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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
thank you to "slowlygettingwiser" for your kind words and encouragement to repost & begin new thread...

I guess my gripe is that my husband and I are growing apart and I feel like he just isn't interested in hanging out with me anymore and prefers to be with others. Here is my original post:

I just came across this website, and as I sit here writing on a marriage forum, my husband is out, yet again, on an outing while I sit home alone. Here's my story....

Some background info to clarify: We are both 40, no kids, been married for 12 years, living in Europe (he was born here, I was born in the US, have been living here for 15+ years now)...

Lately he has been very active in hiking/cycling groups and I am not. OK fine, no problem - I don't think couples should be joined at the hip and do everything together. Of course each of us can have our own hobbies/interests.

The hiking/cycling however, has spilled over into his social life. He seems obsessed with these new people. The new 'friends' he has made through these activites often invite him out to social gatherings. Sometimes the events are at someone's house or out at bars/cafes. I am always invited along too. Sometimes I go, sometimes I don't. THe goes out with them socially at least 2-3 times a week, and every weekend for the last month or so, Sat he goes cycling and Sun hiking. These are pretty much all day events. So basically I hardley see him anymore.

The group seems nice enough, some people I like, some others not so much. Like I said, we are 40 - and most of the people in this group are in their 20's, only a few are 30-somethings. We seem to be the oldest ones in the group. But their shared interest in cycling/hiking seems to keep them all connected, despite age differences. They seem to be a fun group... and lately I've really been trying to hang out with them more, etc but I don't share their interest in cycling/hiking and frankly, I am 40 yrs old and after polite conversation, I just don't have much to say to 20-somethings...

Last night we went out to a bar with this group. I don't know them very well, but was excited to go out, have a drink, hear some music. I went out with the best of intentions and came home livid. There were about 10 ppl in the group, again all in their mid-late 20's.... We gave one of the girls a ride to the place, picked her up at her house, which is near ours. She was running late, and we waited outside in the car for 30 min until she came down. So we go to the place, and ok, you have a drink, bop around to the music and since I don't have much to say to these people, I get bored after an hour or so and at this point it's like almost 1am and I tell my husband we should get going soon. I know he doesn't want to leave yet and I even suggest that he can stay, and I'll go home in a cab. I'm trying to be nice and reasonable. Then I realize he doesn't want to leave yet because he thinks that it's only 'right' or polite for us to also give the same girl a ride home. I know this group is gonna stay until after 3am and I have no intention of staying that long. So I tell my husband, 'we're not staying here until the end, just so we can give her a ride home'... We end up leaving at 2:30am, only after I said "we should really get going now" about 3 times. He kept saying 'yeah yeah ok' and finally when I said sternly "Ok I'm leaving in 5 minutes" we eventually left, only after he apologized to the girl for not being able to give her a lift home - and she said (rather sour-puss face) "oh I guess I'll just take a cab"...

We were home at 3am and at 6am my husband woke up to get ready for today's hiking trip. He will be gone all day... OH and tomorrow I'm going in for minor surgery.

Now please people, if you are still with me (sorry for the long post/rant) you tell me, am I wrong for being pissed off? Am I a fuddy-duddy?

So any thoughts, advice, words of wisdom? I'm afraid of where this is going.... we are on separate paths....I find myself getting angry and frustrated...
 

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It's not that you are simply on separate paths, it's that your husband has decided he wants to act like he's in his early twenties and out with a group of singles.

Be very careful here that your husband doesn't end up in affair with one of these chicks. I'm not trying to be alarmist. He's already prioritizing partying with them over you. He's prioritizing giving the other girl a ride home over you.

Ask yourself - why are these young single folks out drinking and partying till 3am? Answer: they are trying to meet other people with the goal of hooking up and dating etc.

That's their goal. So what's your husbands goal in being there that late?

