15 answers

Husband Doesn't Want to Attend Family Functions

Okay, I've had this problem for years, but I'm hoping for new and better ways of dealing with this issue. My husband does not want to attend family gatherings on my side of the family. We get together for holidays and birthdays. Christmas usually isn't an issue, but the other holidays are, and most of the time I can't get him to come to the b-day parties.... I've tried telling him that it means a lot to me and that I want to set a good example for my kids, Family is the most important thing. I think this all stems from the fact that he has a family that doesn't like each other and they don't get together at all and never have. I tell him weeks in advance when something is planned (it's not like we get together all the time, usually every other month or so) and he acts like he's fine with it and willing to go, that is until the day of, then it's excuses galore as to why he can't or won't go. He gets along great with everyone in the family (better than me most times!) so I know that's not the issue. Any advice?

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So What Happened?™

WOW!! Thanks to all that replied! It's SOOO nice to know that I'm not alone in my frustration! I talked to my hubby last night, and he agreed to go to the major functions without a problem, but birthday parties he probably will not go to. I figure this is better than the argument that ensues before each gathering!! He also told me that if he does decide to go that he will not back out at the last minute. I told him that when he tells me he's going, I count on his help and if I know he's not going, I can plan how to do it myself (I'm a planner). We'll see how it goes from here, but hopefully with the pressure off of both of us, things will be easier, and maybe he'll actually willingly attend an extra event or two! Thanks again, all of you are awesome!!!!

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My stepsister has a hubby like that. Basically they realized he doesn't like big functions. And everything was always a big something when her mother was around. They came to an understanding, I guess and he doesn't come home with her. It wasn't a battle she wanted to face anymore.

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My husband is the same way, and for many of the same reasons. Weve come to the agreement where actual events, major holidays, family weddings he goes to. No excuses as long as i dont come at him today with something going on tomorrow. For casual get togethers, birthdays, smaller holidays....he can come or not. Honestly, once i took the pressure off and started letting some of the exucuses go, he's more likely to go than not now. He's even occassionally decided himself, hey, I havent seen your parents in a while, lets take (our little girl) and go visit for the weekend.

Try having the family member that is having the function be the one to personally invite your husband. And to some how tie him into a responsibility that he needs to attend to make the party a success.... He may feel like he is the third wheel and not a part of the excitement (even though just being part of the family is the excitement). By making him feel needed at the party may get him there easier for you.

Lots of luck!

My stepsister has a hubby like that. Basically they realized he doesn't like big functions. And everything was always a big something when her mother was around. They came to an understanding, I guess and he doesn't come home with her. It wasn't a battle she wanted to face anymore.

Have you ever flat out confronted him about what he's doing? Say that you know every time an event comes up with your family that the day of he finds other things that "have" to be done and you don't appreciate it? Ask him why he does it (though you may have already).

Barring all of that, does he respect anyone in particular in your family... father, brother-in-law, etc? Maybe have one of them go out of their way to call him and say hey, we are looking forward to seeing you at the birthday party, we miss seeing you around, etc. Maybe knowing that he is very welcome and missed by someone other than yourself will encourage him.

Just start hosting all of the parties at your house, then your husband won't have a choice and he'll have to be there!! Joke, LOL, but hey, it's worth a try!

Hi E.,

I was thinking that maybe he is hesitant to go because it makes him feel bad that your family is so close, and his is not. He might have some hurt in him from his own family, and not that he doesn't want to have fun with you and yours, but it might just be hard for him to be around. Just a suggestion, I may be TOTALLY wrong! But you say he really gets along with everyone, so it can't be that he just doesn't want to be around them because he doesn't like them. Maybe you can talk with him and remind him that you want your kids to be close to their extended family. And even though it might be hard for him, he should try to make it more of a priority to give them that gift of family.

Sorry, not trying to be preachy, but we've kind of had the same thing happen in our family. And also I read on someone elses comment that he may just really like to be at home. I know when my husband used to be a brick mason, he worked so hard during the day that he just wanted to chill out in the evenings and on the weekends. Not really laziness, just exhaustion.

Have a great day!

Your not alone my husband doesn't attend all family functions on my side and its worse on his especially bday parties well I can some what understand they are only his cousins children and we have so many of them to attend to.I know it'll be a disappointment to my kids if they know about it and we don't go,so I buy a gift anyway and send it with grandma that way I don't have to go alone with my kids I feel it's not my family and if you don't attend then fine I'm not either.Also I don't know about others and how others do parties but I feel that it isn't polite to invite family to a so called bday party somewhere and then having your quests buy their own food and drinks and all the children receive is the gift alot of times with out cake and icecream I see something wrong with that.I have a party and they are all feed with cake and icecream.

