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To feel really let down by DH on my 30th birthday?

(84 Posts)
birthdayblues Sun 30-Aug-09 20:51:10

Sorry, this is long and pretty dull, but genuinely don't know if I am being unreasonable nor not so would appreciate your verdict.

Have namechanged as my DH knows who I am on here. Not that I think he checks, but still...

Before our son was born, I used to make the most enormous fuss about birthdays. Other peoples' but also my own. I'd always have a party or drinks, and my husband would make a real effort with gifts (this isn't about money, btw, by "effort" I mean thoughtful)and to take the day off work so we could celebrate.

Obviously since having a baby, our priorities have changed a bit and birthdays no longer hold the significance they once did. I do mark them (For example, for DH's birthday I arranged a sitter and we had a lovely lunch and saw a film - something that's a real treat as we never do this now we have DS) but not in a full-on way.

However, I turned thirty a few days ago.

I should say here that I have been a bit curmudgenly about it. Trying to organise any social event when everyone has babies is nearly impossible, and also I've just had two miscarriages in a row, so have not been very "up for it".

DH asked me a few times if I was having a party and I said no, I couldn't be doing with a big fuss at the moment. He confirmed with me that I wasn't just saying that but was actually expected a big surprise party and I repeated that I wanted something very low-key.

None the less, I did expect DH to make a bit of an effort, because it was my thirtieth. Nothing mindblowing, just a nice meal out or something. I didn't explicitly state this, but I didn't think I needed to.

A couple of months ago he had asked me what I wanted for a present, and I said that I was so sick of the state of our living room and what I really wanted was to finally get some curtains and a rug. He was very enthusiatic about this idea as he finds present buying a bit tricky.

Now the sitting room really gets me down and getting these things genuinely would make me much happier, but part of me did resent the fact that these very basic householdy things were going to be my birthday present, particularly as they've been on our to-do list for about a year. Still, whatever. I assumed that he'd get me a little something that was more personal too.

Two days before my birthday, DH asked if I wanted him to book the day off work. I assumed he'd already done so, and said this. He then got a bit narky and said that I should have asked... We left it at that but were clearly a bit pissed off with each other.

On the actual day, DH did make me a nice breakfast but my presents were five paperbacks and an IOU on my card for the rug and curtain as I'll need to choose them.

The actual day consisted of: lunch at a kiddies restaurant (Giraffe), treking round a gallery that we ended up at as everywhere was heaving due to summer hols and wasn't really anyone's cup of tea and which DH and DS whinged about, pasta and pesto in front of a DVD.

So...not great from my POV. I mean, he could have booked a table for us all to have lunch. He could have booked tickets for the zoo or something a bit more special than usual.

I didn't make a big deal out of it becuause I didn't want there to be bad feeling, but I was really quite upset at his lack of effort.

Tonight as I was feeding DS, I was looking at the sitting room glumly(ok, I was doing it quite ostentatiously as I wanted to prompt him) and he said, "So, what are we going to do about this rug and curtains then?"

FFS! Would it kill him to suggest a date or try even slightly to make it something that is not totally my responsibility to organise? It's supposed to be my birthday present. Not some tedious household chore to be fitted in between unblocking the drains and loading the dishwasher.

I'm really fed up with him, but I know that if I call him on it he'll be all injured and say, "but you said you didn't want a fuss!". I know that's what I said, but there's a difference between not wanting a fuss and someone barely making a token effort to acknowledge that it's my thirtieth birthday!


OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 30-Aug-09 20:56:25

I learned a few years ago, if I want a happy birthday the best way to ensure it is, is to plan it myself. My dh is rubbish at birthdays, but I know he loves me and I him. I've learned that his efforts are not a measure of how much he loves me.
Perhaps you will find the same too?
Happy extended birthday

lisbey Sun 30-Aug-09 20:57:01

So he did exactly what you asked him to do, plus a nice breakfast, books, a day out and him taking care of dinner.

Sounds fab to me. YABU, sorry.

fandango75 Sun 30-Aug-09 20:57:46

No you are not although it doesn't sound like he would realise. Maybe open a bottle of vino and explain (gently and with a smile on your lips) the above. very reasonable and its all about the effort totally agree i would feel the same. Happy birthday hope you sort it out. dont keep it yourself though or you'll get resentful which is bad bad news

Fruitysunshine Sun 30-Aug-09 20:59:38

He is a man- you have to S P E L L it all out for them or forget it altogether.

I know where you are coming from but you should tell him what you have said here and see what he says......

Happy birthday by the way!

KateMess Sun 30-Aug-09 21:01:41

All threads about men and birthdays gain my absolute sympathy. DP's birthday is imminent and despite being hideously pregnant and overdue to drop, I have already garnered a whole cluster of thoughtful gifts for him. No doubt there's already a learn-to-speak German dvd and some pig-themed witticism with my name on it for the following month when my turn comes.

Febes Sun 30-Aug-09 21:07:15

YANBU I got a blender for my 30th. I cried and DH was all hurt and said that I had said I wanted onehmm. Ummm not for my 30th darling grin. Last year I got an eternity ring and a goregous red leather wallet and this year I got a massage voucher. It pays to sulk sometimes. I'm not materialistic but my birthday is the only time of the year that I get to be spoilt the rest of the year I am a giver and DH always gets brilliant pressies.

dittany Sun 30-Aug-09 21:07:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 30-Aug-09 21:10:08


mamas12 Sun 30-Aug-09 21:12:30

It's your 30th and was being a dick.
You need to tell him you are disapointed but he can make it up to you, so all is not lost.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 30-Aug-09 21:17:06

Oh I do feel for you. I just mentioned this thread to my DH and he said 'but I organised to get your ring for your birthday for you!' in an injured tone.

No, what he did was come along with me while I chose and he handed over his credit card.