The chick should have either left when her ride was leaving or she should take responsibility for herself - WITHOUT the attitude. You did her a big favor giving her a ride, and it's not like you stayed for 5 min then bailed. No, you were there for most of the night.

Your husband needs a major rethink on whats important to him (should be you, you should be #1) and about acceptable boundaries for a married guy in his 40's.

Look 40's is a young active age, and should be enjoyed. However, a married man in his 40's should not be hanging and partying until 3am with a bunch of young singles. Even if his wife is there. That stuff should at this point be old and boring to him, and since he stopped doing it from when he was single and in his mid 20s - he needs to understand why he is now suddenly not finding it boring.

Is it that he's enjoying the attention he's getting from these single girls? That he likes them needing him for rides, and to help them out ? That he gets to play daddy to them? At 25 , a 40 yr old may be "cool old guy" but your husband has to see that he's still and old guy to them.

Unfortunately that doesn't mean that a 25 yr old chick won't willinglly sleep with a cool old 40 yr old. Oh, they may not be willing to setup house with him, but they will be perfectly happy to hook up.

Advice: I wouldn't let him go to any of these social gatherings alone. You need to be there and you need to keep on top of whats going down. At the same time, you need to talk to your husband about boundaries and priorities and respect - including respecting you when you've had enough and want to go home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shaggy, I completely agree. I think he does feel like 'part of the cool gang' and enjoys the attention.

But here's the thing - you can't make someone do or not do something. I won't follow him around like a chaperone, 'making sure' nothing is happening. Last night was really not fun for me. I stood there like a moron, trying to appear like everything was a-ok. It got boring after a while, I got tired of trying to make conversation with these people, and I literally ended up sitting on the barstool in the corner while people blew smoke around (this is Europe)... My husband was standing near me, wasn't doing anything inappropriate, just talking with the group (everyone was kinda standing around, mingling)... By the end of the night I'm sure it was obvious to the others that I was bored stiff and they probably consider me a party-pooper (I don't really care, but anyway)...
You are right, I do need to set things straight with him. His priorities are not right. But so far his attitude has been that I'm the boring party-pooper who doesn't want to do anything (which is wrong - all my suggestions get shot down).... so if I decide I don't want to hang out w/ his crowd, then there's something wrong w/ me and it's my problem....
 

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But here's the thing - you can't make someone do or not do something. I won't follow him around like a chaperone, 'making sure' nothing is happening. Last night was really not fun for me. I stood there like a moron, trying to appear like everything was a-ok.
It is work - but you do need to defend your marriage right now. And while you don't want to following him around - you do need to see this as a defensive play to keep him from having one of these chicks become too close to him. Right now you are dealing with a 40 yr old who's trying to act like he's 20. You don't want to also be dealing with a 40 yr old who's go a pretty little 24 yr old who is his best buddy and confidant.

So stay in the game and defend your territory.

Your husband is acting like he is engaging in a mid life crisis.

Don't say that to him, as it will undermine you and not solve anything, but you should understand that this is part of it.

Question - has he always had an interest in clubs/bars and hanging out late? Did he do it much when younger? If so why did he stop?

Question - has your sex life increased or decreased since he's begun hanging with these kids? Have you tried to use it to get him home instead of out till 3 am? For instance if you had spent from 11:30-1 AM getting him fired up, would he have been back home by 1:30?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know if I want to defend my marriage. If he prefers to be with others, I'm not going to force him to be with me.

This isn't a sudden thing - I guess it's been gradual over a number of years and perhaps this is just the icing on the cake.

For years I've been suggesting things - 'let's go to this bar for a drink' or 'let's go here for a weekend trip' etc - and he always has some excuse or is just not interested. Now suddenly he's going here and there to all these same places that I've been suggesting we go to for ages. And that really pisses me off... it's like my opinion counts for nothing - the moment someone else suggests sth, he jumps at the chance to do it...

