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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
about this or if I should just be grateful I got anything at all... I'm really hurt.

How do I talk To him about it without sounding ungrateful?
 

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That's a tricky situation...a couple Christmases ago my husband got me a sample pack of perfumes from the drugstore on Christmas Eve and like you I was grateful, however I expected more or something with a little more thought. I was a little disappointed. I didn't approach him right away about it and waited a couple weeks and said it was thoughtful but it's more of a gift you give to someone you barely know. I did tell him beforehand some of my favourite perfumes but he seemed to disregard that and got the sampler pack. Now I give him a list around birthdays and Christmas.
 

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@muffin1983 I'm sorry you also received a bummer gift. Yes it is a hard situation to be. Not sure if I should say something or let it slide.

@unique username thank you. I have no idea. One of his friends. They were talking about cars. He talks on the phone way more than I do....
 

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Zoe32, it seems to me that the bigger problem is not the gift as much as the presentation and lack of celebration. It was your birthday, yet he couldn't even get you a sub when he was getting his own? No wrapping? Not celebrating your birthday with the family? A half hour call couldn't wait for a call back?

How would he have felt if the situation was reversed?

Is this the norm in your relationship? Do you do most of the work? Does he make up for this deficit in other ways?

All I can say is that I would feel incredibly hurt, also. A birthday is just a day to celebrate your loved ones and make them feel special. Even if the present was inexpensive, as long as it was heartfelt and some thought went in to it that would make one feel special. Is this a one time thing of being a jerk, or is this a habit?
 

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Zoe32, If you have already known him long enough to be married to him, you probably already knew that he is not a romantic guy. Has this been an issue previously in your marriage?
 

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@firefly789 he can be pretty insensitive at times. But he usually does a little better for my birthday. This particular instance just made me feel like he doesn't care about me. He tells me he loves me, but never compliments me. He will joke around and tell me I have a muffin top or big thighs or something. If I get hurt feelings he will tell me I'm too sensitive and I don't know how to take a joke. I know I'm not fat - but that's not the type of thing a girl is going to find funny. I know that he loves me, and he does care about me. I guess he is just not good at showing it. ..
He does all of the outside work such as mowing lawn and shoveling. I do quite a bit of the inside stuff (he does do his own laundry). I really don't want anything to d with the outside chores, so I'm ok with that. However he will make snide comments like, "we'll I guess I have to go shovel because you won't." Then I start to feel that he resents me because I dont shovel. He will make the same comments about mowing the lawn. That makes me mad because I have a longer work day than he does. It's not like I sit around doing nothing. Plus he's bigger and stronger than I am. It's hard for me to shovel heavy snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@steve1000 oh I've accepted long ago that he doesn't have a romantic bone in his body, but he at least would make a little more effort for my bday. There is being romantic and then there is being considerate and respectful....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just don't know what was going through his mind - was it to get in and out of the store as fast as possible? He said he was going to get me a Santa Clause mug, but instead opted for the cardinal mug because he thought I could use that one year round. I'm so glad he at least didn't go with the Santa mug. That would've been worse...

I guess I just need to vent...
 

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I don't know if I should talk to my husband about this or if I should just be grateful I got anything at all... I'm really hurt.

How do I talk To him about it without sounding ungrateful?
Here's how. Don't complain about the gift. If I understand correctly, the gift was not the only problem here. It was him eating without you, ignoring your family, and watching TV instead of spending time with you.

Simply tell him you are hurt because he didn't want to spend any time with you on your birthday. You are hurt because he would prefer to talk to his friend and watch TV instead of spending time or eating together.

Just ask him, hey couldn't we have gone out to dinner or something? Couldn't we have gone out on a date on my birthday? (if the week is too busy then do it on the weekend).

That might get the "clue" light bulb turned on in his head.
 

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@steve1000 There is being romantic and then there is being considerate and respectful....
Yes, that's very true that being considerate is more important than romantic and you should be able to expect that from your spouse. I agree with the other poster who thinks you should talk to your husband about his unwillingness to share your special day with you and your parents. That was not very considerate.
 

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Zoe32, your story totally made me flinch. I think it's pretty awful. I would be devastated if my H treated me like this. The only time he came close--and it was only a bad evening, not my birthday!--I found out later he had had a disastrous afternoon at work and hadn't yet learned not to kick the dog (me). My hurt turned to sympathy as soon as he told me the truth.

I would take a wild stab at your H's dysfunctional motivation here and say that he's so awkward with birthday stuff and whatever "Hallmark" expectations he feels you have, that he chose to make it a total failure instead of trying hard and being found imperfect. Maybe your H said, in effect, "Screw this, I'll never get it right, may as well just make it an obvious train wreck."

Somewhere in there--in your marriage--I believe there really is an explanation. You got the raw end of something but I'm not sure it's really what's advertised. It's possible--and yeah I'm psychoanalyzing here, but hey, you never know--he feels like such a doofus at romance that he didn't want to try and end up looking stupid. (How ironic, that's how it looked.)

In short, I think he feels incompetent in the Romance Dept especially compared to you or your unspoken expectations. This would also explain why he puts you down when he goes out to do chores for you. I think he has an inferiority complex. Did his siblings put him down a lot as a kid?

Your birthdays may benefit from having you plan them in the future.

Now I'm wondering what Valentine's Day looks like around your house!
 

