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What would you do if your SO didn't acknowledge your birthday or holidays?


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

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Old 16th December 2017, 10:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cullenbohannon View Post
If he gives you love 360 days a year, then focus on the positive and change the negative. Do the 5 days a year that he falls short, make him a selfish cruel jerk, worthy of dirt? Your needs are important, but is this a impossible situation?

Your question has a answer. Your bf isn't pefect but who is?. There may be a reason he doesn't give gifts that has nothing to do with you. Maybe he never received gifts as a child and had so many disappointments, that he adapted by disassociating. Talk to his family. Your answer may be buried there.

Many will suggest war or seperation. I do not. If you love him, then keep what he is giving you and find a way to get the little bit more. Based on your words, you have something worth working on.

Have a happy Holiday Season.
The OP's boyfriend didn't go with her to see her family on Mother's Day.
He also made rude comment about their newborn baby as if she was a nuisance. This prize also had a bunch of his drunken friends in their home

Whenever the OP becomes emotional about her boyfriend's behavior, he shuts down and refuses to speak to her. He doesn't care about her need to receive gifts.

To top it all off, they have kids together and he won't marry her.

This is not a good man.
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Old 17th December 2017, 3:14 AM   #17
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Hi Becca, you said your son's father is out of the picture. Why is that? Were you married to him or were you in a casual relationship with him which resulted in you having a son and his father doing the disappearing act? What was the reason for you separating from him?

Actually, I am coming round to the belief that people attract the kind of folks that they have relationships with barring one's parents, siblings and children. One's spouse, BF/GF, lovers of the FWB variety and one's circle of friends are all people who one attracts into one's life due to one's own personality traits and the vibes one gives off while around them. If that be the case then your BF is someone who you attracted into your life and vice versa. You already made one wrong choice with your son's father and now it seems that your current BF is also not the right kind of partner for you. Maybe you should look at the possibility of IC to get to the bottom of why you are choosing inappropriate relationships before you do anything else. Your SO, inspite of what you have to say about his being caring and committed and spouting 'I Love Yous' every day, is not really all that and I think deep in your heart you know that. Time you found out where you are going wrong in choosing a mate and the reasons for doing so. Only then will you be able to find someone who makes you truly happy. Warm wishes.
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Old 17th December 2017, 5:42 AM   #18
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Anyhow, I'm just really really shocked that this would be such a big deal to anyone. It clearly does not say anything about how much he loves you, it only goes to show that he doesn't care about bdays and such.
You give gifts to the children BECAUSE you love them and you know just how happy it makes them. You talk about it being because they are 4yo, but I bet that when they are 24 and still really appreciate your thoughtful gifts, you'll still be doing it for them.

And yes, I would totally dump someone who wouldn't celebrate my birthday with me or let me celebrate his. Same with Christmas.
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Old 17th December 2017, 10:33 AM   #19
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The only way I might be able to handle it is going away for my birthday... and making a conscious decision not to be around him and be with people who do think my birthday is special.

By doing that ..... it means I would have to pull myself away from something that was special to him though.

Example... I'm not particularly a fan of giving BJs... I do it because my husband likes/loves it...if he didn't do something that was important for me .. I'd stop.... or he'd be rationed

Not cheating...isn't the worse way to behave in a relationship and numerous other things can constitute a deal breaker for different people.

The fact that you are posting her...shows it's significance.

You aren't okay with it...you're forcing yourself to be.

I also think he should have fessed up about not being the one who bought you the gift the first year.
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Old 21st December 2017, 2:21 AM   #20
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Hi Becca you are not responding to the posts on your thread. Does this mean you have resolved your problems with your husband or you have lost interest in posting anymore? Maybe you ate not getting the answers you want or crave so have decided to go silent. If that be the case your problem will remain unresolved and you will be losing out on the chance to pick the collective brain of the community on LS. Think about it. Warm wishes.
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Old 21st December 2017, 2:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by BettyDraper View Post
The OP's boyfriend didn't go with her to see her family on Mother's Day.
He also made rude comment about their newborn baby as if she was a nuisance. This prize also had a bunch of his drunken friends in their home

Whenever the OP becomes emotional about her boyfriend's behavior, he shuts down and refuses to speak to her. He doesn't care about her need to receive gifts.

