36 answers

Husband Didn't Do Anything for My Birthday!!

Hi Ladies...

Yesterday was my birthday and my husband didn't do anything for me. We did go out to dinner but we were planning on going out to dinner this week anyway (he gets giftcards to restraunts from work all the time,as a bonus,it is hardly special anymore,and its always the same resteraunt too!)This weekend he said he would talk to my sister on her birthday about babysitting the kids, so we could go out to dinner. The 1st is my sister's b-day, we went over and ate dinner(which her husband made for her) with them, I made her a cake, bought her a gift...and we hung out. After we left I asked if he talked to my sis about watching the kids...he didn't...said he would the next day. Yesterday he gets up and goes to work like normal, doesn't say what time he'll be home to pick me up or anything. At @ 6pm he calls and the first thing he says is "Did you get our babysitting worked out?" Like it was my responsibility to do so? I did get it worked out earlier because I think it is so rude to not give notice...even if it is just my sister (but he didnt know that). We went out to dinner. That was it. No present. No cake. Nothing. He did tell me "Happy birthday" in the morning as he was walking out the door, which only promted my 2 boys to question me all day about when we were doing presents and cake?.---He doesnt care about his birthdays, and I think he has just stopped caring about mine as well. I feel like a baby because I wanted him to do something for me but am also depressed because my mom says eventually your birthdays become "no big deal"...and I wasn't ready for that day to be here already.

Is it too much to ask that he put some energy/effort or thought into my birthday?

On the bright side...all I wanted this year was a jug to make sun tea in and a pair of black thongs...and thanks to my mom and my sister I did get everything I wanted plus a gift card to the bookstore (thank you mom)...score!


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What can I do next?

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Hi K.!
Hey, So my man does the same thing, sometimes he makes birthdays/mothers day/anniversaries special and sometimes he doesn't. I've finally discovered that that is not his way of showing love. He does that in other ways. The point is I know he loves me, so I just make his birthday's and other holiday's special for him and hope he catches on. And Then I'll tell him what I want to do for my birthday like, I want to go to the coast for the weekend, or I want to go shopping, whatever, he usually is delighted to give me what I want! I decided when I got married to enjoy the thoughtful, loving things he does on his own and not to get irritated about the things he doesn't do or say. So anyway, I hope I helped you feel better knowing that you're not alone! :)

About 8 years ago I was working full time and my (now ex)husband decided to do something for my birthday. He called my mom, and when I got home my mom was "Making my birthday" while he walked around the house with his new guitar slung on his back, acting like a bard! He hadn't even gone to the store to get milk for the kids. When he was leaving for the store later (to get beer) my mom reminded him to get milk.
That was not a good birthday, I would much rather have had it forgotten.
All that matters to me now, it that someone remembers. My kids give me hugs and cards, and they are old enough now (15 & 12) that they cook me something nice. I would rather have it that way than any other!
Happy Birthday, from a mom who understands!

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Hi K.
Well Happy belated Birthday! Well i can say honestly i know how you feel and I have only been married for 3 years. Birthdays and holidays just are not a big deal in my husbands family. You know what helps me though is I do something for myself like get a pedicure or buy something you wanted or just do something for you. I mean we women well most of us really want them to notice us and do something for us, but the truth is they seem to sorta forget us sometimes. My friend once said it is like when you get married the wives become like a deer on the wall. The men have there prize and hope to keep it, but do not know how to take care of it. Did you talk to him about the way you felt? Anyway I hope life looks up for you.

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I think you need to talk to your husband. Birthdays at our house are really no big deal either. The one thing I make a point to tell my husband is that I expect a cake for my Bday. I remind him every year. I don't care about presents; if he gets one it is a bonus. But if you don't tell him what you want or expect, it really isn't fair to get upset that he didn't meet your expectations.

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Let me ask you a question (that you just have to answer to yourself) first. Does he do other nice things for you? Such as making sure the oil is changed or does he make sure to tell you that you look nice? My point is, you guys may speak different love languages (just meaning you show your love in different fashions). Here is a quick blurb on it: http://marriage.about.com/cs/communicationkeys/a/lovelang...

