AIBU about DH or do I need to just suck it up?

(115 Posts)
Morebirthdayblues Tue 20-Aug-13 10:15:12

Before I start I know this isn't a massive problem in the grand scheme of thing and a lot of people are going through a lot worse, but I'm really annoyed by this.

DH has always been notoriously crap at buying gifts, and last year for my 30th I got nothing, we were busy starting our own business and he said he didn't have the time or money to get me anything. I was so upset we had a massive row, and he vowed to do better.

When I had DS after a two day very traumatic labour he left the hospital to get me something, and came back with a box of strawberries! And not even a card to say well done, or I'm proud of you.

These have both really annoyed me and I'm not looking for a massive present, I'd rather he spent a tenner and picked something out for me.

Fast forward to my birthday this year and I stupidly thought he might buck himself up this time. A few days before my birthday he said he had thought we could go into town for something to eat and to the cinema and pick my present, he never organised a babysitter or tried to sort this and at short notice we had no one to ask.

When the day of my birthday came he never said happy birthday in the morning or even mentioned it when we spoke on the phone during the day, when he got home from and seen cupcakes on the table the penny dropped. He dashed out with DS to the local garage to buy a card, when he came back with it I refused to take them, he had basically forgot.

This is really pissing me off as it happens time and time again, and every time I pull him about it he get all upset with himself and is on the verge of tears, which pisses me off as it as if have to feel sorry for him.

He says he really tries but is just crap at things like that, and would rather I picked my present myself as hes afraid of getting the wrong thing. He has spoiled every big occasion for me. Our engagement was awful, he just handed me the box with the ring in it, he spoiled our wedding day by getting drunk and having a good time with his mates, he was too drunk to DTD and basically fell asleep during it. Our honeymoon was in an idyllic place over valentines day and he didn't even get me a card, or do anything special and wouldn't fork out for a meal on the beach as we were all inclusive and he didn't want to spend the extra money.

I don't want to come across as if I need big grand gestures, but something would be nice. He's great otherwise, he's an unreal father to our DS and does his fair share of housework, I'm 8 weeks pregnant at the minute and very sick and he is doing everything to help me out.

So AIBU in being upset over his behaviour on these occasions, as I feel he isn't showing any thought for me, or should I be thankful he's a great husband and father otherwise and just accept that he's crap at this type of thing?

Morebirthdayblues Wed 21-Aug-13 19:05:17

I agree francesca I would value a cheaper thing that had meaning over an expensive present any day and he knows that. But he can never think of anything sentimental he says, but he's not coming up with anything expensive either!

I haven't really spoke to him for days so he's aware I'm still upset, but he hasn't mentioned it to me again which has really annoyed me.

I'm going to bring it up again tonight when he gets home, he probably thinks if he doesn't say anything ill eventually forget it and he'll be off the hook.

3ismyloy I don't get valentines either really. I do like cards in general though, and he knows that.I hold onto them and love looking back on them as he usually writes something sentimental on them or about that he's looking forward to something we have ahead of us, like a baby for example.

I think after a two day very complicated labour the least he could do is buy me a card!!

FrancescaBell Wed 21-Aug-13 14:05:29

I think it's far more problematic if a birthday or day that is special to someone is ignored, forgotten about and the person feels neglected on that day, than the absence of a card and a present.

Anyone can buy a flash present but be emotionally and physically absent throughout the special day.

Whereas a day full of kind gestures, love and attention is worth far more than an expensive gift.

In my language.

3ismylot Wed 21-Aug-13 13:18:05

I think its a lot more important that he is a loving and helpful husband rather than buying you gifts.

DH and I rarely exchange gifts as it seems silly, we have a joint account and if we want something we buy it! Although we do always wish the other Happy Birthday and if we have the chance have a nice meal together.

I understand you feeling upset about Birthday and Christmas presents if you place a level of importance on them but fail to see why he should have got you something on the Birth of you dc and wedding day hmm

I also dont get the fascination of valentines day? Even for single people I find it silly but for couples and especially married couples I dont get it as that is what an anniversary is about!

I do get that I am probably in a minority though and may sound old and grumpy grin

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 21-Aug-13 12:45:11

It may be worth you sitting down and discussing the different ways of expressing love together. You may both find it eye-opening. While gifts matter to you, what matters to him? Are you showing you love him in a way he recognises?

