Couples Only?

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chowder

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Couples Only?
« on: November 06, 2021, 12:08:37 PM »
There's one couple that H and I socialize with occasionally, and H has known them for many years before I entered the picture.  As time went on, I thought an independent friendship was developing between us two ladies.   

Recently this couple asked about getting together on a particular date.  H was going out of town, so I said to the W that I'd love to see her, let's just the two of us get together for lunch.  She said no, let's wait until your H gets back.

Whatever the reason, I'm not sure.  Maybe she's not comfortable going out without her H.  But my feeling is now I'm reluctant to get together with them, for varied reasons on my end.  There's a history of H's presence dominating in many situations.  His family is large, for example, and I've got no family.  I do have independent ways of achieving satisfaction and dignity in life, but in some situations there's a history of my feeling like the appendage.  I really don't enjoy it.  This seems to be one more added to the list where nothing will happen without H. 

Has anyone else had this experience?   
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 12:12:50 PM by chowder »

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Worthy of Care

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2021, 12:26:49 PM »
but in some situations there's a history of my feeling like the appendage.

Chowder,

I know the awful feelings that come up when feeling like "the appendage." Those feelings have been resurrected for me lately. Her response sounds painful. Also disappointing when you were hoping to develop the relationship without H included.

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chowder

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2021, 02:33:58 PM »
Hi, Worthy,

Thank you for your kind words and validation.  I'm sorry you've experienced that appendage feeling too.  Sometimes I can see those scenarios coming, sometimes not.  Hopefully you have additional outlets and areas to have fulfillment in other ways. 

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Cascade

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2021, 07:33:34 PM »
Is it possible that this woman is somewhat  quiet and likes the thought of there being more people there to carry the conversation?  Or maybe her husband doesn't like the idea of her doing things without him being along?

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11JB68

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2021, 12:25:14 AM »
 :yeahthat:
What Cascade said...
Sadly I am often that woman, who finds out hard to get out with girlfriends, without Updh....

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SonofThunder

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2021, 08:52:22 AM »
Just throwing this in the mix;   If i were to hang out with just another guy (not my son or son in-law), my uPDw becomes very PD suspicious that i am doing something behind her back (2 guys out flirting with other women).  I dont look at it a as traits of paranoidPD, as my understanding is that disorders in different clusters donít mix with other cluster disorders, but rather as my wifeís NPD/BPD pride that her spectacular image (of herself and in the community) could be tainted by my lewd behaviors lol,  and an easy tool for PD control and manipulative behaviors to be asserted on me by my PDwife.

Luckily im an introvert so i have very few close friends (preferred) and so knowing that guy-outings by me are simply fuel for PD accusation, i just only hang out with adult son and/or sil if looking for guy-time.  Its a boundary on myself for reduced PD experiences and do not look at it in the Ďcaretakingí realm, since im an introvert.  If i was an extrovert, i would simply hang out with the guys and toolbox my way around her questioning afterward. 

Therefore, this woman you discuss, may be an appendage yes, but she also may be choosing an easier route for herself, to avoid PD behavior (questioning) from her husband.  In addition, since my PDw accuses me mostly regarding activities i believe she is doing herself (projection, smoke-screening, hypocrisy), this ladies husband (if heís PD)  may actually be doing the things he accuses her (in private) of doing. 

I believe my wife goes out with her girlfriends and flirts with guys, if the opportunity arises.  It feeds her ego imo. 

SoT
« Last Edit: November 07, 2021, 09:07:16 AM by SonofThunder »
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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2021, 10:38:33 AM »
Bummer. I can see why that hurt. Iím sorry, and it would be hard for me too not to take it personally. When/if you do get together as couples again, youíre likely to be very vigilant about the dynamics among the group.

My T suggested this technique to me so Iím going to pass it on: Write down your interactions in a journal. What was said and how you felt. The nonverbal stuff. Just observe. I did this when I was figuring out my uPDMIL, and it was so eye-opening. I did it for past experiences as well as recording her week-long visit  :aaauuugh: in close to real time. The patterns were before me in black and white. It may be there are disordered dynamics with this couple and perhaps not. You are definitely and understandably bringing your own stuff with you here. But if you are feeling a certain way about them itís worth paying attention to that. With my MIL, a big part of the confusion with her was I was accused of being paranoid and determined to see her as the same as my admittedly more disordered parents. But nope, the data is in and itís her.

Your conclusions may vary. But even if they themselves are okÖ itís still ok to take care of yourself if the situation is not good for you. A uPDH can certainly manipulate things to be unpleasant for a spouse.  :'(

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chowder

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2021, 11:26:08 AM »
What interesting feedback, and there could be many reasons for this woman not wanting to get together independently.

For me and my stuff, it is another feeling of being H's appendage, as it seems to say "Nothing happens unless your H is there."

As an aside, recently our grown daughter went and visited family out of state.  It was the first time in over 30 years she had seen them independently outside of holiday gatherings, etc.  One family member was even nervous about what they would have to talk about.  They were all pleasantly surprised to see that she had an outgoing personality and was a person in her own right, and it was a very enjoyable visit.  Everyone jokes now that they never "saw" her before, since she was always being drowned out by her brothers and dad who are louder, and she was not seen as her own person.  This is exactly what I'm feeling here, and am trying to increase situations where I'm seen as me, not just a part of H.

We'll probably see this couple eventually and I will be more guarded, accepting the fact that the relationship has its limitations.

Cordelia, what wonderful advice about journaling.  With the holidays approaching, that will certainly come in handy!

Thank you so much, everyone!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2021, 11:29:36 AM by chowder »

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clara

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2021, 11:23:38 AM »
Absolutely agree that you should observe the dynamic from this point forward, because it will probably give you the clues you're looking for.

I've known women who won't socialize without their husbands present.  Maybe they feel their greatest validation is by being part of a couple.  It has nothing to do with other women, it has to do with them, as others here have pointed out.  The dynamic you have going with your H may have no bearing on the situation. 

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Adria

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Re: Couples Only?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2021, 01:13:36 PM »
This is an interesting thread. As a woman, I find time going to lunch or coffee with a woman friend valuable.  However, I've found this situation with women not wanting to meet for lunch with just me without their husband and my husband there, was mostly women from the church we attended.    So, I'm not sure if their husband's had some kind of a stranglehold on their wives for whatever reason.  It always seemed that the women were not very happy, so the husband's didn't want them out talking about it.   Not sure, but there seemed to be control issues going on. On the rare occassion we did escape and have lunch without husbands, the women complained about their marriage, and other talk seemed superficial, like they were afraid of their own shadow. I like to be real and let my hair down a little, and not have to weigh everything I say,  but it couldn't be that way because they were very uptight. I always left with a feeling of, well, really. . . I don't even know. Uneasy, I guess. Who knows, but i finally gave up the relationships. Wasn't worth it.