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AIBU

Partner buying joint presents with wife

(148 Posts)
Jillybird Fri 01-May-20 11:56:02

I am feeling most shaken and wanted to check out if it's me that's odd or not. I think it comes under the AIBU heading.

I've been with my partner since 2002. He moved in with me eight years ago. He often refers to me as "his wife". I tell him I am nobody's wife (having had two disastrous marriages).
Yesterday he was talking about how much to send to his son in Australia for his upcoming 42nd birthday. He thought £30 was enough. I thought he was being mean and should send £100. He has money. He has his fireman's pension and his state pension and he is notoriously mean about eating out or even buying a coffee (much cheaper at home) so he has loads of money in the bank, otherwise I wouldn't suggest it. Last week he gave £10 to the postman as a tip because he was doing a great job in difficult times. I went into a lot of detail looking up how much money was worth now compared to 1969. (£100 is comparable to £6.05) and trying to persuade him to part with a little more for his son's birthday.
This morning I am even more shocked and quite upset. He read me a text from his wife saying "I think £30 will be enough - do you want to send it or shall I?" so two things here; 1) He's actually only sending £15 from him and £15 from her which makes it even more mean and 2) I had no idea they were still sending joint birthday presents. I don't send my sons joint presents from my ex husband. I think it's really weird and I can't work out exactly why I'm so shaking - it feels almost like jealousy. I'm so shocked I can't speak to him. Comments from all you rational people, please.

Calendargirl Fri 01-May-20 12:11:36

He wasn’t hiding it from you about the wife’s text.
I don’t suppose how much he sends his son is up to you really, even if you think he’s being mean. Is he mean with you over money?
Can’t understand about the relevance to 1969 money value.
So do he and his wife usually share presents to their son, and you have just never known?
It sounds as though their relationship, sort of ongoing, has upset you.

Mrst1405 Fri 01-May-20 12:13:43

I think it's very mean and strange. I have children and grandchildren that me and my current dh send gifts to. I know my ex send pressies too, so I know mine is only a half gift if you see what I mean. I suppose £30 from each parent is ok as long as you can afford it. But 15 pounds each is mean.and it should be from you and your partner, then whatever his mum whats to give him is up to her. If he was only 6 it would be different but at 42!!

Bellanonna Fri 01-May-20 12:22:14

Well why has this come up now? What did he send last year and other years? It’s hardly a landmark birthday is it?
Your partner was quite happy to share his ex’s text message with you so he wasn’t hiding anything and they are, after all, joint parents. Is this really about the money? They obviously both feel happy about the amount in question and I wouldn’t let it worry you.

EllanVannin Fri 01-May-20 12:27:15

No wonder he's well off if he's got others to go halves ! Blimey.
His meanness would get to me not the fact that he contacts his ex-wife. I can't stand anyone who's mean, sorry.

Cabbie21 Fri 01-May-20 12:27:56

As Belladonna says I don’t see why this should upset you so much. It is maybe a bit unusual, but probably works, logistically, for them to combine sending money, as they are on good terms, and he is not hiding anything.
As for the amount, it is up to them, and to put it bluntly, not your concern. I agree it is on the mean side but it is not your problem. Let it go. There is far mote stuff to worry about just now.

Riverwalk Fri 01-May-20 12:28:50

I have no comment on sending joint gifts with his ex but I'm always surprised at grans who send cash gifts to adult children unless of course the AC is struggling financially.

The amount is extremely mean in any case - £30 is what I would send to one of my grandchildren and certainly wouldn't split that small amount with my ex!

sodapop Fri 01-May-20 12:29:34

I think its a bit odd that he shares present giving with his ex. I would do it with my ex if it was something really special and expensive but not £30.
I have to say that my husband is a bit stuck in the past when it comes to giving money but is very generous with me. I send the gifts etc to his family now as it is a real issue which irritates me. In every other way he is a very generous man.
I wouldn't get too hung up on his sharing with his ex jillybird there is always a connection when you have shared children and he was quite open about it.

Jillybird Fri 01-May-20 12:34:08

Thanks, Calendargirl. The relevance of 1969 is that he usually refers back to that date for all his "costings". I often get told what he spent on his bike, or the house he bought, or how much a pint of beer was that year. I think he's fixated on the past (with a touch of dementia) and that's why I tried to relate it to 1969.

chris8888 Fri 01-May-20 12:35:29

How odd and also how mean. Hope you have your own money for nice things for yourself. He sounds like he wouldn`t bother much for your birthday/Christmas etc.

wildswan16 Fri 01-May-20 12:36:22

I suppose it would make more sense if the money was going to a child - then a joint gift would be nice. But if this is something they have always done - then just let them get on with it. Not something I would get upset about and it appears to have been going on a long time.