Morebirthdayblues Wed 21-Aug-13 11:31:54

I know a lot of men who buy great pressies but they are awful to their wife the rest of the time. I would just like a balance between the two.

But this thread has made me see than he's a really good husband most of the time, and this is his one major fault. I don't think I will be able to change him and it may be something I'm going to have to accept and just be happy he is good to me otherwise!!

I still want a pressie though!!! confused

raisah Tue 20-Aug-13 21:49:39

My dh is like this & sometimes I get a bit jealous of other couples who spoil each other and wish we were the same. He is brilliant in other ways but it is a bit like living with Mr. Spock & it would be nice to be noticed for a change. Not much advice apart from setting up a daily reminder on his mobile a week before his birthday.

everlong Tue 20-Aug-13 20:45:12

That's good OP. I have a similar DH. Over the years I've come to expect not much on birthdays etc so when I do get something it's a bonus.

The facts that he's a good husband is the important issue here. Honestly I would let the birthday thing go. It's one day a year.

Morebirthdayblues Tue 20-Aug-13 20:34:37

Yes he is everlong he's a very nice person in general and everyone thinks very highly of him. I'm proud to call him my DH as I feel he's a far better person than me, but he's so bloody useless sometimes!!!

everlong Tue 20-Aug-13 20:29:22

Is he a good husband/dad/friend in the important matters?

Morebirthdayblues Tue 20-Aug-13 20:23:52

francesca he seen me a couple of times and because I was pretending to be drunk so no one would suspect he thought I looked happy, and must not have been sick.
Only it would have blown my cover I really wanted to drive home and leave him there to sort himself out.
He couldn't see why I was so annoyed at the fact that he never really checked on me, which annoyed me more!!

I live in hope snog as I really feel I can change this as he has responded really well to my requests to change before. But tbh I know this may be the one thing I can never do anything about.

WestieMamma Tue 20-Aug-13 20:20:12

YANBU

It's the thought that counts and as there is no thought it's only natural that you'll be upset.

My husband is also truely awful at buying presents but I forgive him because I know he agonises over getting it right. He really did believe I'd be made up to get a new colander for valentine's day and we laugh now about the dog made out of a car exhaust I got for my birthday shock

Snog Tue 20-Aug-13 20:18:46

receiving presents is very important to you. ask your dh why he is hapoy to upset you over what is clearly a big issue to you.
my best friend managed to retrain her dh about presents so there is hope!

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 20:17:30

What pyrrah says (p.3), great post!

FrancescaBell Tue 20-Aug-13 20:01:18

What was his rationale for the wedding incident last week then?

Morebirthdayblues Tue 20-Aug-13 19:57:45

francesca I said upthread that he would be near perfect only for this. He had his moments in the past when he was younger with regards to drinking but has totally turned that around as I honestly have to force him to do things with his mates as he doesn't like leaving me and DS. Doesn't want to go on his best friends stag do, as he hasn't been away from us for 3 days in years.

He does loads around the house, not just his 'fair share'. At the minute I'm spending every waking moment that I'm not working either lying in bed/sofa, and he has taken care of everything.

He's also almost single handedly building our house for the last year or so on top of doing stuff in the house.

Apart from the occasion/birthday thing he treats me really well, tells me every day and night he loves me and compliments me a lot. He encourages me to pursue my own interests and always supports me in them.

This is why I feel like I should maybe just suck it up, as he is a near perfect husband otherwise, and perfection is very hard to find!

I know men who buy fabulous gifts but are twats the rest of the time, and I know if I had my choice I would pick being treated well 95% of the time.

I'm in no way excusing his behaviour, I'm still furious with him but I just want to show that's he's not as bad as you are making out.

Viviennemary Tue 20-Aug-13 19:50:07

My DH is totally hopeless about choosing gifts and used to get quite hurt when I complained. I now choose my own and either order it myself or write down exactly what I want so he can't go wrong.

FrancescaBell Tue 20-Aug-13 19:41:59

How does he compare with what you think you personally need and deserve in a relationship though?

Comparing him with your friends' dickish husbands is the wrong way to go.

It's like comparing an incompetent GP with Harold Shipman.

What are your standards in terms of what you want and need from a romantic partner?

Those really are the only standards you should judge him by.

You are I think, setting them way too low. But this is purely based on what you've said about your distress, upset and resentment; none of which sounds in the least bit unreasonable incidentally.

