Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Birthday blues

(64 Posts)
Silverlady79 Fri 24-Aug-18 09:52:28

It was my birthday last month and we were away. We got up fairly quietly and had breakfast and it was only after breakfast that I sort of breakdown and said you haven’t even said happy birthday. He then gave me a card which in fact is when I bought and stored away. There was no present as per usual. Now it’s his birthday soon and I’m feeling so hurt that I sort of want to either overcompensate or do the same to him as he does to me. I don’t want to be childish but it’s so nice to have a little fuss made of you on your birthday. Maybe I just need to put on my big girl panties and accept that he is not the most romantic man but he is very kind

Granny23 Fri 24-Aug-18 10:01:51

Don't mention his Birthday in advance or give him a card over breakfast. Then at T time produce a big cake, card and present. He will probably not get the message but you will feel you have made your point.

MawBroon Fri 24-Aug-18 10:10:49

I totally sympathise Silverlady
After DH became ill and not able to get out by himself, he never sent me a card and I usually had to choose myself a present.
One year I petitioned a DD to “organise” him - but no gift wrap, the Cath Kidston handbag was given in the wrapping it had arrived in. Another year I chose and bought the watch at JL by myself sad I even once put a selection of cards in his desk one year - he wrote me all 3.
Reluctantly I realised that he no longer “did” birthdays. His mother never remembered them and his sisters will cheerfully send me a card a week or more late.
But it is hurtful.
Coping Strategies? Wish I’d thought of more, but maybe one thing is to say “Look you obviously don’t really do birthdays so why don’t we just treat ourselves to a joint present-such as a mini- break, a night out, a holiday”( all according to budget.)
You could then make a joke of it by saying you will still expect flowers and a card.
DH’s last birthday was his 70th last September and when I asked him earlier in the year what he would like for his 70th, he replied “To see it”
Well he made it home for his birthday, but only lived 6 weeks after it.
My 70th this year ? Well no disappointment at the absence of card or present, just sad at the absence of my husband.
Happy Birthday Silverlady try not to judge him too harshly, but for you flowers

bikergran Fri 24-Aug-18 10:53:51

I feel for you all maw who don't receive cards from loved ones have always been important to me more than any present. My dh always gave me lovely card and when he wasn't well enough to go out any more he would ask dds to buy one for him and some flowers. (we used to smile as I could always hear the rustle of the flowers as they tried to sneak them in the house)

I always keep the last cards then replace them when the next years card arrives as I know(knew) that one day it would be the last card .

jenpax Fri 24-Aug-18 10:59:56

I must admit I would be hurt by this😱 and would tell him that it had hurt me.
For me it’s a question of respect.what may not be important to me might be important to him, and so on,but both should be respected in a relationship. If my partner doesn’t “do” birthdays but I do then I would hope he would make an effort for my sake at least

Auntieflo Fri 24-Aug-18 11:48:09

My DH is another who, unless reminded by DD, would never remember birthdays and anniversaries now. He used to buy big boxed cards, that were a bit OTT, but at least he remembered. A while ago, when we both forgot an anniversary, we went together and chose a card that we both liked. So, every year since, this card gets resurrected and given to one another. Saying that, I don't know where it is at the moment, and our anniversary is very early next month. 😱

goldengirl Fri 24-Aug-18 11:48:58

As someone who loathes her birthdays but puts on a brave face because everyone else thinks they have to be hale and hearty I would feel relief! Oh dear. I sound a right misery - but perhaps I am confused. I quite enjoy buying presents for family birthdays and friends though. I just find having the attention focused on me to be embarrassing.

Jane10 Fri 24-Aug-18 11:58:43

My DD kicks my DH into touch re birthdays. It's not that he's bad or stingy he just doesn't think about it.
For my 40th (all those years ago) he gave me an unwrapped copy of Prince Charles' biography with the price sticker still on! Meanwhile my friends at work went kindly OTT and I had a lovely day.

FlexibleFriend Fri 24-Aug-18 12:04:22

It was my Birthday on the 21st and only my eldest Son remembered to wish me happy birthday. I must admit we're not big on birthdays etc and never make much of a fuss. I'd do what he did to you give him a card and see what he says. Maybe he feels the same way I do, or maybe he'll take notice of hurting your feelings. If you feel hurt you should mention it in a polite non confrontational way and hopefully he'll take note.

franjess2000 Fri 24-Aug-18 12:06:14

Men are not mind readers. A couple of weeks before your birthday remind him and tell him what you want. I give mine a list so that if other people ask him what I want he has some ideas.

That way you are not upset, won't be disappointed with your present and he knows that you want something.

M0nica Fri 24-Aug-18 12:12:35

People are as they come. I have just had a birthday, no card as ever, DH never does buy cards. The surprise was that he bought me a present that I hadn't specifically asked for in advance, although I had seen it and expressed an interest.

