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Husband does not want a party

(151 Posts)
Kartush Sat 10-Oct-20 08:13:21

My husband will be 70 next week. That's a pretty good milestone I think and most people have a party or whatever. We have an issue however, my husbands sister was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago, she had kemo and went into remission. About a month ago she was told the cancer had returned and was in her spine from her neck to her pelvis.
There is no cure for this, she is on kemo again which will slow down the disease but that's all.
My husband and his sister are not all that close, in fact a lot of the time he has issues with a lot of things she does but he has decided he does not want a big party for his birthday as it would be inappropriate to celebrate turning 70 when she is not going to reach that age. I don't have a problem with that.
Anyhoo he told me to tell this to our daughters who said ok no big party but how about they just invite us round to dinner on his birthday. I mentioned this to him and he said well ok.
I understand the no big party thing I do, well mostly I do, lets say I understand that's how he feels and its his feelings so he has a right to them. But, I just told him about the invitation to dinner and he said "why" and I said well they just wanted to make you dinner for your birthday. He was less than enthusiastic and said " you told them no big party right". Honestly, it is pizza and chilli on the back deck of our youngest daughters house, there will only be our kids, its not even a party just pizza and chilli. Our girls love him and they want to share his birthdays with him because as our youngest says he's not getting any younger and he has polycystic kidney disease and who knows when his last birthday will be.
Is it unreasonable to want that, to want to just have him over for dinner?
The reality is that his sister is not going to die next week, she's not going to die this year and she may not die next year.
I am wondering if there is something else going on but when I ask him he just says no.

BlueBelle Sat 10-Oct-20 08:26:14

Well it is his birthday !!
I didn’t have any parties for any milestone birthdays mainly because my family are so scattered and I ve got used to the fact I do however usually have a meal out which is equally lovely and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable invitation at all

Perhaps his illness is more of a problem to him than you know
Does it cause him toilet problems ? Or is he just not a sociable kind if bloke would he normally go round your daughters for a pizza

How about asking him what he would like to do but tell him in a non bossy way ‘nothing at all’ isn’t on the option list ?

Bellanonna Sat 10-Oct-20 08:27:49

You say that originally he did say, “Well ok” though, so at one point it seems he accepted the invitation.
Is your DH usually unsociable and doesn’t like going out (anywhere)? It does seem a pity to miss marking his milestone birthday with his family and I wonder whether this actually has anything to do with his sister’s illness, or just how he feels about his birthday in general, entering another decade , etc. I do hope he changes his mind and that he enjoys his birthday when it comes.

kittylester Sat 10-Oct-20 08:29:19

How can you have a party currently?

yggdrasil Sat 10-Oct-20 08:30:50

When I reached a significant age, I told my partner and the family I didn't want a party or celebration.
I was surprised when my family turned up on the doorstep, my partner had fixed it and booked a meal at a local restaurant. It was quite enjoyable, because I accepted it as a fait accompli, but I was glad when they all went home again. And I am going to make quite sure he never does that again.

PetitFromage Sat 10-Oct-20 08:35:34

A big party isn't permitted under the 'Rule of Six' anyway. A quiet birthday with your daughters sounds ideal.
Happy Birthday to him!

dragonfly46 Sat 10-Oct-20 08:45:12

I hate parties and have spent all our significant events with our children. These days though we couldn’t even do that as it would make more than 6!

Esspee Sat 10-Oct-20 08:45:51

I got the impression the OP is not in the U.K. (though may be wrong).
Not everyone enjoys parties held in their honour. We went abroad to avoid my 70th.
Frankly I think that you should listen to your husband and please him. It is HIS birthday.

Hetty58 Sat 10-Oct-20 08:45:55

Wherever you are in the world - parties are off for the time being anyway!

Maybe he'd rather stay at home (I know I'd prefer that) so perhaps your daughters could bring the pizza and chilli round to you?

BlueBelle Sat 10-Oct-20 08:49:37

kartush I m thinking you are in the US aren’t parties banned there at the moment ??

sodapop Sat 10-Oct-20 08:57:15

I think your husband is entitled to spend his birthday in whatever way he wishes Kartush His reasons may become clear when he is not under pressure. I think you should go along with his wishes and just have a quiet meal together if that's what he wants. I'm sure your family will understand.

M0nica Sat 10-Oct-20 09:00:45

I have never understood this big party obsession, and nowadays, when most people live well into their 80s, 70 is no big deal. It is his birthday, he decides what he wants to do.

Even if he is not close to his sister, he can still be deeply affected by the knowledge that she is going to die in the near future. She is his younger sister and he was her big brother who no doubt looked out for her and protected her when she was small, but now she is in a situation where he can do nothing to help.