I know you want him to automatically know how important your birthday is to you, but even after 14 years of marriage, he can't do it. He won't ever be able to do it. He's a separate person. Right now you're rolling your eyes thinking, "duh, stranger on the internet." But this is a classic issue in marriage. When somebody says it outright, it sounds like common sense, but when we take a look at our behavior, it's something we unconsciously expect quite a bit.

My only point is - birthdays aren't important to your husband. If you want it to be special, you have to tell him that you want something special.

Lastly, and this is a stereotype, but I really believe it. Men can't really multi-task like women can. They kind of have tunnel vision - especially when it comes to being at work.

I'm sorry you're disappointed. I hope you don't feel that I'm telling you you're wrong. Because you're not. They are your feelings. I'm just trying to help you in the future so you're not sad about it each year.

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Wow K. your letter could've been written by me years ago. I spent a lot of time focusing on what I didn't get from my husband and what he didn't do that I thought he should've done. I have hurt a LOT over all the 'nothing' birthdays and anniversaries. I focused a LOT on everything I felt was missing from our relationship and blamed him for all of it. A little over five or six years ago I'd made up my mind, after being married for over twenty years, that as soon as the time was right I was going to divorce him and go find someone who would treat me better. Someone who would be the 'perfect man and who would do all the things I thought were so important for me to be happy. But something happened and to be honest I couldn't tell you how it happened but it did. I decided to stop focusing on what I wasn't getting from the relationship and start focusing on the things he did get right. Like a miracle things changed and without me saying a word or doing a thing he started to do some of the things I thought I was missing. Suffice it to say that today I have absolutely no intention of leaving and I wouldn't trade him, even with all of his faults, for any other man on earth. You see when you change the way you choose to look at things the things you look at change. Call it new age mumbo jumbo if you like but it really works...I am living proof.

Perception is everything and things are truly only as important as 'WE' decide they are. I've found in the grand scheme of things some things are just simply not important enough to be upset about or angry about for more than a minute or two. If his birthday isn't important to him there's a very good chance that no one else's is either even if that someone else feels it's important. In a marriage (I've been married 30 years this December) it's a very good thing to try to see things from the other persons perspective before deciding what we think they are thinking or what we think their motive is or whether or not we think/believe they are being inconsiderate or insensitive on purpose or because they don't care about us or love us. I'd venture to guess that all in all he's a pretty good guy who treats you pretty good and maybe all it might take to make things better is to focus on more than what he's done wrong.

Try it...it works.

As a dear friend of mine so wisely says, "What's it gonna matter in a hundred years?" When you think about one birthday in a hundred years it's really not that important.

In the end it is entirely up to you how hurt to be over this and how long to feel hurt or angry. It's all up to you...

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Hi K.!
My husband forgot my birthday ONCE and he will never again! LOL laughing but not kidding! ;) My husband KNOWS that I love holidays and celebrate all of them the two most important ones being MY BIRTHDAY and CHRISTMAS! The way my husband knows is I told him straight out the first time he forgot. I also start reminding him in subtle ways a couple weeks ahead of time. My husband is constantly reminding me that men are not mind readers, if you want them to know something tell them straight out don't beat about the bush. So in your case I would have said (a week in adavance...Honey what are you planning for my birthday next (fill in the date), I KNOW you are gonna take care of ALL the details so I can relax on my birtday, because you are such a good husband...kisses hugs laughter) It took me a while to be able to do this, feeling like I was a nagging wife. But low and behold it works! :-)
My husband is like yours he doesn't care about Birthdays and that is fine but I let him know straight out that I do and he better not forget it and I don't let him! hee hee in a loving way of course. If you expect presents on any holiday - TELL HIM! Remind him the holiday is coming and let him know what you want. Also, I remind my husband the weekend before any such holiday that he needs to take our son out or work with him on a gift he would like to give me for the holiday.
As for those people who say as you get olders birthdays are no big deal...baa humbug! I for one am always happy to celebrate the day anyone was born because I am so happy that they were born and are a part of my life! I do respect when people don't want any big to do but I always remember them with at least a call or a card...everyone wants to know that someone is thinking of them on thier birthday!

and....a belated Happy Birthday to YOU! :)


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My husband and I have been married for 13 years. This year he forgot my birthday. I was sad at first, but by 6 pm on the day of my birthday I decided to "turn it around". When discussing what he wanted to do for dinner (when it became obvious that he forgot it was my birthday), I decided we would go to Red Robin and celebrate my birthday. We had a lot of fun! If your husband isn't planning your birthday the way you want, my recommendation is to either do something special for yourself or plan it yourself with your kids (i.e. bake a special cake together). Happy Birthday!

