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AIBU?

To be irrationally heartbroken about DHs birthday 'gift'

376 replies

WoolyOctopus · 26/05/2023 16:23

I am 39+2 weeks pregnant. DH and I have had a rough ride recently due to slow baby growth, lots of scans, our stressful jobs, moving house and DD aged 5. We've argued lots and things have been stressful. We are slowly coming out the other side of this and things are getting smoother.
However...
It's my birthday tomorrow. We have friends coming over at 1pm and an engagement party to attend (not ours) tomorrow evening at 7pm. We also have an electrician appointment at 10am. I asked DH if he had anything planned for my birthday (like a nice breakfast or had he bought a cake as DD keeps pestering about it). He said no as we're too busy with other things and 'no time' to do anything nice for my birthday. Fair enough. If that had been me, I would have organised breakfast/ a cake/ lunch with the friends who are coming or SOMETHING to make a little fuss of him but whatever... he clearly doesn't think like that. I can accept that.
But...
Today we went into town as I had booked myself an antenatal massage. I reminded him directly to get me a card and DD said she wanted to get me a gift. her and DH went shopping while I went for my massage. When we get home, he leaves a charity shop plastic bag in the middle of the living room floor. He tells me he found some bargain jeans in a charity shop for himself, I pull them out the bag to have a look and two paperback low-brow granny type Mills and Boon books fall out (two for £2) and a 50p bracelet. He says 'oops' and grabs them back. Tells me they are my birthday presents. Now, I am an English teacher - I collect Booker Prize winner books and both my undergrad and postgrad degrees are in literature. I value good books, I spend my life reading books, talking about books and telling him about the current book I am reading. It is the thing I am most passionate about. I am a book snob - I care about 'good' literature. He knows this. So he decides to buy me two for £2 granny-type 'filler' books from a rack from a charity shop? I have also been asking and asking and asking for a new necklace pendant as my other one snapped two years ago. I still have the chain. I am not a jewellery person but I do like a nice necklace. Two years later and he still hasn't got me one.... fair enough. But to get me a 50p kids bracelet from a charity shop?! When I've never worn a bracelet in the whole time we've been together?
Also: we are relatively comfortable financially too.... so money isn't an issue. Besides, it absolutely is the thought that counts - but where was the thought in this? I have also ALWAYS been a fantastic gift buyer for him - not just materialistically (although I've always done well here) but also thought wise!

So... AIBU to be as hurt as I am? I have genuinely sat and cried about this. We've been having such a hard time, I'm very pregnant and just wanted to feel valued. Even stupid things like he knows I've ran out of bubble bath or I liked a dress in the sale in Sainsburys yesterday that I didn't buy. I've pulled him up on it and have been told I'm materialistic, selfish and 'shouldn't have planned a day full of events if I wanted him to organise something for me' (which he never would have done).

Sorry for length.

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Am I being unreasonable?

2484 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
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You are NOT being unreasonable
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AnObserverInThisDarkWorld · 26/05/2023 16:29

Do you know those gifts are off him?
Maybe whilst he was looking for jeans DD picked them out for you herself... she knows you like books and is too young to know you're so stuck up about them and she liked the bracelet?
Is it possible DH has got you a cake and just doesn't want to spoil the surprise? Is he maybe planning to take you out for a meal another day as you are busy tomorrow?

I think you're being unreasonable until you actually know for certain tomorrow.

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WoolyOctopus · 26/05/2023 16:31

AnObserverInThisDarkWorld · 26/05/2023 16:29

Do you know those gifts are off him?
Maybe whilst he was looking for jeans DD picked them out for you herself... she knows you like books and is too young to know you're so stuck up about them and she liked the bracelet?
Is it possible DH has got you a cake and just doesn't want to spoil the surprise? Is he maybe planning to take you out for a meal another day as you are busy tomorrow?

I think you're being unreasonable until you actually know for certain tomorrow.

Unfortunately not - he said he hasn't bought a cake 'as what's the point if we are out for most of he day' and he said he chose the books! He also confirmed he has planned nothing else and seemed very surprised I had expected it.

He did say DD chose the bracelet which is fair enough.

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sunnydaysandhappythoughts · 26/05/2023 16:33

AnObserverInThisDarkWorld · 26/05/2023 16:29

Do you know those gifts are off him?
Maybe whilst he was looking for jeans DD picked them out for you herself... she knows you like books and is too young to know you're so stuck up about them and she liked the bracelet?
Is it possible DH has got you a cake and just doesn't want to spoil the surprise? Is he maybe planning to take you out for a meal another day as you are busy tomorrow?

