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Awful presents

(127 Posts)
Quizzer Sun 22-Nov-20 14:05:35

I know I shouldn’t let this get me down but it does every year. Men can be notoriously bad at buying presents but my husband has got it down to a fine art! Gifts in the past have included a telephoto lens for HIS camera and the traditional new vacuum cleaner of a type I don't like.
Three years ago he topped it all. We were spending Christmas Day day with DS and his in-laws. DH produced a small box, badly wrapped, which he gave me with great ceremony. Knowing his past history I was a little worried but couldn’t believe what was inside. It was a pretty "sapphire and diamond" ring. Nice, however it was the ring that I had bought for myself from Argos' sale 3 months earlier and had already worn. He taken it it from my jewellery box and wrapped it up. Because of the company we were in I said nothing at the time, just closed the box. Later he said that he would pay for the ring for me. I said "Great, you owe me £12.99". The ring was just cheap costume jewellery, never bought myself expensive jewellery. I couldn’t ever wear it again so it went to the charity shop. Since then I have received no presents for birthday or Christmas as apparently I am difficult and ungrateful. I just feel miserable and unappreciated.

25Avalon Sun 22-Nov-20 14:15:03

Why don’t you buy a present you would like, hand it over to him, without wearing or using it and tell him THIS is what you would like for birthday/Christmas? Get him to pay for it, wrap it up and give it to you. I have occasionally done this with dh when he is stuck for ideas but he would never do what your dh has done.
Another idea why not buy a ring you like and give it to him as his present? Fight fire with fire.

B9exchange Sun 22-Nov-20 14:15:17

That one really does take the biscuit, rummaging in your jewellery box and giving you something from it as your present -I suppose at least he thought he was getting you something you really liked! I blame his upbringing! 😂

Have you tried sitting down with him and explaining what would give you pleasure? Ask him for a reset on present giving, request a short list of things he would enjoy receiving, and then give him your list for your presents. Then if he manages to buy something off it, praise him hugely, no matter how badly it is wrapped. 😃

Grannynannywanny Sun 22-Nov-20 14:15:38

Later he said that he would pay for the ring for me. I said "Great, you owe me £12.99"

Quizzer you missed your chance. You should have added a zero onto the price!

Blossoming Sun 22-Nov-20 14:21:55

Send him your Amazon wish list.

Nortsat Sun 22-Nov-20 14:25:29

Quizzer I too wonder whether you could have a gentle conversation with your husband, giving him some options for gifts that you would like to receive.
Does he understand that his behaviour is hurtful to you?

It has taken me years to get my partner to buy things I like.

Or perhaps you could forgo gifts and go out for a nice meal together (even if you have to book the table...)

It’s a difficult situation for you and I hope things improve. 💐

Grannybags Sun 22-Nov-20 15:44:04

My husband is rubbish at buying presents. Even when I tell him what I would like he still gets it wrong!

Now we don't bother to buy each other Birthday or Christmas gifts but buy things we like/need during the year.

It saves all that disappointment!

Nonogran Sun 22-Nov-20 15:48:39

Oh dear Quizzer, I can imagine your pain, frustration, vexation & sheer disbelief that anyone, let alone your DH could think such behaviour is acceptable.
Here's a huge bouquet of the most beautiful flowers I can give you with a big hug too. flowers xx

paddyanne Sun 22-Nov-20 15:52:24

I've usually got a list of books and music cd's I want so he picks something from that and adds some nice wine or Brandy and a bottle of perfume and hes done

Namsnanny Sun 22-Nov-20 16:07:44


Oh dear Quizzer, I can imagine your pain, frustration, vexation & sheer disbelief that anyone, let alone your DH could think such behaviour is acceptable.
Here's a huge bouquet of the most beautiful flowers I can give you with a big hug too. flowers xx

This reply would get my vote, (well done Nonogran).

For the simple reason that if Quizzers husband is still doing this after being together for what I imagine is some time, it doesnt look likely that he will have a 'lightbulb' moment anytime soon.

I've not had the re wrapped already bought scenario, but present giving has never been done with emotional generosity by my H either, so you have my sympathy.

I think I would have shown him up in front of the family by making a joke and saying
'I wondered why I couldnt find this ring, it was because you had it!!
Did you forget to buy me something?'

I buy things I like for myself but I would love to have something bought with care to cherish down the years.

Daddima Sun 22-Nov-20 16:14:13

I long ago suggested to the Bodach that our Christmas holiday was our gift to each other. He used to buy me jewellery which was not really my taste, but I wore it so as not to hurt his feelings, so he thought that was my taste, and bought more of the same!
He knew the names of perfumes I liked, so that was my birthday sorted.

