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D for effort..AIBU?

(58 Posts)
Hypermutley Sun 09-Feb-14 11:59:14

So t'was my b'day on Friday. As I've not been treated to nice meal in previous b'days - has always been a last minute dash to find a nice restaurant etc - I booked my favourite restaurant back in October. It was a lovely meal.
DH's actions: give me a card around 11pm when we got home after dinner bought from Tesco (I don't care but he always insists it Clintons between the two of us).
Lovely flowers on Saturday (confessed that he ordered on Friday AM) along with a bottle of rose and a box of chocolates delivered as a package from the flower company.
Further, he hadn't bought anything else in the way of party food (we always do this although it is just the two of us at this party), so I bought the usual on Thursday PM.
Admittedly I am hard to buy gifts for - I return things I spend ages hunting and buying myself.

Even so, AIBU to expect a little effort from DH? he hadn't even planned anything for the weekend. We had breakfast around noon and he was looking for things to do and I just couldn't be arsed after that. (it's nearly always me who finds things to do for us and I've told him he needs to find something, then its always the bloody f** 'shops' when he knows I'm not a big shopper - cop out?!). He could have ordered something cheap as a gift even a box of chocolates picked out himself rather than from the bloody flower shop.

Littleen Sun 09-Feb-14 20:50:17

I can sort of understand where you're coming from, it's not well thought out and well planned. Though that's pretty typical of men! I think you booking restaurant many months in advance is odd, and would probably tell him that you won't even give him the chance (even though he's not done it previously). You'll just have to tell him exactly what you expect, he won't understand a hint! My OH hasn't been that great, until this christmas he got me something i really wanted but hadn't even thought about for months as I couldn't justify buying it myself. I did not for a second think he would get me something I really wanted! One time he got me some fancy tea that tasted horrible along with some funny looking oven gloves (didn't need or want them though, besides - oven gloves?!?!). So it varies obviously. Talk to him again and again until he gets it!

LisaMed Sun 09-Feb-14 18:32:21

I got a £1.50 (one pound and fifty pence) plate from the charity shop bought at the last minute, as due to my birthday having been on the same day since he met me in 1985 he was taken by surprise.

The plate is nice, bought with our son. I said thank you and smiled.

Hissy Sun 09-Feb-14 18:19:43

Op clearly stated that her OH expects all bells and whistles and sulks if he doesn't get them.

So, perhaps a bit of a short shite shock will teach him a lesson...

MelanieCheeks Sun 09-Feb-14 17:53:04

The TallestFlower's post had an awful lot of good stuff in it.

I don't get the "do back to him what he did to you" advice - people dont think about things the same way, and he's not going to be upset at being treated the same way he treats her (given that - benefit of the doubt - he's done his best and thought what he offered was good and would be appreciated)

If it's NOT his best, if he's deliberately set out to be cheeky or annoting, then that's a different matter. But I get the impression he's done well, given his form. B for effort, methinks.

Hissy Sun 09-Feb-14 15:39:28

If someone genuinely doesn't give a monkey's about their own birthday, then they can be (semi) forgiven for not wanting to make a fuss about other people's.

When they sulk because they think their dp hasn't bothered, but it's not even actually happened, THEN there's a problem. Especially when they expect the 21 gun salute and the concorde flypast but don't fucking bother at all for the person that's supposed to mean the world to them.

Book a mini break with a mate so you are not even there for his birthday, ideally somewhere with no phone reception and leave his selfish arse all alone to contemplate what you do normally do.

I hate mean people, and he sounds really petty and mean.

Aw shucks.


CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 09-Feb-14 15:21:26

Does he have an iPhone? If I would like something specific for my birthday eg particular perfume, I VERY specifically state this to dh then I find it online and then dh photographs the details on his iphone.

He has tried surprises in the past but they usually weren't the best idea although the thought was behind it so I appreciated the thought. So this "leading him to the exact details of the thing I want" (rather than mentioning it in the shop a couple of months before and expecting him to remember it - he won't) works much better for us. It may be practical rather than romantic but romance can come in many forms such as someone bringing you a cup of tea in the morning or commenting on a song on the radio that brings back memories of your early relationship or even just buying you a crunchie whilst paying for petrol.

If you are hoping that your dh will suddenly become one of these rare men that trawl the shops for weeks for the perfect surprise present or think ahead far enough to book an in-demand restaurant then I fear you will be forever disappointed.

ImagineJL Sun 09-Feb-14 15:18:11

You both sound incredibly high maintenance to me. Ticker-tape parades for your birthdays! Do you have kids?

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Sun 09-Feb-14 14:53:50

Your last post rather changes things...

