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Re. Birthday gifts between couples

(50 Posts)
MulberryJane Sun 19-May-13 10:01:19

Ive just got off the phone to my friend, it's her birthday and instead of the cheery phonecall I thought it would be she was quite upset! It turns out her OH has bought her a book on weaning (their LO is 4 months old) for her birthday and some flowers. She said she feels like he doesn't see her as his OH any more and sees her as 'mother' which makes her sad. She isn't speaking to him now and she's saying it's signalling the end of their relationship. I told her it was just a gift and it didn't signal the end of anything.

AIBU to think it doesn't mean their relationship is over? Is it an inappropriate gift? Or is she BU?

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sun 19-May-13 10:02:45

Sounds more like he thought he was getting her something she would like and got it majorly wrong. Not talking to him won't help though.

DeafLeopard Sun 19-May-13 10:04:14

I think he thought it was a nice idea, and she might be a bit sleep deprived and not thinking clearly if a bunch of flowers and a book are grounds for divorce.

QOD Sun 19-May-13 10:05:34

I've enjoyed a fish slice, a Dyson and sweet f all in the past

Men are clueless until fully trained

QOD Sun 19-May-13 10:05:52

I've enjoyed a fish slice, a Dyson and sweet f all in the past

Men are clueless until fully trained

bulletwithbutterflywings Sun 19-May-13 10:06:19

I would be massively pissed off. Totally inappropriate gift! You don't get people stuff like that unless they have specifically asked for it.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 19-May-13 10:06:37

Oh, poor her, she sounds in a rotten state. There must be far more to this than a book.

I think instead of telling her she's being unreasonable, you might be better to try to offer her a listening ear and see if you can work out what else is going on?

I mean, it's not a massively wonderful gift, obviously, and I can imagine mates of mine going through the roof a bit, but it'd be the unspoken implications of it I'd worry about - eg., is he buying it because they disagree over when to wean and she feels he's pushing at her? Or because she feels that sort of item should be a household expense not a present? Or is she just really upset and almost anything would have hurt her?

Talk to her about it and see. (And, erm, if they stay together maybe a quick word to her DH before next birthday on the subject of 'gifts that aren't bloody stupid' might help grin).

jacks365 Sun 19-May-13 10:08:16

A book and flowers for a gift sounds like finance is tight. In that situation I appreciate a gift I couldnt justify spending the money on myself even if it is just practical.

Sounds like they both still need to adjust to being parents.

MsVestibule Sun 19-May-13 10:09:31

It depends what he normally buys her for her birthday. If it used to be a bunch of flowers, then no, throwing in a book about weaning isn't that bad. If he normally bought her a present that showed he'd thought about what she would like, then HIBU.

I think for her to say that the relationship is over is little over dramatic, unless there are a lot of other factors at play.

bulletwithbutterflywings Sun 19-May-13 10:11:22

I can totally understand how she feels (even though its very dramatic and a not over the top) Sometimes I think little things like this can kick off a bit of a spiral of "He doesn't get me" If he doesn't care enough to get me some I would actually like, does he care at all. Etc etc.
Her baby is only four months, I know I was still slightly bonkers and still took everything to heart at that stage. Her DH needs a not more tolerance and understanding.

bulletwithbutterflywings Sun 19-May-13 10:11:50

*a lot more

McNewPants2013 Sun 19-May-13 10:11:55

I don't get the big deal over adult birthdays.

Flowers and a card sounds lovely, perhaps the book was a wrong choice but an adult shouldn't be sulking and threatening divorce over a birthday gift.

Ragwort Sun 19-May-13 10:13:24

Personally I don't get this 'presents between couples idea' and surely its a massive over reaction not to speak to your partner because you don't like the gifts hmm - surely a more mature reaction would be to laugh it off and say you would really appreciate <insert present of choice> as a gift next time.

I tell my DH exactly what I want for my present, I don't expect him to be a mind-reader. He did buy me what I wanted for my recent birthday - a black dustbin grin. Equally he tells me what he would like, I have made the wrong guess so many times over the years so if he wants some obscure gadget for his fishing hobby then that is what I will get him.

Your friend sounds as though she is 14 and falling out with a friend from school.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 19-May-13 10:14:32

Oh come on. Does anyone honestly believe she's sulking purely because of the book?


