Hurt feelings after Birthday

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 16
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

rez123 :  IDK,  just because it’s a social norm,  doesnt mean you can expect an individual to follow that norm if they don’t care.  Dh and i aren’t birthday people,  couldn’t care less, although we will celebrate small random holidays like pie day and sibling day lol. I guess we just don’t feel like making a fuss about ourselves.   I think it works for us since we are on the same page.  

I think you’re on the right track op. It’s been years since the last time you talked about it and you indicated money has been tight.  TBH,  if it was important to me,  I’d also remind him a few days before just in case. 

Post # 17
Member
1888 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Birthdays are a big deal to me, always have been. My family jokes that I like to celebrate “birthday month”. But hey, I’m a twin, so I don’t even get a special day for myself! My husband is a person who thinks birthdays are just another day.

All that to say, birthdays only got really good for me when I very clearly communicated with him what was important to me. After a particularly disappointing birthday, I wrote a list of things that were non-negotiable, and nice-to-haves. My non-negotiables were a handwritten card (whether it’s store bought or a piece of paper folded in half with a marker drawing of a cake on it), and our “Happy Birthday” sign has to be put up in the house. Nice to haves were breakfast in bed, fresh flowers, etc. I also learned that if I want to do something special to celebrate, I have to plan it myself. I made our reservations for mother’s day brunch, I detailed what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I asked dh to make a cake, etc. It was really hard, but I had to give up the idea that he would just do what I wanted him to without asking. He has kept the list I made for all holidays (anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthday) and refers to it to remember what makes me happy. 

Post # 18
Member
1096 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

hippievan :  I agree on the love languages, but just wanted to add that my husband and I both took the quiz and for both of us, touch was highest, then for me acts of service and for him words of affirmation were a close second. Both of us ranked gifts lowest. That meant I needed to communicate clearly that I still want to mark special occasions with a celebration. He never cared much about his birthday, but my feelings are hurt if he doesn’t acknowledge mine in a special way. 

OP, I’m planning to reiterate to my husband what I want him/us to do for important occasions, like a PP suggested, and I think you should do the same with yours. Let him know that it’s not about an expensive gift but about showing you that you’re important to him. Yes, the acts of service my husband does around the apartment show me every day that he loves and values me and wants me to be happy. But just because I don’t need gifts often doesn’t mean I don’t want a birthday gift, or an anniversary dinner, or a Christmas present! But I have to tell him that.

Post # 19
Member
607 posts
Busy bee

Everything you said to us here, now say to him. 

Post # 20
Member
10704 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

sophiap11 :  

Assuming is deadly.  Don’t do it.  If you’re doing it, stop it.  Your partner does not see the world the same way you do.  Accept that now, or doom yourself to a lifetime of frustration and resentment.

If you want gifts, cards and celebrations on your birthday and holidays, tell your husband.  It is extremely destructive to a marriage to just assume he will know what you want and then seethe when he doesn’t.

Talk to him.  Maybe he doesn’t feel the same way as you about special occasions.  Who knows.  You have to have an open, honest, grown up discussion about this for the health of your marriage.

Post # 21
Member
4064 posts
Honey bee

It’s my birthday! To hell with the people who brought me into this world and raised me! They can take the damn shuttle!

Oy.

Post # 22
Member
1280 posts
Bumble bee

anabolina :  hmmm…well social norms are informal understandings so they don’t have to be followed but in general I would say that due to these norms people should go with the norms unless otherwise stated or previously informed. Me and my partner dont do presents but it had to be agreed since presents are norm. Did you and your husband just not buy each other anything  on traditional presentdays without any sort of acknowledgement or did you “agree” about it? But yea. This was just how I view it 😊

Post # 23
Member
5916 posts
Bee Keeper

sophiap11 :  “We have been saving for a house but I still found a way to get him a gift that he loved”

I’m asking this seriously, not snarkily, trying to understand what’s going on here- don’t you two talk to each other? Especially before an event?

I can’t believe that, in a similar situation, my husband and I wouldn’t ask each other about this and mutually decide either 1. We’re saving for a house so let’s skip gifts to each other this year. 2. We want to save for our goals but still exchange gifts, let’s set a spending limit of, say, $25 each or 3. Let’s forget about savings over the holidays and splurge a little. 

Our relationship isn’t perfect by any means, I’m not trying to be gross and icky making such a comparison- I’m just having a hard time getting how simple conversations like this aren’t routine for you guys? It seems you wait passively-aggressively in silence waiting for him to fuck up again and he’s either insensitive or clueless enough to live down to your expectations. 

So many questions: 

When you bought him a present for Christmas and he had nothing for you, did he say anything about this? A gee, I feel bad I didn’t get you anything or I thought we weren’t exchanging presents this year?! 

Does he buy presents for his own family at birthdays and Christmas or is he not much of a gift giver in general? Are his family members gift givers/ occasion celebrators? If you only had a few days together and he wanted to see his family one of those days (not side eyeing him at all for that), why didn’t you go as a couple? Not that he can’t go alone and you each can’t do your own thing, just wondering about the dynamics here- as in do you go with him to see his family usually/ sometimes/ rarely/never? 

Is 25 a milestone for you? I don’t typically think of it as a ‘milestone birthday’ so curious as to why you say it was a special number to you? Not judging, just curious. 

If this is how he’s been in the past, why did you expect him to behave any differently for this occasion? True, I would be hurt if my partner didn’t even acknowledge my birthday, but I also wouldn’t have purposely not mentioned my birthday….why didn’t you tell him what you wanted to do for your birthday? It just seems this could have been easily avoided by a simple conversation “hey, if you’re going to be home the weekend of my birthday, I’d like to……” 

And one last question, but this is a big one for me, how does he treat you otherwise? Is this a sweet caring partner who shows he loves you in lots of other ways but just isn’t big into gift-giving gestures? Or is this a symptom of a bigger problem in that he’s not a very considerate or attentive partner in general? 

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