no birthday present, how upset would you be?
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default no birthday present, how upset would you be?

I am just not sure what to make of this now.
In all fairness, she cooked a nice dinner, and we had some great birthday sex and some quality pool time with the baby. I got greeting cards and some (Father's Day) baloons She didn't 'forget' my birthday.

On my birthday, a week ago today, she said, I forgot your birthday was two days before my next paycheck, so I need to get paid before I get you what I was going to get you.

A few nights later we went out for dinner. She offered to pay because she "feels bad for not getting you anything." She could tell I was a little distraught, and when she asked why, I said, "really, you didn't get me anything?" She said "it just hasn't happened yet," and I left it at that.

this morning I brought it up.. she said she has "no idea what to get me," which really stung because a) I'm her husband, and b) I've mentioned several things that I would like.

Last year she got me a really cheap guitar - it was all we could afford at the time - and I wanted to be happy but it literally tore my fingers up when I tried playing it. I've played some cheap guitars before, but NOTHING like that. It was a sweet gesture but I had to gently explain that a guitar is really personal and something to save up for, and something you need to pick out yourself. Yet she always brings up that I never play this guitar; I mention that I've been meaning to replace the strings, etc. but, well, the beat up guitar I have now is probably nicer than this one.

So a year later, this is the reason that she has "no idea" what to get me. I'm feeling all butthurt right now. I don't care what she gets me, but I'd like to feel important enough for her to care more. She could have talked to anyone in my family for ideas, she could have researched online, she could have remembered any of the things I'd mentioned - any number of things.

To hear a week after my birthday "I just don't know what to get you," that really stung.

I feel strange being so bothered by this, and I think there is a double standard. Men are expected to deliver birthday miracles every year, without fail. The cliche marital cardinal sin is for a man to neglect his wife's birthday/anniversary/etc. To forget the date or to get her the wrong thing. I love trying to surprise and delight my wife and trying to top what I did the last time.

And I know that if I said that to my wife "I just don't know what to get you" a week after her birthday, how well would that have flown? Yet she has this way of making me feel bad for being bothered by this. I would have even been ok with no gift, maybe more sex. Maybe getting friends together for drinks. I guess what bothers me most is that the story keeps changing - I just need to get paid first; I have something planned but it hasn't happened yet; and suddenly - "I have no idea what to get you!"

I just feel really cruddy. My parents got me an iPhone, which takes out some of the sting. Scratch that - I love my new iPhone!!! But at 32, I should be bragging on my wife, not my parents.

Last edited by nader; 06-26-2012 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

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And I know that if I said that to my wife "I just don't know what to get you" a week after her birthday, how well would that have flown?
Make a mental note to do the exact same thing to her on HER birthday. And when she gets pissed just stand there like you have no earthly idea what she's talking about.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

Aww I'm sorry

I felt bad because this Father's Day, I really had no idea what to get my guy. So I got him a couple of shirts, a feather rose, a worry stone and a love frog mirror magnet. This year I was at a loss
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

As for the guitar thing - I would feel a little confused about what to get you in the future, if I got you something I thought you'd enjoy and you said it was something you needed to pick out for yourself...

If she's honestly confused, just make a suggestion to her about what you would like and let her get it for you...

Happy birthday, by the way!
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

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As for the guitar thing - I would feel a little confused about what to get you in the future, if I got you something I thought you'd enjoy and you said it was something you needed to pick out for yourself...
the guitar was a delicate situation altogether. I can't play an unplayable instrument just to show my gratitude. Yet I was the one who felt terrible

Quote:
If she's honestly confused, just make a suggestion to her about what you would like and let her get it for you...
I've done this already. I am half tempted to go on Pinterest and make a 'wish list' board to send her, but that just takes the fun out of it. The best birthday present from her right now would be anything that lets me know that she cares and she's paying attention.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

I totally get the "sucky" gift thing... My husband isn't the greatest at it, either!

Let me tell you - one time before we were married he called to say that he got a surprise for me on his way over... I was jubilant!! I love surprises!!

