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To want my birthday present to be about me

(38 Posts)
newfiechops Tue 17-Jun-14 11:27:55

It is my birthday soon so dh asks me what I want. Now we have had very little money over the past year as dh been unemployed. He started new job in May. We have really struggled financially and most of my clothes have holes in and lots of things in the house are broken because we haven't been able to afford to fix them. So I have asked for practical things like a new kettle (lid won't shut on ours so I have to manually turn it off) new plastic tubs to use for laundry (handles broken on current ones and pees me off every day I use them). You get the gist. Dh has said that Iabu that I am obviously trying to make him and the dc look bad! I thought the point of a birthday present was to make me feel good? We have had a row about it and I have said that I will be really upset if he buys me frou frou this year and that I would rather have nothing. (True).

I was tidying my dd's room today and found my present. It is a bottle of diptyque perfume from spacenk. If we had pots of money I would love this present but when your bras don't fit and your pants are all Holey and you haven't got any money to buy more it seems crazy! He has a history of buying me expensive unwanted presents - last year it was a Windsor and Newton art set and collapsible easel (I have no artistic talent and have never said I would like to paint watercolours!) this cost a fortune. He then 'lost' the receipt so I couldn't take it back. The Christmas before he bought me an slr camera from self ridges that was very expensive and takes crap pictures! I already had a digital slr and had asked for a point and press cheapy camera to keep in my handbag. He refused to take the camera back so now I feel I have to use it as it was so blooming expensive. I would be interested in your opinions.

MagicMojito Tue 17-Jun-14 11:35:01

Yanbu, I love receiving householdy type things for birthdays /Christmas.

It's also very irritating when people ask what you would like and refuse to accept your answer! What's the point in asking then?!

Nanny0gg Tue 17-Jun-14 11:35:56

He is being very silly.

He obviously feels the need to buy you 'showy' presents which are totally unsuitable.


Prettykitty111 Tue 17-Jun-14 11:36:13

Stick it all on eBay and buy what you want. I'd be pretty pissed of with expensive stuff if i felt uncomfortable in my holey underwear!

I can kind of understand where he is coming from with the household gifts as presents as it is your birthday and after a hard time over the last year he probably wants to spoil you a bit but surely taking you shopping for some new clothes/underwear makes more sense that a bottle of perfume.

I would sit him down again and point out that if he really wants to buy you a treat for your birthday that you would rather have something practical and nice rather than just nice. Don't say you found your present but point out that fripperies like perfume, make up, craft supplies etc are not going to make you fell good about yourself if you still have to wear unintentionally crotchless panties! That he gives the chance to understand and take it back. If you open that perfume on your birthday when you've given him other treat options, then you know he just refuses to listen to you.

MagicMojito Tue 17-Jun-14 11:36:22

Also, you'll more than likely get somebody comin

MagicMojito Tue 17-Jun-14 11:36:25

Also, you'll more than likely get somebody coming on in a n

MagicMojito Tue 17-Jun-14 11:37:53


MagicMojito Tue 17-Jun-14 11:38:52

I give up

newfiechops Tue 17-Jun-14 11:42:02

No magic don't give up - you can do it! Besides I'm intrigued as to what you were going to say

Boomerwang Tue 17-Jun-14 11:42:38

I agree that it should at least be something you want since it is about you. What do you get him for his birthday? It's nice that he wants to spoil you, but if he's refusing to listen to your request then the gifts aren't about making you happy, but himself. I know someone who gives inappropriate gifts at inappropriate times purely to make themselves feel that they are a good person for doing so.

My boyfriend's family are the opposite. I get household goods like a serviette holder or a condiment board as gifts rather than anything specifically for me. I sometimes feel like telling them to save their cash and don't get me anything too.

Call him on it. For every expensive, lavish gift you receive that you didn't want, you'll give him a random broken household item in return on his birthday.

weegiemum Tue 17-Jun-14 11:45:01

Best thing I got last Christmas was a new apron and matching oven gloves!!!

Xcountry Tue 17-Jun-14 11:46:47

I like getting things like a new set of tyres, an MOT, tow rope, horse trailer serviced etc for mine, I'm not girly or into clothes or makeup or anything so I like getting these because it means I don't have to buy them myself. And at £170 a tyre for my car its a godsend.

newfiechops Tue 17-Jun-14 11:47:44

what do i get him? well probablynothing that he really wants because he only likes really expensive things e.g. a vintage watch, speed boat, ski chalet - champagne tastes, beer income I'm afraid. Besides his birthday is just after mine, so even when we have money, he's generally already spent it on something I don't want! Ideal scenario is he buys me something chep that i actually want and i then buy him something expensive that he wants. win/win. dont think he sees it that way though.

