perspective needed, relating to my Birthday....(69 Posts)
Please be gentle, I don't venture into AIBU very often.... and it's long, sorry.
It's my Birthday in a couple of weeks, not a significant one, and I'm not really one for bells and whistles but DH would throw a party for any excuse. He's always the first to arrive and last to leave any celebration, whereas I'm a much more reserved type.
It co-incides with someone elses Birthday, a family member by marriage of DH's who he has therefore known for 20 years. It IS a significant birthday and the celebrations for this have been arranged for my Birthday day.
It's been a tough year for us and our little family. I'm working flat out but managed to get the day off work on my Birthday and just wanted to chill. We can't afford to do anything much anyway. DH lost his job 2 months ago and at the moment I am the main breadwinner and having to do a lot of OT to make things stretch. I don't want or expect a present, and have said we just need to leave it this year, because the money is too tight for that. I should stress I don't feel aggreived or resentful about this at all - I don't want or need anything urgently or specifically and I don't see the point in 'wasting' money we don't have on something frivolous. I'd be really happy with a little pub lunch for just us. Thats MY idea of celebrating and what would make me really happy.
We've been asked to go to the other celebrations. I don't mind, thats not an issue. I honestly don't feel annoyed about spending my Birthday celebrating someone elses (seriously, I don't) but what I am annoyed about is the fact that any preference I have to anything I want to do is being totally blanked. The invitation to go over to this party was accepted before I was even asked if I had another preference for doing anything, I haven't been asked if I'd have wanted to do anything or go anywhere, or see my parents or siblings. In fact, it's almost like my Birthday has actually been forgotten because this other persons is SPECIAL (this has been worded exactly so about 10 times).
Fair enough, I'll grow up and stop being churlish (I know thats how it sounds but it's not how it is) but we have now also been asked to contribute a BIG sum of money to the gift pot which he has also agreed too (how is he going to pay for that, then?), plus when we are over there he tends to dissapear to talk to his family members and leaves me chasing two under 5's round a house which is in no way or shape child-friendly (open water, antiques, you name it!). It is a stressful and certainly not enjoyable way to spend an evening for me. I therefore said (bear in mind there has been no consultation over whether I am happy to go) 'oh okay, I guess you'll be happy just going for a couple of hours, I'd really prefer to get back and relax if thats okay, have a little bit of Birthday evening when the kids are in bed, have a bottle of bubbly or something' and he said 'you're imposing rules on this deciding when we're going to leave before we've even got there.... it's her SPECIAL Birthday, and I've know her for over 20 years, and I want to go to her celebrations....we can come home as late as we like'
And that has been the red rag. I now feel cross about it all. Especially now he has also said he'll be out during the daytime too, so I'm home alone with the kids on my 'day off' as well at a time when I've turned myself inside out to keep the household running. If he'd have said 'great we can go to the celebrations, then have lunch the day before for YOU or YOU have some timeout doing something you want (an hour having coffee with a friend child-free would have been a gift enough) but no, it's all about this OTHER person, and I feel like I'm in a queue of two people, me being last, and I didn't even want to be in the queue in the first place.
I'm being ridiculous, aren't I? I don't really want to know if I am being unreasonable, but I do want to understand how I say how I feel without sounding like a selfish churlish child. I really think I ought to vocalise how I feel but I shy away from confrontation (DV victim in previous marriage) and I don't actually think he knows how fed up I feel about this..........
I think your dh is being mean. So you get no present but you do get to give someone else a £££ gift?
I would ask how he suggests you pay for it? Is he worried about loss of status to his family do you think?
Hmm this is quite a difficult one. I don't really get the whole birthday thing and having to do something on that very day. But it can be annoying never to have your wishes and preferences taken into account. But I don't see the point in going if you;ve already decided you want to leave early.
I think this is one of those times that you have to think carefully. Do I want to make a stand about this and dig my heels in or shall I just go along with DH and his plans this time. Not sure if that's any help but it's just my thoughts.
On the one hand I think you're being a bit martyrish with the whole "I don't mind..." malarkey when clearly you do mind.
However, your DH is being a dick.
He's decided where you're going without consulting you - that is rude birthday or not.
He will leave you alone with the children - inconsiderate and unhelpful, birthday or not
He doesn't care how long you want to go for and stropped when you tried to be reasonable - childish and bullying
He has committed to giving money you don't have - unacceptable, especially when you're going without a present.
What has he said about the fact that it's your birthday and you are essentially being ignored?
Can you just send him off to the party, get the kids to bed and have a couple of girls over for some bubbly? Plus take the morning off to do something for yourself on your own? Presumably the party doesn't start that early?!
He sounds like he is being selfish and I would call him on it..
I agree with Peppa, let him go to the party if it means so much to him, he can even take the kids if he wants (he won't), and just let him know that you're planning to stay at home and enjoy your birthday in peace.
I can't send him on his own. Our DC are expected to be part of the 'celebrations'. I can't take the morning off as he has now got something else arranged for that day.
I know it sounds martyr-ish, but honestly, I genuinely DON'T mind going over there and having the spotlight firmly away from me, I don't like that stuff.... but it's the simple fact that everything is looked at egocentrically.... just because he and someone else wants to have a celebration doesn't equate to that being what I want to do. I also frankly know, seriously, that it won't mean a flying fuck to the person in question whether I am there or not (or our hurricane children!) which is therefore such a waste of making me fed up!
It is indeed about just having my day acknowledged, but more importantly, in a way which is enjoyable for me (or in a rain-check, let's do it tomorrow instead way, even). It is NOT enjoyable for me to do this that he is asking, whereas he is insisting it will be just lovely and I am being difficult. Surely it's about doing what will make me happy by virtue of the fact that that very thing makes me happy and not what others dictate?! But apparantley that's me being selfish and I should be willing to have a bit more FUN because, after all, it's her SPECIAL birthday.....
