≡ Menu

“My Husband Won’t Take Me to His Assistant’s Wedding”

Forgive me for getting this to you after Wedding Week, but I could really use some advice. My husband and I have both been invited to his assistant’s wedding. It is a large Italian/Iranian wedding so it should be wonderful. The venue is exquisite. I have never met his assistant, but my husband thinks highly of her and shares with me how competent she is. I really want to attend, to meet her, to meet his other staff and to have a great time. I love weddings.

But my husband has said he doesn’t want me there. He says the stakes are too high. These are his colleagues. He’s afraid I won’t approve of his behavior and I will feel neglected and humiliated. He’s admitted ADD and has problems sitting in one place for long and prances around rooms chatting with everyone. I don’t do this as I am socially awkward at times. So I often just sit and watch him prance and chat incessantly. He sometimes focuses on one woman and chats with her for the evening. He says I won’t know anyone and will feel slighted if he doesn’t introduce me. He is highly anxious about this, so I have let it go. Why would I want to add to his worry?

Since this decision, my husband’s brother has come to visit from out of town. I love him and I’m doing my best to take care of his every need. He’s not well. He wants to have a gathering at our home of friends and family to show them his latest photo exhibit. Many of these people I love but two of them I find exclusive and mean at times, so, while I’d love to open our house to family, I would prefer to not host the evening and serve everyone’s needs. And given the incident with the wedding, I am asking myself if my purpose is just to be chief cook and bottle washer when required and hide myself when not.

I’ll do whatever you say. Please help me. — Married 25 Years

Your husband is a Class A jerk and you are an enabler if you’ve routinely turned the other cheek when he ignores you, doesn’t introduce you to people, and spends a night out focusing on other women. He should be focusing on YOU! You’re his wife. Which is reason enough to bring you to a wedding he most likely has been given a Plus 1 to. That you actually want to go to this wedding is reason #2 he should bring you along. And the third reason is to introduce you to his colleagues and to show off the wife he’s been married to for 25 years. That he doesn’t want to bring you, and that his reason is because you’ll feel “neglected and humiliated” while he prances around the room chatting to everyone but you and focusing on some other woman, is shameful. If I were you, I’d demand to go to that wedding and I would introduce myself to whomever your husband is spending the evening chatting up. Just walk right over, stick out your hand and say, “Hello! I’m his wife and it’s so nice to meet you. Isn’t this a gorgeous wedding?” I mean, quit sitting and watching and start being an active participant.

As for hosting a family night at your house for your brother-in-law, I’d suggest enlisting his and your husband’s help in the hosting duties. Skip a sit-down meal and just make it a cocktail and snacks affair. Pick up a couple of crudité platters at the grocery store and set them out. Does the family night really have to be so much work? Why do you have to serve everyone’s needs? I understand that your BIL is not well, but surely the other members of the family are able-bodied, competent people who can poor themselves drinks and find their way to the hors d’oeuvres, no? And if you’re worried about the two people who are mean and exclusive, just avoid them. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or tend to something when you find yourself too close to them for comfort. And if all of that still sounds too stressful, just say no. Put your foot down and tell your BIL he’ll have to have his photo exhibit somewhere else because you don’t feel like playing gallery host. Consider it a practice act of assertion to prepare you for telling your husband how unappreciated and lonely you feel in your marriage and how you’re tired of him treating you like you’re nothing more than the family cook and nursemaid.

I don’t know how many of the 25 years you’ve been with your husband have been unhappy, but it’s time to change things around. Sit down and talk with your husband about how you’re feeling, how you want to be better included in his life, and how his ADD and your social awkwardness are not good reasons for the distance between you. If you can’t work this out on your own, find a couples counselor. If he won’t go with you, go on your own.


Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar joanna May 7, 2014, 9:17 am

Seriously? I’d wonder if your husband is bringing his mistress instead of you.

