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DH and flowers - am I being ungrateful?

(71 Posts)
MilkTrayLimeBarrel Thu 11-Apr-19 12:07:01

DH is very kind and buys me flowers for special occasions and sometimes just ad hoc, which is lovely! However, I have told him on many occasions that I hate lilies - the smell, the look of them, the mess the pollen makes - I never say anything when the flowers have just been delivered so as not to upset him, but wait and raise it randomly!

The most recent special occasion was a couple of weeks ago and he sent me flowers, but it was lilies again! How can I get it across to him that I don't like them without sounding ungrateful?

Hubblebubbletripletrouble Thu 11-Apr-19 12:08:05

What does he say when you’ve raised it in the past? How odd. Is he very forgetful?

KarmaStar Thu 11-Apr-19 12:26:43

Tell him which flowers you really like?

AryaStarkWolf Thu 11-Apr-19 12:28:47

Maybe if he's ordering them he just asks for a bunch of flowers and doesn't specify which ones?

I love Lillies

Monty27 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:34:36

I love lilies too. My daughter however received pink ones last week. My eyes and nose were streaming and I resorted to hay fever tablets. I was glad to see the back of them.
You could tell a white liely.grin

Nanny0gg Thu 11-Apr-19 12:35:58

Do you have cats? They're lethal to cats

RevRichardWayneGaryWayne Thu 11-Apr-19 12:38:14

Don't suppose you have a cat? lilies are poisonous to them, so if so point that out and it might get through to him......or does he hate the cat? Maybe he already knows!

spanishwife Thu 11-Apr-19 12:43:53

Easy breezy tone: "DH, you are so lovely for sending my kind and thoughtful gifts, I love you. Did you know, my favourite flower of all time is [insert flower here], I'm not sure if I ever told you that... I like them much more than lillies to be honest!"

Cantthinkofausername1990 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:46:30

Do you think he actually knows which ones lilies are? Does he realise he's buying them or are they all just flowers to him?

BuzzPeakWankBobbly Thu 11-Apr-19 12:48:22

Tell him which flowers you really like

This. Maybe he only remembers the fact you mentioned lilies, not the fact you dislike them! Mention what you absolutely adore and keep repeating that. Forget the lilies!

Usuallyinthemiddle Thu 11-Apr-19 12:51:04

Oh dear. I hate them too. Funeral flowers!

bagpiss Thu 11-Apr-19 12:53:25

How annoying, sorry, No helpful advice about dealing with this but as a last resort, pinch out the all the yellow stamens then you get rid of the smell and pollen issues.

BloodyDisgrace Thu 11-Apr-19 12:59:44

I had to tell a friend who loves to give me flowers "sorry, mate, no lilies please. I've got a cat and they are poisonous to them". He sometimes forgot and I had to leave the bunch at work.\
Just take them out and throw away, no big deal.

amusedbush Thu 11-Apr-19 13:00:27

Oh dear. I hate them too. Funeral flowers!


PinkHeart5914 Thu 11-Apr-19 13:10:43

I hate lilies, they are for death, I can not have them in the house!

I think what’s happening here is he is just ordering a bunch of flowers up to X amount and the florist is making them up.

Drop in to conversation you hate lilies? Or say you know I really love x and Y flowers?

GregoryPeckingDuck Thu 11-Apr-19 13:12:15

I hate lillies too but people keep sending them to me. I don’t have an answer. Just accept gratefully and bin the bastards.

MissPollyHadADolly19 Thu 11-Apr-19 13:12:25

DHs family cat died from Lilly poisoning sad I've disliked them ever since so yanbu. Plus I think they smell abit gross and the pollen gets EVERYWHERE. angry

Iggly Thu 11-Apr-19 13:12:44

Just tell him.

He probably isn’t listening and just hears lilies hence keeping ordering. I’m projecting a little as this is what my dh would do 🤣

Next time they arrive, look him dead in the eye and say “dh, love thank you so much for the thought. However I’ve told you several times I don’t like lillies. I love the thought of flowers though”.