If she genuinely thinks that is the only reason she's upset and nothing else is wrong at all, she is either the world's most implausible control freak, or she is mentally ill. I am not saying that flippantly, I mean, if she genuinely thinks that is the only reason she's upset, I would be worried for her mental state.

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 19-May-13 10:15:52

I'd be pissed off with that. An eternity ring would be the ideal gift after a first baby.

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Sun 19-May-13 10:17:01

She needs to grow up.
She's seriously thinking the relationship is over because her DH bought a baby book.
It sounds like a thoughtful gift to me. At least he's interested in their child's development.

What was she expecting?

McNewPants2013 Sun 19-May-13 10:17:27

Perhaps the flowers was from him and the book was from the baby, that how I would look at it.

Samu2 Sun 19-May-13 10:20:30

Well obviously it runs a lot deeper than the actual gifts.

I will still a hormonal mess 4 months PP and felt very insecure about pretty much everything.

I would do some more fishing OP to see what the real issue is.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 19-May-13 10:20:53

I've got to say ... if I had a baby, and my DH got me something where my reaction had to be 'at least he's interested in our child's development', I would be gutted.

He's the baby's father. Of course he's meant to be interested in the child's development, it's a basic minimum, isn't it?

I don't see how a book on weaning could fail to be a loaded gift, though. Unless she'd gone round Waterstones saying 'ohh, look, there's that book on weaning I really want' or 'hmm, DH, I am thinking so hard about weaning but I just don't know how to get the right advice'.

bulletwithbutterflywings Sun 19-May-13 10:24:15

It sounds like a thoughtful gift to me. At least he's interested in their child's development.
Their child so why is he buying her a book? Looks like he thinks the baby is her responsibility alone- otherwise the book would be a household expense not a gift for the mother.

JudithOfThePascha Sun 19-May-13 10:27:45

Surely, with any present, the question is whether the recipient would want it or not is quite crucial?

There's nothing wrong with a book on weaning, per se, but if the OP's friend obviously wouldn't want such a book, then maybe it's a bit off. On the other hand, the DH in question has probably seen his DW reading baby books and thought, ooh she likes those. That's the sort of thing my DH would do. "Judith, I saw you making pastry last week, here's a brightly coloured pastry brush!"

These days, I point DH in the direction of my Amazon wish list. Whatever our current budget (very frugal at the mo) there's something there. It's not about lack of thought - in fact, it's usually when he thinks about it that it goes awry!

Perhaps, as baby is weaning age, there is a wider issue of feeling appreciated as someone other than baby's mummy? Unless there's a lot of other issues at play, she's probably just a bit sleep-deprived and grumpy.

DontmindifIdo Sun 19-May-13 10:29:42

See, often it's not the actual thing it's what it represents, so as bullet says, it's not that it was the wrong book, but that by giving it to her rather than just buying it for the family he's saying "this is your life/job now" not a family responsibility. Birthday gifts - unless otherwise specificially asked for - should be a gift for just the person who's birthday it is, not somehting for someone else/the whole family.

A book and flowers would be fine, if the book was on a hobby or interest of hers or a novel by a writer she enjoys, but a book that's about how to look after the baby isn't appropriate.

MulberryJane Sun 19-May-13 10:39:07

I've invited her over for a coffee tomorrow morning, I agree bulletwithbutterflywings, I think she feels he doesn't 'get' her and that she feels like the responsibility lies with her for everything. McNewPants - ill suggest that to her smile.

I'm still a bit nuts after 7 months so I'm sure her hormones are playing a big part in this as its only been 4. I do think a more thoughtful gift might have been a better choice, AKiss I like your suggestion! I actually got flowers for my first birthday as a mum but, then again, we don't do big gifts and I thought they were nice. I think if I'd got the book though I'd feel a bit rubbish too, it should be a household expense when I think about it.

Ragwort, I'm going to suggest she's clear about what she wants for next year. In fact, I may take this route too. QOD, were you not just a bit pleased with the Dyson? I'd be over the moon that my DH knew what one was smile.

Thanks for the help everyone smile

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 19-May-13 10:39:57

Best of luck tomorrow!

McNewPants2013 Sun 19-May-13 10:47:29

Good luck for tomorrow, a little suggestion Father's Day is next month perhaps he can have the Haynes baby book smile

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