How to help my friendless and overly reliant husband?

I’ve been with my husband for 20 years. In the initial years, he had about four friends with whom he occasionally spent time.

Conversely, I have been fortunate to have many friends, and I truly cherish their presence in my life.

In contrast, my husband has lost all his friends. He occasionally goes for a run with a local dad we know, but avoids going out for coffee or meals with anyone.

While the husbands of my friends are all nice guys, my husband seems to find something wrong with each of them, and their idiosyncrasies bother him.

My husband’s lack of friends puts pressure on me to constantly entertain him. Despite working part-time and taking care of two young children and a dog, I feel overwhelmed by the unbalanced load.

I suggest he make friends with some local dads, but he always finds reasons why they’re not suitable.

Occasionally, he spends time with his toxic and passive-aggressive sister, which he acknowledges.

My husband’s deep insecurities lead him to control others with disdain and dismissiveness.

Whenever something seems to go wrong, he has an entrenched habit of blaming others.

He can withdraw affection and kindness without warning, and he constantly seeks praise and compliments while rarely giving any in return.

How can I persuade him about the importance of having his own friends and assist him in achieving this goal?

Initially, I believed the problem was solely about your husband not having friends, but I now realize that the issues between both of you run much deeper and extend beyond his social circle or Christmas card list.

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I sought the expertise of clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Stephen Blumenthal to review your letter with me.

He clarified that, similar to how parents sometimes misinterpret a family issue by singling out one child as the “problem” child, you may be identifying the problem as solely your husband’s lack of friends.

However, it would be more beneficial to perceive it as a problem affecting both of you.

We had difficulty understanding what drew you to your husband. Dr. Blumenthal pointed out that several potential issues have surfaced since you got married, and the dynamics of the relationship have changed.

It’s possible that both of you have grown in different directions over time. Did your husband exhibit these traits before, or were you more tolerant of them back then?

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