43 answers

Am I Being a Bad Wife for Returning a Gift from My Husband?

I'm a new wife- I was reading your forums and thought all the wizened women out here might have some good help/opinions. My husband bought me some earrings for my birthday. They are the exact earrings I had just told him I really didn't like (I had been talking about getting earrings for an upcoming event). Is it wrong that I return/exchange them? I don't want to insult him and I want him to know how much that meant to me that he even got me a gift at all, but I feel a little annoyed that he wasn't listening to me (or heard the opposite of what I said). This is not life or death, but I do need some advice.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

J.:

I'm only 44 - not that wizened yet!!! :) However, I've been married twice and have some experience under my belt!! I'd like to THINK I'm not wrinkled!! :)

I see that you have a lot of responses - I've not read them.

I think humor would be the best way to handle the situation! "oh honey (or whatever term of endearment you use) I must've been mumbling or you heard me wrong - these are the ones I didn't want!" this way - you aren't blaming him nor are you being rude - and then exchange them for the ones that you did want.

Hope that helps!!

1 mom found this helpful

I've been with my husband for almost 21 years. I would be honest with him. Thank him for the gift. Tell him it was thoughtful. Then tell him there is another pair that you absolutly love and they would go much better with outfits that you have (if that's the case). Tell him you are going to exchange the earrings when you get a chance. If he seems to be upset, just tell him that you think the other earrings will get more use from you (it sounds like that would be the truth)
I can tell you there will be more than one occasion where you say one thing and he hears another thing. That is life. Don't let the little things bother you. They are part of life, love and marriage. Congrats on being a new wife!

1 mom found this helpful

I would kindly ask you not to refer to the readers as "wizened women". I don't think that is what you meant to say...maybe "wise women"? I'm sensitive enough about my age, thanks :)

More Answers

This is a tough one and I am sure you will get lots of different answers. I guess it depends on your relationship, your husband etc. I don't think my husband would mind. We are pretty honest about what we like and don't like. I think he would rather I exchanged it for something I would truely like and wear. But my husband is not a super romantic, more of a realist. And a bit of advice . . . most men only half listen unless you are talking about man stuff. So don't take it personal, it's just how they are. Congratulations on your marriage!

2 moms found this helpful

I'm surprised at the number of women who say just to return them because he will never notice.
I don't think that's true at all.
I think that instead of telling husbands, DON'T get me this or that, we should say what we like. Men hear diamonds, rubies, pearls, crystals, birthstones and it becomes a jumble and all they remember is the mentioning of it sometimes. So, mentioning what you DO like as opposed to the other might stick in their brains better.
I don't think your husband was deliberately not listening to you, I think what he heard was not what you were trying to express.
How much were the earrings? Is there any way you can afford both? The ones he got you and the ones for a specific event?
I don't mean to offend anyone but sometimes being in absolute control of what your husband buys you can also end up in getting nothing but a gift certificate in a card for your birthday. I know one woman who said she'd prefer gift certificates and then her husband didn't get them for the stores she wanted so she wasn't happy with that either.
I have one friend who was mad her fiance didn't buy her an engagement ring but she also made it clear that if he got something she hated, she wouldn't accept it.
If you think your husband will be okay with you returning the earrings then talk to him about it and do it. But don't insult his intelligence as if he won't know the difference.
Men aren't on the same planet, but they're not completely stupid.
My son saved up his money from working in other people's yards and helping them with chores to buy me a pair of earrings for Christmas.
He did it all on his own and had the ladies at the store help him with how much they cost and wrap them for me.
I wouldn't have picked them out for myself if I'd had a choice, but are they the most precious earrings I've ever owned? YES! And he is so proud every time I wear them.
He's 14. I don't know. Should I be teaching him that if he doesn't get exactly what a woman wants he's not being sensitive enough to her needs and wishes? Should I start getting him used to women saying..."This is nice, but they probably have something I'd like better." ?
Whatever happened to it being the thought that counts?

Your husband may be fine with you being honest with him and didn't realize he focused on what you said you didn't want.
I doubt he'd like you having earrings you really can't live with or will never wear. I don't think his intention was to be insensitive.
You're a new wife so how you handle this will set a precident for how these things get handled in the future.
I just know that men who feel like they can't ever do anything right enough to please their wives quit trying and I don't think you want that to happen.
Your marriage is new and you're still learning each other.
Maybe you can find a compromise.
How ugly can a pair of earrings be? He might be thinking they would look beautiful on you.

I wish you the best with whatever you choose.

2 moms found this helpful

Golden rule: Never never never return jewelry given from your husband.... Unless of course you want him to stop buying jewelry for you.