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Today is my birthday. My husband worked late and finally muttered "happy birthday" as we were crawling into bed. I don't think he even remembered it was my birthday until he saw the cards that family had sent. That sounds horrible, but he is a wonderful father and husband and we have a great marriage. I don't expect him to make a big deal out of my birthday, but if I did want him to then I would need to tell him that I wanted him to make a big deal out of my birthday and then he would try his best to do it. Some men just need us to really spell out our expectations very clearly. They want to make us happy, they just need to know what we want.

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You have a right to be sad and angry, but it won't help at all. Instead I think I would have my own birthday celebration. Order a birthday cake, some fake champagne and get some ice cream. Decorate the house and celebrate with the kids. If you have left overs or the decorations are still up when your husband comes home, so be it. Tell him you celebrated you birthday.

Do it again next year, but plan ahead and take the kids and yourself out all dressed up. You can invite him along if you want.

My mother always says if you plan something for the family and wait for your husband to show he will always be late, but if you just start on time regardless of if he is there he will show up on time. I think this is one of those examples.

Happy Birthday and many more. W.

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your story was so sad to read! men can be so un-cool sometimes. i say, celebrate with your kids---ice cream, cupcakes, a fun park trip. you deserve to be happpy; a very busy, loving momma.

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You two are definitely in different places when it comes to celebrating! My hubs and I are similar to you in that he also could care less about a birthday of his own. So he extends the same to me, which used to make me very sad. Once (many years back) we went out to dinner at Red Robin and he specifically told them no singing. I was MAD! I don't need to be the center of attention, but definitely do want some recognition. I felt also that this encouraged my stepkids to ignore me and really dis-associate from the family during the meal. It was not a good day. Then two years ago, I didn't get a cake and I was upset again. I worked hard and did Christmas/kid stuff all day (my bday is near the holiday) and no nothin' happened. He said happy birthday to me, but that was it.

Finally, I had an epiphany! I was going to celebrate my own birthday in the way I wanted to. So I booked a trip to Disneyland for last year. My husband grumbled, but I told him it is MY day, we spend it how I want! I even told him to stay home if he didn't want to go, but he came along willingly. It was very expensive and not everyone can do that, BUT it was also my 40th birthday so I felt it was a milestone and deserved a littel more. Also, the type of celebration I would prefer was not a big party with family and friends, but doing something I want for me. I love amusement parks and I love Disney, so we did it my way.

Will I be able to do that next year? Most likely, no. It would be nice, but...gotta pay the bills. I will try instead to schedule something else I want, like a massage or a dinner out to a restaurant I really like.

The point is, I am making my own birthday special. I told him he can sure come along for the ride, and also he can pay :) I am DONE waiting for someone else to do it for me!

My hubs does do other nice things for me, his love language is probably acts of service. For instance, he fills up my car with gas almost all the time, so I do not have to. I would not mind putting gas in my car, but he likes to and I graciously let him. He also knows my love language is more likely gifts (altho it has changed to be much less focused on this over the years, esp since having kids) and for instance yesterday he bought me a beautiful set of earrings and surprised me with them! So, there is hope for your husband if you have a calm and rational talk with him, and he understands that one of his roles is to make you happy (ain't mama happy, ain't nobody happy). It is not to say one of you is right or wrong in how you approach birthdays, but that you want to honor and respect the other person enough (esp on birthdays) to make them feel special and loved. Once he understands this, he will make more effort.