Amybelle Amybelle May 7, 2014, 9:32 am

This was my thought too. Why else would he be “anxious” at the thought of her going? The only other possibility i can think of is that he is somehow ashamed of the LW for some reason? Whatever the reason, him not wanting her to go with him, and trying to claim it’s because she would be uncomfortable (kind of gaslighty IMO) is just plain shady. Maybe it’s just because of my own experiences, but I am getting a Cheater/Narcissist/Sociopath vibe from the husbands behavior. Personally I think this marriage is beyond saving, what kind of husband tells his wife she can’t go to a wedding with him? Not any kind you want, or any kind that can be fixed with therapy.

avatar Nina May 7, 2014, 9:43 am

Yup! That was my first thought. He already has a +1 and it isn’t his wife! Or, he wants to play the field while he’s there. Sad.

avatar Lily in NYC May 7, 2014, 10:09 am

My guess is that the mistress is another coworker that will be at the wedding. I would get all dolled up and show up at the reception about an hour after it stated just to see what darling hubby is up to.

avatar SpaceySteph May 7, 2014, 10:27 am

I think you’re saying this in jest, but please LW don’t do that. Your husband is being super shady, but the assistant’s wedding is SO not the time and place to catch him with a mistress and cause a scene. (And if the LW doesn’t think she’ll cause a scene well a. she can’t control what hubby, mistress, others might do and b. thinking you won’t freak out about catching your husband of 25 years with another woman doesn’t mean you won’t freak out)

avatar Lily in NYC May 7, 2014, 11:15 am

Yes, LW, I was just being snarky! Do not do what I wrote!

call-me-hobo call-me-hobo May 7, 2014, 9:23 am

What a douchebag. He doesn’t want to waste time introducing you to his colleagues? Fuck that noise. That’s what spouses DO.
Also- “The stakes are too high”?? What the hell?? That is the lamest excuse for “I don’t want to humiliate myself in front of my coworkers by shamelessly flirting while my wife is in attendance”. That is him blaming you for his bad behavior.
Also- you ended your letter with “I’ll do whatever you say”, and I have a feeling that that phrase has played a prominent role in your life. It’s time to start doing things that make YOU happy. You aren’t a servant; put some of your needs first!

katie katie May 7, 2014, 9:27 am

this is an odd letter. first off, its two separate issues, not one, although im guessing they both stem from the same problem- the LW’s inability to speak up for herself.
so, issue 1, the wedding- i mean is it really so terrible to just want to go to a wedding with your friends? is your husband in a spot where “colleagues” means “friends”? and its shitty to then, like, blame you indirectly by blaming his ADD/how you are awkward, but then again, LW, are you like super weird at these events and does that make him uncomfortable? would you frown on him partying with his friends? because ill be totally honest, if my SO were awkward and never talked to anyone and just wanted to be by my side all the time during some event like this, and then got all judge-y and weird when my friends and i all took shots together, i really wouldnt want them to come either. you two are either really mismatched, personality wise, or you both have some issues to work through. i dont think this one is all on your husband.
two, the hosting a party issue- this one is easy. if you dont want to do it, you say no.

rainbow rainbow May 7, 2014, 10:51 am

I agree with you if and only if the person whose fun will be compromised if the other one goes is honest about it. There’s nothing wrong with saying “There’s going to be a lot of dancing and I’m looking forward to it, so since you don’t dance, don’t know anyone else who will be there and don’t enjoy socializing with people you don’t know I would rather go alone and take you out some other day for [an activity both enjoy]”. I’ve done this in the past with a BF who was too “smart” (see snobbish) for reggaeton and with one who was an embarrassing alcoholic.

But I don’t think this applies here because this dude is acting very blamey and shady in general.

Portia Portia May 7, 2014, 9:31 am

Yeah this is sounding fishy to me too. Maybe he wouldn’t be focusing on you entirely at this event, if there’s some sort of networking aspect to it. But this is a wedding! And he can certainly introduce the LW around and start her out on some conversations with people. If he’s attaching himself to another woman all night and not occasionally doing the same thing with other men, this is about something else and deserves a real conversation.

avatar peachy May 7, 2014, 9:33 am

Yeah, it sounds like the reason your husband doesn’t want you at the wedding is that you’re going to cramp his style – his boorish, unloving-towards-you style. Instead of fretting about how you’re going to make things ok for him, your brother in law, obnoxious relatives, etc., it’s time to put yourself at the front of the line and make things ok for YOU. No one respects you if you don’t respect yourself and being loving and giving doesn’t mean being a doormat for anyone. Go claim your rightful space at the wedding and in your own home, woman!

avatar Nina May 7, 2014, 9:46 am

“The stakes are too high”…..what does that even mean?
He already has a a +1 to the wedding-his mistress. Or, he wants to play the field while he’s there.
I don’t know what’s worse-His behavior or her enabling for 25 years…

Amanda Amanda May 7, 2014, 9:52 am

The stakes are only too high if he’s an undercover assassin and she would blow his cover. I HIGHLY doubt that’s the case here.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 9:55 am

I took “the stakes are too high” to mean that all his bosses are going to be there and god forbid the little wife start talking to them and embarrassing her husband.

avatar Nina May 7, 2014, 9:55 am

…I’ve worked with a few men that behaved like this, and none of it was for wholesome reasons.

