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To expect DH to sort out his own family's presents?

(37 Posts)
BirthdayCard Tue 27-Oct-09 08:55:25

This is really getting my goat at the moment. A few weeks ago DH says to me "have you talked to SIL about BILs birthday yet?"

"Er no, actually he's your brother not mine..." He got all huffy with me and accused me of being moody.

A few days later I sent him a text to remind him to get a card and pressie for his DB which he apparently did. Then on the day itself got a sniffy text from SIL asking if I had remembered BIL birthday !!!! hmm

"NO HE'S NOT MY BLOODY BROTHER! ASK DH!!!!" (Well I didn't send the text but that was what I was thinking.)

Now it's MILs birthday next Monday and he has done nothing to organise a present. He just seems to expect me to do it. He says he hasn't got time (and he has got a busy job and works long hours) but he went to the West End to buy DVDs last week after work and spends all weekend on his computer, goes to the football etc. so makes time for things he really wants to do.angry

It's the same with all the Christmas shopping too. He does nothing.

So now I have to go off round the shops and find something for the old trout dear or risk more snotty comments from his family that I have forgotten. angry

AIBU to buy her a present and not put his name on it?

fluffles Tue 27-Oct-09 08:58:24

i have REFUSED to step into that role in my DPs life. i remind him about his family but i don't buy presents for him or organise stuff.

it does lead to embarassment when he forgets but i just suck it up because if i start doing it for him i'll be doing it for the next 50 years!

if anybody in the family asked ME if i'd remembered i'd say that yes i'd reminded DP a couple of times but wasn't sure what he'd want to buy...

insertwittynicknameHERE Tue 27-Oct-09 09:02:55

My DH once asked me about me sorting out pressies for his side of the family, I said yes I would do it if he sorted out pressies for my side of the family grin He never asked again.

All b-days etc are marked on the calendar, if he forgets his side then that is up to him, it is not my responsibility.

CMOTdibbler Tue 27-Oct-09 09:05:46

I don't take responsibility for DHs family either - the day when he worries about what to buy my parents is the day I'll go out and buy a card for his. Obv I remind him and we talk about possibilities, but it's his to do.

If anyone from his family had a go, I'd just say ' I don't know what DH was planning'

FlamingoBingo Tue 27-Oct-09 09:06:07


golgi Tue 27-Oct-09 09:06:58

Happens to me too - I don't really do Christmas in a big way, and have long since come to a "no presents" agreement with my family. His family, however, insist on presents.

I have to drag husband round the shops to buy things (he hates shopping) - the compromise is he has to come with me, and pay for the presents.

It was his nephew's birthday last week - I bought card, present and wrapping paper, so all he had to do was wrap and post. Did he? What do you think?

Don't know if there's a solution really - am tempted to go the Fluffles route and just let him suffer the consequences of forgetting, but then his family are a bit hopeless too and often send presents late, nobody is that bothered.

BirthdayCard Tue 27-Oct-09 09:07:00

I wouldn't mind quite so much if his family didn't expect me to do it too. They all seem to buy into the "oh he's useless" sort of attitude, (said while raising eyes fondly and ruffling his hair like a naughty school boy)and I am cast as the cold, heartless DIL who can't be bothered to go out and buy the presents. angry

insertwittynicknameHERE Tue 27-Oct-09 09:10:00

Thing is though if you do it once his family are going to expect that you do it all the time. Nip it in the bud now.

JulesJules Tue 27-Oct-09 09:15:11

Oh God, YANBU.

When I got married, MIL said "I'll give you a list with all the family birthdays on" in a sort of conspiratorial tone, like this was suddenly my job. I felt a cold hand clutch my heart. grin

I think that rolling eyes and ruffling hair thing that BC describes is v common, particularly with MILs and their DSs.

We should be STRONG - like Fluffles grin

BirthdayCard Tue 27-Oct-09 09:15:31

Bit late for that we have been married for 20 years!

Just started to get really miffed about it the last few months- he has never, not once ever gone out and bought a present for my family- neither would I expect him to.

The sniffy text from SIL has made me all belligerent.

FourArms Tue 27-Oct-09 09:17:47

I buy DH's cards for him and buy and send the presents. It's not too much of a hardship as he's an only child, so just his parents. I send my MIL a card I have written from all of us because I like her. Also, DH is often away at sea over bdays and anniversaries.

saintmaybe Tue 27-Oct-09 09:19:00

I do it, I quite like choosing presents and Dh is thrown into a panic by it.

