He is so much into himself. He is not selfish but he just doesn’t like to be with people. I, on the other hand, am the only child to my parents and have very strong relationship with both my parents and all my extended families. I have lots of cousins, aunts and uncles. I always want to have time with my families. It is not like I want to live with them but you know I want to spend long weekends and holidays with them and I want them to come over to my house. Since I was the only child to my parents, I see all my cousins as my siblings and I always want them in my life. I know what Genesis 2:24 says, how a man should leave his parents and being united with his wife and I know that I have to do the same thing and I am doing everything I can to leave my family but I can’t just ignore them and live without them. They are part of me and I want to visit them and I want them to visit me. But my husband doesn’t want anyone over to our house and he doesn’t want to go with me. Missy, I got married just a couple years ago and can you imagine me going to visit my parents or to a dinner party or something alone? I feel very sad! Everybody is asking me where my husband is. I lied once and twice and I now ran out of false reasons. I cried last week because I had to go to a dinner party alone. Missy, my husband, as I told you, is a very nice person but he has this problem and I don’t know how to handle it. Would you please help me?
A4P Guest: I’m writing this after reading your February 20th post “A Husband Or a Caregiver.” I am married and have a one year old son. My husband and I have very good relationship. I have no problem in my marriage except one thing. My husband doesn’t want people to come over to our house and he doesn’t want to go to anybody’s house, including my parents’ house.
A4P: My heart goes to you, my dearest! I saw your pain especially in your last few statements.
I am very proud of you though for seeking help at this early stage of your married life. And I am glad that you didn’t set out to change your husband because that would have been a double whammy!
So, here is the good news: It is not only your husband but most men don’t like a crowd. It makes them feel so uncomfortable that they avoid it at any cost. A crowd can mean for them their wives plus one other person. When they find themselves in a crowd, they feel like the crowd is leading their lives and they feel like they lose control of their lives. So, this makes them feel uncomfortable. They have this hidden fear of being found incompetent, not measuring up to others’ expectations and not able to perform as they are expected by others.
This kind of fear is found in most men but how they handle this fear differs greatly. Some, like your husband, totally avoid any social gathering. Some limit their chance to be with others but they compromise for the sake of their mothers or wives. Some overcome this fear and go with the flow.
You see, God created Adam and gave him work. So, Adam feels comfortable and safe when he interacts with computers, laptops, washing machines and other “non-human” machines. God didn’t intend to create another talking machine but a person who interacts and relates. So, God took one rib out of Adam and from that day on, Adam goes out looking for his “lost rib.” Once he finds his rib, he doesn’t want to be bothered by other human beings who want to relate with him or with his “found rib.” He wants to be left alone with his “rib”.
But Eve, the one who is made up of sugar, spice and everything nice, is created completely different from Adam. God took her out of Adam and gave her back to Adam. So, she is very good at talking to others who don’t even want to talk. So unlike her counter-part, she is very good at relating to other human beings, including a one-day-old baby who doesn’t even utter a word.
Knowing this general truth helps a lot.
But here is the bad news: Most men don’t change! And trying to change them makes things worse.
So, here is my advice: Accept your husband as he is! Accept your lot in life. Nobody had it all perfectly! Instead of seeing this as a cross to carry, see it as a God-given opportunity for you to grow in character and wisdom.
Yes, your number one priority is your husband, not your families. So, try not to suffocate him having people over five days a month. If you can go, go and have fun. If people ask you where your husband is, don’t lie; instead say something like, “No, he didn’t come,” and end it there. If they ask you, “Why didn’t he come?” Say something like, “Oh, I am here representing him and myself,” with a smile. People usually leave you alone when they see that you accept and respect your husband.
I understand you want to invite people over too but pray so God arranges something for you, like for your husband to travel for work for few days or something so you can have people over. Or, if he gives you a choice for him to stay in his office/study room (assuming that you have such a room in your house), have people over and have fun.
Yes, people may label your husband like, “He is anti-social,” blah, blah, blah. Don’t mind about that. As long as you have a good marriage, know that everything else remains outside your home. Don’t try to explain your situation to everybody because they can’t understand.
When you go to a party alone and come back home later, don’t ignore your husband. Don’t try to show him that you had a wonderful time without him or a sad day because he was not there. Don’t do that. Just leave everything outside your home and try to enjoy your home, husband and son. It is tough for you to do this but not impossible because you’re not alone. God will help you.
You never know. Your respectful manner, the fact that you’re letting your husband be what he wants to be, may encourage him to join you wherever you go.
And truth be told, most men’s “antisocial character” tends to wear out a bit as they get older. So, give him space and time as you celebrate him as your husband and a father of your son. ///