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Zoe, by the way, did you ask your H why he didn't get you a sub? This has happened a few times with H and I a few times where he has going to pick something up to eat and forgotten to grab me something because he wasn't sure if I ate or not. If I haven't, he'll sometimes go out and grab something for me or in the situation where we go out for dinner he'll just get something small while I eat if he's overly full. I just find it really odd that he didn't get you a sub or offer to get a sub on your birthday.
 

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...he will make snide comments like, "we'll I guess I have to go shovel because you won't."
And one day you should say, "well, I guess I have to go get my own sub because you won't".

:rolleyes:

I was dating a guy for quite a while and it was my birthday. He knew it was my birthday for a while because it was a milestone birthday and elaborate plans by friends were made for me in which he was invited. He came to pick me up and handed me a card. No gift. After I read the card he reached into his wallet and handed me whatever cash was in there. Then, from my hand, he took back $5 for toll money on the way home.

I used that money to subscribe for a 3 month membership to Match.com.

Sorry, I didn't mean to tell you a story about what happened to me but your post made me remember those feelings of what it's like to be let down by someone you care about. Especially when you go above and beyond to make their birthday special.

All I can say to you is that you teach people how to treat you. If you rugsweep your disappointment he won't be motivated much to change his behavior. Another gift giving holiday is right around the corner and he needs to make it as special for you as you do for him.

And if my boyfriend or husband EVER treated me that way in front of my family or friends I would be mortified!!

I'm sad that your birthday was not as you had imagined. I'm sorry he let you down and didn't make you feel special.

For what it's worth, Happy Belated Birthday!
 

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@firefly789 he can be pretty insensitive at times. But he usually does a little better for my birthday. This particular instance just made me feel like he doesn't care about me. He tells me he loves me, but never compliments me. He will joke around and tell me I have a muffin top or big thighs or something. If I get hurt feelings he will tell me I'm too sensitive and I don't know how to take a joke. I know I'm not fat - but that's not the type of thing a girl is going to find funny. I know that he loves me, and he does care about me. I guess he is just not good at showing it. ..
He does all of the outside work such as mowing lawn and shoveling. I do quite a bit of the inside stuff (he does do his own laundry). I really don't want anything to d with the outside chores, so I'm ok with that. However he will make snide comments like, "we'll I guess I have to go shovel because you won't." Then I start to feel that he resents me because I dont shovel. He will make the same comments about mowing the lawn. That makes me mad because I have a longer work day than he does. It's not like I sit around doing nothing. Plus he's bigger and stronger than I am. It's hard for me to shovel heavy snow.
After hearing the above comment, it doesn't sound like this is a one time thing. It sounds very passive aggressive to me. He indirectly complains over having to do chores. I would think by doing the inside, you have more on your plate than he does (?). He makes "jokes" criticizing your body. (You both know it is not a "joke"). Then there is the the birthday behavior that was basically an insult. He knows just how to skate by that fine line.

With your additional information, the birthday bummer was not a lack of romance. It was a lack of regard. He is showing you contempt. That's the bottom line. You need to have a discussion with him. Maybe go to MC. Something else is going on in your relationship. Why doesn't he want to pull his weight, and why is he giving you the passive aggressive treatment? If this continues, it will become a habit to treat you this way. It is unhealthy for both of you.
 

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Agree with firefly unfortunately. His actions on your birthday were inexcusable imo. It does sound like passive-aggressive behavior and possibly narcissistic. P-A people absolutely resent any expectations placed on them. You may want to read up on that.

I'm sorry to say, it sounds to me like he was deliberately being a jerk to you and to your family (and the complaining about doing normal chores around the house and taking mean jabs at you only reinforces that). I do not think he 'didn't know' that he should give you a real gift in something other than a Wal-Mart bag, that he should say Happy Birthday and that he should not treat the whole night as a barely tolerable inconvenience to him.

How long have you been together?
 

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I was dating a guy for quite a while and it was my birthday. He knew it was my birthday for a while because it was a milestone birthday and elaborate plans by friends were made for me in which he was invited. He came to pick me up and handed me a card. No gift. After I read the card he reached into his wallet and handed me whatever cash was in there. Then, from my hand, he took back $5 for toll money on the way home.

I used that money to subscribe for a 3 month membership to Match.com.
:lol: This is pathetic and hilarious. And I love how you handled it!
 

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Your husband does sound resentful, and I agree that his behavior wasn't about simply a poor choice of gift but about his general lack of regard for you.

Your hurt feelings are understandable, to say the least!

However, I don't think your situation will benefit at all from criticism and blame. I wouldn't mention the gift at all. I would, however, tell him very clearly, "The next time my family visits, I expect that you will postpone your phone calls. I did not like feeling like you had very little regard for us and I don't want that to happen again." You can't force him, obviously, but you don't want to get into an argument over this, either. Just make a statement that makes it clear what you expect and why.

This alone won't solve the problem, but it will start setting the tone for respect, as long as you also start to understand where he's coming from. He's not a gift-giver. He seems to be someone who has "acts of service" as a primary love language. Go ahead and handle the snow sometimes. It's not hard to get a broom and whisk it away when there's half an inch or an inch of the stuff. You don't have to do it every time, but DO things for him and let him know you're doing it because you love him.

Also, stop the tit-for-tat, "You should do this because I did that" kind of thinking. It's destructive to relationships.
 
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