The movie imagination part of my brain emmidiately thought up an illicit affair between the bride and this husband, and he can’t bring his wife because she will pick up on their sultry gazes from altar to pews! The behavior between eachother will emmidiately tip off his wife to their office behavior during the years-oooo!!! 1.5 stars out of 5.

KKZ KKZ May 7, 2014, 10:06 am

If not the bride, then maybe one of the other coworkers who might be at the wedding. He’s hiding something.

Diablo Diablo May 7, 2014, 6:27 pm

The salami, as it were?

LlamaPajamas LlamaPajamas May 7, 2014, 9:49 am

I have no helpful advice because it sounds like the husband is just a jerk, but I’m going to start using “the stakes are too high” a lot. Like, seriously A LOT. That’s my new go-to response for everything.

katie katie May 7, 2014, 9:51 am

“what do you want for dinner tonight?”
“i cant decide. the stakes are too high”

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 9:59 am

“Can you pass me the salt?”

“I can’t, the stakes are too high.”

LlamaPajamas LlamaPajamas May 7, 2014, 10:03 am

Exactly! I used to use xkcd’s “so it has come to this” as my response to everything, but “the stakes are too high” is so much better.

rainbow rainbow May 7, 2014, 10:32 am


othy othy May 7, 2014, 10:53 am

Anyone who makes an xkcd reference is awesome. According to this rule I just made up.

Portia Portia May 7, 2014, 12:24 pm

Yes! I love this. And xkcd rocks.

avatar Morgan May 7, 2014, 10:15 am

I never know what I want for dinner and it drives my bf nuts. I’m going to try that line and see how it goes. I’ll report back.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 9:53 am

So I understand why some people prefer to not mix work with personal. I often will attend work events alone and I prefer it that way.
However, you sound like a slave to your husband. And he sounds like a jerk. Use your voice. Say no to things you don’t want to do. Don’t tell people “you will do whatever they say.” Learn what you want and do that. Good luck!

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 10:01 am

Yeah he didn’t tell her that he would rather use the wedding to network than socialize. He basically told her that he wants to hit on other women without the awkwardness of having his wife in the room.

katie katie May 7, 2014, 10:05 am

where did you get that from?

LlamaPajamas LlamaPajamas May 7, 2014, 10:07 am

“He’s afraid I won’t approve of his behavior and I will feel neglected and humiliated. He’s admitted ADD and has problems sitting in one place for long and prances around rooms chatting with everyone. I don’t do this as I am socially awkward at times. So I often just sit and watch him prance and chat incessantly. He sometimes focuses on one woman and chats with her for the evening.”

katie katie May 7, 2014, 10:09 am

eh, if this is work related, im sure that the “i wont approve of the behavior” is related to getting really drunk. and hey, sometimes men talk to women. also, this is colored from the LWs perspective, so…
i dunno, i just dont see it.

rainbow rainbow May 7, 2014, 10:58 am

What if “He sometimes focuses on one woman and chats with her for the evening” is LW code for “I will pick the hottest woman or the one he talks to most and make a scene about her”? That gives a new meaning to “The stakes are too high”.

Not saying this is the case, just considering every possibility.

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 10:09 am

“He sometimes focuses on one woman and chats with her for the evening.”
“He’s afraid I won’t approve of his behavior and I will feel neglected and humiliated.”

Neglected and humiliated is not normal for a couple where one is a social butterfly and one isn’t. Feeling awkward and left-out, yes. Humiliated by his behaviour, no. I can understand him feeling apprehensive about her having a bad time (even though she says that she loves weddings and really wants to go) but he is so worried about it that she HAS to agree? Something is off.

avatar artsygirl May 7, 2014, 11:12 am

I guess that could be true but I work in an art museum and have a LOT of social events that are often as fancy as a wedding minus the cover band. My husband has zero interest in art, but he comes out to these events multiple times a year. I make sure he is introduced to people and even though I can’t spend the night next to him, I will stop in and check on him to make sure he doesn’t feel awkward. Personally I love having him with me because I think he is awesome and want my co-workers and board members to know him.

