Post # 1
Please don’t be harsh about this, it’s half question, half rant I guess. How do you celebrate birthdays with your SO? Do you tell them what you want to do, or wait to be asked, or say nothing at all? Same with them, do you ask them what they want or do they tell you how they want to celebrate? Growing up birthdays and holidays were huge in my family, so I’ve always though it was very strange that my Darling Husband didn’t see birthdays as a big deal. I’m not talking just about mine, I’m talking about his too. I always ask what he wants and what he wants to do and he always says nothing. It drives me crazy because I celebrate with my friends and family and we all love birthdays. It makes me so happy when I surprise a friend or family member with a gift or baked good and obviously it’s awesome when they do the same for me. I love birthdays, but my Darling Husband is so blah about it. I’ve always excepted this and usually would get him a small something he could use and wouldn’t make a big deal about his birthday.
But as bad as it sounds, I’m a little worried about my upcoming birthday. This is my first birthday away from family and friends (we had to live with my parents the past two) so it’s already going to be a lot more lonely and tough. In the past, he really just went along with them about it but didn’t really do anything himself. I’m trying to be “grown up” about it and I’m not expecting anything, but I have to admit I will be rather bummed if we don’t do anything. I’m trying my hardest to hold it in and not say anything to him about doing something for me. I don’t want to be pushy or childish about it. After all, I am an adult and shouldn’t be so worried about these things right? For some background, we are having a rough time where we live. We are military and the town we are in is terrible and we really miss my family and our friends back home. We are moving back in two years once he gets out. On top of that we “celebrated” our anniversary here away from everyone. I say “celebrated” because we didn’t. It took my Darling Husband half a day before he told me Happy Anniversary and didn’t get me anything. We didn’t go out. We didn’t do anything. It was just a normal day. I was really upset that he didn’t think it was special enough to do anything for. It made it worse that a girl I know where we live had an anniversary two days before us and he husband took her to the beach. His boss gave him a choice to have his birthday off, or his anniversary and he choose the anniversary. It was hard not to be a little jealous. I just don’t want my birthday to be the same way. I don’t know if I should just suck it up and wait then just accept whatever happens, or tell him I want to celebrate.
Any advice please bees. I feel so lost and lonely away from my family and friends and feel like a mini celebration would help put a band aid on that feeling. I don’t think I’m asking for much. I don’t want anything fancy or expensive. Just bringing back some fast food to the house so I don’t have to cook, a slice of cake, and a funny movie or show together would do it for me.
Post # 2
halfling: I would suggest telling your Darling Husband exactly what you want. You cant expect him to guess or come up with it on his own if birthdays arent a big deal to him. Birthdays arent a big deal to my Darling Husband either and I had to BEG him to not go to the team sport he plays because it fell on my birthday. He didnt understand why I didnt want to be alone on my birthday (it was a work day and his sport goes til 10 pm). Birthdays were always a big deal in my family (still are) but not everyone grew up that way. It doesnt mean he doesnt love you or doesnt care.
Post # 3
weatherbug: Thank you for this. I think I’ll tell him by the weekend. I’ve been avoiding doing so because I know he is having a really hard time mentally, so I didn’t want to bother him with smaller worries like birthdays. I understand why they aren’t a big deal to him (growing up his home life was very unhappy. His mom is completely nuts and his dad worked double as much to support them) but it’s just so hard to cater to sometimes. I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from.
Post # 4
I totally agree– you need to tell him what you want, because you should both be allowed to celebrate your own birthdays however you want. If he doesn’t want to do anything for his own birthday, it would make him uncomfortable for you to push some kind of event on him, so leave him along when it comes to that. But you are totally allowed to say to him “Hey, I would really love it if we went out to dinner this weekend to celebrate my birthday.” Or whatever you want. You’re going to have to put in some effort to make this happen, but hey, it’ll happen.
My fiance and I usually plan something for each others’ birthdays, but one person tells the other what they want. He wanted to go bowling with some friends, so I made all the phone calls to set that up. I wanted a dinner out with a few people, and he picked the place and set that all up. So we do have to give some kind of direction to each other if we want anything to happen.
Post # 5
plan it yourself and do what makes you happy but I will be honest for the most part I am more into understated bdays as an adult (Unless its a big milestone like 50 or something)
I would maybe plan a special day for myself (spa or something like that) and then a nice dinner out together w husband or if you have any friends a few couples.
Maybe you could even do a mini-trip away (like a night out in the city and a hotel room)
but my main advice is be very specific about what you expect and want….. it doesn’t sound like your Darling Husband is into big celebrations so its very unlikely that he is going to have some big plan set up since that is outside his normal comfort zone
either that or send him over to my friend who is date planner and she can set up an awesome night for you guys that you don’t have to plan! (yes I do force my husband to use her services sometimes since I get annoyed to always have to be the one that plans everything and sometimes I just want a surprise!)
Post # 6
Tell him you want to do something special. People who don’t make a big deal out of them (myself included) wouldn’t necessarily think someone else wants different.
Before DH’s birthday I always ask him if there’s something in particular he wants or would like to do, and he does the same. I’ve learned I have to be very specific if I actually think of something. There would be no way Darling Husband would know otherwise.