Booooooooooooooooooooooooo Tue 17-Jun-14 12:13:16

Yes, it should be more about you want to receive rather than what he wants to buy BUT a lot of people are funny about buying practical presents and think it in someway demeans the recipient.

FWIW I generally like inexpensive presents - flowers, wine, chocolates, paperback books etc. I am funny about clothes/jewellery and have specific likes. I do not like it when people waste their money and buy me something that will never get used. It is usually from the same people who ask me what I want, then refuse to believe I'll be happy with the cheap and cheerful stuff I've listed - and to be honest, I've only listed those bcause I KNOW they are going to spend money so I don't want them to waste it - I'd be perfectly happy with cards and a cake. Some people just won't listen though and make it about what they want to buy.

Try not to be TOO harsh on him - it seems as if he is a bit over excited at having some money to sepnd even if he does have form

wafflyversatile Tue 17-Jun-14 12:34:03

This is usually the other way round.

It's my birthday. I want my lovely perfume to make up for living on beans but he got me a laundry basket and said 'but you've been moaning about it for months. I did a nice thing!'

'Do as you would be done by' or 'treat others as you would like to be treated yourself' only gets you so far. Seems like you normally manage to over-ride this but not this year.

wafflyversatile Tue 17-Jun-14 12:35:09

Oh, I misread your last post. missed 'ideally' and thought this was what you do do.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 17-Jun-14 12:39:36

He is being very silly BUT you are asking for the most mundane things possible. Why not ask for specific items of clothing, or at least some M+S vouchers and a bunch of flowers, so you can buy new undies? That's pretty mundane too but is at least for you, not the household.

Lots of people get, quite reasonably, offended at being given household items, as these are work tools for the benefit of the whole household, not 'special' and not specifically for their benefit.

Your husband's perspective sounds different from that though. It sounds like he is a materialistic person who equates possessions with status and has tied this up with self worth in a slightly unhealthy way.

You could get your point across, if you wanted to, by going out with him in your scruffiest clothes and saying loudly to someone 'oh, I just can't afford anything new this year, we're having to make do'.

newfiechops Tue 17-Jun-14 12:47:46

You are right waffle I usually just deal with it, but after 20 years together I have come to realise that i actually deserve to get something I want. I think that the present situation is actually just a manifestation of his attitude to me in general. For years he has blamed me for giving up work to be a sahm despite the fact that he refused to have any involvement in childcare arrangements etc and the only childcare options where we lived were nannies which I couldn't afford on my salary. After 15 years as sahm mum I have managed to get a really good job. He doesn't seem very happy about it, hasn't congratulated me, shown no interest in childcare I have arranged. His only concern is that my return to work does not inconvenience him in any way. So i am determined to do my own thing now - do what makes me happy, not what pleases him. The present thing is, I guess a bit of a test to see if he will listen and appreciate my wants and needs. I think I have my answer.....

newfiechops Tue 17-Jun-14 12:49:52

lottie i love your idea about announcing i am 'making do' he would be mortified!

APlaceInTheSummer Tue 17-Jun-14 12:57:16

I sympathise. I wanted tiles (preferably put on the bathroom wall but I would have made do with the tiles) for Christmas. Dh told everyone, laughed about it and got me something completely different that he wanted to give me angry . Could you ask for vouchers in future or would they not pass his presents test? Then at least you could buy the clothes you want.

GnomeDePlume Tue 17-Jun-14 13:06:35

Possibly out of left field but the total inappropriateness and lack of receipts makes me wonder. Where is he sourcing these gifts from? Is it legitimate?

newfiechops Tue 17-Jun-14 13:13:03

Gnome - was only the art things that he couldn't find the receipt for. I just think he couldn't be arsed to drive back to Tunbridge Wells to return them. The camera he has the receipt, but he kept making me feel bad by saying that it was a really nice camera and why was i being so ungrateful, so i gave up trying to get him to return it as I wasn't prepared to rock the boat at Christmas time. I think he made me feel like it was my fault i didn't appreciate the present.

GnomeDePlume Tue 17-Jun-14 13:17:43

Sorry, I must have misread.

Ignoring what the gift is, what is his reasoning behind giving you something you dont want? That just seems odd behaviour.

newfiechops Tue 17-Jun-14 13:20:32

He thinks that I should want the gifts because they are 'expensive'. It's really not about me at all! Even my birthday seems to have become about him.

everlong Tue 17-Jun-14 13:22:27

Maybe he just wanted you to have a gift that you'd not normally buy yourself.

I can see why you're fed up, things sound tough but I can also understand why your DH has bought you your perfume.

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