To top it all off, they have kids together and he won't marry her.

This is not a good man.
He sounds like a man-child not a husband nor a father! He puts himself and his needs above yours and the baby. His communication skills are poor and he certainly doesn't 'hear' what is important to you. Well, he hears it but doesn't care enough to put the effort in to get you anything for your birthday.

Fine if he doesn't celebrate his, but when it comes to you and especially the baby he has to put more effort in. Obviously he's capable of it since he thinks of his sister and buys her stuff.

Time to get to counseling with him.
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Old 21st December 2017, 4:58 AM   #22
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Fast forward now another 7 months to this birthday. I asked him to celebrate it. I begged him to do something. I told him how it hurts me when he doesn't even get me so much as a card. It fell on a Monday and he had to work. He warned me in advance he probably would not feel up to going out to dinner or anything. I was more than fine with a quiet evening at home together. The night before, around 10pm, he asked, "Is it 'your day' yet?", and then, around midnight, he tried to get frisky saying, "Well it IS your birthday now". I didn't turn him down. At the time it seemed cute, however considering the following day, my actual birthday, he came home from work empty handed without even so much as a "happy birthday" and a kiss, now it kind of bugs me more just because I KNOW he knows what day it is. He just chooses not to make it anything special for me. He didn't even hang out with me. I was in the house with the kids and he got home with a 6 pack, took it outside, and sat out there for hours. He didn't even offer me a beer and I didn't see him until I was going to bed. He actually seemed pretty grumpy, enough so that I asked him what was wrong and he told me I was stupid for assuming anything was wrong, mocked me a bit, then went quiet. So, to bed alone I went (the night prior he'd been super sweet and I never quite understand the one extreme to the other moods from day to day).
Yes, this would bother me too. I personally don't always enjoy getting gifts for someone, especially if it's at a very busy time of the year, but I would still NEVER miss my SO's birthday. I mean, jesus, it's just one day a year that he has to make it about you and not him... and yet he can't do that? Can't even talk to you about how he can do better next year? That, in my opinion, indicates a larger issue with his personality and unwillingness to compromise even on a rare occasion. I also agree with the others that there are other red flags in this relationship beyond just occasions.

That being said... regarding the topic, if you decide to stay with him anyway or if he actually changes and demonstrates willingness to try and do better, I'd start small in this regard. Expecting something for birthday, Christmas (despite being 2 weeks apart), Valentines' Day AND Mothers' Day might be a bit much for someone who is averse to celebrating occasions. I would admittedly feel drained if I was expected to get gifts for the SO 4 times a year. Perhaps just pick 2 out of the 4 (birthday and Mothers' Day?) and see if that works out better?
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Old 21st December 2017, 8:13 AM   #23
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I don't understand why this is such a difficult thing for him. It sounds like you'd be happy if he just brought you breakfast in bed.

This is a need of yours. it's important to you. How would he feel if you suddenly decided that you would stop showing him you love hm in ways that matter to him?

I'm not sure I would see this a grounds to break up with him, but I do see it as part of a larger issue of him invalidating your needs because he doesn't share them.

Is it possible he just doesn't understand how important this is to you? Have you tried explaining that to him and asking him how he would feel in your shoes? For example, if he sees you wanting to be intimate with him as a sign of your love for him, how would he feel if you decided you didn't want to do that anymore?

btw, I remember those days well when money was tight and dollar store/ homemade gifts were all we could afford. It was the thought that mattered. One year, my husband bought me a bunch of little items and made up a scavenger hunt in our crappy apartment for me, and each gift was small, but thoughtful. That was so sweet, and it made me feel like I mattered enough to him to go to the trouble of setting it all up. Is that the feeling you are looking for?
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Old 21st December 2017, 8:17 AM   #24
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You give gifts to the children BECAUSE you love them and you know just how happy it makes them. You talk about it being because they are 4yo, but I bet that when they are 24 and still really appreciate your thoughtful gifts, you'll still be doing it for them.