I did point out to my hubs as a joke that last year I got no cake - since we were at Disneyland, we didn't try to find one. I loved seeing his jaw drop open when I said that. I know he was thinking "wasn't Disney enough?" But I was JUST JOKING and he knows it. He pointed out that I don't eat cake, which is true. But I told him that the singing and blowing out of candles is important to me. Next year, we will see if he remembers that or not!

And in closing, let me tell you that my hubs also took the cans off the car when we got married, before we even drove anywhere. It was not a surprise to me that he prefers to not make a fuss over things. I haven't tried to change him too much, I hope - just maybe fine tune a bit :)

p.s. My husband also doesn't arrange babysitting which drives me BANANAS. We still have to work that one out!

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You sound sooo sad and disappointed. To prevent that next year just organize your birthday your-self. Get your sister to help and you two can make everything the way it will make you happy. DO NOT rely on your husbands, they are just not that great. In our house if I want something special I do let my husband know that 2-3 days before my birthday and I will make sure that my son (who really cares about celebrating birthdays) will "remind" him to get it. The rest is my job. I do organize evrything and I made up the tradition. I bought a birthday hat and a bell from Target and the birthday person has to wear it when we sit down for a cake. I do buy the cake and the candles and we do have them after dinner. Even if we go out, we will be back home for the cake. I do arrange the "birthday" table with sprincles, the birthday cards and etc. It is not a big deal but it gives you the sence of celebration and it is really works. So, next year do not rely on your husband if you want to have a birthday, do it your-self. Tell and show your kids what you want and may be next year they might need just a little reminder. Get them to involve your husband. Don't sit down and expect everybody to guess what you want. They can't read your mind. Happy Birthday, K.!

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K. -
My husband and I are total opposites. I personally couldn't care to have a party or do anything very special for my birthday. I have someone watch the kids and go out and get some dinner with my hubby. I get to eat hot food, have adult conversation, and not take anyone to the bathroom the WHOLE DINNER! That's it.
My husband has 60 people over to the house, we cook all day long and it wears me out! He loves it.
What is so tough about sitting down with your husband and saying, "look buddy...I love you and look at all these kids I have all day long around me! For my birthday I want you to take me out. You arrange the babysitter, you make the reservations, you do all the planning. My birthday is June 2nd, don't forget."
For some reason men seem to be a little slow. I had to do "slow speak" with my husband to get him to understand that I don't WANT to do anything. Maybe you need to let him know exactly what you DO want.

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Hi K.,

You can handle it either by verbalizing it or in a card. I think it's important to speak from your feelings rather than blaming him. Just because others tell you your birthday becomes "no biggie" you don't have to follow it. I am 40 and still love celebrating "me". What you instill in the children will be important so on his birthday have them make a card and buy something simple. Even though his birthday doesn't seem to matter to him I bet deep down he loves it when you celebrate his birthday/father's day etc.

My husband didn't celebrate much either. My family was just the opposite. So I make it a point to celebrate him and he does the same for me.

So again it's important on how you say it and remember not to blame because he may have a deeper issue.

You deserve it!

Been there done that - life is much easier if you control what is happening so you won't be disappointed.

After 2 years of noticing there were no pictures for mother's day or birthday - I told my husband what I wanted - first ha had to bake a cake with our daughter - he complained - we didn't need a cake - it wasn't the right time - I told him I didn't care he was to do it - so he did - then we go out to eat for my birthday - I also spell out what that he needs a gift from my daughter. I tell him exactly what I want for a gift as well.

My point is - husband sometimes don't know what is to be expected - so better to just tell them rather than hoping for a surprise you never get. No need in setting yourself up for disappointment.

I'm sorry, K. --- that's not right---. sigh ------.
My suggestion???? ---- You know him best - so pick what strategy you think will best accomplish what you need.

Make a ''''joke'''' or a ''promise''' or a '''reminder'''' out of the whole situation --- tell him
''' I want to raise our boys in such a way that they never risk being thrown into the compost heap- so they need to grow up knowing that MOMs' like gifts, ribbons, surprises, cakes and so forth- so--------since he has decided that you don't need that and you don't agree--from now on you and your sis' will ''''arrange '''' your birthday- and the kids will think all the '''do''' comes from him. PLUS --- someone needs to help your children make their gifts and preparations to say '''Happy Birthday Mommy''' --- if none of the older children is able/willing to do so --then you will find someone to help 'em do that.