I think you're being unreasonable until you actually know for certain tomorrow.

I don't think the OP is "stuck up" for not wanting to read a particular genre of book.

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Thesunnymood · 26/05/2023 16:34

While I understand wanting to feel valued and maybe wanting a nice gift because it is nice, I eill never understand why you just don't by yourself something you wnat instead of hinting?
Buy the dress, buy yourself nice pendant, get yourself nice bubblebath.
Expecting DH to buy you bubblebath when you run out, unless he is also using it so knows, is setting him and yourself for failure and upset. I have no idea when my DH's stuff runs out....

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Fatkittythinkitty · 26/05/2023 16:35

Nah that's shit. Really shit. As you say, it's the lack of thought. When you've gone through such a rubbish time he should be making more effort not less.

I hope you match his energy on father's Day

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allthewoes · 26/05/2023 16:35

I'd want to shove the books and bracelet where the sun doesn't shine. YANBU. My DH is not one for making a great effort but I know this so I just tell him what I want/send him a link. It's not ideal but at least I get something decent. Has he always been like this?

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Rotormotor · 26/05/2023 16:35

My DH buys shit presents. It’s just not his strong point. If I want something nice I have to tell him what to buy. This ruins the surprise so I usually don’t bother.

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dotdotdotdash · 26/05/2023 16:38

Sit him down tomorrow or at some point you have a minute and say, I want you to know that I felt hurt and unloved by what I see as a lack of effort in the birthday gifts. Just tell him how you feel. Don’t lay blame. Then find a necklace you like and buy it for yourself from the joint account. Happy birthday lovely 😊

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wetpebbles · 26/05/2023 16:38

I would start a trend of buying him the shittest presents in return
I have had many shit presents from all my family so just buy my own now
Happy Birthday 🎂 ps buy yourself a beautiful cake !

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WoolyOctopus · 26/05/2023 16:39

Thesunnymood · 26/05/2023 16:34

While I understand wanting to feel valued and maybe wanting a nice gift because it is nice, I eill never understand why you just don't by yourself something you wnat instead of hinting?
Buy the dress, buy yourself nice pendant, get yourself nice bubblebath.
Expecting DH to buy you bubblebath when you run out, unless he is also using it so knows, is setting him and yourself for failure and upset. I have no idea when my DH's stuff runs out....

To be fair I do buy pretty much everything I want myself. I was just trying to think of examples of things that he knows I need/want to show he wasn't blind to things that could have shown a little thought! Also things that could have just as easily been bought in town as the charity shop stuff that he clearly bought as a second thought to his jeans!!

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AnObserverInThisDarkWorld · 26/05/2023 16:39

sunnydaysandhappythoughts · 26/05/2023 16:33

I don't think the OP is "stuck up" for not wanting to read a particular genre of book.

OP admits to being a book snob

And going on about only reading Booker Prize novels and having lit degree does come across as "I only like 'proper' books"

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MuggleMe · 26/05/2023 16:39

I'm sorry that sounds shit. In recent years Ive learned to be more direct. I told my DH of 4 things I wanted for my birthday and he got 3 of them (simple things), I bought my own cake and if we hadn't been working I'd have told him to buy in bagels etc for a nice breakfast and that were having a takeaway the following evening as a birthday treat. No guessing for (possible ASD) DH and no disappoint.

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survivalmodemum · 26/05/2023 16:40

YANBU OP. I would feel the same. I would hope he has organised a thoughtful gift for tomorrow and is trying to throw you off the scent.

Get yourself along to a book shop tomorrow or the day after and treat yourself to some lovely new books. Go back to Sainsbury’s and get that dress.

Sending hugs and birthday wishes for tomorrow

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Fairislefandango · 26/05/2023 16:40

Men who 'can't' choose an appropriate present for the their wives or long-term partners are either unbelievably pathetic or more likely just utterly self-centred l, lazy and uncaring. I don't for one moment buy this 'it's not their strong point' bollocks. They act like they can't do it, precisely so they'll be allowed to permanently get away with not doing it.