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 9:53 am

What is this- the 1930’s? You don’t want to add to your husband’s worry so you just have to accept his shitty, rude treatment? No, you don’t have to accept it and you shouldn’t. Why do you feel like your feelings are less than his? His worry about treating you like crap is easily solved by him not treating you like crap. There is something seriously off about this and you should get to the bottom of it.

avatar bethany May 7, 2014, 9:54 am

Your husband sounds like a jerk. You need to grow a pair and learn to stand up for yourself. What kind of man (or just person in general) treats their spouse that way? Have you really been dealing with this kind of behavior for 25 years?? Enough is enough. You were invited to the wedding, and you should go, whether he wants you to or not.

avatar bethany May 7, 2014, 10:15 am

Also, the way I’m interpreting the situation is the LW’s husband is the “big boss man”, and he wants to go to the wedding and schmooze with all his underlings. He’s going to drink and talk and flirt and feel powerful and important, and his shy, doormat of a wife doesn’t fit into his idea of a good time.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana May 7, 2014, 9:59 am

I am just going to offer a different perspective because I really picked up on this one sentence :
“He’s admitted ADD and has problems sitting in one place for long and prances around rooms chatting with everyone. I don’t do this as I am socially awkward at times. So I often just sit and watch him prance and chat incessantly”
They have been married for 25 years, if he is a social butterfly and she just sits and doesn’t talk to anyone at events he takes her too I can kind of see him having gotten in to a pattern of it being easier to not worry about having here there annoyed at his “prancing” and “incessant” chatting, aka socializing and being friendly, IMO. The way she describes his socializing is extremely condescending and like it is some crazy thing that he would want to talk and hang out with people even though she is there just sitting and being “socially awkward”. Maybe he was just more blunt about it this time, like this wedding is going to be a great network opportunity and it makes him feel bad to not devote all his attention to her but he knows if she comes, he will have to because she doesn’t make an effort to socialize. Who knows, maybe he has taken her to 100 events/weddings and this is the pattern and he is just over it and doesn’t want to deal with it and the idea of her going and him having to divide his attention or deal with an angry/jealous wife makes him anxious.
IDK just another perspective before like everyone jumps to OMG he is cheating, or what an asshole. When one part of a couple is a social butterfly and the other is socially awkward, and these are patterns they have had for 25 years, I can see how it would get old to constantly be catering to the awkward one when out at events, especially important work events. In a lot of lines of business, a wedding is not just a wedding it is a really important networking event.

katie katie May 7, 2014, 10:04 am

yea this is kind of what i was trying to say too. and “the stakes are too high”? -maybe that means just what it means, that this wedding is a really important event for him professionally, and it’ll be like another day of work, and he doesnt want to have to babysit his wife at this one. or, to throw in a crazy theory- what if she has outbursts when he doesnt pay attention to her, and “the stakes are too high” in terms of “i cant have you freak out publicly at this wedding because its going to be all of my colleagues”
i also agree that her description of him is really mean.

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 10:05 am

I would agree to this except for a couple things- he says that she will feel humiliated by his behaviour. Socially awkward people feel awkward and uncomfortable, not humiliated by their spouses behaviour if said spouse is behaving in a normal way. Also he says that she will feel slighted when he doesn’t introduce her to people (um, me too!) and that isn’t a normal way to socialize, you introduce your spouse. Something is off.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 10:08 am

Is it possible he said she’d feel humiliated because last time they were at a wedding and he was being friendly, she said he was humiliating her by not sitting next to her the whole time?
I do agree its weird/rude to not introduce her to people though.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 10:11 am

This is what I am thinking. I think this is the culmination of several fights.

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 10:11 am

Why would she want to go if she was the one usually feeling humiliated at weddings? She says that she loves them and doesn’t mention that his behaviour has been an issue in the past.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 10:16 am

She sorta did mention that his past behavior has been an issue though. It doesn’t sound like she’s thrilled that he isn’t glued to her side at these events and instead talks to everyone in the room and sometimes women mostly.
Idk, I just don’t necessarily see this as ‘OMG HES CHEATING.” Sure, he could be. Sure, something could definitely be up and he’s a jerk. But I feel like there could just as easily be a simple explanation or two.