LillithsFamiliar Thu 11-Apr-19 13:14:14

If he's sending them, he may not be specifying which flowers to include or avoid. I agree with PPs, just keep mentioning which flowers you do want eg 'Oh, DH, I love these roses.' 'Look at those beautiful roses in neighbour's garden,' etc, etc.

mogtheexcellent Thu 11-Apr-19 13:14:29

Our local florist has a list of flowers I hate pinned to the wall in her office. Mind you she is a friend of mine and I havent had a bouquet from her for a couple of years but it still helped for the first few years of my relationship with DH.

I bloody hate lillies too. They are top of the list.

Honeyroar Thu 11-Apr-19 13:18:31

My husband does this too. Not particularly lillies, but just not generally flowers I’d choose (he buys bright, almost dyed colours, whereas I’d choose whites and yellows). Whenever I’ve said something he’s almost been a bit offended. Even saying how much I like other types of flowers still comes across negatively. He has got better lately, but it’s been awkward over the years!

LumpyPillow Thu 11-Apr-19 13:20:24

Just tell him, kindly. Confess!

Let him know you love and truly appreciate the gesture/kindness, and that has mattered more to you than really not liking lilies themselves so havent said anything until now. He will know you dont want to upset him, tell him that, too. Make it light hearted.

Shitonthebloodything Thu 11-Apr-19 13:20:49

Tell him you've become allergic to the pollen from them

MilkTrayLimeBarrel Thu 11-Apr-19 13:21:02

Thanks all for your replies. I think he is just ordering a bouquet up to £x and this is what happens!

Yes, he is incredibly forgetful!
No - we don't have cats, just a dog!
Good idea re stressing flowers I do like!
I will wait until the weekend and then discreetly get rid of them.

AgathaF Thu 11-Apr-19 13:22:08

Perhaps he doesn't know what lillies are?

Kokeshi123 Thu 11-Apr-19 13:23:08

I would phrase it in terms of, the pollen makes me sneeze or is causing a rash on my skin.

I wish all the lily haters would send me their lilies! I love lilies--and never get flowers of any kind....

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 11-Apr-19 13:25:18

You need to tell him when he sends the flowers so that he remembers. When you just mention it at some random time later he doesn’t associate it with the lilies he gives you, for that he has all the thanks you give him when you receive them. I don’t think there’s really a way to break that association without causing him to realise he’s been getting it wrong all these times.

LondonJax Thu 11-Apr-19 13:26:20

@MilkTrayLimeBarrel Well, the Dogs Trust does say that the lily is also harmful to dogs if eaten in quantity. And, of course, you wouldn't want to chance it if your dog took a fancy to a nibble on a lily or two would you (and neither would he). So, because you can't control a dog's ability to work out how much 'a quantity' is, it's probably best not to have them in the house...just in case...don't you think?

JosephineHass Thu 11-Apr-19 13:29:09

Do you think he actually knows which ones lilies are? Does he realise he's buying them or are they all just flowers to him?

Bringbackthestripes Thu 11-Apr-19 13:29:19

Does he always order them from the same place? Maybe you could contact them and ask if they are delivery flowers to you to please note on the account you don’t like lilies.

I hate them, they stink, even if you cut the stamens out, I had a huge bunch bought for me recently. Even DH was complaining about the smell. I felt guilty throwing them out after 5 days.

LumpyPillow Thu 11-Apr-19 13:32:44

Honeyroar, my partner did that too, those bright almost illuminous dyed ones that make you feel like youre in the 90s on acid. They are errr, funky... 😂 Still pretty i suppose and prefer them over lilies - but I would never ever choose them. He's got much better after a gentle flower chat.

I think you have to remind them, youre buying me what you think I would like, not what you like. Some otherwise fantastically functioning men can become 5 year old boys when picking flowers!

Nesssie Thu 11-Apr-19 13:40:04

Yes, you are being ungrateful.

