(Closed) 1st Anniversary Gift Question

posted 12 months ago in Married Life
Post # 17
7806 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
@springlilies28:   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.

Sounds like this is the real issue, not a crappy gift. Have you talked to him about this?

Post # 20
2058 posts
Buzzing bee

I know all relationships work differently, but I’ve literally never “expected” a gift of any kind from my husband.  It’s just not who he is (and it sounds like your husband isn’t really either).  I’ve accepted it long ago and appreciate and love the fact that he gives in other ways.  I give him sweet, sometimes handmade gifts on holidays, but it’s because I want to and not because I expect something from it.  Now when we got married, he wrote me the most amazing, long, heartfelt card that really blew my socks off.  Like, makeup-ruining tears.  So I know the romantic is in there, LOL.

Our first anniversary is the day before yours, 10/5.  The only expectations we have of one another are that we’re sharing the top tier of our cake, which we’re STOKED about because it was delicious.  That’s the extent of it and we’re both totally cool with it.  Granted, I’m 24 weeks pregnant and we are currently in the middle of renovating our house and getting ready for baby so our priorities are definitely elsewhere.  But in general, being a little lower maintenance is a better, more stress-free way to live – try to find the way your husband is good at expressing his love for you and be ok with that vs. expecting very specific gifts you’re not willing to articulate.

Post # 21
1006 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

View original reply
@springlilies28:  I’m sorry, this really does suck. We are date twins, our first anniversary is also coming up on the 6th, I have no idea what he is getting me. I asked for him to order 2 cakes that we had at our wedding because we did not keep and freeze the top (for whatever reason I think it’s gross). I bought him a clay figure of us and our dogs at the wedding, I spent over $250 and I don’t expect anything but the cakes but I was super pleased with my engagement ring so I can definitely see your point. I think a discussion is warranted about gift giving, expectations, and the role of his parents.

Post # 22
2051 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

If you want something, just ask for it. I agree with PP, setting a budget might work as it gives something to aim for and stops everyone going over the top. Personally, I think a couple of hundred dollars for a first anniversary is a little over the top but to you it isn’t. This is why it’s important to have that conversation.

Focus on getting your husband to set boundaries with his parents. Not involving them in the decisions. If he needs a push, tell him you don’t want to be his mother and returning 30% of his gifts.

To answer your first question – we do the traditional gifts and then maybe a small thing to accompany it. So our first year I got him a copper photo insert for his wallet and a little card with a cartoon I knew he’d like (paper). He got me a personalised jigsaw of our first date location. Neither gifts were expensive – far from it. Our next anniversary gifts will expensive but only because we’re getting new internal doors fitted, can’t justify spending extra on anniversary presents and it also ties nicely with the traditional gift for 5 years – wood. 

Post # 23
1168 posts
Bumble bee

Would he be upset if you asked to return it? My family is ALL about returning gifts you don’t like/will use infrequently. They want to spend their money on something you will love and appreciate. They don’t want to waste money on something that will sit in a drawer and never be used. We have a “Loser Pile” for gifts we don’t want at Christmas. Nobody takes offense and everybody makes sure things come with a gift receipt.

My ex-boyfriend was not like this. He bought me the most god-awful jewellery every Christmas and birthday. I asked him to stop buying me jewellery (I hardly wear any – a pair of CZ studs, a CZ pendant, and a small gemstone ring). He kept buying me jewellery. I asked ot return it one year and he was incredibly offended, along the lines of “it’s the thought that counts.” (I see many threads re: not liking engagement rings derailing into these two types of personalities).

I am amazing at gifts. I run a pinterest board for when people mention things, so I don’t forget them later. I also really love experience gifts and think I’m pretty good at those (see my previous thread on rock climbing).

My current boyfriend is not good at them – at all. I care much more about giving gifts than getting them, but it’s still nice to know some thought was put into it. We’ve had a few conversations

– I got him house warming gifts when he got a new place (how did you remember I pointed this out in the store three months ago? I will never get you anything as good as you get me).
– Christmas – he asked what I wanted, I said I would love to go to the light show at the zoo (he then felt it wasn’t fair because tickets were $20 each to the light show, and I had spent ~$500 on a privately guided backcountry skiing day – I didn’t care).
– We agreed to small things for our anniversary (I made him a shotski and bought an expensive dutch oven I got on sale for $125, he got me a card and was upset because to him small meant nothing, to me it meant not $500). 

Point is to say- we are still working it out. It doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers him. I think he gets a bit upset that my gifts are generally better than his. 

It was his birthday last week, and I got him a climbing backpack (he didn’t have one and was carrying stuff around in a tiny backpack and a grocery bag), and eight sessions with the adult development training at our climbing gym (when it starts running again). He thought it was too much and wanted to cancel the development training (even though he has been talking about it for months). 

I have been hinting heavily that I would like to go to the corn maze for my birthday (coming up in two weeks). I have been mentioning it for months, have sent photos of some of our friends who have gone recently, and then sent a photo of me feeding goats a few years ago just saying how cute I looked feeding goats. Yesterday he asked if I had plans for my birthday or whether I wanted him to plan something. I said I would like to go to the corn maze. I think it’s sorted. Do I wish he had realized that I wanted to go and surprised me? Yes, that would have been nice, but he asked, I told him, all is good. We just have different approaches.


Post # 24
3532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

If what you want for special occasions is nice jewelry, then you are going to have to teach him that. I don’t even remember if my husband and I give each other anniversary gifts. We usually take a trip somewhere–or even stay in a nice local hotel. We have some kind of special meal. 

My husband came from a family where gift giving doesn’t really happen so I pretty much had to teach him to give gifts for special occasions. My family is really into gift giving. I told him that it is important to me because that’s what my family does. He seems to have gotten it over the years and he does fairly well now. 

Post # 25
3090 posts
Sugar bee

It’s so strange to me that his parents are so involved in this. I think that is really the problem, he is taking his cues about gift giving from them, when he should be establishing gift-giving norms with you.

Post # 26
3734 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018



Post # 27
1525 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019

I agree with PP that the issue isn’t about the gift itself but his parents involvement & lack of decision making skills. 

Some people are just bad at gifts. My husband is so kind and thoughtful but not the best gift giver and in fact he’s told me he hates getting people gifts. I know this comes from how his mother has not been so kind to the gifts that his father has bought her over the years, so he wants to avoid any of those negative feelings. Perhaps your husband is following your FIL’s lead based on his 70% success rate (not too bad in my opinion). 

I am sorry he hasn’t listened to your suggestions so maybe it’s time to take that responsibility away from him. Buy what you want and buy it together. It might not be a surprise or romantic but at least you’ll have what you want and his parents can’t interfere.  

The topic ‘1st Anniversary Gift Question’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors