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Great Husband - lousy at giving birthday and Christmas gifts

Posted by on Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:09 PM
  • 136 Replies

My husband is a sweet and kind man. Hard working, very supportive. He's an executive with a high salary, so money is not the issue. I also work full time (my income is a fraction of his since he has an executive's salary, but none the less, I work as hard as he does). He's super generous with everyone and we've gone all out with great and thoughtful birthday/Christmas gifts for family members, especially his mom and his 2 adult daughters, nieces and nephews. I'm all for that because I adore them and love making them happy.

Fast forward to my birthday last night. We went out to dinner at the nearby pasta restaurant. He gives me a card (I could tell he'd recently licked it shut as the envelope was still wet from being sealed). Inside the card was a printout from our ink-jet printer of a keyboard for my iPad. That was it. At Christmas, he'd gotten me a couple of prints to put up on our walls at home and a necklace from the bookstore (costume jewelry type). But for his family, we've taken them on ski trips, trip to Hawaii (flown first class), other trips and vacations to Disneyland. 

A couple of years ago he gave me a set of pots and pans, a set of good knives, a vegetable chopper. Great items that I needed, but not at all sentimental. Last Birthday, at least he seemed to have gotten it and gave me a string of pearls. That was the only sentimental gift he's ever given me other than my wedding rings. But he's again back to the "practical" gifts that don't cost a lot or take a lot of thought. 

Last night I was pretty hurt but didn't show it. We do a lot of nice things like go on trips. But I would like something that is a lasting reminder that is symbolic of us. Instead I have lots of things that help me do my work. Whether that's in the kitchen or my job (I'm a designer, so I use my iPad for my work).

Am I being ridiculous and spoiled?  How would you react?

by on Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:09 PM
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by Silver Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:13 PM
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He is thinking of things to make your life easier. that pretty considerate. He just isn't thinking romantically. Maybe before the next holiday you could mention some jewelry you would like.

by on Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:19 PM
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was the print out of the keyboard, a gift he is going to get for you..or was it just a 'hey look, here is a keyboard"..   its late, I worked 12hrs today, maybe I am confused. lol

I am sorry that your birthday gift seemed so emotionless :-( 

Seems to me the family may get more dramatic gifts as a means to "show off", but for you he doesn't have to show off, because maybe he is more relaxed with you, and the expectation from you isn't so high?

  I'm sure I am really shooting at a long shot here, however, I am trying to think of reasons why you dont get the same extravagant treatment as the other's do.

by Emily on Mar. 19, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Sounds like you are hard to shop for and those things are the only things he can think of that you would like. Maybe give him a few more hints before your birthday or christmas. My dh is a crappy gift buyer also. But he tries. Its the thought that counts although the picture of the keyboard thing is odd. 

by on Mar. 19, 2014 at 10:26 PM
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good grief. He took you to dinner, and gave you a card and many gifts in years prior.

My husband is a great guy but HATES shopping. When Christmas rolls around- I make a list of things I want on ebay, then he picks a thing or two and orders it. I usually wrap it and put it under the tree myself ;)   As for birthdays- eh, if I want something I get it (I never want anything that pricey or whatever anyway).

I don't really care much. What matters is that he loves me- and I KNOW he does so...

by Platinum Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 10:38 PM
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 how long have you been married?

so.. he just doesn't know how to give gifts.. put some stuff on Pinterest and tell him to look there, or be blunt and tell him there's a special necklace you'd like.

in other words... yes.. you sound spoiled

by on Mar. 19, 2014 at 11:25 PM

I get where you are coming from.  My husband is like that too.  He has gotten better and I have learned not to care as much.  He does not get me things that have cords or involve work unless that is what I ask for.  I matters very little now.  I just like having a day to go somewhere fun and maybe go out to dinner.  This year I want him to straighten up the back yard and put in flower beds.  I will help.  I hope he is on board.  My birthday is Friday.

by Silver Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 11:51 PM
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 i have to agree with this.  guys tend to show love and consideration by givng or doing things to make life easier for you, or by showing interest in things that are important to you.  It isn't always romatic to us, but to them it is an expression of are fixers lol.  this is how they fix problems before they arise.

If you want something more symbolic and less practical start telling him what you want.  point things out when you are together, show him prints of items you want, or would like to have.  when you ask him for a christmas list, give him one of your own.

Quoting lucky2Beeme:

He is thinking of things to make your life easier. that pretty considerate. He just isn't thinking romantically. Maybe before the next holiday you could mention some jewelry you would like.


by Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 11:55 PM

dh hates to shop so I will print out pictures of things that I would like as well as where to find them. he also works 2 jobs for a min of 72 hours a week.

by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 1:26 AM

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. We have been married for 5 years. 

It hurt my feelings because he treated my birthday like I was his sister or something. I have decided I will have to wait a year, but next year I will give him a list of things that would be meaningful to me. 

My hurt feelings come from the fact that he goes all out for coming up with gift ideas for everyone else. But for me, it's a quick idea that has something to do with work. I'm going to have to be crystal clear with him every year from now on. 

I found this and he has constantly been guilty of #9.

He's a "fixer" and thinks that by getting me appliances or things like computer parts, he's helping me and making me happy. When we were first dating, I showed appreciation because I couldn't afford these things myself. But now, we've been married for 5 years. It isn't the same. I can get these things for myself. 

By the way, he loves shopping. I think he is just lazy when it comes to my birthday.

by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 1:37 AM

I have gotten my own birthday present for the last few years (generally I renew my BHG subscription, maybe get a new clothing item if it's in the budget), I have picked my Christmas gift, and that is the extent of the gifts I usually "get" from DH-sometimes he will get spontaneous, and work our budget around for something nice, like my Ipad.  He is wheelchair bound and limited in his ability to get around, so it is just something we have adapted to.  I have to be very clear and specific if I want him to get something-if he has no guidance he just doesn't get anything for a holiday.  As for a birthday celebration, unless my mom does something, it is always just another day for me, no special dinners or surprises here.

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