Well, when he arrived, he pulled out of a grocery shopping bag the most HIDEOUS green button down shirt I have EVER seen in my LIFE!! To say I was disappointed was an understatement. It is UGLY and nothing anywhere NEAR my style of clothing!!!

But you know what? I put it on and wore it all day. I was still ecstatic that he was thinking of me when he bought it!

Another time, the DAY BEFORE WE WERE TO GET MARRIED, he called from work and said they'd had a jewelry sale and that he'd gotten me a surprise... Since we didn't have wedding rings to exchange, I immediately thought, "maybe he got us some cheap rings for the ceremony!" But by this time, I knew him well enough... Sure enough when he came over he presented me with a HUGE gaudy purple bracelet (this thing is two inches thick and comprised of interwoven quartz stones)... YIKES! But again, I was delighted at his thoughtfulness...

See where I'm going here? Some people don't have a clue when it comes to picking out gifts... But the thought is truly what matters. The fact that they thought of YOU when they picked it out is the most important thing!!

Still think a cheap guitar is an awful gift? Here are some other things my husband has gotten me that sucked a whole lot more;

Deodorant. A Beethoven tape (and I don't have a cassette player). A bar of soap. (Well, at least it was a good kind ). A bag of aluminum cans... (I recycled and he didn't at the time - and he saved his cans for me for a whole week instead of throwing them away - just for me!!) LoL!

The gifts I've gotten him? A satellite radio system. A cd player for his car. Dinner at Red Lobster. A gift certificate for Barnes and Noble... Etc.

Remember that how you receive a gift is very important to the giver... If you make them feel bad or you aren't gracious, they could honestly be confused about what to get you next time. Even if it's something you say you want! (Like a guitar)!

Hang in there... And be glad you didn't get a bar of soap or a bag of cans! LoL!!
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

Some people are different than others. They express their love in different ways, and can also get discouraged by little things. I would say, try to focus on the things she tried to do in order to make you feel special on your b'day. Do you think she put in enough thought process in rest of the things other than the gift itself? Couple of things could be behind this ..

1. Does your W come from a family where people are not that expressive? What does she expect you to do on her b'days? Does she expect surprise gifts etc? Does she get upset if you don't get her gifts on b'day or other occasions?

2. The criticism about guitar might have had bigger impact than you think, especially if she was trying to go beyond her comfort zone (financially/mentally) to get the guitar for you. I think her comment about "don't know what to get you" probably comes from the guitar episode. Probably she doesn't feel confident enough to get something for you that she feels you might be able to appreciate - especially if she has to compete with an iPhone, and looks like she has some monetary constraints

I would say, try to focus on the things she did right on your birthday. Ask yourself if she loves you or not based out of her day to day communication with you. If the answer is Yes, do not get so upset over the gift issue. Try to see what is reasonable to expect of her as far as your gift goes, and convey what you expect gently without being too pushy. Appreciate whatever she does or gets for you eventually and try to avoid criticizing as much as possible.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

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Originally Posted by YinPrincess View Post
Hang in there... And be glad you didn't get a bar of soap or a bag of cans! LoL!!
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I agree with YinPrincess... it is the sentiment that matters more than the gift itself!! My H is not that great at buying gifts as well, so he asks me what I want.. I give him few options and he orders online There is no element of surprise which I would have preferred, however I really appreciate the sentiment as well as the gift itself, and anything else he does for my b'day to make me feel special


Last edited by eowyn; 06-26-2012 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

Nader:
Your love language is gifts, and that is how you feel cherished by your wife. She, on the other hand, does not value gifts, and so she does not have the imagination to come up with ideas about what you would like.

I know that telling her what you want takes the fun out of a gift, but at least you will get something that you enjoy. I would give her a list of things that you want, and links to websites for her to order things for you. Can you set up reminders on her phone or e-mail that your birthday is coming up? I would also come right out and tell her how important this is to you, that you do not feel loved when she ignores important dates.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

An act of kindness and generosity should be given freely and at ones own will. It is unconditional. Give freely, and never expect anything in return. What would be the point in giving something to someone, and expecting them to react with giving you something back? That doesn't exactly reveal a genuine person.

