(Closed) FI ruined my birthday…feeling really down and confused

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Did he know you had such high expectations, or did he simply think you wanted to spend the day with him?

If I want to make a fuss about my birthday,  I usually plan it myself.

Post # 4
102 posts
Blushing bee

I used to have similar issues with my Fiance in the beginning of our relationship. I don’t think it’s that he means to flake out, they are just men! I’m sorry this happened to you but I think it’s best to discuss it with him. 


Good luck! 🙂

Post # 5
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Ergh, boys. Sometimes they just don’t get it. You need to tell him now that he needs to make more of an effort & just hope it sticks, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I think some people are considerate and others just aren’t. Especially when it comes to birthdays 

Post # 6
1281 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@imanw:  My Fiance thinks that celebrating birthdays is mainly for children, and your Fiance seems to be like-minded.  Don’t get me wrong, he’ll take me to dinner and give me a gift, but never any lavish plans.  He also says that he does not expect any big plans for his birthday either. 

After 5 years, I had two choices; make big plans for his birthday and hope he’ll follow suit, while I throw a mini-tantrum because what he ends up doing doesn’t compare to what I did for him. OR I can lower my expectations and just be happy to have a nice, relaxing day where I get to spend time with him, get some extra attention and am not expected to cook or clean, and then give him the same on his birthday.  

I chose option two and it was the first birthday that we didn’t get in an arguement, which was a good birthday for me 😉


Post # 7
724 posts
Busy bee

That would not fly with me, and I do not think you have “high expectations” at all.  A cruise to the Bahamas is high expectations.  Dinner and a movie and NOT watching football?  No.  It sounds like he just didn’t plan much and suddenly realized his precious football game coincided with your birthday.  Reposting what I posted on another very similar thread:  

Storytime:  My ex completely forgot my birthday one year.  I was at home for college break so I couldn’t spend it with him, but he didn’t even call or post on my fb wall.  Nothing.  I was so upset and lost it with him and he apologized and promised to do something big  in six months on my “half” birthday to make it up.  Six months later (and this time with me reminding him), his “something big” turned out to be picking me up from school and saying in an excited tone “I’m picking up some McDonald’s for you and then you can watch whatever you want on TV when you get home!!!”  And he seriously thought this was a great idea!  Needless to say we did not make it to celebrate my next birthday.

I’m now with a guy who also sucks at planning, procrastinates, is spontaneous and does everything last minute…EXCEPT my birthday our anniversary Valentine’s Day and Christmas.  Why?  Because we had a conversation early on that I love holidays and except to celebrate them, even in little ways.  And he listened.  Because even though he hates planning, he loves me and wants to make me happy.  

Guys who really care about you will plan something special even when they hate planning if they know it’s important to you.  But before you go jumping on him talk to him calmly.  Lay out what your expectations are.  As long as they’re reasonable (that he plan SOMETHING even if it’s not extravagant because birthdays and special occasions are important to you) he should follow through with them, planner or no planner.  If he still doesn’t well…it might be time to evaluate how much of a priority you are to him.”

And as for the money thing, back in college I didn’t have a job or much money at all to spare.  The morning of my ex’s birthday I got up super early and decorated the house with balloons and a happy birthday sign, then when he got home from work  cooked all his favorite foods and took him to the roof of a car garage with a gorgeous view of the city at sunset and we had a picnic.  Afterwards we walked all through the city and I asked him to show me his favorite spots and tell me about them (he had grown up there but I’d just moved there for college).  He loved it and it cost less than 30 bucks.  The money thing is an excuse, if you are really a priority he will find a way to make you happy on a budget.

Post # 8
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

First of all i hate when people responded with oh it’s just how guys are.

It really depends on the person and they think of birthdays. I enjoy birthdays but I don’t need a big to do about them. I also think there no reason to stay home if you like celebrating, you should have told your friends and family that your Fi was working and went out and celebrated with them.

I am sorry but I honestly feel like three days for a birthday celebration is a bit much. However I do think you guys should have went home and cooked dinner if you are on a tight budget it doesn’t make sense for him to go out and spend money you guys don’t have.

It normal to feel hurt and annoyed, maybe talk to him about it. I think also if you know he is the type to be lowkey and it’s annoying while it nice for him to make an effort, you either one have to spell out what you like to do before the date.


Post # 9
3588 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@rubybride718:  +1 super good advice.

Personally, I find celebrating the birthdays of adults dull, and I think they are for children, like rubybride’s Fiance. But we DO make a small celebration, we usually go out for dinner usually. And there is a card.

A trip to Orlando when you don’t have money is extravagant. Is that the sort of budget breaker you (OP) plan on every year? Please re-think that, your Fiance may find that to be too much and it ‘s not worth going into debt for.

You can use that money for YOUR birthday celebration because it seems important to you. Next year, plan what you’d like to to and tell him.

 AS an asdie, I’ve always found the phrase “make it up to you” creepy. There is no making up, apologize and move on.  There is changing behavior for next time–perhaps that’s what he meant.

IT takes a while to work out these kinds of expectations. It is important that you th eOP give him suggestions about free birthday stuff that you’d like.

Post # 10
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Italiano's Humble


I was thinking the same thing, about the Orlando thing. 


OP, are you planning a wedding? if so, your Fiance is probably looking at your monthly budget, versus wedding expenses. and I guess I’m the “little things count” type. my ex, out of 6 years, took me out to tgifridays one time. nothing else, and he nearly gave me a heart attack when he followed thru on it!