Don't do any of this for him next year. Don't book a meal. Don't make the effort to get him what HE likes - get something you love but he's meh about. Make exactly the amount of effort for the 'party' that he does for you. When he sulks, act baffled and say 'I've done exactly the same as you did for me - I don't understand what the problem is - you are unhappy with my efforts for you but fine with the same amount of effort for me? - Could you explain why your feelings are more important than mine please, I'm finding it very difficult to follow.

'But I don't like flowers, I wanted Thornton's chocolates'

-'I like flowers though. You buy me chocolates even though they're your favourite not mine...Why isn't it ok for me to do the same to you?'

phantomnamechanger Sun 09-Feb-14 14:41:47

I do often buy some of my own gifts and dh wraps them with the kids, but that's only because it saves him the trip to get it, or because I'm worried about them running out of my size.....our first xmas together I showed him exactly the nightie I wanted and told him size 12. he left it till blooming xmas eve and came back saying "they only had size 6 or size 22 left"!
he has got better and does not do last minute anymore, and is also better at surprises - and has help from my 2 eldest who have a pretty good idea of want I like/need.
OP you do sound very spoilt. Birthdays for adults are not usually such a big thing, you want a meal out, fancy gifts and party food at home too? BUT if he genuinely expects you to push the boat out for him, then he ought to make more effort for you. I do think you were wrong to book your own meal. Is it really necessary to book in October for Feb birthday?

And as for this insistence that cards must come from Clintons, what a load of nonsense. I shop around to buy the card that is just right and never ever use the expensive chains.

Thetallesttower Sun 09-Feb-14 14:37:51

Have you read about Love Languages OP? Not everyone expresses their love in the same way. My husband is big on presents, conventionally romantic ones (jewellery, holidays) but doesn't ever think to make me a cup of tea unless I ask. Everyone expresses these things differently.

I'm not a present person. I don't go past places and think 'wow, I'd love to get that amazing gift for X'- I find cards and presents a chore and do the minimum myself on my dh's birthday (card, small gift not always, lunch or dinner out somewhere ok). But I am great in other ways (very affectionate!)

You have to decide if you want this pettiness (and it is petty given you did get your birthday meal, flowers, chocs and wine) to go on another year and if this is really symbolic about how he feels about you (in which case your relationship is not in good shape) or whether, actually, he shows you he loves you in lots of ways but just not massively in presents.

You seem determine to experience this as rejection- I think he is uninterested or has given up trying to get it right for your birthday. Only you can work out why (my guess is he's like me and finds the whole present and expectation thing too much and unenjoyable).

whomadeyougod Sun 09-Feb-14 14:27:26

he doesnt bother because nothing is ever good enough for you , why should he make an effort .

ImagineJL Sun 09-Feb-14 14:17:00

"does" not "it's ones"

ilovesooty Sun 09-Feb-14 14:16:01

I think anyone who books their own birthday meal the previous October is conveying the clear message that he isn't to be trusted to do anything right.

Hypermutley Sun 09-Feb-14 14:14:30

cory thanks, apologies for drip feeding. these b'day arrangements are what we agreed early on. and I know he expects this for himself still, a couple of years ago when he was not working and at home he'd realised I'd not got anything for his b'day so was sulking for a few days previously. of course though I knew he was I didn't know why. I didn't get anything so as to surprise him on the day cos I knew he'd look around the house.

I got in early from work and came in the house quietly and arranged it all, then went out and rang bell. he was ecstatic when he saw his party. he told me he thought I'd forgotten and he was annoyed

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Feb-14 13:57:31

You are a bit of a madam, I'm afraid...

tripecity Sun 09-Feb-14 13:55:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Sun 09-Feb-14 13:54:22

Hypermutley, you have been drip feeding on this thread. First it was "oh I am difficult to buy things, I do take them back" now it's "it's totally unfair to say I am being awkward because I've only ever taken things back once or twice under very special circumstances".

Yes, I agree that going by your later posts he doesn't seem to be making much of an effort. And I do think people in a relationship should. I expect my dh to.

But I do hate being drip fed and being moaned at for answering to the information provided.

It is also quite possible for married people to expect love and attention from each other but not to relate it to birthdays. It doesn't mean all such people expect nothing from their partners; they may just expect something different.

My db is one of those heavily romantic people with red roses and champagne and special meals booked in special places all the time. I wouldn't enjoy that at all, I'd find it a bit cringeworthy, so wouldn't want dh to go ahead and do it for me and then insist I had to do the same for him because he'd done it for me.

Reasonable behaviour for a relationship imo is a compromise between two sets of expectations, rather than deciding single handedly that you are going to give him this (which he may not even want or miss) and then be upset if he does not reciprocate. So before I decide how wrong your dh is I would want to know if he actually expects or even wants all the things you do for him on his birthday. If not, now is the time to discuss and reach a compromise.

