Post # 1
Hi Bees, approaching the 1st anniversary of our wedding 10/6/19. It feels very special to me since we’ve had our ups and downs in COVID and it feels like we are doing so well.
I’m writing because I’m feeling a bit let down again. My former posts were about my engagement ring and how it didn’t live up to my hopes/style but I’ve made peace with it. I have a lot of debt to pay off (school) and when I’m done I will be the one choosing my newest ring.
In the meantime we expressed interest in exchanging gifts for our anniversary. I have thought long about what I will get him (things that Dear Husband will enjoy.)
Saturday his parents came up to visit from 2 hours away. Husband is very busy with work and such so he doesn’t have much time to shop in person he says (hello…online shopping) but he didn’t really ask me what I’m interested in for a gift on how to mark this special anniversary. He knows I like jewelry and I told him I don’t really have a need for much else. Saturday my husband and his Dad went to TJ Maxx to find me anniversary gifts. I just feel so let down, because I know TJMax doesn’t sell the style I want, and I told my husband I don’t need another pair of earrings and at that moment he looked really down, which meant he indeed brought me TJMaxx earrings. I have a bunch already – it’s not that they’re not good enough for me, it’s that I already have too many! I was trying to gently nudge him in the wrong direction.
Husband says his mom has a 30% return rate on what his Dad gets his mom for gifts. I don’t want to be like that, but I do have expectations that I will receive gifts that are my style and because he cares and asks what I like because he asks – I ask him all the time what he wants. I don’t want to be the B**** who returns stuff. Does he just not give a crap? Point is also, I’m not his freaking mother, he doesn’t have to operate like his Dad does for last minute gifts (which is always how his Dad gifts.)I really would love a vintage ring // milgrain style with gems (not diamonds!)
I tried to express to my husband it would be amazing to have something nice I’d wear forever (I wanted a gemstone vintage ring ($200) not cheapo deapo stuff adding up to that amount from TJMaxx for our first anniversary. I feel let down, like he botched the engagement rings expectations big time (3 stone, half carat center with a visible inclusion, says everyone else in his family got half carats) and here we go again on our first anniversary of feeling cheaped out.
Anyways, I just needed to rant. Feeling sad that I’ll only ever get TJMaxx stuff for special days (That his parents deem acceptable) that I don’t really even like because it’s not my style. I don’t want to be resentful of an anniversary gift. Hasn’t a man ever heard of an anniversary ring? Like a simple but tasteful little inexpensive ring? I just feel like I don’t want stupid little gifts I won’t have any use for and don’t want to stew over the fact that I wanted something more long-lasting and meaningful.
thanks for listening. What did you do/gift to mark the first anniversary?
Post # 2
oh boy – you two need to sit down and talk about this. His familial experience is all he has to lean on, and clearly you expect something different (which is totally okay!).
My ex and I used to follow the “tradition” wedding presents (with 1 year being “paper.”) He wrote me a nice note. I got him a gift certificate to go sky diving. I spent WAY more and and totally different expectations. He never used the gift certificate, and I held onto that sweet note for our entire marriage (and then burned it in anger last month while cleansing my house of bad energy hahaha, but that’s another story).
The second year, we were both so overwhelmed, I think we just went to dinner.
After that, we had a talk about our expectations and experiences with gift giving/receiving. We set a dollar limit that was within our budget. We shared the things that were important to us (“creativity,” “sentimentality,” “unique” were things we agreed on). The $$ limit and the guiding principles really helped us with our future purchases. We did the same thing with holiday and birthday presents. It allowed us to not stress about our budget (some years we had more money than others), and it made us do gift giving in a more purposeful way.
Also – I understand the engagement ring thing. He bought me a small little gemstone because he was a poor 20 year old when he proposed to me. But I FINALLY told him for our 10 year I wanted an upgrade. I set a budget based off what our income was, I picked the ring, and he made the payments. I was happy, he was happy I was happy, and he was able to afford it. Now I’m holding onto it for our daughters.
The fact of the matter is that he will never know it’s an issue unless you tell him. If you want diamonds, you have to tell him that. If TJMAXX isn’t your style, you have to tell him that. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about having those wants and desires (they’ll change with time, too…).
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that men are 1) creatures of habit (will defer to what their families taught them); 2) not good at picking up on hints; and 3) truly desperate for guidance on what will make us happy. Chances are he will feel relieved if you tell him exactly what you want.
Post # 3
So first of all, I’m not 100% familiar with the differences between tjmaxx and winners (canadian version), but my winners literally has chanel, balenciaga, chloe, hugo boss, etc. You can get some really nice stuff there, so I dont think you need to shit on the entire chain LOL.
Hasn’t a man ever heard of an anniversary ring? Not all men have. Not all women have either. “Anniversary” rings like what youre asking for are not common where I live. THe only anniversary rings I know of are like 5/10/20 year rings and generally diamond eternities.