I never say anything when the flowers have just been delivered so as not to upset him, but wait and raise it randomly! - Randomly putting it in a conversation isn't going to help - when you receive them, state that you love him sending flowers, but you don't like the smell of lilies so can he order any other flower instead.

letsdolunch321 Thu 11-Apr-19 13:51:22

OP I feel your pain, my dp got me flowers last week - a mixed bouquet including lilies (which give me a headache from the smell)

Clearly when buying he was having a senior moment as I have told him previously the smell from lilies give me a tension kind of headache.

On this occasion to spare his feelings I didn't complain, took all the lilies out and binned them leaving the other beautiful flowers to flourish.

DontCallMeCharlotte Thu 11-Apr-19 13:52:10

So they are delivered rather than him going and choosing them himself, yes?

Well there's your problem possibly: I would say must bouquets ordered online look like they come with lilies. They're big [space fillers] and dramatic. And if he's ordering online, it will be very difficult to tweak a standard bouquet. If he's ordering them from a local florist then address it with him when you're thanking him for it.

Personally, I can't bear them because of their association with death , the smell and the effect of the pollen on cats (and soft furnishings wink).

Shoxfordian Thu 11-Apr-19 13:54:18

Tell him what your favourites are so it's positive not negative

Chippychipsforme Thu 11-Apr-19 13:56:36

Does he know what they are? My OH can only name roses and tulips!

KaliforniaDreamz Thu 11-Apr-19 14:10:45

I didn't know they were lethal to cats.
We often have them (my DH buys then too even though i have actually called them funeral flowers) and my cat is still alive. I shall henceforth use this nugget of info.

GillianUsedToLiveHere Thu 11-Apr-19 14:20:32

I will wait until the weekend and then discreetly get rid of them.

The fact that you keep them isn't sending the right message.

I have been given and sent lilies in the past by people who don't know me well, they give me headaches. I can't even have them in the house, I hate the smell.

I have passed them on or had to bin them sad

You need to tell him/show him which flowers you like. I love white roses. Just beautiful or yellow ones for a lovely splash of colour.

OhSoBored2 Thu 11-Apr-19 14:22:03

Yea, it's a difficult one, my husband rarely gives me flowers, but when he does, it's roses. I like roses, but the commercial ones don't smell and wilt after a day or two. I told him many times which other flowers I like (show him in stores), but for now, it's still roses. And because it's rare, I don't dare complaining. Some men are just clueless...One day, I'll just buy myself a bucket I like!

Bagpuss5 Thu 11-Apr-19 14:27:15

Dial florists number, order50quids worth, give delivery address, give all my love,X on card, expect simpering happywife full of gratitude for your love and generosity- ffuck that! Hand him the dishcloth ....

TheGrapefulDread Thu 11-Apr-19 14:28:30

If they arrive from the same florists shop go in there and ask them nicely do they pick lilies or does he? Then arrange to have your preferences delivered instead.

magicstar1 Thu 11-Apr-19 14:29:45

It's not that difficult to remember, and you're not being unreasonable. My mother hates white lillies as they remind her of funerals, so none of us ever get them for her. Tell your DH you don't like them,

Nanny0gg Thu 11-Apr-19 14:33:45

It was traditionally the Calla Lily for funerals not the ones you get in bouquets as a rule.

They still stink tough...

PrincessToadstoolOfToadlandia Thu 11-Apr-19 14:59:59

If you give someone something and they say they like it, but then later after the fact, when you aren't really thinking about it too hard, then say ooh not too keen on lilies btw you're not necessarily going to take it on as important information.

I think it's less likely to stick then if you say it at the time. He'll just think Milktray said flowers were lovely last time. Which you did.

greenpop21 Thu 11-Apr-19 15:00:17

Could be worse, could be Chrysanthemums!

PrincessToadstoolOfToadlandia Thu 11-Apr-19 15:02:08

@KaliforniaDreamz if they sniff the flowerrs the pollen gets all on their face and then they lick it off. So it's pretty easy for them to get really sick/die from them.

BigBooBoo Thu 11-Apr-19 15:06:52

Does he know what a lilly is? Maybe he doesn't understand the type of flower that you don't like.