What has he said? Nothing. My Birthday has not been referred to. I'd actually think he had forgotten if it wasn't for the fact that I know he hasn't and it's me that has mentioned several times whilst discussing it. It hasn't been mentioned and I haven't been asked about it.
I'm asking you guys for some suggestions as to how to broach the subject when he comes back later.... and what to say to make sure I don't end up being walked over whilst at the same time not looking selfish....
I'd say 'I'm not going, I wasn't asked what I wanted to do on my own birthday and I am going to take the kids to visit my family/friends if you are not interested in spending the day with me'.
If the kids need to go then let him take them.
Honestly - you really need to just plan a day without him if he wants to go.
Book yourself into a hotel, preferably one with a nice pool and/or spa.
Spend the amount that your DH wants to put in to this "gift pot" on yourself, and leave him to do the childcare while you're away.
Point out sweetly that you have only done for yourself what he wanted to do for someone else and ask who he cares about most- his wife and the mother of his children or a distant relation by marriage?
I'd be livid with him, especially over committing money you don't have to something frivolous. (I'm asahm andDH works, and no matter what anyone says about "oh it's your money, for the family" he earns it and he has final say on any large expenditure. I wouldn't dream of spending a large amount on anything without his full agreement and by large amount I mean anything over about £20 considering how tight things are just now...
Your DH sounds like his head is firmly in the sand about your changed finances, but he will have to get a grip on reality soon.
It's like this:
Him: We take take the kids PJ's and come back late, they can sleep in the car....
Me: yeah possibly, but what I'd prefer to do is just go for a couple of hours and get back, maybe have a film and some fizz when the kids are asleep, really relax..... it's been a knackering few weeks for me....
Him: you're putting 'rules' on when we should leave before we've even got there... just enjoy it....
Me: I will, but I want to have a bit of my Birthday my way too, and that would be to relax...
Him: yeah well, it's her SPECIAL birthday and I think we should be celebrating with them
Me: why don't you go and stay over then? Come back early?
Him: because it would look awful for me to leave you alone on your Birthday night, and they'll wonder why you aren't there when they want you to join in her SPECIAL birthday celebrations....
and so on, and so on, and so on......
Just tell him you're not going to spend your birthday chasing after the kids at a celebration for someone else's birthday whilst he does bugger all. He can take the kids to the party and you have a nice catch up with a mate.
Please tell me you're not expected to drive back that night on top of everything else.
Here's a perspective: someone's throwing you a surprise party.
That's what it sounds like to me.
Is your DH usually such an insensitive arse? If it's very out of character then it seems odd to abandon you on your birthday...which made me think of a surprise of some nature.
It's not a surprise party, I can assure you. It is this other persons significant birthday.... I had a significant last year and told him I'd kill him if he ever did that because I hate that stuff. He did listen, and we had a night in a hotel with my parents babysitting and zero fuss. I will be mortified if they so much as sing 'happy birthday' as I really seriously hate being the centre of any attention and he should KNOW that and not want me to feel uncomfy. It irks (and hurts) when anyone thinks I should enjoy what they enjoy.... being different is not a bad thing. His birthdays we have a big bash which I organise, because I know thats what he would want. He wouldn't want a quiet night it would make him sad, so I think he should accommodate me as well.... and thats the point, it hasn't even been acknowledged let alone enquired about.
I love the day to be special, but special doesn't necessarily mean lavish celebrations to me.... special means being each others attention for a while, taking time out, being looked after a bit... not chasing round after two crazy kids.
The thing he is doing in the day is job related, driving 2 hours to see a specialist agency for his sort of work. Yes, he could have done it another day, but then childcare would have been tricky as I would have been at work.... he plans to do this thing, come back, collect us and go out. I don't know about driving back, I certainly hope not! Although I don't get much chance of a drink chasing two kids about. And yes, he'll promise he'll do it but when the time comes someone 'important' will sideline him and his guard will drop, and I can't just let two kids head off towards a riverbank without my radar on....
he keeps saying we can do fizz/film/chilling any day, but this is her SPECIAL day, so I should be willing to be more accommodating.....
Why are you even thinking about going?
He can go, take the kids.
You arrange a night out with your friends.
The other party sounds quite shite really.
No, it's your special day and he should acknowledge that by compromising so that you are happy too.
You are going to have to spell it out and make it the birthday you want, even if it means pissing him off, or you will seethe with resentment and probably be expected to do the driving.
I would remind him that your birthday doesn't suddenly become less important just because your new age won't be ending in a zero.
He sounds like someone who places a great deal of importance on what other people think of him, even when it means his wife and children suffering the consequences:
- He didn't want to admit to not having much money, so has decided that his wife and children should go without in order to save face.
- He doesn't want to be seen to be leaving early, so expects his wife to forget about celebrating her own birthday.
- He wants to be seen as Mr Sociable, so expects his wife to do all the running around after his children while he stands around playing at being Mr Popular.
Someone in this scenario is being extremely selfish, but it's definitely not you.
Why not take a different day off to be your "birthday?" this one has effectively been ruined for you, so maybe go along with the plans as they are (sounds like he could really do with getting this job) but on another day tell him:
"As I didn't get to celebrate my birthday at all I'm going for a childless coffee in the morning, mert you and the kids for lunch and then you can make me dinner and get some bubbly in for it."
Also at the other celebration, make sure you play the birthday card by telling everyone that as it's your birthday he promised to watch the kids and not drink so you can, and make him stick to it (ask others to ensure he does too) sounds like one of the reasons he likes these gatherings so much is that you do all the hard work and he has all the fun, maybe next time he won't be so keen if he sees how difficult these celebrations can be (for him, not just for you).
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