I was in a similar situation as an elder sister who looked after a very shy younger sister. When she died in her 40s, I was prone to a tumult of feelings and emotions because I hadn't been there to protect her when the accident happened. Totally irrational, I knew, but not the less upsetting. Your DH may not himself understand and be surprised by his feelings.

ExD Sat 10-Oct-20 09:05:35

Well, if the rule of 6 still applies you will be able to have a dinner party for 6 of you, although if you don't live in the UK you will obviousy have to follow your own rules.
BUT - please respect his wishes. I never ever could understand why people wanted a party for their birthday, even the big milestone ones. I hated them with a vengeance. Why inflict a present on someone that you know they will hate? It makes no sense. By all means have a party (in normal times) for your own birthday, it isn't kind to be so cruel to someone you love just because YOU want a party!
The takeaway idea with your daughters is the best idea if you MUST put the poor man through this torture.
But do have a re-think.

Oopsadaisy4 Sat 10-Oct-20 09:09:36

I think at the age of 70 your DH has earned the right to say ‘No’ to anything he doesn’t want to do on his Birthday, it’s his day, let him enjoy it how he wants to.
I suspect though that this is more about what you want to happen on your Birthdays rather than about him.

Humbertbear Sat 10-Oct-20 09:10:48

My husband loathes parties and I would never even suggest arranging one for any of his special birthdays. He’s not even really interested in celebrating with the grandchildren. It doesn’t make him a bad person. We are all entitled to mark these occasions in whatever way makes us happiest. My mother will be 100 in two weeks time and is relieved that the rule of 6 will have to be adhered to.

Hetty58 Sat 10-Oct-20 09:12:15

Surely, it's the one day when you should be allowed to choose what to do?

(Why do we get these strange posts where Coronavirus seems to be nonexistent?)

Lancslass1 Sat 10-Oct-20 09:18:27

Some people don't enjoy parties.
I don't
In a fortnight's time all being well I will be 80 years old.
This year I will be spending the day going to the hospital where my DH has two appointments.
The one thing I have decided I will not do is cook on my birthday but there is an M and S food shop at the hospital so I intend buying something from there.
Oh and we will get an Uber to and from the hospital.

If your husband doesn't want to go out to Dinner,Kartush ,why try to make him?
It is his birthday.
Let him choose.
PS My husband is 88 tomorrow.
I asked him what he would like and he replied "Some stew please"

Gwyneth Sat 10-Oct-20 09:34:12

Everyone is different. I’ve always hated being the centre of attention so I’ve never had a party for any birthday including 21st. We’re all the same in our family so it’s never been a problem thank goodness.

MissAdventure Sat 10-Oct-20 09:39:50

I'm not at all interested in birthday parties, or presents, or fuss.
It's quite uncomfortable to feel under pressure to 'celebrate', and people like to think it's a shame.

It's really not. I should imagine the news about his sister will have had a huge impact on your husband, so I would let him be.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 10-Oct-20 09:46:35

If your DH doesn't care for parties then even a get together with pizza can seem like a big deal, can't it? His saying okay doesn't sound like he's exactly bursting with enthusiasm. What have you done for past significant birthdays? Did he just go along with big parties to keep other people happy?

At 70 he should be allowed to have what he wants for his birthday and if that means a quiet day then so be it. Covid is stopping big celebrations and we must abide by the rules whether we like it or not.

Kate1949 Sat 10-Oct-20 09:48:53

We never have parties for anything. Too much of a palarver.

harrigran Sat 10-Oct-20 09:50:02

I am with your DH on parties.
We have had them in the past because other relatives have pushed the issue but we would really rather not have them.
During a pandemic is not the time for arranging large gatherings wherever you are in the world.

J52 Sat 10-Oct-20 09:50:06

I agree it should be his choice. Like many my DH doesn’t do parties.
I know it was in different times, but when DH reached 70 last year, I arranged a month of little treats and surprises that included a short holiday, surprise lunches and dinners with friends and family, and days out.
Perhaps, even in these restricted times some little treats could be arranged.

Calendargirl Sat 10-Oct-20 10:14:25

Seems fairly obvious it’s you who wants a bit of a do.
It’s not your birthday.
Let him have a quiet day, and when it’s your turn, you can have the ‘do’.

Glorybee Sat 10-Oct-20 10:33:57

We’ve made our kids promise there will never be any surprise parties or cruise holidays for us, they know we would be mortified. Maybe your husband is afraid it might turn out to be the dreaded “Surpriiiiiise!”