Like I said, this is Europe and the culture is different - socializing in group settings is preferred and that's fine, as long as I enjoy hanging out with the other people in the group... There is less emphasis on what the individual wants and more emphasis on doing everything in a group setting (for ex if the the gang wants to eat at X restaurant and you really don't want to go to X restaurant, you go along anyway to 'be with the group')... But I guess that's neither here nor there -

The point is that we are growing apart... he does what he wants to do and just doesn't care anymore what I am doing or not doing....

As far as a sex life - it's hum drum and has been for years. I'm always the one to set the atmosphere - I feel like the director of a porn flick - setting the scene, lighting candles, being sexy, etc trying to keep the spark. He's just kinda there. He never does anything romantic or even tries to do anything special for me.

I don't know. Am I just a freakin' idiot or something? I'm over here, hundreds of miles away from my family all these years....to be with someone who clearly is sick of being with me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh and I forgot to mention one more thing.... at the bar last night, when I kept saying "let's go" at one point he suggested he drive me home, then go back to the bar. And I said "for what? to be a taxi driver for this girl" and I got angry. I said "we are leaving together and you are not coming back..." Then when I finally said "OK I'm leaving in 5 minutes" his reply was all pissed off and "don't be such a whiner/*****/party-pooper"..... And so somehow in this whole story, I'm the bad guy...
 

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How are you feeling about the marriage yourself? He sounds like he's becoming indifferent in many ways. How about you? Does his attitude scare you? Or make you see him less favorably? Or is it perhaps a relief, a reason to check out yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How am I feeling about the marriage myself? We've been together for 17 years (12 married)... sometimes everything is fine... he is loving... othertimes we both seem to be in our own worlds... marriage goes thru all kinds of stages but the past few years maybe I've just been getting used to this new normal... which is actually a rut. Life becomes a routine, you overlook certain things, convince yourself that no relationship is perfect... All at the same time I feel lost, hurt, angry, indifferent, certain, uncertain....
Last year we had a blowout and I left, flew home to the US and stayed for 2 months. When I left I told him I was not sure if I wanted to stay married, to come back etc. This seemed to really shake him up, snap him back into reality. When I came back things were much better but now I find we are falling back into the same pattern... he is putting others before me... doing his own thing... not being so attentive...
 

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You said yourself, you two are in something of a rut. Perhaps the first time, negative action (blowout>2mo absence) ended that rut, But perhaps your husband is seeking positive action to fix this one. Yes, it does sound like a mid-life crisis, but after all isn't that in essence a break from the usual and a move into something more active and exciting?
Ok, so he's trying something new and he's trying to involve you too. Perhaps it wasn't the way you preferred... Can you suggest something else for the both of you that would help break the rut? After all, you said you mentioned the same bars, etc years ago... Have you communicated to him another option?
It sounds like you guys could be helped by a renewed courtship... any ideas of what would be more suitable for your 40 yr palette?
 

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****and at this point it's like almost 1am and I tell my husband we should get going soon. I know he doesn't want to leave yet and I even suggest that he can stay, and I'll go home in a cab.****

Midnight is my witching hour. I have no shame in wanting to leave between 11 and midnight. Something truly interesting has to go on to keep me out that late.

OP, have you and your husband ever hung out that late with friends. Just wondering if this behavior can be compared to past behaviour.

The other thing that I find irksome about your story is that your husband is more concerned about this woman's comfort than yours. I have been in that situation.
 

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I think there's more to this than you think. You say the marriage has had ups and downs and I guess it was so bad you came back here to the US for two months.

I bet he's doing the 180 on you. he is doing his thing and really doesn't care if you like it or not. You can join him or not, but he doesn't care. He's not going to let you dictate when he can go out.

And maybe the sex life is hum drum because after years of him wanting a better sex life, he finally gave up.

Look... his interest in cycling and hiking got stronger because his interest in being around you declined. Not saying it's your fault, not saying it isn't. But he's filling his life with these activities and friends because they fill a hole in his life, which I'm guessing used to be filled by you.