Post # 7
“DH, as you know my birthday is coming up. I know you don’t really care to celebrate much on your birthday, which I totally get, but for me, birthdays are kind of a big deal and it always means a lot to me to celebrate my birthday with the people I love, which is you! Do you think we could plan something fun to do that day? Here are a few ideas…”
DEFINITELY communicate your wishes, in a calm, non-passive aggressive way, well in advance. If you don’t, you’re basically setting your Darling Husband up to fail, and you to be pissed, since you know he probably won’t think to do anything about your birthday without prompting. This fact doesn’t mean he doesnt care about you–it’s just how he is. Luckily you know that about him, so now is the time to be proactive and avert a crisis!
FWIW I totally get where you’re coming from. I am obsessed with my birthday. It is silly and childish but I don’t care. Luckily Fiance gets it and its’ never been an issue with him, but has def been an issue in past relationships lol, so I know where you’re coming from.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2013 - Ontario, Canada
Tell him what you want. Seriously, it’s the best thing to do to avoid disappointment, Basically, my Darling Husband grew up not celebrating birthdays and to him it’s not a big deal. To me it’s not a BIG deal, but I like to do something to mark the occasion. So I tell him. Now we have been together for 8 years he knows I normally want to do something so he asks or suggests something.
No matter how trivial it may seem, if it’s important to you – it should be important to him too.
Post # 9
My mom has always made a big deal out of our birthdays (both as kids and adults) so it was really hard when I moved away from my family and started celebrating birthdays alone-ish (at first with my ex, now with my FI). I’ll admit; I took on a lot of the birthday planning so as to ensure I wouldn’t be disappointed. I order my own birthday cake (the woman at the bakery got a kick out of that last year when she realized it, and joked that it was the best way to get exactly what I want), invite friends out/over, pick what restaurant I want to go to or what fancy meal we’ll cook at home, plan a movie marathon if we’re staying in, etc. It’s not quite as much fun as when my mom made the arrangements for me but I still enjoy the heck out of my birthdays. I don’t think there’s an age limit on celebrating your birthday! Maybe just don’t expect everyone else to care about it as much as you do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be spoiled on that day.
Since you already know you’ll be disappointed if you don’t do anything, please, for the love of God, tell you husband what you’d like to do that day! I can’t stress this enough. Don’t be ashamed to spell it out for him and if you want him to make some of the arrangements himself, give him enough guidance so he feels confident enough to do it. I send my Fiance to pick up my cake if my birthday’s on a weekday so it can be waiting for me when I get home from work. I also give him a wishlist of some stuff I’d like as presents since he’s not always sure what to get me. He’s not obligated to buy anything off of the list and he’s come up with some great ideas on his own, but, again, it’s good to give him guidance.
This applies to anniversaries and whatever other holidays you like to celebrate as well. TELL HIM. Don’t expect him to be a mind reader, don’t expect him to attribute as much value to the day as you do, but explain to him that holidays are important and you would like for the two of you to do X, Y, and Z to mark the holiday.
Post # 10
halfling: tell him how you feel, and tell him what you want. People aren’t mind readers, especially if he grew up with birthdays not being a big deal.
Post # 11
I always tell Fiance what I want to do for my birthday. That way I’m never disappointed! I also don’t think birthdays are a huge deal so we always do something small, either just the two of us or with one or two friends.
Post # 12
I’m not a big birthday celebrator, but Darling Husband LOVES birthdays. Mine is the week of Christmas, so it is just always easier to ignore it and keep moving! Haha.
Anyway, I’ve been trying to go a little harder on the birthday planning for Darling Husband because he has communicated the importance of that celebration to him. So this year, we did a nascar trip the weekend before his birthday, a dinner with friends the day of his birthday, and then bought a plot and tailgated for a horse race the weekend after his birthday.
That said, he communicated to me that his birthday was important to him. You’re going to have to speak up, I think. Hope it all works out, bee!
Post # 13
I don’t understand why you feel you need to be so passive in planning what to do for your birthday. Say,”Hey SO, my birthday is on Saturday. Let’s go out to eat at X restaurant and then watch a movie.”
Post # 14
im the same, I LOVE birthdays but he just doesnt see the point
last year was particularly bad, he got me a ‘take away’ that I had to rush because he was going out and then got left to watch our son all day and even the 2 gifts he got me got cancelled, which wasnt his fault but he just got the money back and that was that so really there was nothing
I was going through a bad time after a death at that point and the lack of effort when he knew I needed something to take my mind of stuff nearly killed me… over a year later it still hurts
to me birthdays dont have to be expensive or fancy but its acknowledging the people you loves existance… spend time with them, im an introvert and spend 90% just me and my fiance and kids so wanting to see people is a big thing but it never happens
Post # 15
halfling: my birthday is Dec 30, so all my life I fell between Christmas and New Years, and in school we were always out and I couldn’t understand why the other kids got to celebrate in school (with cupcakes, or a cake, or treats or whatnot) and I couldn’t, or why they got treats from the teacher (this was back in the early 90s, so before that became a no-no) and I didn’t. I always ended up having a birthday party at McDonalds about the second week in January and maybe a handful of people came (usually family). After about the age of 5, we just stopped. Finally, when I was about to turn 16, I threw myself a party at the house (maybe 10 people were invited?) and did the same when I turned 17. After that, it went back to doing nothing until a couple years ago where I started an annual birthday dinner for myself, created an event on facebook, invited people, and went to dinner.
As long as I’m able, I’m going to keep doing it that way, just because I know what I want and who I want there. As for Fiance, I let him plan his own, because, like me, he knows what I want more than what I do.
Just tell him flat out “my birthday is coming up and this is what I want to do”.