43 answers

My Husband Won't Buy Birthday Cards or Gifts

I cannot figure out why my husband refuses to buy cards or gifts for friends or relatives. For instance, today was my brother-in-laws birthday. I wrote my husband a note to remind him to pick up a card and gift for his brother. Not only did he not do this, but he didn't even call his brother to wish him a Happy Birthday! My husband's best friend and his wife just had a baby. I bought a card for my husband to send, but he never sent it or bought them a gift. Another friend of my husband's father just passed away. I bought a sympathy card for my husband to send, but he never signed it or sent it.

When it's Father's Day or my husband's birthday, I always make a point to have our sons make him a card and buy or make him a gift. But, he never reciprocates for me. How can I get my husband to be more responsible and caring toward others? I don't want others to think that we don't care, but I don't always want to be the one to be responsible for remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

It may not be something that his family ever did. It has nothing to do with being more caring towards others, he just may not think it isn't as important as you do. Wouldn't it be better to sit down and talk to him about it? Get one of those card organizers with a calendar, put everyone's birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays on it with a card for each one. If he can't get the hang of it then LET IT GO.
Does he love you? Does he care about his family and friends? Is he a good man? If the answer is yes then re-evaluate why this is so important to YOU. Talk to him.

1 mom found this helpful

Yup, my husband rarely does that stuff either. He does pretty good with his mom and sister, but that's it. However, he does take good care of me. Sometimes I send things out for him, but most of the time I just let him take care of his relationships the way he sees fit.

Personally, I would talk to my hubby if he didn't at least take care of me though. I would feel a bit uncared for, but I have high standards in that area. Maybe he shows you in other ways that don't register for you as caring and affection. Some men don't get the importance of little things like that. They think as long are providing, that's enough. Different people, men and women, have different ways of showing care and affection. I would just talk to him openly and honestly about how it makes you feel. He may not even realize the impact he has on you by not doing these things.

1 mom found this helpful

Looks like you are going to be the well wisher of the family. Accept the job graciously as you have the desire to do it and sign both names, or let it go.

You cannot make another person do something they are not inclined to do. You will be appreciated as people will know you are the driving force behind the pleasantries.

More Answers

You say you 'can't figure out why'...have you asked him up front? Also, if you're worried about how it will make your family appear to others, why don't you just go ahead and send the cards on behalf of the family. If it bothers you this much you should bring it out in the open. Dropping hints by buying the cards yourself and hoping he follows through clearly isn't working. Are there other ways that he shows people he cares? Or is he just completely self-centered?

1 mom found this helpful

Most men just don't do the card/gift thing. When I was married, I was the one who reminded him to at least call them on their birthday but I was the one who purchased cards and gifts. At least he would call and would sign the card/gift I picked out.

I am now remarrying and mu fiance is the same. I remind him to call his father and his daughters(they are now grown adults) on a regular basis. he always does and thanks me for the reminders.

I truly believe that most men are not wired the way we are when It comes to this stuff. If he won't take your kids shopping for you for those special days, find someone else who will - other family or a friend. Your children need to learn good manners even if their father doesn't have them.

Good Luck -


1 mom found this helpful

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'm the one in the relationship that doesn't buy cards! My hubby buys a card for everything (as does my mother in law), whereas, my family doesn't buy cards even if reminded. So, being on the other side, it's not that I don't care, it just wasn't a part of my family traditions. Perhaps you can ask him if there's another way that he'd like to celebrate or honor your friends and family aroud events?


1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry your husband doesn't do those things. Mine doesn't either. What I've learned in life is that you need to do what you think is right and not wait for others to follow in your lead if you feel strongly about it. My husband used to complain about the time I took writing cards for special holidays. I would send Christmas, New Year, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Grandparent's Day, Halloween cards, etc. Yes it took time but I didn't let his grumbling prevent me. And you know what? I don't regret sending my grandmother all those things now that she's passed away. It was actually HIS great grandmother that kept every single one of those cards and showed it all of her visitors. Mine still doesn't think of others equally. I am grateful I have lots of friends I've kept in touch with and carry a friendship with throughout my life though. After that one trip to visit his great-grandmother and hearing her praises of grandchildren that think of her, he actually stopped complaining to me about sending things to his family. (This was nearly a decade later though!)
Know that you can encourage him to do things but if he doesn't see the worth in it, it may just end up being a disagreement. I send things whether it be to his family or mine because I want to. They've figured out over the years, he has no clue what we send them and end up asking to speak to me to thank us for the gifts or cards. I appreciate all that family and friends do for our family and if this is your situtation, know it's okay to go ahead and send off thoughtful things without regret or anger that another doesn't feel the same way. Best of luck.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi I agree with the others, My husband is the same, he work long hours and forgets bless him so I do it all. I get the card and/or gift and send it from us all. For 3 years he was away with work on my birthday and he forgot but on the last trip he did come back with a lovely jacket. I know what he is like, it has become a bit of a family joke. I know he does not do it to be uncaring, he just forgets.

But it can be upsetting thinking you have been forgotten. You do everything for everyone else and just a few times of the year you would like to be remembered.

Try talking to your husband, have a nice meal ready or go for a walk and just talk about how it upset you and why is he like this, there may be a good reason or he just doesn't know how this upset you. It the little things like this that can eat away at you then things get silly. Talk to him. Stay calm.

He may not change but at least you have told him how you feel, you will feel better for it and you send the cards etc from all of the family do not wait for him to do it as it will not be done and you will not feel guilty for not sending them the card/gifts.

Good luck. J.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a friend who's husband is like yours... as far as him not buying you anything, what my friend did, was not get her husband anything for his last birthday... nothing... just pretty much blew it off. He was upset and she told him that she was tired of him blowing her off and her going out of her way for him and her next birthday and then mother's day he got her a card and gift.

1 mom found this helpful

It was really interesting reading your concerns, because my husband is the exact same way & I have trouble figuring him out also. I think my husband feels that store bought cards are a waste of money. You read them and then disregard them the next moment. I also feel he thinks I am better at picking out gifts so he leaves it up to me, or he just does not want to be bothered with doing it. When he goes into Home Depot he knows exactly what he wants & is in & out. He has no interest in looking around picking out something for someone else & gets aggitated easily by crouds in stores. I know he cares about our friends and family, but doesn't want to go through the process of cards or buying gifts. I really do understand how this makes you feel & it really is hurtful. I wish I could tell you what to say to him that would turn this around, but I have not come up with anything yet for myself. I am in the same boat though. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband is similar - not super thoughtful or else of the old-school thinking that is a "woman's job?!" I just don't worry about it and it was tough at first because inherently, I want to provide and comfort and multi-task but then one holiday, my husband was a real...winner and I decided, forget it. I am going to invest my time, money and energy into my side of the family and be perfectly gracious and happy to see his side, but it is not my responsibility and refuse to worry about gifts etc. There is one family within my husband's side who for my own reasons I do tend to get things for - but as my own choice - not as an obligation. It's tough. It could be that because you stay at home - gift getting etc falls into your realm of responsibility in your husband's mind- communicate what you expect, if he can't respect your wishes - just let him know what you will and will not do, stick to it and don't let anything make you feel funny. If a gift doesn't arrive that should have, communicate with that person, let them know that you weren't aware that husband didn't pick up a gift for them and you really feel badly that they didn't get something. Period. Don't add that you'll pick them up something becuase it is not yours to do. Good luck!

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