Have you two been to marriage counseling?
 

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And maybe the sex life is hum drum because after years of him wanting a better sex life, he finally gave up.

Look... his interest in cycling and hiking got stronger because his interest in being around you declined. Not saying it's your fault, not saying it isn't. But he's filling his life with these activities and friends because they fill a hole in his life, which I'm guessing used to be filled by you.

Have you two been to marriage counseling?
I thought I heard her say something about being the one to always try to spice up the sex life...and him not really doing anything to.

So instead of discussing said "hole" he just goes off and creates an alternate universe of his own and leaves her out of it?
 

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Mary,
The situation with driving the young girl is a huge red flag. He was deprioritizing you in that situation in a very worrisome manner.

It is also true that you describe him as not wanting to hang out with you very much.

Why aren't you making an effort to participate at some level in the hiking/biking stuff? Is there a large disparity in your fitness levels? If so is it fixable?

The funny thing about hiking is - it really IS hanging out with people. Except that the social lubricant is a steadily changing and often beautiful landscape and the endorphine glow that comes from exertion. Don't get me wrong, I like a restaurant a few glasses of red wine, and some mature conversation as much as the next 50 year old. But people in their mid twenties often have interesting ideas and can be fun to talk to.




thank you to "slowlygettingwiser" for your kind words and encouragement to repost & begin new thread...

I guess my gripe is that my husband and I are growing apart and I feel like he just isn't interested in hanging out with me anymore and prefers to be with others. Here is my original post:

I just came across this website, and as I sit here writing on a marriage forum, my husband is out, yet again, on an outing while I sit home alone. Here's my story....

Some background info to clarify: We are both 40, no kids, been married for 12 years, living in Europe (he was born here, I was born in the US, have been living here for 15+ years now)...

Lately he has been very active in hiking/cycling groups and I am not. OK fine, no problem - I don't think couples should be joined at the hip and do everything together. Of course each of us can have our own hobbies/interests.

The hiking/cycling however, has spilled over into his social life. He seems obsessed with these new people. The new 'friends' he has made through these activites often invite him out to social gatherings. Sometimes the events are at someone's house or out at bars/cafes. I am always invited along too. Sometimes I go, sometimes I don't. THe goes out with them socially at least 2-3 times a week, and every weekend for the last month or so, Sat he goes cycling and Sun hiking. These are pretty much all day events. So basically I hardley see him anymore.

The group seems nice enough, some people I like, some others not so much. Like I said, we are 40 - and most of the people in this group are in their 20's, only a few are 30-somethings. We seem to be the oldest ones in the group. But their shared interest in cycling/hiking seems to keep them all connected, despite age differences. They seem to be a fun group... and lately I've really been trying to hang out with them more, etc but I don't share their interest in cycling/hiking and frankly, I am 40 yrs old and after polite conversation, I just don't have much to say to 20-somethings...

Last night we went out to a bar with this group. I don't know them very well, but was excited to go out, have a drink, hear some music. I went out with the best of intentions and came home livid. There were about 10 ppl in the group, again all in their mid-late 20's.... We gave one of the girls a ride to the place, picked her up at her house, which is near ours. She was running late, and we waited outside in the car for 30 min until she came down. So we go to the place, and ok, you have a drink, bop around to the music and since I don't have much to say to these people, I get bored after an hour or so and at this point it's like almost 1am and I tell my husband we should get going soon. I know he doesn't want to leave yet and I even suggest that he can stay, and I'll go home in a cab. I'm trying to be nice and reasonable. Then I realize he doesn't want to leave yet because he thinks that it's only 'right' or polite for us to also give the same girl a ride home. I know this group is gonna stay until after 3am and I have no intention of staying that long. So I tell my husband, 'we're not staying here until the end, just so we can give her a ride home'... We end up leaving at 2:30am, only after I said "we should really get going now" about 3 times. He kept saying 'yeah yeah ok' and finally when I said sternly "Ok I'm leaving in 5 minutes" we eventually left, only after he apologized to the girl for not being able to give her a lift home - and she said (rather sour-puss face) "oh I guess I'll just take a cab"...