You might also ask him if he's been kidnapped by aliens and has lost the capacity to do birthdays?????

Sorry--- it isn't right dear heart- sounds like you have a great marriage- and a great guy- but somehow he dropped the ball- big time.

aka- Old Mom

I'm sorry it turned out like that. If it makes any difference, my birthday was a couple weeks ago, and it was a bust too. My Mom, like yours, saved the day. It's crappy that the husbands aren't trying harder... mine doesn't get how important birthdays are. It's totally lame and it made me very sad. I got a bathroom towell set.

I'm sorry that you had a bad day! :(

This is something that could fester for years and then blow up bigger down the road, damaging your relationship. I don't think that he realizes that this is something important to you. If we don't tell our men, they don't usually figure it out! This has been my experience anyway. You need to get specific and tell him what you like and how much it means to you for him to plan something special. Tell him he can talk to your sister if he needs help planning the next birthday!

I am sad for you- I too just had a birthday and got a card- it was a "fart-o- meter" card and a bag of m&m's. Last month was his and I took him to the spa for a massage and pedicure- our boys decorated the house and baked him a cake. Then I tell him how I feel and he blows up- saying that it is all my fault- I feel I am walking on eggshells-

Oh sorry back to you- at least he took you to dinner- and you had a sister to watch your kids- the gift part doesn't bother me so much- Next year I suggest we both plan our own birthdays- inviting our friends to dinner and making our own cakes.


About 8 years ago I was working full time and my (now ex)husband decided to do something for my birthday. He called my mom, and when I got home my mom was "Making my birthday" while he walked around the house with his new guitar slung on his back, acting like a bard! He hadn't even gone to the store to get milk for the kids. When he was leaving for the store later (to get beer) my mom reminded him to get milk.
That was not a good birthday, I would much rather have had it forgotten.
All that matters to me now, it that someone remembers. My kids give me hugs and cards, and they are old enough now (15 & 12) that they cook me something nice. I would rather have it that way than any other!
Happy Birthday, from a mom who understands!

I'm really sorry for your bad experience :(

I think you guys could REALLY benefit from some kind of marriage course. My hubby and I went to "The Marriage Course" which was a video series put on by our church. It gave us the opportunity to talk through our issues. You guys have an issue not just with how to celebrate birthdays but the whole arranging the babysitter, that does not seem healthy.

Others have recommended the five love languages by Gary Chapman. you can learn more at fivelovelanguages.com. There is a lot of truth in that. But the purpose is not for you to give up on what you want because it's just not his love language. The purpose is to recognize and own what your "love language" is, communicate that TO your spouse, and establish the expectation that, if we love each other, we will try to fulfill each other's needs, even if they are different from our own.

Whatever was important to me about a holiday, I would communicate that CLEARLY ahead of time. I would get a commitment out of him by asking: Is this REASONABLE? Do you think you can do this? And then, if it didn't happen, I would say, "I am disappointed. I do not feel loved. I thought we had an agreement."

If, over time, experience demonstrates that he will just not come through for me on special days, then I would look for other ways to celebrate myself. I mean, basically, kind of pretend I'm a single parent, focus on the kids, "Yay, it's my birthday, what should we do to celebrate!" and focus on other people like my mom and sister who DO want to be involved. Why spend your special day with someone who's not that excited about it or you? You deserve better. Maybe if you make your own fun, he will suddenly miss you and realize he needs to put out some effort if he wants the pleasure of your company.

I'm not saying do this with a revengeful spirit. I'm saying if HE won't treat you the way you think you should be treated, at least be your OWN best friend and treat yourself like you are special.

You should just tell him everything you just told us. Men don't read minds or body language at all. And if you haven't made a big deal out of wanting to do something more special for your birthday, and were expecting him just to know to do something special...I am sorry, men just don't work that way. You have to be plain as day and just tell them out right what you expect/hope for.

He will probably feel terrible for years about not making this birthday as special as you had hoped, but never again will you be disappointed that he didn't make it special. You just have to be honest with him about how you feel.