He doesn't take it for granted, though, even though I've been doing it for 15 years, which I guess makes the difference.

golgi Tue 27-Oct-09 09:19:07

I don't like the "oh I'm just a hopeless man" excuse either. I expect that MIL is the one who buys all the presents in their family so it's another thing seen as the woman's responsibility.

Have had a load of husband's family visiting recently and they seem to be divided in to "those expected to help in the kitchen" and "those expected to sit on the sofa" pretty much along gender lines - drives me mad.

Birthdaycard - you have a choice - either accept present-buying responsibility for ever, or put up with the sniffy comments.

SazZaVoom Tue 27-Oct-09 09:21:01

I NEVER do Dh's family, other than possibly my SIL who i get on brilliantly with. I make it clear to MIL if she complains about stuff being late that DH is the one who is dealing with it and she should talk to him about it.

DH wouldn't sort my family and friends, so why should i sort his?

Katisha Tue 27-Oct-09 09:21:52

I get the same. It's really annoying to get the "I haven't got time" schtick when I also work fulltime. There have been quite a few years when I didn't get a Christmas or birthday present myself.

I do wonder whether Christmas would happen in the way it does if women didn't do most of the buying. And to be honest I wonder if it would be better if we didn't given the rampant commercialisation and pressure.

BirthdayCard Tue 27-Oct-09 09:25:45

What a great idea katisha- lets leave all the christmas shopping to the men- mind you we'd probably all end up with crap presents and cornish pasties bought at the local garage on Christmas eve! grin

EdgarAllenPoo Tue 27-Oct-09 09:28:58


this role has fallen to me, if left to DH he just does nothng.

you see, once you start doing this...there's no end to it.

i also buy all family presnts for my mum too.

but then i enjoy choosing presents. though not for his lot, they are v. critical and unappreciative.

this may change as have more difficulty going to shops with two littlies in tow.

iWantAnOooooooooohAtPauls Tue 27-Oct-09 09:30:11

Birthdaycard, it's not too late after 20 years! I stopped buying and reminding after 19 years and nobody has died. grin

I had a full and frank discussion with my dh after a particularly cruel episode with his parents and since then I haven't asked once if he has remembered birthdays/Christmas etc.

The only thing that I do is send cards to our children's cousins which I will continue until they are adult. I have two children and I really think that treating my dh like a third child helps no-one.

SazZaVoom Tue 27-Oct-09 09:31:50

DH does his nephews too - usually Amazon vouchers as they are teenagers and want games etc, but at least he does them. Just make sure there are reminders on his work calendar 7 days in advance and let him go with it

pigletmania Tue 27-Oct-09 09:35:41

My dh tends to sort out some of the christmas presents for his side of the family and i do some, i really get on with his sister and her dh they are absoultely lovely, she is like a sister to me so i always make an effort for her and her dh and kids birthdays its a pleasure. Dh is not good with remembering birthdays and getting presents so i do for his sister and their family, for his brother i dont bother as they dont with us. His parents live in Malta so i get my dh to call them on their birthdays and send them a card, and they are very happy just to hear our voice, they do not expect anything.

BirthdayCard Tue 27-Oct-09 09:36:29

Oh I always buy for the children- don't seem to mind that so much.

Actually- so busy moaning on MN about this have just realised it's my neice's birthday today and I haven't sent her a present. blush Lucky there's a postal strike to blame!

Astrid28 Tue 27-Oct-09 09:36:45

I can't bear this! MIL always looks at me dissaprovingly when she realises I have no idea that her other son/husbands/fathers/sisters/nieces birthday is coming up. As though it's my duty as 'the wife' to know these things!

I have a very large family on my own side - I don't know their birthdays and I've known these people my whole life.

Happy to buy the cards/pressies and will write all but Mothers & Fathers Day cards they should be from him - but I'm not mystic meg!

BirthdayCard Tue 27-Oct-09 09:48:25

Oh yeah Mother's day cards and presents- have to do those too.angry

He just asks me to get his mum what ever I am getting mine which rather dilutes the specialness of what I get my mum and then he gets the credit for my choices.

gingerbunny Tue 27-Oct-09 10:01:14

I always get dh side of the family presents, i don't really mind as there's not many, but i always make it worth my while. I usually add an extra £50 to the total at christmas to buy myself something nice!!!

sticktoyourgins Tue 27-Oct-09 10:44:57

Do you receive presents from your in-laws? My PILs are always generous when it comes to gifts and I'm happy to chose presents for them. The gifts are sent from me and DH not just from him.

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