We were home at 3am and at 6am my husband woke up to get ready for today's hiking trip. He will be gone all day... OH and tomorrow I'm going in for minor surgery.

Now please people, if you are still with me (sorry for the long post/rant) you tell me, am I wrong for being pissed off? Am I a fuddy-duddy?

So any thoughts, advice, words of wisdom? I'm afraid of where this is going.... we are on separate paths....I find myself getting angry and frustrated...
 

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It's not that you are simply on separate paths, it's that your husband has decided he wants to act like he's in his early twenties and out with a group of singles.

Be very careful here that your husband doesn't end up in affair with one of these chicks. I'm not trying to be alarmist. He's already prioritizing partying with them over you. He's prioritizing giving the other girl a ride home over you.

Ask yourself - why are these young single folks out drinking and partying till 3am? Answer: they are trying to meet other people with the goal of hooking up and dating etc.

That's their goal. So what's your husbands goal in being there that late?

The chick should have either left when her ride was leaving or she should take responsibility for herself - WITHOUT the attitude. You did her a big favor giving her a ride, and it's not like you stayed for 5 min then bailed. No, you were there for most of the night.

Your husband needs a major rethink on whats important to him (should be you, you should be #1) and about acceptable boundaries for a married guy in his 40's.

Look 40's is a young active age, and should be enjoyed. However, a married man in his 40's should not be hanging and partying until 3am with a bunch of young singles. Even if his wife is there. That stuff should at this point be old and boring to him, and since he stopped doing it from when he was single and in his mid 20s - he needs to understand why he is now suddenly not finding it boring.

Is it that he's enjoying the attention he's getting from these single girls? That he likes them needing him for rides, and to help them out ? That he gets to play daddy to them? At 25 , a 40 yr old may be "cool old guy" but your husband has to see that he's still and old guy to them.

Unfortunately that doesn't mean that a 25 yr old chick won't willinglly sleep with a cool old 40 yr old. Oh, they may not be willing to setup house with him, but they will be perfectly happy to hook up.

Advice: I wouldn't let him go to any of these social gatherings alone. You need to be there and you need to keep on top of whats going down. At the same time, you need to talk to your husband about boundaries and priorities and respect - including respecting you when you've had enough and want to go home.
Nailed it.

:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:
 

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This isn't a sudden thing - I guess it's been gradual over a number of years and perhaps this is just the icing on the cake.

For years I've been suggesting things - 'let's go to this bar for a drink' or 'let's go here for a weekend trip' etc - and he always has some excuse or is just not interested. Now suddenly he's going here and there to all these same places that I've been suggesting we go to for ages. And that really pisses me off... it's like my opinion counts for nothing - the moment someone else suggests sth, he jumps at the chance to do it...
This is the main problem you need to solve. Why doesn’t he choose to spend time with you? You mentioned that you separated for a couple of months due to a blowup. What caused the blowup? Why would a blowup lead to a separation? There are deeper problems here that you need to address first. My guess is that the blowup was never really resolved and was covered up by the separation. If this is the case then communication is really lacking and needs attention. If you are able to fix these issues and reconnect as a couple then his hiking/biking hobby can be managed but good communication is required.

Right now it sounds like he is beginning to show you some disrespect and is prioritizing you less than his friends at times. You need to fix this right away. As others have said he is in a position where an EA or PA could start.

My wife and I had issues which caused us to drift apart. She spent a lot of time on her interests and I was resentful because of it. I put the resentment aside and engaged her with some of her interests. We planned some time each week to plan the activities for the week and what we would do and wouldn’t do. Our communication improved. It took a couple of years but I was able fill her needs more and she mine. I fell in love with her again.
Ironically my engaging in her interest caused me to reconnect with an older hobby of mine, climbing. This caused great time demands on our relationship because I want to train for climbing and go climbing. Our communication and compromise led to a system that works for us.