I'm sorry. Happy belated birthday.

I like birthdays too, but my husband hates a big tadoo. He would prefer to not be reminded that he's getting older... something about not wanting to face the fact that he's treated his body like an amusement park and the time to pay the piper is coming up... it has nothing to do with the actual number... at least that's what he tells me.

Anyway, one thing that I would do in your situation is wait until I'm not so hurt and then tell him, calmly, how upset I was and that I would like to avoid that in the future. I would ask for him to give me suggestions or make a decision based on my suggestions how to solve the problem next year... Do I need to mark it very clearly on the family event/appointment calendar for next year? Does he need to set a schedule reminder in his email or on his cell phone? Does he want me to give him a "pre-thank you" card for the gift he is expected to give? If so, how soon and how soon/often should I send it? (That one's my favorite.) How about all of the above? I, personaly, tell my husband a few choices of what I would like to have for birthday, Christmas and Mother's Day throughout the year. It's unconcious most of the time, but I am aware that he does not do special things like bring home jewelry or flowers except on those occasions. The other thing I do is tell him what I am planning to do for myself for my birthday, specifically. It's my day and I should be able to spend it how I want. He is, of course, generally invited. Lol.

It's okay that you are upset. It's been important to you for the past 14 years and he's not disappointed you like this before. Just talk about it and work on it. Like every trial in a marriage and in life, this too shall pass. I'm positive that you will reach a resolution... if nothing else, he'll know how sad it made you and won't want to be responsible for contributing to feelings like that in the future.

In the meantime, get a pedicure and a facial and have some iced tea by the waterfront. You'll feel better in no time and have that talk out of the way sooner than you think. Blessings!

It's not too much to ask but birthday's are not a big deal to him. Have you ever come right out and said to your DH that you want your birthday to be a celebration?

As for the babysitter, it's funny how we all fall into roles. Your husband didn't take care of the babysitting because he knew you would.

The gifts you wanted were loving given by other family members.

Try not to compare what your sister's husband did for her birthday to what your husband did not.

"You met your best friend and lover for life at 19, it will be 14 years in October. Sounds like a long time, but it doesn't feel like it at all."

I think that says alot. E.

Last year I had surgery a day or two before my sister's birthday. I was taking percocet and really did sleep the entire day. A few months later she ranted and raved that I hadn't even bothered to call her for her birthday. This year I called her and sent a card, but I was pissed about it the whole time. All the fun was gone because I felt forced to do something (she lives 2500 miles away so meeting was out of the question). If it's really important to you let him know in a kind way or it could ruin the rest of your birthdays for both of you.....

I know just where you are coming from. My husband's birthday is right after Christmas and his family has never made a big deal about birthdays, so he's never made that big of a deal about mine. It's annoying, but I usually decide what I want to do for my birthday and just go ahead and do it. Some years it's with my family and some years it's not, depending on what I choose. We always meet up at the end of the day for a special dinner. I also take Christmas Eve off as my day. I usually pick out a movie no one else in my family wants to see and go off to a matinee. I know it hurts, especially considering everything we do as mothers on a daily basis to make sure that our families have special things. I know I always feel guilty that I want a big deal made out of my birthday. I feel I should be happy that I have a good husband and a happy, healthy child, but at the same time one or two days a year shouldn't be that much to ask for. I hope you feel better knowing that you are certainly not the only one!

Hi K.!
Hey, So my man does the same thing, sometimes he makes birthdays/mothers day/anniversaries special and sometimes he doesn't. I've finally discovered that that is not his way of showing love. He does that in other ways. The point is I know he loves me, so I just make his birthday's and other holiday's special for him and hope he catches on. And Then I'll tell him what I want to do for my birthday like, I want to go to the coast for the weekend, or I want to go shopping, whatever, he usually is delighted to give me what I want! I decided when I got married to enjoy the thoughtful, loving things he does on his own and not to get irritated about the things he doesn't do or say. So anyway, I hope I helped you feel better knowing that you're not alone! :)

After being with my husband for 34 years I have simply thrown my hands up in the are and said I give up! Today in fact is our 34th wedding anniversary! Kind of karmic that it is 9/11, since our marriage is up in flames. He rarely remembers my birthday and never ever our anniversary or the kids' birthdays. It is not important to him because we are not important to him. It really is that simple in my sitaution. He NEVER EVER does anything special for me, no thoguhtful flowers, kind words or special treats just because...