You may need to accept the reality that you’ll need to give your husband a list for “acceptable” gifts for you.
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
Just tell him what you want. It’s really not that hard. You are continuously setting him up for failure and yourself up for disappointment by making every gift giving event a mind reading challenge. Just tell him, “I’d like this gift for our anniversary.”
I know, I know. You want to be surprised. You want him to just KNOW exactly what you want. Well, he doesn’t. If you have specific wants you’ll need to specifically express them. He’ll be happy he knows you like the gift and you’ll be happy knowing you’ve got what you really wanted. These gift games just end up frustrating everyone and no one wins.
Post # 5
My husband doesn’t have a great track record with buying jewellery for me independently, what we do now is he gives me a budget and I get to go shopping to find something or more than one something that I really want, normally making a day of it with my friends, he calls them ‘girl trips’.
For anniversary gifts, he surprised me for our first anniversary with a photo album of photos from our honeymoon- playing up to the paper tradition…honestly I can’t remember what I bought him, though I know he kept the card. Since then we’ve mainly done joint things, gone out to concerts or shows together, this year we bought furniture for the house.
I’ve never heard of anniversary rings… except for like 10 or 20 years….
Maybe if you don’t want him to go shopping with his Dad, offer to go shopping together?
Post # 6
True, thank you. Just was expecting more than 4 pieces of jewelry for $100 that i will never ever wear. I showed him the Esty website I like for vintage jewelry like 10 times already
Post # 7
That’s sweet. I know about the anniversary rings, I just meant a nice piece of jewelry. My husband doesn’t have the capcity for the more planned out thoughful things I guess, just random crap from TJmaxx.
Post # 8
Why are his parents so involved in all of this? Like you said, just because his parents operate one way with gifts doesn’t mean you guys have to. I can also understand being disapointed with the whole TJ Maxx thing… I personally shop there when I’m looking for something cheap since it’s a discount store afterall. However, I don’t know you and your husbands financial situation. Can he only afford to purchase a gift here?
I agree with PP, you should just talk to your husband about this. Let him know you’d prefer his family not be so involved with your spending/picking out gifts, and also when a gift giving occasion comes up just let him know you’d really like XYZ. Assuming its within your guys budget, there shouldn’t be an issue.
In my experience most guys I’ve dealt with need a little help picking out gifts, and I’d rather my husband spend money on something I love than something that will just sit on my dresser, that’s just a waste of money and would also hurt his feelings.
Talk to him!
Post # 9
Thanks for your time here, it is like the store you mentioned, and their jewelry is cute for casual every day stuff. I just wanted something “special” and I told him I already had enough necklaces and earrings. I don’t want more “junk in my house” I like simple stuff I will wear because I love it, not because I need quantity. I’m the type who can’t even wear neckalces and earrings together, it’s one or the other. The point is I’d rather get nothing for a long time and one day receive something nice than to accumulate junk I don’t want and doesn’t feel “special”
Post # 10
I’m lucky that my husband is a great gifter, but he gets that from his parents. His gifts are good, though, because he listens when I say I want/like something and tucks that info back in his head until he’s ready to shop.
I thnk you need to clearly TELL him what your expectations are. How else will he learn what types of gifts you like/want? He learned from his parents and if you don’t give him guidance, how else will he know?
Something that helps my husband and I is setting a price limit. It keeps us within a reasonable budget and reduces the chance of one person spending way more or less than the other.
For anniversary gifts, we usually do the traditional “year” gifts and we go nice/keepsake style. (This year was 8, which is bronze. We actually ended up buying a joint gift because we couldn’t find bronze items the other person would like.)
I’m also with PP – I thought anniv rings were for milestones if people do them at all.
Post # 11
Thanks! this has been an on-going discussion. His parents were with him when he chose the engagement ring. His mother tells me she had nothing to do with it, but can’t help but think so when she said “it’s almost a carat total” while she flaunts her 1.5 huge one and says “well I got this for our 25th” as to say I deserve nothing larger than what she got when she was engaged. I truly resent that he does anything with his parents regarding ‘our relationship’ it actually infuriates me. It’s like he’s a child who can’t even go pick out a god damned gift without them.
Post # 12
Also no, money is NOT an issue. six figure salaries together
Post # 13
Its frustrating when they give you random crap, or even jewellery that just isn’t to your taste…even when it comes from a place of love.
Maybe say something like, I really appreciate that you listened when I said I fancied some more jewellery but next time could we go to __________store and pick something out together?
Or if budget is the issue, say you could add the budget for Valentines, birthday and anniversary to get something really special?
Just because the salary that you have is large enough to have money to splurge, it doesn’t mean that he has a large enough budget in mind when shopping…
You may have shown him the etsy shop in your mind but you may need to indicate actual stores, lots of people have insecurities about buying jewellery in particular off the internet
Post # 14
Thank you, I agree. I really appreciate your advice and time here.
Post # 15
Thank you for reading and your kind words — definitely helpful