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 10:32 am

I don’t necessarily think he’s cheating but I do think that something is off here.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 10:30 am

She does say that she doesn’t like his behavior because he is ADD and talks to women.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana May 7, 2014, 10:11 am

Honestly I kind of see this as a pattern of years of her being embarrassed by him leaving her to go socialize, and her being embarrassed by not knowing anyone. Honestly I am dating a SUPER social dude and when I had the mindset of “well I am just socially awkward so he just needs to devote his attention to me” and then he would leave me to go socialize I would get embarrassed because I was just standing there not knowing anyone and not actually you know, trying to talk to anyone, which is exactly what this LW says she does. This seems like a fight they’ve had 100 times and perhaps when he acts like social and leaves her to go socialize with other people at events, he gets a raft of shit about it later. IDK just another perspective and the way I read it because she seems sort of defensive, and dismissive of him and his activities in the writing of it.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 10:06 am

wM & Ks.

avatar Lily in NYC May 7, 2014, 10:13 am

I thought the same thing at first, but the “he will flirt with one woman all night” comment gave me pause. I can really see both angles of this and don’t know what to think.

avatar Breezy AM May 7, 2014, 3:39 pm

Me too…. but… is she one of those wives where if her husband is talking to a woman without his restingbitchface on, she thinks he is flirting?

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 10:01 am

LW, I know a bunch of people are claiming the worst for this. However, when I read this, it sounds like you have fought about socializing for years. Do you hold it against him if he leaves you at a table? Do you come off as cold because of your social problems? Is he bawdy and does that embarrass you? You are his wife and you need to have a real discussion. It is my guess that all of this didn’t come out of nowhere. I think there are years of fights that have lead to this point and you need to work through this.

avatar Laura Hope May 7, 2014, 10:11 am

Just to let you know, I am surrounded by people with ADD and they do not use it as an excuse to mistreat others. Your husband’s behavior is his choice.

avatar artsygirl May 7, 2014, 10:11 am

I think you husband is the weird guy who flirts with all the young office interns who are young enough to be his daughter. He is probably worried you are going to hear about all the sexual harassment complaints and his ongoing gender sensitivity training.

avatar Amber May 7, 2014, 10:23 am

I’d say that since you were both invited, you both go. It raises a red flag to me that he doesn’t want you to go. And if I were in that situation, I’d find another way there just to surprise him.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 10:24 am

I feel like that would be a really messed up thing to do. I mean, this does relate to his job and all. Maybe not the time to do a surprise show up and cause a scene?

KKZ KKZ May 7, 2014, 10:41 am

I would show up but NOT surprise him… just lurk behind plants and take surreptitious photos. Then cause the scene later at home when presenting him with the evidence, saying “I figured there must be a reason the bride wanted me there but you didn’t, so I went on her invitation, not yours.”
(I would never REALLY do this, nor do I condone it, but damn is it entertaining to think about…)

call-me-hobo call-me-hobo May 7, 2014, 10:58 am

Yeah, don’t use someone else’s wedding as a place to confront your spouse.

avatar Sara May 7, 2014, 10:24 am

If this is really about the LW and the husband having conflicting socializing patterns that are not conducive to a networking/social event, then, LW, just take two cars or use a taxi service for this event. Go to the wedding together. Go to the reception and eat your meals together. Enjoy yourself. And when you’re ready to leave, but your husband is still chatting people up, you can just leave. This way, when the networking part of the evening is in full swing, you don’t have to sit by yourself, and your husband doesn’t have to feel anxious about you feeling excluded.

avatar RedroverRedrover May 7, 2014, 12:09 pm

Great suggestion. I did this at a wedding last year. It was an old university friend of my husband’s who was getting married, and I barely know this group of people because he doesn’t really hang out with them anymore. We see them maybe once a year, if that. They’re really nice, but they all wanted to party and get crazy, and I’m shy and was also 5 months pregnant, so couldn’t even use booze as a social lubricant. So I took the car home after the meal and he took a cab home at like 2am. Worked like a charm, we were both happy.

The catch is that you both have to agree to it. I don’t know if either the LW or her husband would be up for this solution.

Portia Portia May 7, 2014, 12:34 pm

Yes to this. My boyfriend is much more social that I am and there are many events I’ve gone to with him where I don’t know anyone and feel like the awkward one sitting in the corner, or I just don’t want to be social anymore. There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve left a party or whatever and he’s stayed behind and that’s totally fine. Sometimes we come up with an excuse ahead of time and sometimes I just say I’m tired and he keeps having fun. Not sure if it’ll work with the LW but definitely a good idea.

