg test. Go with a friend and leave him out of it. We hate socialisation in big groups like that. It takes me a week to recover from a big party as it's fairly traumatic and exhausting. Hell, I won't even travel to visit family. Enjoy activities together at home or QUIET places (coffee houses, nature/outside or small intimate groups of friends -not to exceed 4 people) that only you two are interested in for your togetherness. For those who are marrying an introvert, this is your reality. Think twice if you don't think you can live with it. :) Reply

Anonymous February 15, 2014

Excuses! If your focus in life is SOCIALIZING (and you're over the age of about 25) then you need to evaluate your priorities in life. Your CAREER and FAMILY should come first. After that, if you still find yourself with too much free time... try EXERCISING and taking COLLEGE courses. Whatever time is left over after that- should be dedicated towards socializing. Don't forget all the little things it takes to be successful in life- credit repair, saving $ (which means less socializing), clean up/organize your personal space (office, house, car etc). This is what I CAN'T STAND about "social butterfly's": for example, I generally enjoy socializing BUT...not at the expense of all the priorities I listed above! Social-heads will label me anti-social or "boring". I hate that! They only do that to try to manipulate everyone else around them (their partner) to be more social! I guess so they won't feel bad about ignoring REAL priorities in life. Reply

Anonymous February 1, 2014

Same Problem here.. Omg! Anonymous nz, my husband Is the Same!!
Except my family lives nearby, so i can visit them..
It Is really Frustrating and also egoistical unfortunately.
We talked about it often, but he will Never Change and also doesnt want to.
So I am trapped at home for 4 years. I Wonder how Long i have the power to stay with him :/ Reply

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