Hypermutley Sun 09-Feb-14 13:53:58

Hissy, love your idea re where flowers could go. he is shamed each time but does nothing the next time. Yes that's exactly what I intend to do from this year on.

MrsK, well this xmas I got a pefume, same brand but not the particular one I wear. he asked me what I wear and I told him exactly and I got the wrong one.

Hypermutley Sun 09-Feb-14 13:48:10

That's just it. he know, because I've told him, its special.

also re the wine, we both love our wines and neither like rose and that's what I got. it would have preferable to get a wine we've had before and loved instead surely?

this year as he knew I'd booked the dinner he could have spent some time to see what we could do Saturday surely?

in any case, I've told him to plan his own b'day as it seems we're on diy b'days now. I will be ordering something from moonpig or the like this year. whatever works I guess

MrsKoala Sun 09-Feb-14 13:43:22

It was my birthday on Friday too. DH gave me a present in the morning (perfume - he already bought me perfume for xmas too and a charm for a charm bracelet, full in the knowledge i don't own a charm bracelet confused grin ) but no card. I was told cards would be over dinner (as not bought yet a assumed). We went to see Robocop at the IMAX (it was great) and then for a cheap szechuan hot pot in chinatown. It was great. I was very pleased with my day.

There are times when he gets it really right - usually xmas. but then when he has run out of ideas - usually my birthday, because it's so soon after xmas. This is a pattern. I often get the same present for my birthday as xmas because i 'liked my xmas ones so much' grin

Have you spoken to your DH about it? Once i got a frying pan and went ballistic!

Hissy Sun 09-Feb-14 13:42:40

I booked the dinner and I jolly well can I pay for it myself. 8 years together, apart from the first 2-3 years he has not booked a dinner for my b'day, but I have for his. every year. incidentally I also book our valentines dinner every year.

So don't! STOP booking meals for him, get him a supermarket card, or just forget to get one. Bugger Valentines too, get YOURSELF a spa day and piss off with a friend to pamper yourselves and leave him home minding the fort.

The flowers'd have been inserted in somewhere distinctly unvaselike if that had have been me. He ordered your birthday bits IN, and ON your birthday, where is his shame at being so fucking lazy?

Peachypossum Sun 09-Feb-14 13:40:14

I can see why you're upset Op. my Dh is exactly the same, its not the cost of the thing, or what you actually do, it's someone taking the time to think of something nice for you. It demonstrates that they care enough to want to make you feel special and loved and spoilt.

It's not hard to book your OH a table at their favorite place for the evening, or to pick up a tub of ice cream. I wonder if your and my reaction is because we DO do those things and can't understand why they don't want to put the time in too.

My Dh got me an Ipad mini (I love it) the Christmas they came out which I wanted loads and really love and appreciate. Guess who had to track one down that was in stock, make the phone calls to get it and then collect it from the store. A very generous gift money wise, but a lack of care to how it all took place. I'm struggling to explain my point, but I do understand. My DH loves sweets/american candy bars, if I spot some when out I get him one as a little gift - he would never think to do this for me.

Its not about money/large gifts etc, its about thought. Also, those that say birthdays shouldn't be special as adults. why not? We work hard all year, when there is an excuse in life for celebration and fun then I like to grab it with both hands smile

Hypermutley Sun 09-Feb-14 13:36:28

Thank you for taking the time to comment on this thread. What I see is a little shocking to me, in summary most of you are saying;

We should not expect anything from DHs for even the one day in the 365 that is personal and special to us. And if DHs do get us anything, we should be grateful and delighted by it - even if its something he knows we don't really like. And it is outrageous to expect DH to make an effort for you when you've made and effort every year for him.

No I am holding a grudge. when I'm asked what I want I say oh well what about x that I mentioned before?

Every year for the last 8 I've done all what I expect from him, for him.
I'm not asking him to even be creative about making it special, just the same thing every year. I don't get any surprises on other days of the year. Call me whatever you want but I believe I deserve to be celebrated once a year at least.

Those who say AIBU, I am curious what are your expectations of the man you married?

Calloh Sun 09-Feb-14 13:35:26

YANBU. It doesn't matter if everyone else in the world hates birthdays and never celebrates them it's important to Hyper, her partner knows that and didn't bother trying to get her anything thoughtful.

It's difficult though, maybe in a few months you could try calmly explaining that you don't care about price or anything but that it means so much it you when he gets you something that shows he's put some thought into it. And maybe be super-encouraging about anything mildly thoughtful so it's pleasurable for him too.

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