I’m gonna be 30 in a month, and I am not the type to be depressed about 30. Big whoop. I know my FH has something planned, with my bff I believe. but im not gonna throw a damn tantrum bc he only has the money for a movie. I hate football, but I’m more about the time spent together, not the activity being done.

Post # 11
7904 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

You have really high birthday expectations for a fullgrown adult.

Post # 12
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

OP, you should consider communicating with your fiance about what your expectations are for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Your fiance clearly doesn’t understand what makes the day special for you, and perhaps you don’t understand what makes a day special for him since you went all out on his birthday but he obviously doesn’t think birthdays have to be celebrated in such a manner. 

Just a personal story to illustrate my point: My husband and I celebrated my birthday this past year for the first time together. On his birthday – when we were engaged – we were apart, but he was moving down to Florida the next week from up north. When he arrived, I had a birthday party for him at my house with dinner, cake and decorations, and we (my mom and sister) all had gifts for him. He was pleasantly surprised because his family never made a big deal about his birthday or gave him presents. So I went all out to try and show him that now he belongs to a family with me and in our family his birthday is special and important – and so is he. (Side note: his gift was a signed copy of Mickey Mantle’s autobiography, along with some homemade coupons for things for after we got married.)

However, then my birthday rolled around. And he knows I do come from a family that makes a big deal out of birthdays – we don’t necessarily spend a lot of money, but my mom would bring us cake in the morning in bed and the whole family would sing, like it was a special day for that person. I think my husband put a lot of pressure on himself to make my birthday as special for me as I had made his for him. He got me a nice gift – a massage, which he gave to me a few days early – but on the day of my birthday he went to work (I spent the day with my sister), came home, went to the bathroom and took a nap. That night we went to my mom’s for dinner. There was nothing special on the day of – no card, no flowers, nothing that said today is a special day, not even in the way that he interacted with me. It was made just a touch worse since he had promised me a specific handmade item and didn’t come through.

After being pretty annoyed at him I finally realized what I needed to do, and I explained to him the way birthdays are for me and what I like to do to celebrate. I told him gifts don’t really matter that much since usually we just tell each other what we want anyway, but a card, a balloon, maybe organizing a nice dinner with family, that would make the day special for me. From that point on, he understood, and I know he’ll make my bithday special this year when it rolls around. His birthday is in two weeks and while we can’t afford the Xbox that he wants (been trying to win it every morning from Y100), I can afford to make the day special for him and show him how much I care about him – even if he totally forgets our entire talk by the time my birthday shows up, at least I know that I’m giving to the other person in the relationship in a way that is appreciated (by the way, appreciated is the key word, because if my husband hated special birthday attention then I’m not really giving anything at all, I’m really doing the opposite). The key is open communication, really learning your partners needs and wants, and getting rid of the games. 

Post # 13
757 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My Fiance have started to just laugh about it, because this ends up happening on my birthday every year. I plan a nice birthday party with my friends for later, but that is pretty much it. He usually like “plans to make dinner” or “we will definitely go out” and then something ends up going horribly wrong. He is bad at organizing things and I usually end up fixing it myself. 

Don’t let it bother you too much, it probably doesn’t mean anything about your relationship or what he thinks about you. If you feel like he is generally not thoughtful and doesn’t care that is one thing, but this is just one day. 

Post # 14
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@imanw:  No I don’t think you’re being a spoiled brat.  I think you need to give him some slack given tight finances.  But, I don’t think it was fair for him to blow you off, ignore your wishes to go home a watch football, that was pretty crappy of him.

Chances are the reason this is a recurring issue is you do keep making excuses for him.  Think about it… you get mad, then feel bad, so you give him a free pass.  You’re essentially conditioning him to feel it’s all ok.  You have to take some responsibility for landing yourself in this situation yet again!

You need to clearly set the expectation going forward, and no more pussy footing around the subject.  You have an idea of what he can and can not afford.  So here’s what I would do going forward… “FI – I want to do THIS for my birthday!”  And make it something that you know he can afford.  If it’s Chili’s 2 for $20 dinner, or even something as simple as a night out, just walking around a nearby city.

Set the expectation, no more excuses!!

And Happy Birthday!

Post # 15
3689 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think you went overboard with a trip to Orlando for him when you’re on a student stipend.  However, I think it was crappy of him to blow off your birthday in favor of a football game.  Even if he didn’t have the money for dinner, he could’ve offered to go home and watch a movie with you of your choosing.  Hell, he could’ve bought groceries and cooked you a special dinner.

Stop letting him guilt you into making him feel better for ruining your birthday.  Money isn’t everything, but he couldn’t even be bothered to put some thought into it.  You have to let him know that it is not ok to put stupid football ahead of you when you’re supposed to be celebrating your birthday.


Post # 16
423 posts
Helper bee

@imanw:  I don’t think you are wrong in asking for something special on your birthday. I don’t understand why people say “Guys are like this”. I mean, if your SO doesn’t see the big deal about birthdays then he shouldn’t have enjoyed your Orlando trip either. It’s like saying “We’ll enjoy the cute, caring things you go out of your way to do for us, but we won’t do anything in return because we’re guys.” If ‘being a guy’ is so important to them then they can go shove it up the arse of another man.

Anyhow, I would advice you to have a talk with your SO about your expectations and tell him very clearly that you won’t put up with his crappiness all the time. You go out of your way to make things nice and special for him, and you fully expect him to return the favour. Quid pro quo.

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