Wow! That sounds exactly like my family, just the opposite. My husband's family gets together every 6-7 weeks for a family birthday party, and I dread them all. My family gets along just fine, we aren't that close with my extended family and have never gotten together that much. Part of the reason I dislike the gatherings, is that I always get stuck in the basement or outside trying to occupy my kids, so that they don't destroy the house we're visiting. To me, the idea of getting together with aunts and uncles and cousins is very strange. In my family, we saved that for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Maybe, it's the same for your husband. I would try to just let it be for awhile. Don't force him to go...just tell him when the gathering is, and let him decide if he'd like to go. I bet if he misses them for several months, he might decide he wants to go again. I've learned that husband's are a lot like the kids--you can't force them to do something they don't want to do, but if you let them decide to do it on their own, they're usually happy to go along. Good luck:))

Is my husband at your house?????????????????

I've been married 19 years and I've learned to pick my arguments.
My hubby is not the social butterfly, his family are not close and warm and fuzzy. My family, we talk all the time, always get together. He thinks we're overkill, I think his family is boring.
However, I've learned not to get upset or take it personally, he's his own person. Yes the kids need to see that example of how important family is, so I'm their example. They may not want to attend a function, but I am the mom and you're going. I pick and choose, sometimes I've left them home too. Life is too short to fuss and argue, I pray for God to change his heart. Sometimes he goes, whenever he goes he has a good time, so it's the thought of going that is hard for him.
His stock question is always " how long are we going to be there??" I get so aggravated because we haven't gotten there yet, how am I supposed to know how long it's going to be????????
So, I know I'm rambling, (are you SURE that's not my husband you have?), but basically teach your children that family is important by you taking them, not even fussing at dad, just say ok babe, we'll see ya later! He's the one missing out.
I try to remind him we are making memories for them, and just like we have wonderful memories, does he want his kids to remember that he never wanted to do anything with the family?
good luck.

Oh my! I totally know where you are coming from. My fiance the same way. He ALWAYS says he will be there, but doesn't show. I even took both his and my kids to my side of the family for Christmas while he stayed home. He wouldn't even go with me to my brother's funeral with me. But with him it's just not my side of the family. It's hard to get him to go to his own family functions, but at least he'll go a select few. He doesn't like being around a lot of people. "Get togethers" have to many people. I understand the frustration and pain. I have tried to talk to my fiance about it and he keeps telling me how he will spend THIS Christmas with us. (Yeah, right.. I heard this before) My mother tells me he'll get better as he gets older because my step dad was the same way...he's now 55. He hasn't gotten that much better because he wasn't at my sons bday party yesterday. **but that's another story** I don't think there's a lot you can do to change your husband, just let him know how much it hurts you, and when your kids question why dad isn't coming have them ask dad. HOPEFULLY that would give him a reality check. I wish you the best.

Well I originally looked at you request to get some advice, but haven't really seen much other than women who can relate. Mine won't go to family functions with me either. He doesn't attend anything on his side of the family either. I'm from a HUGE family so there's always something going, but I try to pick & choose which ones are musts. Mine's reason is pretty much he's not into family (his family experienced a tragic accident & are not close)& he's selfish. Nothing comes before what he wants to do...hunting..races on tv...fishing...or nothing. He has never cared that I carry the burden of making sure our kids know their relatives & getting them ready, carrying them to & from the function, etc
Into family or not these guys were supposed to be there to suport us & help us & their children & they don't.

My two cents are: these men are selfish & thoughtless & we know it & we put up with it because they are MEN.
Good luck...I know mine will never change
(I've tried REAL HARD)

Hi E....Start having more family functions at your house. He might lighten up and realize how much fun it can be. Set up some "guy" things like horse shoes or something.Good Luck...But if he's a good guy...let him do what he wants. He may have a good reason for not going..Good luck forcing it out of him..lol B.

My husband hates going to birthday parties too. It doesn't have anything to do with liking or disliking my family. He likes to be home. I don't have a problem with getting him to go to holiday functions but he hates birthday parties. I do have a pretty large family so there are a lot of birthday parties. Men are just different about these sort of things. He has no problem with our son's birthday parties but he doesn't see why he needs to be at other children's parties. I guess my adivce it to talk to him. Meet in the middle with him. Have him go to every other party, or take differnt cars and let him leave after an hour or so. I like having my husband there with me too, but I know he is more comfortable at home so we try to work something out. As for the advice of having more things at your house, I wouldn't do that. I think that will just make him feel cornered, like you are not concerned with how he feels, and that will just end badly. Sit down and talk about it. Why he really doesn't want to go, and explain to him what it means to you to have him there with you and how you feel when he backs out of it. Good luck.

My husband is the exact same way. It drives me nuts! He doesn't try to make up excuses the day of but he always get's really grumpy for no reason before we go like he wants me to just tell him not to go or something. Sorry I don't have any advice for you but I just wanted to let you know your not the only one dealing with this problem.

Just pray diligently that God will bring him the desire to participate in your family times. I have had a similar issue and finally gave it to God. It took a little time, but I feel that my husbands heart has softened and now he desires to spend more time with the family. God answers prayer! Good Luck!

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