Gift issues and hurt feelings

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2005
Gift issues and hurt feelings
6
Sun, 12-27-2009 - 4:18pm

Hi,
I'd like your honest assessment here. I am wondering if I am being petty or whining.

We've been married for about 6 months and I learned that I would have an early pregnancy miscarriage about a week before Christmas. We hadn't announced the pregnancy to family and decided to wait until the second trimester to see if it was a keeper.

None the less, I opened a host of oversized and maternity clothes from my husband in front of his family yesterday. I was very hurt that my DH didn't take the maternity and XXL things out of the Christmas pile. (I'm a medium sized person)

He asks for extravagant things for birthdays and Holidays and I always get him the top of the line in what he asks for, this year a $600 tool for his work shop. We buy practical gifts because we have a small apartment.

I asked for a few nice things that would cost less that $50 each, and he gets the cheapest versions that he can find that don't have the features I require, so I have to take them back and get things that will work. I do tell him in advance the details about what I need and in a written list at his request.

If I get myself things that I need, he becomes angry because I am not leaving anything for him to get me.

He's pouting now, because he is taking the maternity clothes back, so I have some space to my self and can write this.

I feel like a real complainer and feel very guilty.

I am thinking of suggesting that we limit gifts to $20 or something next year so the issues don't come up. Do you think that might be a good Idea?

Am I expecting too much of him? Should I keep the things that won't work and buy things that will, too, so he doesn't feel bad?

Thanks kindly for your honest appraisal.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Sun, 12-27-2009 - 5:36pm

Im sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 12-27-2009 - 8:05pm
Welcome to the board, Ubersilly ~

I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. This is such a difficult time for you, it's a difficult thing to get through.

I don't think you're being petty at all. I don't think keeping gifts that don't work make any sense, and doing so would only assure that you continue to get those kinds of gifts from him. I also think it was incredibly insensitive of him not to have pulled the maternity items, even if it meant opening every wrapped gift to assure he got the right ones pulled. To me, this is true whether you were opening in front of family or not, but having you open these in front of people you would then have to explain them to is incredible. I'm thinking his lack of consideration didn't put him in a good light with anyone who was there.

Something I'm wondering though, you mentioned that he always asks for extravagant things and you always get him high end items. That suggests this is far from the first gift exchange the two of you have been through. Are the gifts he gave you a good representative of what he typically gives you as gifts? Also, when he buys for himself, what does he typically purchase? High end or low end?

Thanks in advance for your answers ~









"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


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"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2005
Mon, 12-28-2009 - 8:35am

For gifts he usually buys me very nice things that he would like if I gave them to him. Top quality, but not things that I asked for. That's why he asked for a list from me this year, so he could get things that I wanted. Yes, he buys himself the very best of things. We both have good jobs and spend within our means, that's not at issue.

He's a wonderful guy generally, he loves helping other people like the elderly neighbors and friends, but sometimes, I feel neglected and wishing that he was helping me instead. Last time he "helped" me, he was clearing brush and accidentally but his chainsaw through a wooden kayak that I built by hand before we met. I was furious. Now he says he'll never help me again.

When he does careless things like that he becomes angry if I react because they were accidents and he didn't mean things by them. I sincerely believe that if he were thoughtful that some of these things could be avoided with care.

ANy way, I appreciate your words. He felt a little better last night after spending it on the phone with his mom and sister and leaving me in front of the TV with the movie he picked. Sigh...

I think I'm just going to give him space for a few days and take care of myself while this miscarriage runs its course. I don't have the energy to try to make peace with him right now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Mon, 12-28-2009 - 10:34am

I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage; that is a terible experience to have to endure.

I have no idea why your husband made you open the maternity clothes in front of the family, except that a miscarriage is hard on a man, too, and he probably wanted to be able to talk about it with his parents and siblings. He may have disagreed with you about keeping the pregnancy a secret, and having you unwrap the clothes would bring things out in the open without his having to say anything.

I agree that your husband is insensitive and self-absorbed. I think he also won't own his anger, so "accidents" happen, although you may never get him to admit it. It's a passive-aggressive kind of behavior--infuriating, but (at least in small doses) not something to divorce him over. I am proof that you can survive a marriage with a man like your husband: my husband and I will celebrate 38 years of marriage next month. He has done all kinds of crazy things (one year he threw away all the Christmas decorations), but the good times have outweighed the bad ones.

Knowing that he is likely to display passive aggressive behavior may help you to head it off in advance. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 12-28-2009 - 3:48pm
It sounds like the kinds of gifts he gave you this year are completely different than his usual style, quality-wise. Is it possible he was trying to replicate the kind of quality you usually purchase for yourself, or do you usually purchase quality items for yourself?

Geo has a good point about this possibly being a passive-aggressive move due to his feelings about the secrecy. Do you think what she suggests is possible?

Leaving you alone with a movie while he talks to his mother and sister...that again sounds like unusual behavior for him, yes?

Personally, I think giving him a few days space is probably a good thing, but it would definitely be something I would discuss with him after that space.










"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


Photobucket











"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2006
Tue, 12-29-2009 - 5:50pm

Hi, I'm confused. Did he give you maternity clothes in front of his family, who didn't know you were pregnant to begin with, even after you miscarried?

If that is true (please clarify if the prenancy is still viable), I am so sorry for you and at the very least this was insensitive of him. Was there some reason he didn't pull these presents, such as feeling embarrassed not to have bought you enough? I'm not suggesting that this is an excuse, but it would explain his actions at least a little bit.

I do not think that you should keep gifts that you will not use; I'm assuming you tell him this nicely, but he is not receptive.