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Birthdays

Just wondering, ladies what do you expect from your husbands on your birthday? Gentleman, what do you do for your women?
I ask as my husband is normally a thoughtful guy. He isn’t good at romantic gestures but he is practical. As in, he will make me a thermos of coffee before he leaves so it is ready for me to take to work. Or if we are eating supper, he will grab my fork in case I forgot it.

So 3 days ago was my birthday. I am 30. We’ve been married 11 years. His birthday was 2 months ago (35) and he always wants a big fuss. We don’t have much family in Edmonton but invite the ones we have, friends. We did a BBQ at home this time, I made the dinner, I got the cake he likes (Ice cream Black forest). Gifts. We are lower income but he told me he wanted a Ninja blender for $100 and I got it for him. This is our “pattern” so to speak.

So for my birthday he always says it’s only a day, why does it need to be a big thing? I feel its not truly fair because he wants his acknowledged. I work and due to a closure, he has been unemployed for the last year. A few odd jobs here and there but we have kids so money is tight. I get it. I don’t expect much. But he sat on his playstation gaming. He offered to take me to Tim Horton’s but I had to work earlier so I said I won’t be able to do breakfast due to time crunch but I am done early (by 2 pm). I asked if he wanted to do anything later. Ok so hint that I want him to suggest something. Maybe I shouldn’t do hints, they obviously don’t work. He just said No, nothing I can think of.

When I got home, he was playing. I asked for help with dishes, which he did. Then he said since I am home early, I can enjoy a quiet home till the kids come home. And said he is going back to playing. I mentioned supper, he said he wasn’t hungry. Our kids had sleepovers with friends so I had a long shower, I ate alone and I spent the evening reading a book. My husband didn’t come from the basement till bedtime.

I mentioned I wish he did a bit of a fuss for me. He said it’s hard because finances are tight. I know. I wasn’t expecting a single gift. Then he said he didn’t know what I want to do, I didn’t say anything all day. True but I wanted him to at least say Happy Birthday. It doesn’t cost anything and it takes a minute. He never even said Happy Birthday and I always spend the day alone.
This is our pattern each year. When I want more, he says I am asking for too much, we can’t afford going out or gifts. Yet I am not expecting that. Just acknowledgment, a hug, spend time with me not playstation. Plus hipocritical when he wants the fuss on his birthday and if I don’t do it, he gets cranky for weeks. It feels one sided.

So I went to bed feeling disappointed and lonely. I woke up to a text Happy Birthday he sent late at night.
He is a thoughtful practical guy most of the time. But birthdays, anniversaries – all like this.
Am I asking too much? Should I just accept that this is one flaw and otherwise we have a good marriage and family so let it go?

I think to the beginning and we celebrated birthdays and anniversaries but he worked a lot so we skipped mine often which he said was only because he has to work. It made sense. But he is home at this time. All I want is a bit more effort. Not a fight to get a Happy Birthday greeting.

Looking for others in relationships – in lower income, what do you think is fair for both sides?

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