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Thread: My husband has no friends

  1. #11
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    When we are young, we run together as a group more. As guys we tended to both grow apart and be at different points as most of my friends were older. I was turning 18 when they were turning 21. When I was turning 21, most were having kids/renting etc. At 22, I was the second one to buy a home and that floored several of them. At around 25, several were moving away, due to jobs/careers and such. Since that time, normally if I get together with someone, it is because help is needed, moving or building something. "Friends" now, are more acquaintances/coworkers, etc. I am the one out of the group who isn't on FB, so I am not in touch with any of the old gang now.
    I ran into someone that when we were young, there were three of us that ran together and that was my main group of friends. The two of them had been friends longer (since early childhood), I came into the group at around 10. I had not seen either since 18, when one was going off to join the military and self destructed that (started into drugs before drug testing). His family was always opposites (cop father, drug/alcoholic mother). The other lived in a different area, so I didn't see him as often. They had a falling out as the self destructive one, accused his buddy of sleeping with his wife and ruining his marriage. Haven't seen the other. Life just leads us to different circles.

  2. #12
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    I have only two people in the immediate area whom I consider to be intimate friends, and I don't even see them all that often. Also a few relatives, whom I like but also don't see often. Right now, I'm probably more socially isolated than I've ever been. It's my own fault, since for years I have not made much of an effort. I've always been something of a loner by nature, and for a long time my relative lack of social contact didn't bother me much. Lately, though, it has started to, and so I might start to do something about it. With retirement on the horizon in a year or two, I'm going to need to form more relationships outside the workplace.

    I do think there's a gender difference here. For the most part, I think men don't feel the lack of day-to-day social contact the way women do. Your DH may be telling the truth when he says not having a lot of friends doesn't bother him.

  3. #13
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    Who has time to have friends? Oh it really seems that way, maybe when one is retired one has time for friends but not until then.

    Workplace friendship? That's more acquaintanceship most of the time. The average time spent at a workplace seems maybe 5 years or less, and "friends" made at one workplace seldom remain friends after they, or you, or both have moved on to the next job. Sure one can see the theoretical advantages to having more people in one's life that aren't work people etc., but fighting time crunch and exhaustion, it's difficult enough that it's pretty obvious why it often doesn't happen.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  4. #14
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    Most of my friends and acquaintances I've made through volunteering - a group of us do more socially outside of that. If you defined friends as "people who would gladly help you move, and would ask you to help them to move", I have a sphere of friends. :-)

    It is tricky building community, it takes effort and time, and I think more so as you get older.

  5. #15
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    This all sounds familiar. We have relocated and I am itching to get out, do stuff and make new friends. DH seems content to just be and will read for hours on end or putter. It makes me sad that he doesn't want to look for other companionship. It's a pretty common theme in retirement I think, especially for males.
    Why should it make you sad? He's obviously perfectly content. I read that as condescending, to be honest. But then, reading and puttering sound pretty engaging to me.

  6. #16
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I felt bad for my DH mostly because he seemed really perplexed that he couldn't think of one person to list. It kind of made him stop and think. But I wouldn't have classified him as pathetic, so I didn't feel sad for him exactly.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  7. #17
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    Why should it make you sad?
    We have been together since the age of 20 so it is sometimes hard to "separate" the two of us as individuals with different needs. I guess too because his father did the same thing after retiring and turned into someone who got up every morning and sat in a LaZBoy most of the day with no other friends or interests but TV. I am concerned that his physical and mental health will decline quickly by not trying new things and being a bit more physical. I guess it is condescending not to understand folk who don't want to get out and learn/do new things since I am just wired that way.

  8. #18
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Pinkytoe and Kay, neither of you is condescending, etc. When you care for another it is wise to explore options when in new situations or life changes. You will do some things differently than in the past and sometimes, our partners have not had the experience of searching out new social situations so feel uncertain doing so. My late DH was one. I offered to go with him to a local coffee club of the neighbours nearby to give him support. I could see the introvert in him struggle to step outside his comfort zone but ultimately he decided not to do so. I went ahead and joined some other groups that met my interests. He admired that ability to do so but he had never done this before and just couldn't.

    Once before, in a new situation, he met a really boisterous extrovert who pulled him out of his comfort zone and got him cycling long distance and trying archery for the first time. He loved it! Those boisterous extroverts are rare beings though and hard to find.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by creaker View Post
    Most of my friends and acquaintances I've made through volunteering - a group of us do more socially outside of that. If you defined friends as "people who would gladly help you move, and would ask you to help them to move", I have a sphere of friends. :-)

    It is tricky building community, it takes effort and time, and I think more so as you get older.
    I've found that to be the case as well. I've got maybe 8-10 really good non-family friends, and I think they pretty much all came from my school days, military service or volunteer work. I'm not sure why that would be.

  10. #20
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    When people describe others' life choices as "sad," it seems to imply a certain moral (or in this case, social) superiority. As an introvert, I don't see solitude as in any way pathetic, but I suppose it would seem that way as seen through an extroverted lens. I don't understand my SO's choice to socialize with everybody and anybody ("never met a stranger," that's him)--I'd much rather read a book--or frankly, stare off into space--by myself. I guess I could say it's sad that he doesn't enjoy his own company or doesn't know how to entertain himself, but that would be an unfair assessment.

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