To the guy that wanted to count oil changes as proof of manly love I ask does he consider female cleaning of toilets as a female expression of love? Not so much I am sure. Those things are done because they are necessary not out of love.

Everyone wants to feel special, loved, accepted and appreciated. That accidental/on purpose forgetfullness merely diminishes the individual and creates an open wound that may never ever heal.

And yes, he always has a cake on his birthday and a gift under the tree for Christmas. Why? Because I cannot be like him...His special present is coming in time for Christmas this year it is a legal summons for divorce court. SURPRISE!

I recently had a similar experience. Both Christmas and Valentine's Day were completely underwhelming. I felt like an after thought and that he put no effort into doing anything nice for me. I wasn't expecting a lot, but the thoughtfulness of the effort means so much to me. I really had horrible days those days because of it.

My birthday and Mother's Day were the same weekend. I sat down and talked to him about it before then and told him how I felt and why. I worked very hard not to make it accusatory, but to be about how I felt and what made me feel that way. He did an absolutely beautiful job for my birthday and Mother's Day! He was incredibly thoughtful and made a real effort to make both days special for me in a way that I would like.

Like you, birthdays and holidays were not important to my husband growing up. But for my family, they were big celebrations. And after being in a relationship for many years and being so busy with kids, I do think the relationship and the spouse can become 2nd priority. But it doesn't have to be that way. And it shouldn't. Talk to your husband and let him know how you feel. And make sure to make his days special, too.

Good luck!

From the sound of it, birthdays aren't important to your husband and they are to you. Different people have different ways they like to be shown love and acknowledged. You need more gifts, card, etc... and he doesn't.
You need to express that you want and expect more on your birthday from him and maybe you need to be specific. You need to let him know that it's important to you even if he doesn't agree or understand. You asked if it was too much to ask him to put energy into it and I say: ask.
I am one who doesn't need more than some words from my kids and husband and prefers utilitarian type gifts like: clean the kitchen, plant or weed the garden, make me coffee this morning. That is my need but in the almost 27 years I've been married I accept that my husband needs more, like a card and cake or pie for sure. Your husband needs to hear what you need because our needs are not always the same even if we love each other.

You have a beautiful name! Happy Happy Belated Birthday to you. I am sorry to hear that your man didn't make your day more special. You have every right to want to celebrate your birthday and be acknowledged. Unfortunately, the men that we share our lives with sometimes forget to make whats special to us special to them. This has happened to me with Valentines day, my birthday and our anniversary. I finally had to sit him down and share what my expectation of all future "events" was to be. This really worked for us. He knows exactly what makes me feel happy now. He didnt before. We have been married for 10 years. Sometimes you just have to remember to talk to each other and share feelings.

I hope your next birthday is a much more celebrated event!

I can totally relate to what you are going through. One of the biggest challenges in my marriage is that I want things to be exciting, special, and romantic, and my husband is very low key. He doesn't care about his birthday either, and my birthday often passes with very little recognition from him. One solution for me has been to celebrate with my girlfriends, who always know how to appreciate me. Sounds like your mom and sister are filling that void for you. I think it's important for you to tell your husband how you feel, because he honestly might not even realize how insensitive he has been. After many years together, my husband realized that anniversaries are important, but he's still not real keen on birthdays, Mother's Day, etc. He's just not a big holiday celebrator. However, I think in any relationship it is important for us to communicate what really matters to us, and then give our partner a chance to display affection in their own ways. Even though my husband will probably never make a big deal about my birthday, I know that he loves me for the thousands of other sweet things that he does, and I also know that if I want to do something special on my birthday, I have to make plans with my girlfriends.

good luck!