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ButterflyOil · 26/05/2023 16:41

An ex of mine once did something very similar. It was absolutely a passive aggressive move and meant to make me feel like shit. The fact that he’s trying to make you take bad guy here makes me suspect this was a very pointed move.

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Tinkerbyebye · 26/05/2023 16:42

Just buy what you want. Then don’t do anything at all for his birthday. Get a cards from the kids, let dd choose some tat and give that to him

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WoolyOctopus · 26/05/2023 16:43

AnObserverInThisDarkWorld · 26/05/2023 16:39

OP admits to being a book snob

And going on about only reading Booker Prize novels and having lit degree does come across as "I only like 'proper' books"

I absolutely do only like 'proper' books. It's the only thing I am snobby about though. I love charity shop clothes (and books........ just decent books!). I don't care about expensive bags/clothes/house stuff etc. I just love my books. He knows this. Especially as he could have got a book I would have enjoyed from the charity shop.... it's the fact he's chosen something so far removed from anything he knows I am interested in... not the money.

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Soubriquet · 26/05/2023 16:43

Tinkerbyebye · 26/05/2023 16:42

Just buy what you want. Then don’t do anything at all for his birthday. Get a cards from the kids, let dd choose some tat and give that to him

Yes. Return the favour

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thecatsthecats · 26/05/2023 16:45

Thesunnymood · 26/05/2023 16:34

While I understand wanting to feel valued and maybe wanting a nice gift because it is nice, I eill never understand why you just don't by yourself something you wnat instead of hinting?
Buy the dress, buy yourself nice pendant, get yourself nice bubblebath.
Expecting DH to buy you bubblebath when you run out, unless he is also using it so knows, is setting him and yourself for failure and upset. I have no idea when my DH's stuff runs out....

You don't actually seem to understand. Saying that you understand doesn't mean that you do.

Someone else thinking of what you would like, and caring enough about you to devote time and resources to procuring that.

This is usually proportional to the significance of the relationship. A husband would normally be considered a significant person who would be able to and would want to perform this task to a reasonable standard.

OP's husband has failed at this task. He has not devoted time, energy or resources to provide a treat to the OP. As a consequence, OP feels upset that he doesn't care enough to follow clearly expressed wishes.

Is that helpful?

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OngoingConfidence · 26/05/2023 16:45

I agree it's shit. He can't use the he had "no time" as an excuse. He knows when your birthday is and has had 365 days to sort something.

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RenoDakota · 26/05/2023 16:45

AnObserverInThisDarkWorld · 26/05/2023 16:39

OP admits to being a book snob

And going on about only reading Booker Prize novels and having lit degree does come across as "I only like 'proper' books"

Totally valid and understandable that OP only likes 'proper' books and not Mills and Boon style charity shop shit.
I would be exactly the same.

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EilonwyWithRedGoldHair · 26/05/2023 16:46

AnObserverInThisDarkWorld · 26/05/2023 16:39

OP admits to being a book snob

And going on about only reading Booker Prize novels and having lit degree does come across as "I only like 'proper' books"

That's fine, and most importantly her husband knows the books she likes. Mills & Boon is not a thoughtful gift for her - it wouldn't be for me either and I'd be worried about DH if he thought it was.

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LunaNorth · 26/05/2023 16:46

Absolutely crap. What effort would it have taken to buy you a Waterstones/Amazon voucher, an M&S cake and a bottle of bubble bath?

And that would be a bloody low bar. You’re carrying his child, ffs.

And then to call you names because you were upset? He doesn’t sound very nice at all. Does he have any redeeming features?

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Napmum · 26/05/2023 16:47

I tend to ask for what I want, although my husband is usually pretty good at presents. But if I want something, I tend to say, "Have you a plan for my birthday because I'd like at least a cake, and I have been wanting a new pendent necklace for a while now."

Husband has made a bit of a tradition of getting me a nice cheesecake from a chain that do great ones. That's because I told him when we were dating I'd like him to get me a nice cheese cake every birthday. It's become a tradition yo show he cares and is not exactly high effort. Maybe tell him that you expect at least a cake and card on your birthday every year.

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Angrymum22 · 26/05/2023 16:48

My DH is epically bad at choosing gifts. He is so instinctive in everything else, food, flowers etc but anything remotely gift like is totally beyond him. Very early on in our relationship he chose to buy me gifts when I was with him. Problem solved and everyone is happy.
I have been working hard with DS so that even if I don’t benefit at least any future girlfriends will.

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