KaliforniaDreamz Thu 11-Apr-19 15:26:08

PrincessToadstoolOfToadlandia my cat loves to drink the vase water, do you think they are harmful to all cats or just some?
I will never have them again just in case.

hazell42 Thu 11-Apr-19 15:45:18

My dad used to buy my mum Black Magic chocolates. They were married over 40 years, and at least a dozen times a year she would get them.

Everyone in the family, except my dad, knew that she hated Black Magic. She tried to tell him. She pointed out the chocolates she liked more. She told him her tastes had changed. She told him the recipe had changed. She tried flat out telling him they were horrible.

Didn't matter. Every time my father, who loved my mum to bits, decided to express his feelings, he bought a box of Black Magic. He still buys them now, in memory of her, and gives them to us kids because he doesn't like them.

And none of us like them, either.

I think you might just have to suck this one up.

BoobiesToTheRescue Thu 11-Apr-19 16:10:46

I strongly hinted for years to DH that I didn't like lilies. I even once put them outside the front door because the smell was so strong.

Then one day I just said it out right in conversation (no where near a time I'd received them) and he was like

"What?! You love lillies?!"

Ffs. Facepalm.

I haven't had them since.

DontCallMeCharlotte Thu 11-Apr-19 16:59:55


Calla Lilies mean "beauty" (and they're not actually lilies apparently)
They just look really sinister to me!

Stargazer lilies mean "sympathy"

MothersGrimm Thu 11-Apr-19 17:10:56

Thank you so much for the flowers, I appreciate the gesture and thoughts behind them. But I really don't like lillies, I associate them with funerals and find the smell really nauseating which is a shame when I want to enjoy your flowers but cant. Sorry darling, I've tried to mention it nicer than this but it doesn't seem to have worked so I just needed to let you know that every time you get me a bunch of flowers, and forget that I don't like lillies, they remind me of your forgetfulness not your thoughtfulness. I hope you dont mind me being honest with you.


Wait until he comes round, greet him warmly, in your underwear, lead him to the vase and then pick up the flowers,and beat him over the head with them, Basil Faulty style till they are shredded. Then laugh maniacally. He'll never buy you flowers again wine

Disfordarkchocolate Thu 11-Apr-19 17:15:12

I love lilies, probably my favourite flower (definitely in a minority here though). If he always uses the same shop get in touch with them and ask for no more lilies.

MissPollyHadADolly19 Thu 11-Apr-19 18:12:09

@KaliforniaDreamz it's all cats. sad
Of these dangerous lilies, keep in mind that all parts of the plant are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) – even the pollen or water from the vase – can result in severe, acute kidney failure. Clinical signs from the Lilium or Hemerocallis type include: ... Kidney failure.

- from the pet health network

LemonTT Thu 11-Apr-19 18:26:22

Shortly into our relationship I decided to confess my dislike after receiving a series of bunches. Unfortunately I did it from the kitchen whilst DP was in the living room. I say

“Darling I have to tell you I don’t really like lillies, it the smell”

He misheard and thought I said “willies”. He walked into the kitchen 😱

Still even after that he occasionally buys a bunch.

lablablab Thu 11-Apr-19 18:53:53

"DH, thank you for the lovely flowers but I've just found out that lilies can be dangerous for dogs! Can you believe it?! Wow, better not get lilies again or it could cost us a fortune at the vets! My favourite flowers are (insert name) anyway, so that's just as well really..."

Dieu Thu 11-Apr-19 18:56:53

I don't like lilies either. In fact, I wouldn't like regular flower gifts, unless he did the faff of putting them in a vase. Now there's a lack of gratitude grin
besides I'm a fattie who'd rather get chocolates

JaneEyre07 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:04:53

As the lilies open, pull off the pollen while it's still hard and easy to do so. No mess and no risk to pets.

My Mum is a florist. They're also one of my favourites, especially longhi lilies.