We have been married 50 years, he has always been like this and I am not remotely bothered. That is how he is and has always been. I expect I deeply disappoint at times, without really realising it.

Dolcelatte Fri 24-Aug-18 13:41:38

Some men are just not imaginative or good at surprises. Tell him what you want or agree a joint present, something lovely you both want or a holiday or whatever. And book a nice restaurant for dinner on the day and put it on the calendar so he can’t possibly forget. He clearly loves you, which is more important than gifts, but you need to give him a nudge rather than suffering in silence.

cornergran Fri 24-Aug-18 13:50:20

Relationships evolve and of course we’re all different in our expectations. Mr C and I tend to manage a card and sometimes a meal for our birthdays, we gave up on gifts some years ago. What truly bugs me is the family (sons) ‘forgetting’ to send me a card but always remembering Mr C’s birthday. Why? No, they don’t hate me it’s because I remind them about Mr C’s and it doesn’t occur to him to do the same. There are lots of suggestions for you silverlady, I won’t add to them except to say go with your heart and try not to leave yourself feeling unhappy with your behaviour.

OldMeg Fri 24-Aug-18 14:56:02

Sorry but that’s not on in my book. If he’s ok with that for your birthday then he’ll have to be ok with the same for his, except hand him the card over breakfast without him having to remind you.

Yes, a card and a smile. No more, no less.

Why is it always women who have to don the ‘big girl knickers’? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander Sikverlady

Sweetie222 Fri 24-Aug-18 15:53:17

Hiya Silverlady ... if your husband is otherwise kind and good to you perhaps just let it go. I say this as someone who had the most loving cards and thoughtful presents from my husband ... until the day he announced he was leaving!

Bluegal Fri 24-Aug-18 23:27:12

sweetie22. Laughed at your post but guess serious message in there? Does it all really matter?

Willow500 Sat 25-Aug-18 06:35:17

I guess I would be a bit hurt that he obviously hadn't bothered too much and had to be prompted but in the grand scheme of things is it such a big deal? You were away on presumably a nice holiday so had he arranged that in lieu?

I must admit I'm not great on birthdays - as mine is the day before our wedding anniversary my husband has never forgotten and always gives me a card and flowers but his is early Jan and although I give him a card more often than not there's no present as I've been that busy preparing for Christmas I've not had chance to think about it. Our eldest son never forgets (no doubt it's my DiL who does all the card/present buying) and always sends a message but the youngest and his wife have never done cards or presents - he will now try to get the children to video a message which is often very funny and worth far more than a card.

loopyloo Sat 25-Aug-18 07:40:18

I think on balance the courtesy you show every day is the important thing rather than the splashing out on a special occasion.
I tell myself that frequently. But a treat is always nice.

Marydoll Sat 25-Aug-18 07:53:08

I now realise how fortunate I am. My husband has never forgotten my birthday in all our married life. Over the years there have been some lovely presents.
He has made a " big thing" of special birthdays, with beautiful jewellery or trips away.
My children never forget either.
I didn't realise so many families didn't "do" birthdays, I know I would be hurt if my family forgot.
As a child, my own mother never really bothered about my birthday, so that's probably why I still get excited and not in a mercenary way.

Liz46 Sat 25-Aug-18 07:56:03

My husband does not 'do' birthdays. He says that, if I want something I will just have to tell him exactly what it is and he will buy it. I have been quite ill for the last couple of years and he has been so kind and patient. That is what is important.

Grandma70s Sat 25-Aug-18 08:18:21

I don’t think birthdays are very important once childhood is past. Nobody in my family has ever forgotten my birthday, though I don’t want fuss or presents. I wish my sons would stop sending me presents they can ill afford, because a card and a phone call are enough.

If anyone’s going to forget birthdays, it will probably be me. I sometimes have to kick myself into remembering my children’s birthdays (never quite forgotten yet!), but have no trouble with my grandchildren, who are still young enough for birthdays to be very important.

GabriellaG Sat 25-Aug-18 09:39:25

Getting wound up, miffed, put out, when you don't get a birthday/ anniversary/Christmas card, is laughable. It's one day out of hundreds. It's even weirder to buy your own present or to get your AC to buy one on behalf of your OH for him to present to you.
You couldn't make it up.

MawBroon Sat 25-Aug-18 09:49:19

It’s not laughable GabriellaG it can be very hurtful as these (little) gestures are all part of what makes up a caring relationship. Granted, it need not be serious as love is much more than romantic gestures- think of that wonderful song from “Fiddler on the Roof” Do I Love You?
But it is understandable and good to feel a bit special is it not?

MawBroon Sat 25-Aug-18 09:54:50

Should be “Do I Love You”

Says it all really, and it’s nice to know
So yes, you could make it up and why be so dismissive?

MawBroon Sat 25-Aug-18 09:55:31

Still can’t get it right
“Do You Love Me” blush