Morebirthdayblues Tue 20-Aug-13 19:33:33

Ok francesca there was that incident but really apart from the present/occasion situation I haven't pulled him on anything in a long long time.

I'm really not playing the 'poor little wife' here, I'm fully aware of how shit some men can be and don't put up with any crap from him on any other level. My friends husbands aren't that bad overall but there's no way I'd put up with being treated like they do, and get no help with DC's. DH isn't perfect but he's probably the best husband of anyone I know. Some of my friends actually use him as an example to their DH's as how they should act! hmm

But I'm not making excuses for him, he royally fucks up every birthday and most special occasions, but I'm not going to LTB over it!

red going to look into this love language thing sounds interesting. As I said his friends are probably worse than him, so no joy going down that route.

FrancescaBell Tue 20-Aug-13 19:31:23

He really isn't doing this to spite you, or to upset you.

How do you know and why would you think that?

See, I don't get this.

Most people in a relationship know that if their partner gets upset about something they keep doing, they stop doing it.

If they care enough about the other person's feelings, they make some effort.

The OP couldn't have made her feelings clearer, on numerous occasions.

She's also said it's not just presents that he's crap at.

It sounds like although he does what frankly is expected as a husband and father in terms of the family's basic needs, he makes zero effort in the romantic relationship. Complacency doesn't even cover it. He knows the OP is going nowhere and won't rock the boat. She'll just grin and bear it because he isn't as bad as some other husbands.

I think he knows his actions will cause upset and distress but he just doesn't seem to care enough to change.

redexpat Tue 20-Aug-13 19:18:03

Does he have a diary? Does he use it? Could he set reminders a week in advance on his phone? Make him read How to do everything and be happy. It stresses this point.

I think you both need to work out what your respective your love language is. This will help him see that when he fails to mark these occasions, it makes you feel as if you dont love him. Someone upthread mentioned it too.

Also, I think you should acknowledge that he obviously finds this difficult and he may actually crumble under pressure. I always feel stressed buying for my sister because she gets cross if it's not what she likes. In turn, she is really good at finding presents for others. Perhaps you could write a wish list og gifts/outings, and how you would like the day to go. Including things like book a babysitter. Some people really dont know how to organise stuff and it is infuriating if you are married to one of them.

Alternatively if you are on good terms with one of his friends you could subtly mention it to him, he could help DH arrange something. Or if his mates are the same could you get a friend or family member to help him?

He really isn't doing this to spite you, or to upset you.

RobotHamster Tue 20-Aug-13 19:08:28

Or maybe they're all on the shandy thread wink

RobotHamster Tue 20-Aug-13 19:07:10

Stuntgirl - if this thread had been started later in the week and after wine o clock it'd be a whole different story grin

FrancescaBell Tue 20-Aug-13 18:59:54

We had a row last wk about his lack of thought for me, he left me at a wedding to go off with his mates to another part of the hotel, I was very sick and stuck with his friends drunk wives trying to hide the fact I wasn't drinking and he didn't come near me for 3 hours. I was seriously pissed off, then he still does this a week later!!

Doesn't this contradict what you keep saying about him being 'great in every other way' apart from presents?

You might not be getting the usual (very wearing) snarks about being the equivalent of a Birthday Bridezilla, but in some ways this thread is fairly typical.

The OP catalogues a whole range of selfish behaviours in her partner.

People very sensibly agree he's appallingly selfish.

At which point the OP goes on the defensive and says he's wonderful really confused

From where I'm standing, no he isn't. But this is purely based on what you yourself have said.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 20-Aug-13 18:59:21

Is there something you could buy/do together?

In our early years of marriage when funds were very tight we would take DH's annual bonus (about a week's pay) and buy something we both wanted. It bought all sorts of things - a gas fire, a fridge, a tumble dryer, okay not romantic but we both enjoyed the shopping!

Morebirthdayblues Tue 20-Aug-13 18:45:40

kickass your right in that we do need to come up with something other than expecting presents, as it is simply not going to happen. We go out for meals a lot and he nearly always pays so don't know what else we could try as taking his credit card and buying myself something just seems like a cop out and let's him off the hook.

I haven't posted much about IL's so I don't think it's me your thinking of, the main reason being I think most of you wouldn't believe me if u heard half of it! sad

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