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Husband that never plans or does anything for you


Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

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Old 17th June 2013, 4:15 PM   #1
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Husband that never plans or does anything for you

I'm feeling rather frustrated and upset, because my husband never plans anything in regards to our anniversary or my birthday. This past year, I planned the whole anniversary and something nice for him on his birthday. However, I know finances are tight, so I told him even just a card and dinner would be fine. But he does absolutely nothing for me. Since we had a big weekend on my birthday and we lacked funds, I told him he doesn't have to worry about a gift or anything until he's paid. Well, that day has come and gone. I am so sick and tired of this and this is one of our many other issues. I'm seriously thinking about separating or getting a divorce once I have a better paying job that will allow me to move out and get my own place. He also can never choose anything for me himself. I told him if I have to pick out my own present, then do not worry about buying a gift as I don't need anything right now. It's not just him wanting me to pick out my own present all the time, it's just the lack of thought in general. He never thinks of anything we could do or plan on our anniversary...I have to do all of it. He gives little input, so him lacking creativity in getting me a gift or doing something for me on my birthday is no surprise.

Last edited by planetpower; 17th June 2013 at 4:18 PM..
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Old 17th June 2013, 4:22 PM   #2
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That's no good. Do you think he doesn't care about you?
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Old 17th June 2013, 4:26 PM   #3
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It really feels that way. I know he's got his own issues right now...but I feel I've been overcompensating and under-appreciated. Even a card and baking me a cake would be fine. SOMETHING. He used to do a lot in our first few years. I don't want him to spend much money, because we're really financially tight, but I'm sure he could think of SOMETHING to do on my birthday. I feel like I've tried to be there a lot for him and not being appreciated just sucks. I don't think he intends this, but the lack of incentive to plan, lack of spontaneity and creativity is just throwing the relationship down the hole for me. It's getting old. He just tells me that I do not tell him what I want for my birthday...and therefore, if I don't, he doesn't do anything for me.
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Old 18th June 2013, 12:53 AM   #4
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It sounds like there are other problems, but this issue is the straw that broke the Carmel's back.
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Old 18th June 2013, 1:09 AM   #5
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Question: Can you provide an example of how he does show love for you and value for your marriage?
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Old 18th June 2013, 6:53 AM   #6
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Since we had a big weekend on my birthday and we lacked funds, I told him he doesn't have to worry about a gift or anything until he's paid. Well, that day has come and gone.
So you had a big weekend on your bday and still need another present that he needs to be paid for to give you?

I have noticed many people are different around these days.. Some women I dated thought they were less of a big deal, and some would be telling me months ahead daily that their bday is coming..Men usually think of these things differently, so if this is the major issue I would cut him some slack. In the end most of the time guys go through these motins and rituals just because they have to.
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Old 18th June 2013, 6:15 PM   #7
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You said you had a "big weekend" for your birthday? Even if the big weekend wasn't specifically for your birthday, I would guess that you and your husband spent a lot of money? Maybe there was very little left over to buy an actual gift?

Sorry to say, but most men are baffled by birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc. They just don't know what to do, so they often do nothing, and then they feel guilty. If you come right out and say, "I would like a new bathrobe", or, "I would like a gold bracelet", or some such, they will be grateful, and will usually go right out and get the item you suggested.

Also you said that expenses are tight? In that case, maybe you should suggest waiting on both of your birthdays until you get some money saved up, and then buy something together that you both want like a new mattress, or down comforter, or maybe a nice watch for each of you?

Finally, you said "he has his own issues right now". Are they serious issues, like he could be somewhat depressed? Maybe he is panicky over finances or afraid of losing his job? Be supportive to him and forget about yourself for now.
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Old 18th June 2013, 8:46 PM   #8
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My husband doesn't normally take an active role in planning activities either, though he never forgets a birthday or holiday. I usually pick three things I would like and my husband chooses something from that group. Other times, he remembers something I said I wanted and buys that.

I have told my husband that I get tired of planning our getaways and dinners. For my last birthday, he chose a lovely restaurant. We are renewing our vows in a couple of years and my husband is more vocal about preferences for that event.

Tell your husband how you feel and what you want. Give him some ideas and let him know that you feel unloved by his lack of planning.
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Old 19th June 2013, 12:34 AM   #9
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You said you had a "big weekend" for your birthday? Even if the big weekend wasn't specifically for your birthday, I would guess that you and your husband spent a lot of money? Maybe there was very little left over to buy an actual gift?
No, it was a party hosed for our graduation. The party wasn't until dinner time and we spent the entire day doing nothing. He decided to play video games and then decided to do his homework later.

