cheekybab SAID:

Recently I went to a Holiday office dinner party hosted by one of my husband’s colleagues.The evening started out nice , I thought, until a female colleague of his arrived, which he yells out her name in complete excitement. And leaves me across the room while they engage in conversation. For the entire cocktail hour. Her husband was there as well, but he was standing with them. Meanwhile I find myself trying to make light of the situation and start a conversation with a woman and her boyfriend (introduced as such). I just met for the first time. She ask me “well how are you enjoying retirement”. Excuse me I just met you, how do you know this about me??? The question was never answered. Later in the evening, several people left, including the lady who asked me these questions. My husband ask her boyfriend who remained, questions about her. Where did she go, why did she leave, what’s her profession, how long has she worked for this company, how much money she makes, and then praising her and her profession.. etc, etc. It was so embarrassing the host of the party stepped in and changed the conversation. I was so upset and embarrassed. On the way home, I was very quiet. he asked several times, “Are you ok, now are you sure I didn’t upset you with anything, are you sure, are you sure”. As if antagonizing me . I opted to put on a pleasant face to avoid conflict. NOW…next week there is another office party, same people. I don’t want to go! But if I don’t he will know I am upset, and I don’t want any conflict or bickering. I am retired, his colleagues are younger and dutifully employed. I am so out of my league. What should I do.

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4 Answers

  1. Mike Halsey wrote on :

    Ugh. It sounds like you are carrying a huge bag of worries, insults (real or perceived) and anger — and not really owning or addressing any of them. Any casual observer could pick up on the signals and empathize with the hurts from your story, but only you can heal them.

    I’m curious…
    What are you not allowing yourself to feel? Are you embarrassed to admit certain feelings to your husband, or to yourself?
    What does avoiding conflict do for you or your husband?
    Is there an assumption about how the script will play out if you raise these concerns, or some role you usually play in such dramas?

    Homework suggestion:
    1. Give yourself a HUGE dose of compassion! Name the most important hurts and worries. Own them, and gently acknowledge how deep they go. Resolve that you would like to heal, but that in no way will you be led to believe there is something wrong or foolish about your hurts.
    2. Ask your husband for help. Tell him what you are feeling. Ask him any–yes, ANY–questions you have. If this opens up deeper work to be done, schedule time to do that.
    3. Decide for yourself if you want to go to the next party, or choose to use your time otherwise. Feel good about choosing.

    I sincerely hope you will be kind to yourself and not accept any suggestion (internal or external) that your concerns are somehow unwarranted or wrong. Standing up for your emotional and relationship health is NOT the same as picking a fight.

    Best of luck. If you feel like sharing any follow-up, I’d love to hear it.

    Best to you,

  2. Amy Cohen wrote on :

    Hi Linda,
    I would be excited about being retired and having pure freedom! And honestly, if I met my husband colleagues and they knew nothing about me, that would mean he did not talk about me and would make me sad! Its great that he talks about his life with you You need to find your dose of confidence and pride. Go with your husband, keep you head up, be proud of who you are. And if you cannot find it, go to your health food store, pick up Larch flower esssence from Bach, take it 4x daily and you will move your energy back to the confident you! Try it, you wont believe it!

  3. Leah Halvorsen wrote on :

    Shying away from conflict and bickering does not always serve. What is important/necessary for you about keeping the peace? If you weren’t afraid to ruffle feathers, what would you allow yourself to say?

    Finding an empowered voice is an important and worthwhile journey, and a coach who works in the area of empowerment is a wonderful companion on the trek.

    Leah Halvorsen CPCC, PCC
    Heart-Centered Discovery and Empowerment Coach

  4. Mandasmita Singh wrote on :

    Hi Linda

    I would ask you a couple of questions – what does retirement mean to you? Also who is a worthy individual according to you? I would be curious to see what comes up 🙂

    For me retirement does not exist in reality we never retire really we move from one project/ role to another- I would look at your current situation as a moment of pause – a situation full of possibilities 🙂

    I would invite you to explore it further and you may be surprised!!

    Warm regards

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