Happy Birthday!!! My birthday was the 2nd also and i had the exact same situation with my husband. i waited all day for to call me to wish me happy birthday, so i finally called him and he still didn't say it! i think because it's not a big deal for them they don't realize what a big deal it is for us. so i try to remember that and not get my feelings hurt, but i also explained to him how i feel and how it did hurt. he just wanted to say happy birthday in person and i hadn't woken him up before i went to work...so i guess all we can do is talk about it, keep communicating our feelings. i hope you had a nice day otherwise!

I know how you feel. My husband said we needed time apart. He promised me we would do something on my birthday. When my birthday came around he decided that he didn't want to fake everything being ok. I didn't get a happy birthday, he never showed up at the house to see me, instead he decided going out with his friends was more important.

Dear K.,
I understand how you feel. For our anniversary my husband bought a Wii. I was disappointed to say the least. But when I asked him why he said he thought it would be something fun we could do together. So at least his heart was in the right place. But I knew also in the back of my head that he had been wanting a Wii for a while. Even though his action was two-faced. I hadn't given him any indication of what I wanted. My last birthday was good though. He got me something he knew I would love and that made me feel special. I guess what I'm trying to convey is that even though husbands mess up on birthday delivery, they are listening on some level. If you greatly desire little surprises. Let him know. You don't have to tell him every time it's your birthday. But as your years together progress you could mention it on days when you two are being romantic with each other. Guys give you their full attention when they're really being intimate with you. I recommend reading a book called "The 5 Love Languages". It will also help you to understand how your husband communicates his love to you and you wont feel let down by his lack of showing how he cares. I hope this helps. Don't be discouraged. Be thankful for the little things. If you show your husband your appreciation for him and whatever he does he will respond with wanting to please you more.

i'd just calmly let him know you were bothered by his lackadaisical response to celebrating the day you were born.
"honey, i'm really disappointed by the response to my birthday this year. can we discuss this?"
from there, you can hear him out (it's entirely possible he doesn't see birthdays as a big deal anymore) and let him know that hey, a you wouldn't mind a little fuss.
my SO's mother was proactive in her requests this year. i called her to see if she could take our daughter for a few days so we could get away, and she made it very clear that she wouldn't because it was her 60th birthday, and if her family didn't do anything for it, there was trouble to be had. needless to say, i passed the information onto my SO and he got the ball rolling. sometimes, with men, it just takes the right words said with the right amount of force or said to the right person to get the ball rolling.
however. i'd just like to point out that while you're stinging from him not doing everything the way you had imagined, would you rather he do something for you because he wants to do it, or do something for you just because you want him to do it? personally, i'm not a fan of doing stuff for other people for their birthday because it's expected. i prefer to do things my own way in my own time on my own budget. for instance, i have to throw my mother an elaborate dinner every year or she gets so childishly butt hurt that she's impossible to deal with for weeks. it's not that i don't want to do something for her birthday, i just don't want to have to spend an entire day working on a dinner for someone who isn't even grateful for my efforts. or maybe i'd rather take a break from going all out this year because there's a lot going on during that particular time period. i don't think it's that he doesn't care about your birthday, it's entirely possible it was a matter of his priorities being different from yours.
either way, you can only find out what's going on by communicating with him. just be calm and let him know how you feel, rather than accusing him of anything.

K. - I've been there! But I learned something that made all the difference for me. Forgive him. And completely forget about it. He didn't ignore your birthday to hurt you in any way, even though because of his lack of attention you were hurt. Letting this fester inside you will make you bitter, but he'll go on being clueless!

So here's my recommendation from experience: tell him that you would feel very special and very loved if he would make a big deal out of your birthday. Even though you understand that birthdays aren't a bit deal for him, you would really like it if he would take the time to arrange a celebration for you. This is a good example for your children to see, too.

There are five love "languages", and we don't all speak the same one. Acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, and quality time are the different ways we show love and feel loved. Your husband might be telling you he loves you, or giving you back rubs, hugs, and holding hands all day - but if you feel love by acts of service, then he needs to know that so that he can redirect his attention!

This is too long, sorry about that, but I just know that sometimes we women internalize too much and expect a lot of our husbands without ever telling them our expectations, so then of course they fall short. Just tell him specifically what you want, and ask him how he feels loved by you. You'll find a new level of happiness together!

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