KKZ KKZ May 7, 2014, 10:25 am

This advice is a little tongue-in-cheek but… LW, you say you were both invited to the wedding. Does that mean he was invited with a +1, or both of your names were on the invite? Because if you were invited by name, I don’t see why he gets to RSVP for you. So RSVP for yourself, because by the description in the first paragraph it does sound like you would enjoy this, and go anyway, separately from your husband. It does seem like something shady is going on and, in your shoes, I would be very tempted to spy on the reception and see just what kind of behavior your husband would engage in that he thinks would “humiliate” you.
I don’t REALLY recommend doing that, it’s purely out of a rom-com plot and probably would not end well. But it really doesn’t sit well with me that he would say “I’m going but you’re not” and you just roll over and accept it. Because from the first paragraph, it sounds like you’re not so socially awkward that you wouldn’t enjoy this wedding at all, it sounds like you’d look forward to it and enjoy yourself! So this is giving me a weird feeling that there’s something, or someone, at that wedding that he does not want you to see, and I doubt very much you can get him to tell you exactly what that is.
I get what others are saying, that this might be a long-standing social pattern in your marriage and maybe that’s why he requests you don’t go. My dad likes going to concerts but doesn’t like bringing my mom anymore because she can be such a sourpuss about loud, crowded environments, and has ruined more than one outing with her attitude to the point that he said he’s never taking her to a concert again. Last year when I was planning to buy the whole family tickets to a show for Father’s Day, I actually phoned my mom first to say “So, no offense, but do you actually WANT to go to this?” (Everything went fine, she came with us and behaved.) So yeah, I get that maybe this is a longer-term sort of thing, but my vote is still that the husband is being shady.

KKZ KKZ May 7, 2014, 10:35 am

Ugh, repetitive KKZ is repetitive today.

rainbow rainbow May 7, 2014, 10:31 am

He’s totally going to jump in at the “forever hold your peace” part.

avatar Lucy May 7, 2014, 11:14 am

“He’s afraid I won’t approve of his behavior and I will feel neglected and humiliated. He’s admitted ADD and has problems sitting in one place for long and prances around rooms chatting with everyone. I don’t do this as I am socially awkward at times. So I often just sit and watch him prance and chat incessantly. ”

Um… if that’s all you’ve got, that’s not ADD. That’s called being extroverted. LW, I don’t know if your husband is a shady, entitled, rude asshole or not. It’s certainly possible that he takes you for granted and treats you like a servant. But this passage really, really comes off as extremely judgemental and mean to me. “Prances?” “Incessantly?” So, iow, he walks around the party and acts friendly and nice toward people all night, like a great guest? And you use his extroversion as a reason to insult him? No. I’m an introvert who was married to an extrovert. I know it can be hard to not feel awkward at big events where you know few people. But he’s your husband, not your nanny. I can totally understand why he thinks it would be better if he went alone, if this is how you typically handle weddings and other large parties. It’s ok to hate them. What’s not okay is trying to prevent your husband from enjoying them, and being himself, just because you can’t or won’t.

avatar Tmd260 May 7, 2014, 11:30 am

Ummm. I suffer from ADD, as well as anxiety & have never told my boyfriend I don’t want him to come with somewhere because it’s too stressful. If anything, it comforts me to know I have someone that is willing to be there with me at any important event I may need to attend. It is a great feeling.

My guess is your husband behaves a certain way at work that he knows you will not approve of. Whether it be flirtatious, or straight up having a relationship with someone there. Don’t want to sugar coat it. You need to put your foot down & demand going to this wedding. Basically WWS!

Do you want to live the rest of your life in your husbands shadow, while he continues to disrespect you? Think about that.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 12:27 pm

This reminds me of a situation this with my husband this weekend. He is a great guy but when he is with his fraternity brothers, he reverts to “Bronco”, his college alter-ego. So we were tailgating and I look at my successful, smart husband shotgun a beer in a contest against a ticket scalper with a cheering crowd around him. I was talking to the other wives just mortified. Does anyone else deal with not liking their spouse in certain situations?

avatar bethany May 7, 2014, 12:42 pm

I don’t, but my husband probably does! Joking aside, when I know I’m planning on acting like I’m still 21, I try to do it with just my girlfriends around, because my husband HATES it.