I think that illuminates the difference in the way some men and some women think about 'occasions'. He probably does feel that he put a lot of thought into it. But YANBU to feel that he doesn't.

I used to get really quite upset that DH didn't do these things for me; now, though, I just accept it and sort my own things out, tell him where/what it is and get him to get his wallet out.

FWIW he shocked me by asking when my grading would be in November as he was trying to organise a weekend away in PAris or Venice for my birthday. I nearly died from the shock. (It hasn't been sorted yet but you know, even the thought of him thinking about it is great...)

llynnnn Sun 30-Aug-09 21:18:12

yanbu at all at wanting to be a little spoilt on your birthday, but i have also learnt that you can't 'expect' men to think of ideas for themselves, or take a hint at what you would like you really do have to say EXACTLY what you would like a good couple of times before it sinks in, and they actually prefer this than thinking of something for themselves!!

make a little fuss and i would bet my bottom dollar you will be spoilt at christmas!

diddl Sun 30-Aug-09 21:23:48

I´m happy with a card, choccies and flowers!

Anything else is a bonus!

lisbey Sun 30-Aug-09 21:25:13

I've just told DH about this thread (I would be thrilled if he organised the day you had BTW, but we've been married 17 years and my expectations are lower than they were)

He said "she should have married a woman" shock

His point was that men will do as they're told. If you want thinking you need a woman grin

jasper Sun 30-Aug-09 21:27:27

I don't know whether you are unreasonable or not but a very good friend had an almost identical complaint last week about her husband's lack of fuss on her birthday.

I find it hard to relate to as I could not care less about my birthday (any birthday) but my friend is different. She , like you REALLY cares about birthdays , her dh knows this and did not make much effort (much less than yours by the way! )

I do think 5 paperbacks is a lovely gift.

In fact, are you my RL friend? smile She feels exactly as you do.

pooexplosions Sun 30-Aug-09 21:28:43

YANBU, but not a bad effort really. You said you didn't want fuss, you said you wanted the rug etc.

On my recent thirtieth I got to take an exam, and got a dvd box set. No breakfast in bed (he went to work early), no lunch out. Dinner with his family and the kids, which I organised. C'est la vie.

dietstartstomorrow Sun 30-Aug-09 21:33:27

YA a bit U

He kinda did what you asked him to do, and a bit more.

You can't just assume stuff and expect him to get it right.

MyMamaToldMe Sun 30-Aug-09 21:35:35

YABU - he tried. Appreciate what he did, not what he didn't do.

Milliemuffin Sun 30-Aug-09 21:43:43

I know where you're coming from but I also know my DP isn't big on birthdays so I know its not something he does deliberately. It was my 30th not so long ago and we came home from a holiday park on my actual birthday, a £9.50pp Sun newspaper holiday spent with his family so not the most romantic of weeks and they didn't even know it was my 30th! After breakfast in the caravan I came out to a 30 balloon hanging from the lights and opened a card from him and DS but other than a couple of small gifts which i opened the next day when we were home all we did was dinner at a pub with all my friends that I'd organised myself so other than shopping in his lunch hour and blowing up a balloon I didn't get any 'effort' either. I got him a ps3 which was a complete surprise (for his 38th birthday and he doesn't even do birthdays!). He knew I'd wanted just a nice fashion ring since we got together (over 4 years ago!) and when i said the day after my birthday that I was a bit sad to still not have one and it didnt have to be expensive, I just wanted a ring from him to wear everyday, he went shopping the next monday during his lunch hour and bought me one (£25 - the cost is fine with me) so he didnt even get this in advance of my birthday. He knows I'm a huge birthday person and to be honest my 30th birthday was nothing more than dinner in a pub with friends that I'd organised myself.

cathcat Sun 30-Aug-09 21:47:57

YANBU but you should take the advice given here and be very very explicit with him. I have learned this from experience. At least your DH remembered your birthday.

BubbaAndBump Sun 30-Aug-09 21:51:03

Men don't get 'subtle'. We moved house on my birthday this year because DH organised the moving day and had forgotten it was my birthday hmm. So on the day we packed boxes, worked our arses off in freezing cold temperatures, he scribbled in a card on the day, and got me a couple of pressies (unwrapped, naturally!), which I had to remind him about hmm.

Ask your hubby to take you out sometime next week in place of your real birthday. Organise a babysitter but get him to do the rest - he might just suprise you! (And if he doesn't, then a massive sulk like others have suggested would be more than appropriate).

Purplepanettone Sun 30-Aug-09 21:51:05

I think he was just being a man tbh.

I didn't want to celebrate my 40th as I had just had a miscarriage and felt that our family wasn't complete until our 3rd DC was conceived and had arrived. Maybe he thought you felt like that.

Sorry about your mcs and that you had such a disappointing day though.

Purplepanettone Sun 30-Aug-09 21:52:38

btw - I would have been fed up too ...

dogofpoints Sun 30-Aug-09 21:53:02

birthday, you're gonna have to start looking on the funny side of this. Nothing else for it.

Your dh asked you every step of the way what you would like. You were grumpy every single time. You must know by now that he is crap at arranging great surprise presents. The bloke probably didn't know whether he was coming or going.

Men do not know all these little subtexts of which you speak. Speak to him in plain english.

Say to him now, 'I've been a twat about my birthday. I'm sorry. I was really hoping just the two of us could go for a nice meal. Is there any chance you could arrange that? It would make me happy'

mumeeee Sun 30-Aug-09 21:59:38

YABU. He bought you breakfast in bed,gave you some books and an iou for the curtains and rug and spent the day with you.
If you wanted more than this you should have told him. Also I would expect to go with my DH to chose the curtains and rug. Also not many husbands are able to get the day off of work to spend with thier wives on thier birthday.

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