Madgran77 Sun 22-Nov-20 16:15:33

We agree something nice to do as a combined present for each other...fancy meal, theatre trip or whatever. Saves a lot of hassle and we have a nice day out!

silverlining48 Sun 22-Nov-20 16:18:06

We havnt exchanged gifts for some years now. We say the holiday or meal out is our ‘ present ‘ to each other. It’s easier.

Hithere Sun 22-Nov-20 16:25:00


It is not a "men's thing", it is a mean, inconsiderate, selfish, rude... thing.

I bet he also mistreats you in other ways.

Put a stop to it, you deserve way better than this

Jane10 Sun 22-Nov-20 16:34:40

Quizzer- that's horrifying!

Lilypops Sun 22-Nov-20 16:40:09

I choose what I would like for xmas, order online then I give it to my DH straight from the postman. for him to wrap and “surprise” me with, I don’t mind doing this at all , I get just what I want , as I have had some presents I really didn’t like in the past,
After 52 years of marriage, I am past “ surprises” that are a waste of money and end up not being used/ worn

PollyDolly Sun 22-Nov-20 16:40:31

My OH and I write a list for each other; I've done my list and A****n have made two recent deliveries which were hastily hidden. However, OH has not done his list yet so I've nothing to go on as far as his present is concerned. At this rate it will be a sweater when M&S opens, his favourite chocolate and some little treats as well as a jigsaw puzzle. Might treat him to Monopoly too as I like playing 😂😂😂

Feelingmyage55 Sun 22-Nov-20 17:08:06

My DH is similar but over the years of continuing to give him the right present and my daughter doing the same he has finally been slightly improved. However he has a redeeming feature. If I would like a new sewing machine or hobby item, he buys me what I want, always upgrades and won’t keep me waiting til the special occasion. It is his way and something to do with how his family gave gifts and “measured” the value and showiness of them. I have pulled his leg on occasion, when his reply to what he wants is “nothing I need” and said I’ll just buy myself something and given it to him on the day. Our quirky sense of humour accommodates this. My MIL would be spitting nails but my DH is so kind to me, our children and the extended family in so many other ways that I eventually came to accommodate it. If your DH is like that maybe you can become reconciled, if not I am sure there will be lots of sensible and helpful ideas.

Feelingmyage55 Sun 22-Nov-20 17:09:26

HiThere. Jumping to conclusions?

NanaandGrampy Sun 22-Nov-20 17:41:39

I’ve never heard the like of it Quizzer I would be equally hurt. When they say it’s the thought that counts, your DH clearly shows he puts no thought in at all!!

My suggestion buy everything you want ! Wrap it , sign it from your DH and enjoy getting gifts you want for once.

But I did like the suggestion of buying your DH things you want ! 😁😁 that’s karma !

Deedaa Sun 22-Nov-20 21:39:13

DH used to be awful with presents. He wouldn't buy me anything I asked for as then it wouldn't be a surprise! Instead he would spend more than we could really afford on things I didn't really like or need. Cracked it in the end by telling DD what I wanted. She would then drop hints "I saw something in town today that I think Mum would really like" Much less money wasted after that!

etheltbags1 Sun 22-Nov-20 21:48:20

My late husband gave me a clock one day, its still on mywall today, I also got a vile ornament made from coal, a mixer etc. Therefore for a few years we decided not to give each other, much easier. We only gave presents for birthdays which meant I got flowers and chocolate, much better, I would give him cigars and chocolate. If there was a partner in my life I would just agree to pass on Christmas presents

Daddima Mon 23-Nov-20 10:26:49



It is not a "men's thing", it is a mean, inconsiderate, selfish, rude... thing.

I bet he also mistreats you in other ways.

Put a stop to it, you deserve way better than this

Oh dear, a wee bit harsh, don’t you think?

Ngaio1 Mon 23-Nov-20 10:31:57

uOne year i received a plastic multi coloured poncho, a plastic holder for cassette tapes, an oven cleaner and an aerosol of polish. All came from one of the give away catalogues given in Daily Paper.

Hithere Mon 23-Nov-20 13:29:45


The concept of harsh in this board = I am reading something I do not agree with.
Yes, I am a straight forward person.

What is harsh is the reality that his partner has so little regard for the OP.

A partner who is supposed to love you and try to make you happy. Instead, he treats you like less than an afterthought.
Why do women put up with this?

And the saddest thing of all - it is justified as a "men's" thing instead of calling it like it is - a bad companion. Another chauvinistic of our society, letting men get away with murder.
If OP's partner was a woman, the comments here would crucify her.