During the climbing season I will go away for an entire weekend to climb about once per month and will spend a whole day climbing 1-2 times per month on the weekends. We make time to do other activities for the remainder of the weekends of the month. Because we reconnected it I want to spend time with her and also with my climbing friends and I have found a balance that keeps our relationship alive while satisfying my needs.

Right now we are fusing our interests into backpacking and picking that up.

I also understand the social aspect of it as well. My wife doesn’t climb (afraid of heights) and often doesn’t have too much in common with some of the climbing crowd. They are mostly 25-40 and we are in our fifties. I invite her to some of the post climbing events and parties (which can last until 2-3am as well) she manages to find people to talk and learn some things even though they are not really her crowd. Likewise when I go to events where my wife knows everyone and I know few people, I can generally find someone to hang with that makes the evening worthwhile. I try hard not to withdraw as does she but we recognize that the events are important to each of us.

At least he is still inviting you to them so it doesn't look like he has given up yet.
 

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I thought I heard her say something about being the one to always try to spice up the sex life...and him not really doing anything to.

So instead of discussing said "hole" he just goes off and creates an alternate universe of his own and leaves her out of it?
The point I was trying to make is that perhaps he was very interested earlier and she wasn't. Now that he has found other things to occupy his time, she is trying all the sexy things and in his mind he's saying "thanks, but I've moved on."

Look... how many times around here is a guy told to do the 180? Better yourself. Find outside interests. Stop being clingy/needy. That's exactly what this guy is doing, and he's doing it for a reason. We are only hearing OP's side of the story and there is always two sides of a story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
wow, thank you everyone for your posts. It really helps. Of course there are other issues, no one can fully discuss every detail/issue in a marriage on a forum...

In the past we did do things together - for a year we went to the same gym and it was a fun thing we'd do together.

His hiking/cycling events are hard core, 240km rides, all day hikes, etc... I'm not that into sporty activities. Sure a 1-2 hour 'easy' hike is fine with me, or a short bike ride, but he refuses to do something 'easier' once in a while so i can join in. His attitude is 'this the activity that the group is doing and that's it' - complete disregard for whether i can actually do it or not.

whenever i suggest things - walk along the waterfront, go for a coffee - sth more leisurely he flat out says 'no that's boring' - so i'm left doing these leisurely activities with others or completely alone.

the reason why i left last year for 2 months is because he was putting 'friends' (who we had known for less than a year) before my needs/wishes. 'friends' who took advantage of our hospitality and basically used our apt like it was their own personal hotel. i did not invite them, he did. and that set the tone and bascially they began to invite themselves. my husband expected me to cook for them, chauffer them around etc... it's a long story too long to get into here. but the main point was that he totally disregarded my feelings in the matter and bent over backwards to help out these 'friends' - we are not rich and watch what we spend. so it bothers me when i say 'lets go to a nice restaurant once in a while' and of course we don't. but then when those friends were here, he gladly took them out and spent money on them. this is a different culture and hospitality is a big deal here, but you can't be a doormat either... the day after the houseguest incident - i left. went home for 2 months. i practially had a nervous breakdown. and the 2nd month i was gone, he had a huge bbq party with 50 invited friends, as if nothing was wrong and he didn't have a care in the world...

as far as other social events... most of our friends are our age, and have children, so their activities are limited. we end up going to a lot of kiddie bday parties, and just visiting at our friend's houses etc... we don't have kids and when you are the only couple in your social circle without kids, well, this kind of 'socializing' can get boring... but at the same time, the other option is the opposite extreme - we can't constantly go out with single 20-somethings. Once in a while is fine, but not 3 times a week...

I just feel like I've been putting up with this for years - he does whatever, and just expects me to agree/join in/follow along and if I don't, I'm the jerk. If I suggest sth else, he says no.
 
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