Rach000 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:12:35

I have the same problem with my husband and lillies! He seems to like to buy them but I am not keen. I mentioned it nicely quite a few times and told him I liked other flowers such as the ones we had at our wedding. He then just gets lillies again....
I know he will have completely forgotten what I have said and just sees them as a safe option. He has got better to be fair not had them for a while. So he has either remembered or just getting a cheaper bunch from the supermarket. Which is fine for me! Haha.
Just think it's a man thing. Just try telling him again. Or say they are lovely but get a different flower next time as they are too messy.

DontCallMeShitley Thu 11-Apr-19 19:21:27

*JaneEyre07 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:04:53
As the lilies open, pull off the pollen while it's still hard and easy to do so. No mess and no risk to pets.

My Mum is a florist.*

Wrong - All parts of a lily are poisonous to pets, not just the pollen, it is just that pollen is more likely to be absorbed into the body due to being brushed against and licked off the fur.

If you have a pet of any kind, bin the lilies.

I had a friend who would send me flowers for birthdays, I hate the smell of lilies, sickly, overpowering, and remind me of death. I was lucky in that he would request no lilies when ordering so all was fine.

However, I managed to marry someone with no memory. I have repeatedly asked for no lilies, but I get the same bouquet sent to me every time, it is a standard one and is sent routinely to clients etc. of the business, and it always contains some kind of lilies.

Not only do I hate them but the carelessness of it makes the gesture a non-gesture. Instead of dismantling the display and binning the lilies I now leave the entire thing out of reach of pets and let it die because requests to either not send any lilies or not send any flowers at all are just ignored.

LadyRannaldini Thu 11-Apr-19 19:53:20

Sounds like my OH, I pointed out a book that I didn't want for Christmas. Come 25th December, there it was. When I asked why he'd bought it after what I'd said hos reply was, Oh, I recall you mentioning it. They don't always take things in properly.

countrygirl99 Thu 11-Apr-19 20:01:29

Maybe he's like my MIL who kept buying DS1 licorice allsorts because she connected them with him but kept forgetting it was because he hated them. She just thought G@2 I remember something about licorice, must be because he likes them. We cured her by repeatedly telling her how much he liked jelly babies until that was the association.

BlackPrism Thu 11-Apr-19 20:17:13

Lily's smell like piss

BlackPrism Thu 11-Apr-19 20:19:56

Although Tbf, with DP I'd just say 'thank you very much darling, I love that you got me flowers, but because we're about clear communication can I please hear you understand and accept that I fucking hate lilies? Thank you dear'

KaliforniaDreamz Thu 11-Apr-19 22:30:31

Black not half as much as daffodils!!

MissPolly my cat is supercat then!

aspoonfulofyourownmedicine Thu 11-Apr-19 22:42:33

I love lillies, but the smell of them trigger my migraines sad

My DH often buys me chrysanthemums. I'm not a fan of them. 'But they're your favourite' he retorts - erm nope, my favourites are gerberas! I feel ungrateful every time I mention it, but he never takes the hint.

Desmondo2016 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:45:00

I've told dh repeatedly over the last 10 years that I don't like any chocolate other than dairy milk and yet he still buys me Lindt for 'special occasions' . Ffs. Just buy me a freddo and be done with it.

whitehalleve Thu 11-Apr-19 22:48:28

Feign a lily allergy

PregnantSea Thu 11-Apr-19 23:00:54

Just tell him you don't like lillies.

My DH is an absolute sweetheart but never used to buy me flowers. Once I told him that I wanted him to buy me flowers occasionally and it started happening. I think he just appreciated being pointed in the right direction.

MilkTrayLimeBarrel Fri 12-Apr-19 08:27:43

An update for you! This morning, DH came in from walking the dog and said 'What's that funny smell - is it the flowers?'!! Gave me the perfect opportunity to remind him that I don't like lilies. He said he had forgotten and the man in the florist had asked him what flowers he wanted and he said he didn't know!! Hopefully that will sort it. At least he got the colour right - white!

maras2 Fri 12-Apr-19 08:40:04


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