(Closed) Am I nitpicking?

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 61
Member
478 posts
Helper bee

I re-read your OP, and it seems you spent a lot of time telling him how much you hated the store and couldn’t go in there because it smelled too much.  It wasn’t until the very end that you mentioned that you hated the glittery products.  Up until then it sounded like you just had a sensitivity to the store.  I can see how your fiance might not have understood that you wouldn’t appreciate a bath bomb; he probably thought he was being nice in braving the smell of the store to buy one of their glittery products for you…

As for the flowers, I love the suggestion someone made to buy yourself the flowers you love.  Once he sees them in your house and that you like THOSE, he will start bringing you THOSE…forever, or until you tell him you have a new favorite…

My point is, it takes time to develop a good gift giving rhythm.  Most important advice I can give – don’t hint about this.  Hints are rarely interpreted correctly or undestood.  You have to be clear.  Have some conversations about gift giving in general, and then work through each occasion as it comes up.  He wants you to like the gifts he brings you becasue the only reason for giving them to you is he wants to do something that makes you happy and makes you feel loved.  Show your appreiciation for his trying to do that.

Post # 62
Member
6790 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

OP – I’d be curious to know how much time you spent describing things you disliked versus speaking about things you like. It sounds like you gave multiple detailed, “passionate” explanations about the things you disliked, but the flowers you liked and the list of things you wanted were much milder exchanges- kind of matter of fact “Look at those”. I wonder if he remembered the intensity of your communication more than the specifics that were shared and since your intensity was about tiny flowers and Lush- that’s what he thought of when he was trying to please you and follow your request for a thoughtful little gift.

I would experiment with some other methods of communicating your preferences to your SO. Try a long, passionate ode to a few things you want (ignore the things you don’t want) and see if he gets it. Be prepared to explore just flat out telling him – “This is what I want. This thing here. I emailed you the exact link. Buy it for me!”

I do think you sound pretty nit picky, but I don’t fault you for it. I’m nit picky, too and my tastes seem to change quite a bit from year to year and mood to mood so I know I’m hard to buy for. But gifts really aren’t my thing so I’m content to receive the spirit of a gift without keeping the physical item.

ETA- I’d be willing to bet that you have been dropping “lady hints” which a lot of women would pick up on but which are often missed by guys because what we think we are saying is not what they are receiving. You said you often show him things you like, but there’s no action he needs to take on those items when you are showing. You’re basically showing him things and saying “Look. This exists in the world.” And the response to that is “Huh. So it does.” That is not at all the same as “I love this and I want it and I want YOU to acquire it for me this week so remember and when you do it, I will be very appreciative and happy and make instant use of it and YOU will have been the one who brought this joy into my life.”

It’s like when my husband and son show me vehicles they like. I don’t give a shit about vehicles. If they want me to repeat back specifics, I couldn’t. Was I listening when they were talking? Sure. I even asked questions. Did the information stick? Nope. Why? I don’t give a shit about vehicles. 

Post # 63
Member
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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Lorena1 :  sounds  familiar lol. My Darling Husband is the most patient, sweet and helpful person. He love seeing me happy, and another 1000 goodness, but HE JUST COULDN’T LISTEN!!!!!! Been together 10 years and he still ordered me wrong burger. He gave me expensive laptop bag for valentines (I did not use laptop), and a fossil bag that I absolutely hate (and have told him before), and the list goes on.

Yeah it make me crazy, and in low point I hate him for that. But since his goodness overwight his stupidity, I just learn to lived with it lol..

Post # 64
Member
338 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Some people are never happy. If I had to bet I would bet that little painted flowers and lush are not the only 2 things in life you have said you don’t like and prehaps the list could be quite long making it rather hard to remember every item on it. May be just try and be grateful in some small way that someone has gone out of their way to do something nice for you. There are bigger problems you could have. 

 

Post # 65
Member
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - Concord, Ontario

In my opinion you are nitpicking it sounds like no matter what he gets you, the gifts aren’t good enough. Just because it’s not your favourite flowers doesn’t mean that he didn’t put in effort. My fiancée loves flowers so when I get her flowers she’s grateful it doesn’t matter if it’s her favourite flowers or not, she will love them because they come from me

Post # 66
Member
1085 posts
Bumble bee

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Lorena1 :  As someone who is also sensitive to odors and fragrances, I don’t think you are overreacting at all. This is something that can affect someone on a weekly if not daily basis. Personally I’d find it a much worse transgression than forgetting a birthday or anniversary. He bypassed perfectly good gift suggestions and went out of his way after you explicitly told him and showed him of your aversion to the store. To me, it would feel like a cruel joke or seriously call into question how much he knows or cares–like giving pork to a Muslim or peanut butter cookies to someone with a severe nut allergy.

Post # 67
Member
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2020 - City, State

I dated a guy for two years once who bought me earrings for Christmas- and I don’t even have pierced ears.

Post # 68
Member
2311 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

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Lorena1 :  I consider myself a thoughtful and talented gift giver. I put a lot of thought and care into what I give people because I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing someone really enjoy something I got them. 

But I am a TERRIBLE gift-getter. Like, really REALLY bad. I have never managed to figure out how to fake it if I don’t like something. When Darling Husband and I first met, I made him join pinterest so I could be sure he had access to a board of gift ideas for me. He still uses it to this very day, and I ALWAYS like my presents. Everybody wins. 

Darling Husband is better at faking it than I am, but is also EXTREMELY hard to gift; it has been a huge blow to my gift giving prowess to be with him. He’s always polite, but his reactions lack the genuine enthusiasm I know should be there if he was really excited about his gift. He has very specific and expensive tastes. All the stuff he wants, he’s already got himself, and if not I certainly can’t afford it. 

