Post # 1
Saturday was our 1st anniversary. Darling Husband spent the day hiking with his brother (I’d said earlier in the week that it was fine with me if he went, then he told me he’d cancelled, but I woke up Sat morning and he was gone – his brother called wondering where he was and that’s how I found out he was going hiking after all). I was angry that he hadn’t told me he was going and changed his plans for the day but I was NOT angry that he went hiking (I didn’t want to go with them). I spent the day cleaning the house.
We went out to dinner that night – nothing special. No gift, no flowers, nothing. Two weeks ago, in a rare move for me, I reminded him of our upcoming anniversary & showed Darling Husband some earrings online that I really liked with a stone he never heard of. I’d had second holes pierced in my ears when we met for him to “fill”. He’s always told me to tell him what I like so now I did. He seemed really happy I’d shown him those. Last week I told him I was having trouble thinking of a gift for him and he gave me some ideas (it wasn’t something easy to find and needed to be ordered online so I knew I woudn’t have it in time). I had a feeling I wasn’t getting anything (I handle our bank accounts) so I waited to order anything for him. That may seem selfish but I have a history of giving without reciprocation so I held back this time.
For the past several months things have felt “off” between us (IMO). Even my 17 yr old daughter who loves him as a step-dad told me she was shocked he ignored our anniversary (she’d told him not to go hiking that day and to spend it with me). He brought her flowers and chocolates when she recently had a big achievement at school, and she couldn’t believe he got me nothing for this occasion. The 3 of us went on vacation to Mexico earlier this month and every day we walked past the resort’s jewelry store and I’d comment on something in the window. Today my daughter told me she couldn’t believe Darling Husband never said to me, “I told we’d go shopping for your birthday (in March!) so let’s go get you something!” I told her men don’t really think that way. She feels he’s been acting differently recently, too. He used to be very thoughtful and got me great, well-planned gifts. I haven’t gotten flowers in a year. I praise the hell out of him every time he’s done something thoughtful. I just don’t seem to be high on his list these days/months. Not a lot of intimacy anymore – sex is maybe 3 times a month.
I just spoke with Darling Husband briefly by phone and asked if there’s something we need to talk about. I told him what my daughter said and how I feel. His response was that he “didn’t have a chance to shop for me” and lately he feels he can’t do anything right (I HATE this generic male response) and I said, “Maybe that’s because some important things have happened lately and you haven’t handled them well.” So we just ended the conversation and hung up unhappy with each other.
I’m hurt, surprised and worried. He’s much younger than I am – 15 years. He turns 39 next month & I’m 54. Maybe he’s just bored with this? Wondering if this is what he really wants? We’ve been together nearly 5 years. He was never married before. He says all the right things about our marriage, but lately his actions don’t back it up. Thoughts? Advice? Please be kind.
Post # 3
@lorie: 🙁 sorry you’re going through this. I hate that pit-in-the-stomach feeling when you don’t know what is going on. I’d ask him for some time (alone) to sit down and talk. All you can do is state the facts, use your “I-statements” and let him know how you feel. Maybe there is a reason for all of this, or he might be stressed. I know when my guy is stressed about stuff, the intimacy is usually the 1st thing to go.
Post # 4
That’s pretty much what I’m expecting on our first anniversary!
I don’t think it’s a bad reflection on you or your marriage. Men just try way less after they know they have it on lock!
Post # 5
@lorie: We took our dog to the vet and grabbed Burger King on the way home. That was our 1st anniversary on July 6. Still an awesome day.
If things have felt off I don’t think a romantic evening would have pacified you anyway. I believe him when he says he feels like he can’t do anything right lately. I think that was YOUR opportunity to ask him what was up and get to the root of a deeper issue, but instead you choose to be upset over the lack of a grand anniversary. Perhaps you need to have a talk with him about what you both are and are not getting from this marriage WITHOUT mentioning the lack of a gift on your anniversary.
Post # 6
I don’t know…we always just go out to dinner for anniversaries…and birthdays…we only give gifts at xmas, and not always even…so sounds like a typical anniversary to me in our world *shrug*
Post # 7
We went to the Indy 500 for our anniversary. Spent the actual day of our 1st anniversary at my in-laws house. Meh. But it was a great weekend.
Sounds like you guys need some time to talk about what’s up. Without mentioning specifically that he didn’t get you a present. “I feel like you are trying as hard anymore” is valid but “you didn’t get me a present” when you didn’t specifically tell him you wanted one isn’t.
Post # 8
I’m sorry it was so crappy for you. I was kind of expecting the same thing from my Darling Husband, so the day before our anniversary, I told him that I was going to wash the floors, so could he please go to the mall and pick up an anniversary gift while he was out.
I told him it was the ‘paper’ anniversary, so he could just get a card, he came back with a beautiful gold necklace.
I know if I didn’t prod him and send him out the door like that, I would have ended up dissapointed too.
Unfortunately, as nice as it was, he ended the day with, “don’t expect this every year, I’m not doing anything again until it’s a “big” anniversary.”
Guess I just have to quelch my expectations to avoid feeling let down.
Post # 9
Please understand that when I discuss gifts I am one of the least materialistic human beings I know. I laugh when I read about things I never heard of like “push gifts” on this site. My push gifts were the healthy babies that came from the cut (C-sections). Gifts have been the norm for marking the anniversary of the day we met in our relationship. I guess I expected that would continue for our actual wedding anniversary.
Post # 10
@lorie: Did you get him anything? Or maybe you could be the one to book a nice dinner? Sometimes I think there is a lot of pressure on men to always make all of the romantic gestures. I don’t know all the details, but it doesn’t sound like anything that can’t be fixed with a little work. I hope it turns out ok for you!
Post # 11
I wouldn’t worry about it, every year is different. Every occassion is different. My Darling Husband does that thing sometimes too, where I will tell him one upcoming event is important to me (ie: our last Valentines before we were married) and he will do absolutely nothing on that day for me and come home from work late for no reason. If there is some sense of feeling underappreciated then by all means, feel that way, but I doubt that’s what’s motivating his actions or lack thereof.
I don’t think it has anything to do with the age gap, or him being younger, or him being bored of you. It’s just that every individual person is different and has their own unique ways of marking special dates or showing their partner love.
Post # 12
@lorie: There are a couple of things on this Earth that men just don’t understand…Valentine’s Day, Anniversaries and facials…..I’ve spent a lot of time thinking on these things and I’ve come to the conclusion that men, at least most of them, live in the moment primarily, and resist remembering the past, looking ahead and minimizing pores….
We were engaged on Valentine’s Day, so on the one year anniversary of that momentous day, I totally outdid myself and nearly offed my husband, our dogs and his kids in a rage of jilted fury when he neglected to do so much as the dishes for me after I stuffed them to the gills with fried chicken and all the trimmings….either way, he learned that ANY effort is better than nothing and I learned that if I have something I want to have happen….I’ll have to plan it, because his mind just doesn’t work that way, but if I initiate it, he’s more than happy to join in, give input and gets excited, because we’re doing it together and there’s no angst…it also reminds him to find some way to show me that another year later, I’m still the one he wants…however he chooses to show me.