It is none of your business how much he sends - it is his son and his decision. Personally I think a birthday present to an adult should be more of a token, and £30 is reasonable.

NotSpaghetti Fri 01-May-20 12:42:11

Well I would find it really odd Jillybird sending shared cash to an adult son irrespective of how much!
I wonder what his son thinks when he gets the £30 though?
Maybe they have been sending £15 each for years and like this. I used to get 50p from an elderly relative... maybe he just smiles about it.

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 01-May-20 12:43:09

TBH if it’s his money and his son I think it’s up to him how much he gives, he’s probably thinking that if he give £100 for his birthday, he’ll have to give even more for Christmas, if he and his wife are ok with it then I think you should let it go. He showed you the text so he’s not being secretive about it either.

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 01-May-20 12:47:40

PS. In 1969 £6.05 was a lot of money, I was only earning £5 and 15 shillings a week!

quizqueen Fri 01-May-20 12:53:53

If it was a special year like 40 and the family were putting together to buy a big present, it would be understandable but, surely, as you've been together for ages the gift should be from both of you together and his mother sends separately. It would be better to send something off amazon and get it delivered direct. Money gifts are rubbish, in my opinion, if the receiver is working and doesn't need it. However, why are you only questioning now?

rosenoir Fri 01-May-20 13:01:42

I do not think the joint present is odd, I have done it and know of others that do. Parents are always joint parents no matter what happens to their relationship.

I think the amount is mean but as you have said he is mean anyway.

I do not understand why you are so upset about this,in the nicest possible way, I do not see that it has anything to do with you and does not affect you.

SalsaQueen Fri 01-May-20 13:29:53

It certainly is strange that he's sending a joint gift. He's tight, but so must the ex-wife be, too. Why isn't she sending her son money/gifts herself?

I generally sort out gifts to family members, but I'd never dream of £30 to a son! My 2 sons generally get presents, in the region of £100 each (from both of us) fpr birthdays, more for Christmas.

Baggs Fri 01-May-20 14:04:59

I don't think £30 as a birthday present is mean. You can buy yourself a treat with that or put it towards something you want that's more expensive. Why would you expect more than that?

Baggs Fri 01-May-20 14:05:57

I don't think doing joint presents to their joint children with his ex is strange either.

GagaJo Fri 01-May-20 14:09:39

My ex husband and I do joint presents for our daughter and also our grandson. He's been remarried for 15 years and I've been with my partner 13. Neither of them are bothered.

I think the amount is mean but it's between him, his ex and their son. I wouldn't get involved.

vampirequeen Fri 01-May-20 14:17:01

My mam gives me £20 for birthdays and I give the same amount to my DDs so I don't think £30 is mean unless he's a millionaire.

As to the joint present. Well I don't suppose it's usual but neither do I see a problem with it.

Callistemon Fri 01-May-20 14:28:56

Riverwalk I give cash gifts to adult children overseas because I have no idea what they would like, or what is available, so giving money is much easier.
It's not easy buying gifts at the moment and sending a gift to, eg, Australia, would cost more than the gift itself.
I have spent more than £30 on postage before now until I thought this is ridiculous.

How much they spend is irrelevant, Jillybird, some people are more generous than others.
What has upset you is that the parents are separated (divorced?) and still sending joint presents.
It does seem rather odd, especially as you've been together for 8 years.
Have you met the son? Do you want to be included in the gift and the ex-wife to send her own gift?

Perhaps if you think it through you can then talk calmly about it.
The amount is irrelevant.

Daisymae Fri 01-May-20 14:32:39

The question I have is whether his children actually know that he is divorced? Or is he? You mention 'his wife', so are they actually separated/divorced? Yes, its very odd and I would be fuming. Once I had calmed down I would talk to him and suggest that they send separate gifts to their children. £30 is really quite a stingy amount for an AC if you can afford more, especially if you are not seeing them for a meal out etc. However how much or how little he sends is up to him.

Hetty58 Fri 01-May-20 14:56:15

Crikey, £30 is just pocket money these days. £100 sounds more like it. You could always send the remainder yourself!

Tangerine Fri 01-May-20 15:09:08

£30 sounds mean to me.

Regarding buying presents jointly with ex-partners, I think it varies from family to family and couple to couple. It probably suits some people and doesn't suit others.