At some point I realized that knowing I am a bad gift getter, I had to work on being more gracious about gifts I’m not stoked about because that is the appropriate adult thing to do. It’s understandable to be upset when it feels like your FH isn’t listening to you, but it’s JUST AS important to acknowledge the effort he made to try and please you. 

Some people really do need very specific guidance. It sounds like you tried to give him that, but it didn’t turn out that way. Even still, he did try. I think it’s just as important for you to examine your own reaction and ask what is going on there. If the idea that he’s not listening is really the root of what is bothering you, that’s a totally different conversation than that you didn’t like the gift he got you. 

 

Post # 69
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee

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Lorena1 :  

Some people just legitimately suck at giving gifts.  When it comes to random gifts, my husband simply doesn’t do it.  He has ADHD and wanting him to do this jsut isn’t a realistic expectation.  

His ex wife’s love language was gifts.  His distractedness along with her being picky about the specific gifts caused real problems.  He’d try hard to remember to get her something, and then when he would bring flowers home she would criticize what he bought.  Once he bought her black diamond stud earrings and she critcised those.  Eventually he stopped trying and they lived as roommates for a while before divorcing.  

I think you just need to decide how important this is to you.  He may not be capable of doing better even if he loves you deeply and has the best of intentions.  Does he have enough positive qualities that outweight this to where you could live the rest of your life without thougthful gifts?  If not, this could be very problematic long term.

Post # 70
Member
1741 posts
Bumble bee

What. Are. The. Bees. Smoking???

This is a pretty clear cut, heard-this-a-million-times-before situation and for the life of me I can’t understand why anyone is coming down on you? Are people drunk on eggnog???

– You asked your fiance if he could give you little presents sometimes because it makes you feel loved
– You pointed out the flowers you like and do not like 
– He gets you what you hate, you smile and say thank you, feel annoyed and move on
– You go to Lush and you tell him you dislike their products because the scents are overpowering and are irritating to your skin, you even have to leave the store because of it
– He goes back to the store a day later and gets you something from there

Bees, she doesn’t care about getting fancy amazing gifts. She just wants to know that he went out of his way to do something thoughtful for her, and it’s not very thoughtful when he gives her something she specifically says she hates. Lots of people aren’t great at giving gifts, and the advice is the same – be obvious, communicate, give him a list, etc. She’s done ALL of this. She gave him a list with links to what she wants. She tells him what she likes. She tells him what she doesn’t like. HE ISN’T LISTENING. This in turn makes her feel unloved. It’s completely understandable. 

How in the world is it being picky to not want to be given gifts you have specifically said you hated? There are a zillion things in this world and he has to choose the things she hates? He could paint a rose on a rock for Christmas and say, “I know you love roses and I wanted you to have one that would never die” and the OP would probably love it. Come on. 

OP, I’m sorry that you are dealing with this and for the response you got. It sounds like your fiance is pretty great and unfortunately this might be something that never gets better. It sounds like he just literally doesn’t care about gifts. I think it would be worth having a conversation about this after the holidays, and then coming up with a solution together. Maybe you can choose your own present rather than giving him a list…or exchange gift cards, or something. 

Also, is he good at DOING things for you? If so, it might be good to reframe such things as gifts. When my husband does things like taking my car to get cleaned so I don’t have to, I consider it a gift. 

Post # 71
Member
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2020 - City, State

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strawberrysakura :  Thanks for articulating all of that, I completely agree. The backlash she is taking is not cool.

Post # 72
Member
6790 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I thought of this thread at Christmas because the thing I said might be happening with your SO happened with my husband and his sister. She’d specifically asked him what he wanted. He’d told her a particular kind of socks he liked. Then he spent some time drilling home that he only liked the long socks, not to get him the short socks. And the way he related the story to me, his intensity emphasized “short”. Guess what she got? Short socks in the particular brand he liked. She clearly loves him and wanted to do well by him. But . . .

I think we don’t realize how much time we spend emphasizing things we don’t want (internally and verbally). Our brains are wired to seek out danger, discomfort, irritation etc and things that we do like can easily become part of the background and be overlooked (it’s part of why conscious gratitude practice is such an important and beneficial aspect of meditation). I think teamroro’s idea about the shared Pinterest boards is a good one as well as looking at whether or not your SO tends to not listen to you in other areas of your life. But I also think, there’s value in looking at what you choose to speak about and emphasize to see if you spend more time and energy than you realize speaking about what you don’t like and don’t want.

Post # 73
Member
1741 posts
Bumble bee

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TwilightRarity :  I completely agree with this. I can totally see how someone could emphasize something they don’t like, and then their partner thinking on it later and all they can really remember is what was emphasized. 

To give the fiance somewhat of the benefit of the doubt, stores like Lush around the holiday season are pretty brutal. Extremely crowded, everyone running everywhere, being assaulted with scents (which I don’t mind myself but I know others don’t like it), and if he doesn’t use their products and is unfamiliar I can see how it could be really overwhelming for him. I also come from a large and loud family and am GREAT at accidentally tuning everything else out when I’m concentrating on something. My husband has had conversations with me where I seem to be answering but later on I realize that I have NO IDEA what he has said, because I was so immersed in what I was doing at the time. Maybe any of that resonates?

Post # 74
Member
377 posts
Helper bee

I think he’s listening to you, but, not listening fully. 
I take from that that he’s trying!! 
Try a different tact (I do this with my partner) when you’re shopping go to the flowers pick up the ones you like and say why you like them and buy them etc etc etc just talk about what you like not mentioning things you don’t like. 
It may just turn out to be one of those petty things in your relationship (we all have them) 

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