It's a constant issue with him. I am always thinking of him. If I am shopping, sometimes I'll pick out something I think he would like and surprise him. Just little things like that here and there. One time I got him something and he literally complained about the gift to my face. I was really hurt. However, he shows little appreciation and only thinks of himself. He'll often treat himself and never offer me anything or maybe pick me up a coffee when he gets himself something. It's not just the birthday or anniversary, it's just that he seems to only think about himself all of the time.
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Old 19th June 2013, 12:38 AM   #10
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My husband doesn't normally take an active role in planning activities either, though he never forgets a birthday or holiday. I usually pick three things I would like and my husband chooses something from that group. Other times, he remembers something I said I wanted and buys that.

I have told my husband that I get tired of planning our getaways and dinners. For my last birthday, he chose a lovely restaurant. We are renewing our vows in a couple of years and my husband is more vocal about preferences for that event.

Tell your husband how you feel and what you want. Give him some ideas and let him know that you feel unloved by his lack of planning.
We recently renewed vows and I was the primary planner of that event. Another issue is that I will give my husband ideas of things I like each time he asks. And each time he says, "But I don't know what you like" even though I've told him the same things each time he asks this question. At this point, it just seems like he's re-using the same excuse. Sometimes, I really do not know what I want. I've told him many times before edible arrangements etc etc. I just wish he'd use some imagination sometimes.
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Old 19th June 2013, 1:12 AM   #11
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We recently renewed vows and I was the primary planner of that event. Another issue is that I will give my husband ideas of things I like each time he asks. And each time he says, "But I don't know what you like" even though I've told him the same things each time he asks this question. At this point, it just seems like he's re-using the same excuse. Sometimes, I really do not know what I want. I've told him many times before edible arrangements etc etc. I just wish he'd use some imagination sometimes.
I am the one who planned our weddingmoon and my husband knows that it annoyed me the way he had no opinion about any of it. I think this is why he has some definite opinions for our vow renewal.

I agree that your husband is just making an excuse. Maybe he thinks that because he has you now, he doesn't have to make any effort. Have a serious talk with your husband.
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Old 19th June 2013, 7:27 AM   #12
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My exH use to do the same thing. I got nothing for our anniversary or my birthday for the last few years we were married. Before we split we were in counseling and I brought this up. Mainly because for me it felt like he just didn't care, not that I wanted material items. He admitted he did it out of spite. This was years ago and we were admittedly having financial issues with house stuff and I explained that I really just wanted a cake or card something like that but in his eyes he wanted to "punish" me. Which was odd to me since we both participated in financial issues in the marriage. Could be he is very stressed about money and this is how he's managing the problem in his mind?
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Old 19th June 2013, 9:44 AM   #13
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I agree that some men are not good at the whole holiday/birthday/event planning thing and don't put much effort in. That's okay as long as they make up for it in other areas such as helping you with something, fixing your car, doing something to make life easier for you, etc.

Men, by nature, are often fixers and this is oftentimes how they show their love. Does your H do anything like that?

If not, he is unlikely to change without some serious action on your part. Men just don't get it sometimes and then are completely baffled as to why their girlfriend/wife leaves them.

This kind of reminds me of that Bruno Mars song about how he should have bought her flowers and held her hand!
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Old 19th June 2013, 2:54 PM   #14
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I'm reminded of the "Love Languages" theory.

Basically, people show love in different ways, and require love in different ways. Some people need physical affection, or words of affirmation & encouragement. It sounds like OP's love language is gifts, and maybe quality time.

Carhill asked how OP's husband shows love and value of the marriage in other ways, but was ignored... but I think it needs to be addressed.

Some people work very hard at work or school, and they do it for their partner/marriage. That is their way of showing love. They feel their sacrifice of time, and their suffering is a good demonstration of love.. effectively an act of service. But if their partner's 'love language' isn't compatible with that.. if they don't feel loved by such things.. then the relationship will suffer.

Now I'm not saying this is OK. Some proponents of the love languages theory feel that if you can identify and understand your partner's language, then you can find a common ground and make necessary efforts. I'm not sure I agree with this because it makes relationships a constant struggle, artificially bridging a gap between 2 potentially incompatible people. Sometimes it works, depending on how adaptive the people are, but sometimes it just isn't worth it.
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