pity party for one please...ugh!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2008
pity party for one please...ugh!
Tue, 12-17-2013 - 10:09pm

I need a moment to get this off my chest. I am married, one child, we do not want anymore and have been together 11 years. Recently it was my birthday, a big one at that. He has never been one to celebrate and I am ok with this but was hopeful this year I wouldn't be buying my own cake. Maybe I thought too much into it being hopeful. The day comes, he leaves me a note on the table saying happy birthday and he loves me and leaves for work. Our child wishes me a happy birthday as well and goes to school. None of my coworkers realize it is my birthday, I do though receive 2 birthday calls my my fAther and in laws. I get home, hoping again for something only to find n nothing. No card, dinner, hug. Nothing. I am a bit aggravate by this and our child now can tell. After all said and done, I received a card. Nice but not what I needed. I really feel saddened by this. I realize it is a pity party and I hate being this way but am I overreacting? I do everything to keep this house rolling, work full time,  do all the activities with our child, groceries,etc and I get myself a cake. Seriously, I don't know how to bring it up without sounding like a baby but I need to say something otherwise my mood will only get worse. Any ideas? I am just so angry by his lack or caring and angry he made no effort to get something from our child to me as well. I just recently had surgery which I am sure has made him a bit on edge due to no intimacy for a while but as soon as we were able to be intimate again it wasn't the same. No spark.is it bc I am angry??!! Stressed out! Like I said in the header...pity party for one. Yell

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 12-17-2013 - 11:40pm

You've been together 11 years, so I'm assuming you've had a birthday or two during that time.  Your child is old enough to get himself to school, so he has experienced a few of his parents'  and grandparents' birthdays also.  So, during that time, have you TOLD your husband that it hurts when he doesn't get you a cake or gift?  Does your child see you get your husband, your father, and him, cakes, cards and gifts?  Have you required your child to get cards and gifts for his father and his grandparents?  He should have been taught to do so since he was old enough to understand the concept.  Even when he had no money, he should have been taught to make a card including a "gift" of time and effort.  "Dear Dad.  Happy Birthday, and I love you.  My gift is to mow the lawn (walk the dog, take out the garbage, clean the garage, etc...) without being asked, 4 weeks in a row."  "Dear Grandpa.  Happy Birthday!  I miss you, and am coming over to spend time with you on your birthday."  Once he had an allowance,you should have made sure he got a gift of SOME KIND for ALL the people in his life.  If you get gifts, and make special rememberances for all the family and friends in your life, and and make sure your chilkd does also, and NO ONE reciprocates, then there is a BIG problem.  You need to open your mouth, and ask WHY.  If, on the other hand, you do not go out of your way,  have allowed your child to do ignore family special days, and have not told your husband that it is ignorant and unfeeling when he ignores your special days, then it is you who have created this monster, and it is up to you to fix it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Wed, 12-18-2013 - 12:16am

No, you're not overreacting.  Shame on your husband!  Do you make any kind of fuss over his birthday?  If not, why not?  Payback?  Shame on your husband, because it's really HIS job to teach your "child" to celebrate and do something nice for Mom on her birthday.  If it's a boy, even MORE important.......but even if it's a girl.  If you make a big deal out of Grandma & Grandpas birthdays, any other friends and relatives.....it's STILL not the same as Daddy taking him/her shopping, picking out a card, etc.  Maybe you should even tell him that's what he should do so that the child will learn the value and happiness of making a loved one happy.  Many men come from homes where birthdays aren't a big deal......so they have to be taught.  Instead of being angry and having a pity party.......sit him down and tell him that you're hurt, that your child is not learning the joy of making Mommy happy, and that you want things to change.  Christmas is almost here, it's a good time for him to take the child shopping for a gift for you.  And a Belated Happy Birthday to you, too! 

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Wed, 12-18-2013 - 12:17am

 You do have to communicate these things.  People have different preferances.  People are not mind readers.  After 11 years they have been conditioned that it is the way it is .  Now you must communicate to them it has changed.  With enough forewarning.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 12-18-2013 - 2:32pm