He picked them out for you. He will be hurt if you return it and it may interfere with his future gift giving choices... (Hey, there are always small appliances, computer equipment and fancy bathrobes... Yeah, ask most women if they would rather get jewelry or household items... uh, jewelry!)

You don't have to wear them all the time; wear them a few times soon after they were given and maybe once a month thereafter, and on dates with your hubby. Keep in mind, that you aren't wearing them for a fashion statement... They are just earrings. You can buy other earrings...

2 moms found this helpful

I'm going to tell you a story about when I went shopping with my dad for my mom. He wanted me to come because my mom and I were really close, and he wanted me to check and make sure she'd like it. Well, we get to the store and the salesperson told him what everyone was getting that year and it was the hot item and every woman would want one. It wasn't the one thing I knew my mom really wanted-the one piece of jewelry that would really make her heart smile, and not just her face-a diamond ring to replace the one that was stolen over 20 years earlier. But, it was pretty, and I thought she'd appreciate the thought, and I knew I could explain to her what a good job the salesperson did-she even had me wanting them! So dad got mom these earrings. They weren't much to look at, really, small diamonds that fit my father's small budget. But he was so proud! It turned out he didn't ask for my input at all-he was already sold. And mom wasn't that thrilled with them-I could tell, but she said thank you and wore them occassionally. And she's gotten gorgeous jewelry every year since. She has yet to get another diamond ring, but she loves her pieces and dad is so proud for getting them "all by himself." (She also keeps saying she never wears rings and sometimes really doesn't wear the rings she has already.) All those who have said that marriage is about compromise and he should listen so take them back sound to me like they're saying marriage is about your man compromising, but don't you dare feel you have to. It's one gift. Try for something else in the future, but spare him this year. If my dad's gift wasn't accepted that first year, he would have been crushed. If I didn't accept some of the gifts my hubby gave me, he wouldn't have felt the confidence to buy me (I kidd you not!) a blanket for Christmas in 2008-and honestly, it was the single gift that showed he knows me best. I still thank him for it. It goes on our bed so not only do I thank him about once a week, he also sees me using it constantly, and knows I love it (it's super-super-soft like baby blankets). And we just celebrated our 5yr anniversary this past January, so it's not like it takes forever for a man to learn what you want. If you take the fall this year, relax, and teach him about your likes-sometimes by listening to his likes more, you'll get the gifts you want-even the ones you wouldn't dream of asking for. (What woman asks for a blanket for Christmas?-but it's the softest blanket in the world, and I love it.) My hubby knowing I'll accept whatever he gives me gives him the confidence to say no to salespeople (and trust me-he did that year he bought me a blanket!) and yes to what he knows I'll really like.

2 moms found this helpful

I know returning something that my husband bought for me would mortally wound his feelings.

The engagement ring he bought me had a much bigger diamond than I wanted. I asked for a simple gold band. But he was so proud of the beautiful ring he choose for me. I lost the diamond out of it 4 years after we married. I cried for a week! He bought me a pink diamond necklace for the very next Valentines day. It hurts his feelings if I wear pink and he even thinks I might not wear it.

He bought these earring for you. He will get enjoyment out of you wearing them. It makes him feel like he did something "right."

2 moms found this helpful

I've been with my husband for almost 21 years. I would be honest with him. Thank him for the gift. Tell him it was thoughtful. Then tell him there is another pair that you absolutly love and they would go much better with outfits that you have (if that's the case). Tell him you are going to exchange the earrings when you get a chance. If he seems to be upset, just tell him that you think the other earrings will get more use from you (it sounds like that would be the truth)
I can tell you there will be more than one occasion where you say one thing and he hears another thing. That is life. Don't let the little things bother you. They are part of life, love and marriage. Congrats on being a new wife!

1 mom found this helpful

Yes. You're a bad wife and you are most likely driving the bus to hell.
OK--Just kidding!
I think you are being practical. Unless you have a money tree in your yard that you can just go shake when you need some cash, exchange them for something else!
My MIL is a huge jewelry fanatic therefore my husband thinks ALL women must be too. I am not. I like a few nice pieces of jewelry for special occasions, but otherwise I'll take $20 earrings so I'm not upset when (and I will!) lose one. When we were first married it was jewelry for every occasion and I actually sent him to return a few things. He got the message and knows more what I like now.
Explain that you appreciate the gift but you feel it would be money wasted if you don't wear them so you'd like to exchange them.

1 mom found this helpful

yeah he must have heard the opposite of what you said, fun times. lol. I would not really want to hurt him either, but i am big on being honest so just tell him nicely and go to the store. good luck and congrats on being a new wife!

1 mom found this helpful

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