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Thread: Does your wife go out without you?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Does your wife go out without you?

    I am 30 and my wife is 28. We dated all through college and got married right after. Her and I hang out a lot and go to the bar with friends on the weekends although we generally rarely talk to each other. She is a teacher and doesn't have to work in the summer. During the week she will go out to the bars with her also-married friend until bar close at least once per week during weekdays. My issue is her friend has cheated on her husband many times (the friend has told me) and has a drinking problem that her and my wife fail to acknowledge. Her friend is out at the bars at least 4 nights per week. My wife says she needs "girl time" but girl time always involves going to the bar on weekdays until 2 AM. And it's never before bar close - it's either bar close or don't bother going out. It's not that I don't trust her, it's more that I don't see why "girls night" always has to involve the same bars with a woman that cheats on her husband and drinks excessively. Why can't they go to a movie, or shopping, or out to dinner, etc. like I do with my guy friends? Am I over reacting or is her behavior normal. On the plus side I know she is out with the friend and not random other men. We do not have any children. Is this normal or am I over reacting?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Meh...

    Other than the fact that the wife's friend sounds like a philanderer, I don't see a problem. If my wife wants to go out to the bar with her friends a few nights a week, I wouldn't mind. She doesn't though, just because that's never really been her scene. Instead, her and her friends generally go for brunch or dinner a couple times a month. I go out to the bar once a week for a few months out of the year for my bowling league (our league venue is more of a hipster hangout than a traditional bowling alley) and she doesn't seem to be bothered by that.

    Ask yourself if your wife was hanging out with a girl who wasn't a cheat if you would still have the same concerns...
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Can I tell you what I wish I'd done in some situations like this (not the same, but still)? You should just talk to her about it. I know it can seem uncomfortable, but if it's bugging you a little, try to talk to her about it. You'll have to explain that you're not trying to be a 1940's control-freak, but you just worry a little about how late how often, etc. If you don't feel like you can talk to her about anything at all, then there's a problem that will only get bigger and include more situations. You can believe me - I know . Don't worry in silence, paiste, talk to the woman about it. That's what I'd do if I were in this boat.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I'm with ursus--just talk to her about it. It seems clear to me that you trust your wife--you just don't trust the company she keeps to not put your wife in a bad situation. From my perspective given the friend's history, I would worry that the friend would run-off and abandon your wife at the bar due to either compromised decision-making resulting from excessive drinking, or because she spotted some choice meat. And that is exactly how I would approach it with your wife--"I don't trust your friend to not leave you in a lurch & in an unsafe situation."

    My wife goes out with her friends on a fairly routine basis--about every couple of weeks. I actually encourage it, but I also consider her friends as my friends and trust them to watch out for one another. And the late-night bar scene has never been their thing. I kind of hold the opinion that routinely hearing the refrain of "Closing Time" at age 30 is a little sad & immature, and this is coming from someone who used to pride himself on his ability to drink virtually anyone under the table.
    Last edited by Suburb Repairman; 22 Jun 2012 at 2:41 PM.

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  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Very sound advice, Ursus!

    Seems like you might also try to organize your thoughts a bit before talking to her. There are a few issues at play that are intertwined from my reading – as is usually the case. Life is just messy. But I think your conversation will go better if you can separate some of the different feelings here and speak about each separately. Like Ursus, this overlaps into some familiar territory. The stress and anxiety one person’s problem (like alcoholism) creates for others around them (for you, for your wife with respect to her friend) spreads very quickly and if not addressed can fester and create a lot of bad feelings that get harder to resolve the longer they go unaddressed. Frame your feelings as concerns, be genuine, be humble, make it clear that you are coming from a point of view of compassion and I think it will go well.

    Does my wife go out without me? Absolutely (and I sometimes go out without her). But she doesn’t close down bars or regularly go drinking on weeknights. Its mainly about communing with friends and is as likely to be going to a movie as going to a bar. For me, its bike riding on the weekends or maybe seeing music with friends (which may involve drinking). With kids, this kind of time is important to maintain some sense of identity independent of just being someone’s parent (or, if no kids, as someone other that a person’s spouse). But its less about the drinking/partying and more about the relationships (which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy partying as well). But it sounds like the scales may have tipped in your wife and her friends’ case – that the partying has taken more of a central role.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I agree completely that you should talk with her about this. I would suggest that you make sure that she knows that you are not accusing her of anything wrong and that you love her very much. Then explain your concerns with the situation and the thoughts and feelings associated with those concerns. It is important to not put her on the defensive and maintain productive dialog. Using terms like "I feel concerned for your safety" or "I am feel worried that So and So may put you into uncomfortable or detrimental situations" That allows you to address your feelings on the situation without making her feel that she is doing anything wrong.

    It is also important to know that we choose our feelings based on the actions of others. For example, if I spit into someone face, does that make angry? No, it makes them wet. They choose to be angry. (And rightly so in that situation) but ultimately the actions of others don't make us feel anything. It is how we choose to respond to those actions that dictate our feelings.

    As for the question if my wife goes out to bars without me. It is an EXTREMELY rare occasion, and she would not go out to a bar with a friend who has cheated on their spouse. I think since we have been married, it has happened twice. There have been a few times that I have gone out to a bar without my wife, but that was with a group of friends to get a bite to eat and I am always home at a reasonable time. (11ish or so)
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  7. #7
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Mine goes out on Friday for karaoke... I enjoy some alone time.
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  8. #8
    There could be some very innocent reasons why your wife is doing this: to protect her friend from some of the bad choices she's made in the past and to ensure that she's going to get home safely (rather than driving drunk). And she might not have wanted to talk to you about that to avoid embarrassing her friend. Nonetheless, you should talk to her.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I will meet up with friends for happy hour after work, sometimes a dinner. I also have regular evening commitments due to the nature of my job and get frequent invites to special events. I do go to some, but not all and vast majority of the time I am home by 9 or 10. My partner doesn't care because he knows what I am doing, where I am at, who I am with...not because he asks but because I tell him. He also doesn't particularly like the schmoozing and networking that happens so he's happier at home.

    That said, do talk to your wife. The more you suffer in silence the bigger the divide will become.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Your friends are a reflection of yourself...

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    No, I pretty much have to actively encourage/beg my wife to go out without me. I like my time alone and also think it's healthy for her to go out and spend time with her girl friends, but the bottom line is she's a home body by nature.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    No, I pretty much have to actively encourage/beg my wife to go out without me. I like my time alone and also think it's healthy for her to go out and spend time with her girl friends, but the bottom line is she's a home body by nature.
    Pretty much the same here.

    My wife probably goes out with friends maybe 4-5 times a year. And it's usually for dinner/movies.

    As to the OP, I can't imagine my wife being such good friends with a cheater like you describe.

    I don't think you're overreacting. Talk to your wife.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Mrs. P goes out with her girl friends. On weekends (if its not us three couples) they usually goes to one of their homes so they don't have to drive and they do stay up very late.

    Weeknights are usually at home. maybe dinner and a few drinks but we all know its a "school night" and have to be functional in the morning. I guess that makes us old.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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