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 12:52 pm

My husband reverts his speech back to being a teenager around his old friends. It doesn’t embarrass me, I find it mostly amusing. Sometimes I count how many f-bombs he drops in a minute.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 1:49 pm

Right, it’s funny because the whole group probably does the same thing.

katie katie May 7, 2014, 1:21 pm

i dunno, i dont really get this line of thinking. like, that *is* your husband, its not an “alter-ego”. thats him, that is how he acts when he can really cut lose and have fun.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 1:22 pm

Yea, but I do think of myself as having different “characters” depending on the people I’m hanging out with or where I am. I guess everyone’s like that though.

katie katie May 7, 2014, 1:38 pm

oh yea, i agree, but they are all still you.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 1:53 pm

My friends and I make the joke that our maiden names are the wilder alter ego. So for me, Caroline P is totally respectable but Caroline S. was wild. So we will say, “Caroline S. would never leave the club at 10 PM or She would never stand for that.” I feel like as we get older and have more responsibility, those memories are more important. Like mostly we talk about the yard and taxes and boring stuff, but then you can shift with old friends and shotgun beers.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 1:55 pm

Oh that’s really cute! Old friends are the best.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 1:43 pm

So, I see what you are saying but it is also the peer pressure from the group. Like “Bronco” can chug a beer and his talent for his greek Mr. Ms. Pagent was chugging hot sauce. Now, 15 years later, he is the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and is on city council. It is similar that he wears khakis and button down shirts most days but when these guys are around he wears funny t-shirts. It is more dipping back to the person he was. Everyone does it. I have friends that I drink too much with and somehow get me to dance on tables even though I am not that girl anymore. It is like I just want to remember that girl.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 1:45 pm

also, I know that most people’s voice changes when they are at work versus at home. I can tell if my husband has mentally shifted from the office or not based on how deep his voice is when he talks to me.

avatar bethany May 7, 2014, 2:02 pm

It’s just a part of him. There’s no rule that says you have to like every single part of a person.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 2:14 pm

I like every part of you, bethany.

avatar bethany May 7, 2014, 2:33 pm

You’ve never met my belligerent-drunk alter ego, Irene. She’s nasty.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 2:42 pm

I want an alter-ego name now!

avatar eljay May 7, 2014, 5:43 pm

Ramona. BAM! You’re welcome. 🙂

avatar Sunshine Brite May 7, 2014, 8:33 pm

I hope not too mortified since I’m the one who’s usually belig.

bittergaymark Bittergaymark May 7, 2014, 1:25 pm

Eh, the tone of this letter is OFF. Who knows? Maybe the LW is REALLY a wetblanket at such events. Seriously, I (sadly) have more than a few acquaintances who have either husbands or wives that are insufferably clingy at social event and yet talk to virtually no one else. They just sit there, sulking, bitch-faced, bringing the ENERGY of the event way, wayyyyy down.

As far as NOT hosting something for a ill relative. Oh, grow the FUCK up. You don’t have to get along with everybody just to have them over. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many “annoying” or “mean” people I have invited over for purely political reasons. Honestly, if you REALLY can’t be the bigger person here…. well, then it simply fuels my deep seated suspicions that — yes! your husband has GOOD reasons for simply wanting to attend said wedding solo.

PS — General note. Honestly? Spouses at work events? For the most part? A big fucking drag. Why? For starters, most constantly interrupt conversations with vapid questions or appear SO disinterested in what is being said — again… wet blankets.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 1:30 pm

I don’t really get why she wants to go to the wedding for that reason alone! If Peter wanted me to go to all his work things, ugh! Boring.

katie katie May 7, 2014, 1:33 pm

you know, with what you said on the “off tone” … why would someone who is self described as socially awkward and someone who views being social in the negative light that she does want to even go to a wedding where she wont know anyone? you know? that makes her an unreliable narrator to me. not that socially awkward people cant enjoy whatever they want to enjoy… i dunno, it just doesnt make sense to me. i agree with the off tone here.

Lady_Red Red_Lady May 7, 2014, 10:10 pm

Yeah, I was confused by that too. Why would someone want to go to an event where they don’t know anyone , and generally don’t make an effort to socialize/get to know anyone new? And going to a wedding of someone you don’t even know? Doesn’t sound fun at all to me.

avatar Tmd260 May 7, 2014, 1:45 pm

Idk, if your partner is someone you can’t bring with you to social events with co workers or friends, sounds like a bigger issue. Why would you want to be married to someone that can’t partake in events with you & with a good attitude? Sounds pretty sad to me. But maybe I’m over simplifying things, so I digress.