If your DH hasn't celebrated your BD (except for maybe a card) in 11 yrs and you haven't said anything, then he probably thinks it's just fine with you.  I would have spoken up the first year.  I remember when my DD was maybe 1, I got really mad at my DH (now ex) because I was sick, he went out & played baseball and left me home alone all day w/ her on Mother's Day--I told him off when he got home and he said something like "well you're not my mother."  I said yes, but our child is a baby--obviously she can't go to the store & buy me a card by herself and it's your job to do that.  Believe me, even after we got divorced he took our kids and made sure they bought me gifts for Mother's Day, birthday & christmas until they were old enough to get things on their own--and I did the same for him.  I would really even remind my kids that my birthday was coming up--not too subtle, but you do want them to get the idea that it's not all about them and they need to do things for other people too.  Now my kids are grown & they are good at always remembering to buy gifts.  I do think that different families might not make a big deal about birthdays--there are 6 kids in my ex's family & I don't remember him ever getting a birthday card from any of his brothers & sisters except one.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Wed, 12-18-2013 - 4:17pm

The most telling part of your post was when you wrote "He has never been one to celebrate and I am ok with this but was hopeful this year I wouldn't be buying my own cake."  Why, if you have been okay with it for 11 years, would he suddenly realize *this* was the year you would not be?  You have got to communicate your feelings (your TRUE feelings) to your husband...I have a feeling it's really *not* been okay all these years and you've been pushing those feelings aside.  That they came out this year tells me that you are really unhappy about the situation, and the lack of intimacy with your hubby also says a great deal.  How can you be loving toward someone you feel does not value you?  I wonder if this is the only issue with communication you have with your husband, or if you have been going along all these years letting things slide that really bother you?  Start talking, and don't stop!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 12:34pm

You aren't overreacting, though as others have said, if you've put up with it without comment for 11 years, then your expectations were unfortunately misaligned with reality.  That's easier said than experienced, I know. Gift-giving is fraught with emotions for both the giver and the receiver.  Being upset over having been neglected on a major occasion doesn't make you a baby; it makes him rather selfish.

My DH believes, and rightly so, that all the things he does for me during the year are more important than flowers on Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.  However, he learned very early on, during our second Valentine's Day in 1984 when he did not send flowers to my office, that this belief does not sustain a girlfriend's affection when every other woman in the office is receiving roses from her SO on Valentine's Day.  Is that silly?  Probably.  Was it real to me?  Definitely.  Therefore because he wants me to be happy more than he wants to think of himself as a great guy who doesn't *need* to send flowers, he sends them on Valentine's Day.  We had similar discussions about Mother's Day - I do NOT want to cook breakfast on Mother's Day like I do every other weekend and holiday, and I don't want much, just some flowers to acknowledge that this is a day to honor *my* contribution to the family.

Now I have to say that although his gift-giving has improved over time, it will never be spectacular.  He knows when he's given a lame gift - though nothing will ever be as awful as the variety of umbrellas he gave me for my birthday about 15 years ago! - but he's not quite as good at figuring out the perfect gift.  Still, he tries, and that's what matters.  I also know that I can count on him to cook something amazing for dinner, make me a fabulous gluten-free dessert, and buy a great bottle of wine, because those are his strong suits (he's a SAHD and gourmet cook). 

Sabr's point about the need to teach children how to celebrate others is right on, too.  DH did a crappy job of this at first, but I made sure the kids made cards for him for Father's Day and made or got him something for his birthday, and over time he has learned to do the same thing for Mother's Day and my birthday.  My oldest, now 21yo, has grown up to be an outstanding gift-giver, picking things up during the year when he sees something someone would like; the mere fact that he's attuned constantly to others' likes and needs comes from having given and received presents himself over the years.  This is a critical social skill, not a preference.  It encourages family bonds, friendships and romantic relationships. 

Sounds like it's time to have a full discussion about this with your husband.  BTW him being a bit on edge because you haven't had sex due to surgery sounds like there is more going on here than a habit of no gift-giving, like maybe a pattern of selfishness on his part and stifling your anger on yours.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2008
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 10:11pm
Not sure if this hits everyone, I hope it does. So many points and suggestions offered. We do communicate well on all other occasions. I really don't know why this bothers me so much. That's what is the most difficult for me. Like I mentioned before we do not celebrate big on any other occasion so I am baffled why I felt like this year would be any different. Maybe, it's because of the number? Not a typical 20 / 30 something number. Is it that I am jealous of what others have done? Or all the work I've done for friends significant others for there big day? After really thinking about it and having a good cry, I think I had an expectation of DH doing some thing because he had seen how excited I was for friends on their birthdays. Sound so pety. As for the intimacy issue, I think that will tAke time, once I get over myself. I appreciate everyone letting me vent. Sometimes having an outside of your typical friends opinion is heard louder !!!! Happy Holidays to all!!