On another note...I understand how you might feel neglected by your wife. If you're saying she would expect a nice gift, and doesn't seem too active trying to show her willingness to give to you, then I would say she's not truly a giving person, rather a taker.

However...when you said she bought you the guitar last year, and you hate it. I could see her feeling a little insecure with buying you things now. She might feel as if nothing she buys you will make you happy and that your expectations are high.

Sometimes it's the thought that someone puts into a gift. Remember that she may not be the best gift picker. But try to understand that she bought you that guitar out of love, with the money she had. Which is a very loving gesture.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

Here's something to think about....

I'll use church as an example.

A young man walks into church and donates $500 to their monthly funds out of his abundance and wealth.

An old woman walks in, barely scraping by, she's on pension and still has to pay for bills, food, transportation, can't work because she's too old, no other money coming in...etc.....she puts $50 into the churches monthly funds.

Who gave more in this situation ?
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

It's never occurred to me that gifts are my love language, because I am a touch/affirmation guy. It's the evasiveness/procrastination/nonchalantness that bothers me the most. If she had let me know early on that she didn't know what to get me, we could have talked about it before my birthday. Or, I can't get you anything this year so I'm going to (all kinds of adult stuff) instead. I am not high maintenance or difficult to please. I just want to feel important/respected/loved.

The guitar episode hasn't had an impact on other gift-giving occasions since then. She got me some really nice stuff for Christmas, our anniversary, etc. I feel like it's an excuse or defense mechanism. Like maybe she knows she's in the wrong here and it's easier to just bring up past wrongs than to apologize.

Quote:
1. Does your W come from a family where people are not that expressive? What does she expect you to do on her b'days? Does she expect surprise gifts etc? Does she get upset if you don't get her gifts on b'day or other occasions?
She is definitely a gift-oriented person and I think sometimes she overdoes it, especially around Christmas. She took a week off just to plan our son's first birthday party. She never lays out her expectations for herself, but I do my darndest not to disappoint. Because, you know, she's my wife!

I've never not gotten her anything! For our last anniversary I sort of copped out; money was tight, I had one thing in mind but then decided to go with a less expensive photo frame of some wedding pics. I left it sitting on the couch so she would see it when she got home. She was underwhelmed and disappointed, when I had meant to surprise her by setting it out so she would "find" it. She was so upset that I just went ahead and ordered the more expensive thing I was going to get her - which she loves and uses every day.

So that's another thing she brought up. My haphazard presentation. My defense: at least it wasn't a week late.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Remember, money can't buy love. You said she made you dinner and gave you sex....and you guys spent the day as a family swimming. Since when did items bought replace the stuff that really matters? She made an effort..in the bedroom and cooking you dinner...be appreciative of what she did..and don't focus on what she hasn't "bought".
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

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Originally Posted by nader View Post
I am just not sure what to make of this now.
In all fairness, she cooked a nice dinner, and we had some great birthday sex and some quality pool time with the baby. I got greeting cards and some (Father's Day) baloons She didn't 'forget' my birthday.

...

I just feel really cruddy. My parents got me an iPhone, which takes out some of the sting. Scratch that - I love my new iPhone!!! But at 32, I should be bragging on my wife, not my parents.
Seriously? You need birthday presents as a reason to brag on your wife? You need a big production made about your birthday? Maybe next year she'll take you to Chuck E. Cheese. Seriously. You're 32. Grow up.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: no birthday present, how upset would you be?

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Seriously. You're 32. Grow up.
Maybe I do need to 'grow up,' but I think you are missing the point here. No gift would have been fine if we had communicated properly. It is bad communication and the sudden shift to 'not knowing what to get me' a week after the fact.. that's where the butthurt comes in.

I really was completely ok until she said that to me. that she 'didn't know.' I'm wishing now that I'd just left it alone.
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