I agree with the family gathering. Sometimes, you gotta suck it up. Especially if it’s your spouses family… It’s not that big of a deal to submit to a few hours of mild discomfort.

avatar csp May 7, 2014, 1:59 pm

IT isn’t that simple with the work functions. So I will go to networking events as an IT Recruiter. If I had to explain to my husband what a Cloud Security Engineer is, it would change the whole dynamic of the conversation. It can also be that some people might not approach people that are clearly a couple at networking events. It isn’t about flirting but a man might not be willing to approach me if my husband was leaning over me.

avatar Matcha May 7, 2014, 2:01 pm

Yeah, but if you’re talking about Cloud Security Engineering at a coworker’s wedding, that’s a whole ‘nother thing. There are networking work events and there are social work events. A coworker’s wedding falls neatly into the latter category for me.

avatar lets_be_honest May 7, 2014, 2:11 pm

I feel like social work events, like weddings, can also be networking events and usually are. Maybe I just have boring coworkers though! Ha.

avatar Tmd260 May 7, 2014, 2:20 pm

I get what you’re saying, but the LW’s reasons for her husband not wanting her to attend don’t state it’s because he will be discussing work. She’s basically saying because she is an introvert & her husband usually ditches her at events to prey on other women. I am all for spending time with friends without your S/O, I mean, people need to have their own lives independently from their partner, that’s clear… But you should also be able to have a good time with your partner in social gatherings as well. That’s just my opinion though, though.

Lady_Red Red_Lady May 7, 2014, 10:18 pm

I agree. What’s the point of having a SO if you can’t go out an shave fun with them?

avatar kali May 7, 2014, 12:34 pm

I’m kinda wondering if there’s a cultural factor in effect here or I have real difficulty understanding why any woman would put up with treatment of this sort. Seems like there may well be major cultural factors impacting the behavior of husband and wife.

I agree LW needs to stick up for herself and go to the wedding but, after 25 years, how likely is it that this situation is really going to change?

I hope we get an update as I have a feeling there’s more to this story that we’re being told.

lemongrass lemongrass May 7, 2014, 12:54 pm

People have really messed up relationship dynamics in all cultures. It really doesn’t mean that they are from a different culture.

avatar Breezy AM May 7, 2014, 3:45 pm

See I was thinking cultural issues but not because of that… because I just… the whole idea of telling your wife to stay home, and to host a party for brother… this just screams “not mainstream western culture” (not that there’s a THING wrong with that!) and… I’m wondering if culture issues play into her annoyance at his “socializing” behaviours? Like, maybe she’s kind of horrified, her husband, a married man, is running around a room conversing with women who are smiling, with bare shoulders, drinking, dancing, etc? I just wonder because I’ve known a few guys who were WAY more “western” at work than their more “traditional” wives would approve of. Yes, I know, lots of western couples are more flirty and chill at work too, I’m talking something way beyond that, something that would simply NOT be a persmissible thing to do for a married man in their culture, but that he doesn’t give a shit about in public. Yet she does.

avatar Wendy (not Wendy) May 7, 2014, 1:43 pm

What it comes down to is that no matter what the “real” story here is, these don’t sound like two people who want to be married to each other anymore.

Jess Jess May 7, 2014, 3:02 pm

Aw, man. This letter makes me sad.

Diablo Diablo May 7, 2014, 4:06 pm

Oh, i get this. I never want to introduce M to people at social gatherings. If I did, they’d for sure like her instantly and then spend the whole evening asking why the hell she married ME!

Actually, we usually do the opposite of this. We have to do a lot of events because we both work in charity, so we usually give each other permission NOT to come to the other’s events. But if she wanted to, fine. I just wouldn’t introduce her to anyone. No, I would.

Actually, we were both at a meeting this morning, and she introduced me to a colleague, noting that he is A’s husband (we’ve both been part of the same fundraisers group as A for years). I noted to A’s husband that i am typically introduced as M’s husband. So there’s your feminism, ladies. Two intelligent, hardworking, respected men, totally marginalized, reduced to mere arm candy for our more successful wives. You now have my permission to pity me.

lemongrass lemongrass May 8, 2014, 12:39 am

I pity the fool!

Lyra Lyra May 8, 2014, 12:42 am

I’m super late to this party, but this is messed up in so many ways. I’m really curious though, you mention how you’re socially awkward…do you perceive that your husband is embarrassed by that? If so, that’s really shitty of him. My boyfriend can be really socially awkward, especially with new people. He doesn’t take social cues all that well and that’s just how he is, but I would NEVER be embarrassed by that. The friends and family who have met him really like him so it doesn’t affect others and their perception of him. Honestly your husband just sounds so rude. Please take Wendy’s advice.