And yes, I would totally dump someone who wouldn't celebrate my birthday with me or let me celebrate his. Same with Christmas.
I have a feeling that, tot he op, she sees acts of service, no matter how small, for her special days as a sign of love.

These are special things, not borne out of duty but of love.

it's sad how some will minimize this. if she ignored is needs if they didn't matter to her would they be so quick to brush it off as not being important?
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Old 21st December 2017, 5:15 PM   #25
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There has to be some underlying story here, I've never met anyone in my life that didn't acknowledge their significant others birthday. I am thinking there must be something in his past that makes him this way about holidays and a good therapist could get to the bottom of it.

Upbringing can have a lot to do with it, when I was growing up my family never made much of a deal about Mothers/Fathers day. I mean my sister and I might make something in school, a card or what not, but my Dad's attitude was kind of "shes not my mother why do I need to get her something" strange to some folks but that's how he was about that. He did make a big deal out of her birthday every year so I guess that offset things. Subsequently I never thought much about Mothers Day in regards to my own wives, it didn't matter to my first wife but boy howdy you can be sure my second wife noticed and since I have made a bit more of an effort on her behalf.

I also mentioned in a different thread that my wife isn't a very good gift giver, she is a very practical person and seems to assume everyone else is or at least they should be. She is the kind of person that gives you a package of underwear for Christmas because everyone needs it. I asked her what she wanted for Christmas one year and her big wish was for towels for the bathroom or maybe a new trashcan for the kitchen. I really wowed her the year I bought her a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas, it was better than a diamond ring in her eyes. Of course this is a woman who purposely wanted a plain gold band for a wedding ring because "diamonds are a frivolous waste" and "a woman just wants an expensive ring so they can brag they were worth it, it says more about them then the importance of what it represents"

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Old 21st December 2017, 6:28 PM   #26
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Been there, done that. I'm not interested in being taken for granted and I never intend to make my spouse feel that way. I was in a long-term relationship with someone like your SO before I met my husband, and it was one of many reasons that I ended it.

Some people are not natural gift-givers/celebrators/whatever. That's okay. What's not okay is being told by your SO how much it means to him/her, and then continuing to put forth no effort.

You have been with this man for so long, I highly doubt he'll change now. Your staying with him has shown him that his behavior is acceptable to you.
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Old 24th December 2017, 4:45 PM   #27
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What would bother me about this man (a lot!) is that you have communicated to him what it means to you, you cried, you were and are miserable because he cannot buy a simple card and say "happy birthday" and he is still doing it time after time after time!!! Horrible. It wouldn't cost him much, would it? And it would mean much to you and your relationship. He just doesn't really care about how you feel. He should. You are together and you are a mother of his child. He supposed to protect your feelings, and this is so easy to fix.

Sounds like something a covert narcissist or a sociopath would do. They can generally pretend to be nice and affectionate, but like to play and hurt your feelings. Be very careful, and if you are that miserable, do what you feel like doing even if it is leaving him.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 12:15 PM   #28
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This situation is very complicated. I hope that you were able to enjoy your holiday. I have also heard of the book called the Five Love Languages. Perhaps, you both can read it together and explore the reasons that he does not acknowledge or give gifts. I can't imagine that he is really giving and kind in other ways.


I have a friend who would call people on their birthday, but would never just say Happy Birthday. When I asked why she did that, she said that she wanted to be different. Now, when it is her birthday, I take the same position, and simply don't acknowledge her birthday. I took her out of the position of good friend and reclassified her as a casual friend. She had a 50th birthday party and fortunately I was in Italy at the time. I sent her a card acknowledging the occasion and left it at that. Perhaps, you should just meet your SO where he is and down play his birthday and special occasions.
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