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.
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.
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.
I know it's hard, but take a breath and think...is this the battle I really want to fight. Does your husband show you/do things for you sometimes? My husband does. When we first started dating 15 years ago, I was the all-about-me kind of person. I expected gifts on my birthday, Valentine's, etc. We started dating two weeks before my birthday, I didn't get anything (I was floored!) Needless to say he took me to a concert(which he got tickets for free because of his involvement in putting it on, he didn't even give the free t-shirt he got from the concert to me, then I bought dinner for us. Fastforward a few months, he was gone for 2 weeks to various rodeos and I knew when he got home we were either going to be married someday or we'd break up. When he got home my roommate & I were playing a joke on him saying I wasn't home, but the joke was on me--he showed up with the first bouquet of flowers I recieved from him...I realized at that moment there was more to this man than I realized.
Of course, I crave the romantic flowers, gitfts, etc. But, it makes the once in a while time all the more special and I try harder to look at the little things around the house he does and my gifts.
Good luck and if this is one of the battles you feel you need to fight. Go for it and good luck! Just remember, you must have been with him for a long time and you knew what he was before you made children together...are you really going to change him now? Love him, not who you want him to be.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Men are just not the same as women, they are wired completely different. Just accept that and things will not bother you as much. If you would like to send out cards for family and friends, then go ahead and do so. You could even just ask him to sign it and then put it in the mail. It isn't that your husband doesn't care about others, he just isn't you. This is a losing battle and almost sounds like you are trying to change who he naturally is. If you want to be the one that remembers all the holidays, birthdays etc then it is your choice. Just let it go.
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?
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.
I agree with a lot of what has been said here, but I want to emphasize that you should not take responsibility for his relationships. If it is someone you would like to send a card to - from your family or from you - then do it. But if it is someone you think should get a card from your husband specifically, don't do it for him. You are not responsible for him or for managing his relationships. Let him be the one who makes the effort and gets the rewards or consequences. If the folks in his life are bothered that they don't get cards, they can tell him. Maybe they already know and accept that he is not the card-sending kind of guy.
As for what you get from him, I try to appreciate all the other things my husband gives me (love, support, etc) and then, on special occasions, if I want something in particular, I tell him very directly and he usually will get me what I have asked for. I used to feel bothered that he did not make a big deal out of certain occasions, but at some point I just decided to start focusing on the ways he makes ordinary days special (for example, he will bring me flowers out of the blue on a totally random day, but then bring me nothing on a holiday like Valentine's Day....I think he just doesn't register these kind of holidays).
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?
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.
Your inquiry gave me a big chuckle and I can relate to a certain extent. Costco sells a HUGE box of nice greeting cards (birthday, sympathy, new baby, thank you, etc.) for very cheap (again, they are nice quality cards!). I pull the cards out, address and stamp them and then I sign them from me and my son. I leave them out and ask my husband to either write something or sign his name. He sees that I have gone to all that trouble and is respectful in signing them and usually writes a personal message. It only takes him less than a minute. It is my opinion that he does this b/c he cares about me and the person that is receiving the card/gift. Now, it may take him several days to several weeks to sign them, but I leave 'em out and when they get buried, I bring 'em out again and make a gentle reminder. On the gift thing, I leave it up to him to buy his family gifts unless we've agreed upon a gift for and I happen to have time to go get it or he really doesn't have the time - he'd do the same for me. I love his family, but I'm at a loss as to what to give them and it stresses me out. They have completely different taste than I do. We usually end up day of driving around while my husband "peruses" the stores for something. It drives me nuts, but he knows it's his responsibility. Honestly, I think that's the way he was raised b/c the gifts his family gives me I wonder what in the world made them buy them for me. But, then I realize he often times "peruses" day of and just buys something/anything. I will say this doesn't always work, as my husband's grandmother's birthday was over the summer. Despite several reminders, she's not received a card nor a gift as of yet....but she did get a phone call!! I guess you could say I'm not in agreement w/ a lot of posts. I believe this is a shared task and shouldn't be dumped on the wife!! Good luck!
There is a new movie out called "Fireproof." It is more based in a religious aspect of how to treat a spouse, but if more people looked at it as a way to treat others in our lives it could make a difference in every household.
Maybe you need to take your husband to the show.
C., you got some great advice. My thought is to let it go and send cards/gifts from you and your sons. As for your birthday and mother's day, I think about a week before, remind your husband that your sons need assistance. If he does not want to give you anything that is fine with you, but you should not have to take the boys out to buy your own gifts. I think you should come out and tell him he is setting a very poor example for his sons and not teaching them respect towards their mother. Good luck.
Coming in rather late, but wanted to offer my two cents. I am guessing that your husband grew up watching his mother deal with buying cards and gifts, and thus was conditioned to believe it's women's work. At this point in his life you are probably not going to change him, and badgering/nagging/getting mad about it is not going to help. I am the one in my family who keeps track of these things, and that's just one of the ways the labor in our marriage is divided. He deals with his family and friends' birthdays as he sees fit. If it comes to weddings, babies, get well and sympathy cards, I will go out and purchase a card, stick it in front of his nose with a pen and tell him to sign it. Then I address it and send it. This is just not something he's good at. There are things that I am not good at, and he takes those on. I don't consider this a big deal or a character flaw at all - just a way of dividing the work.
You sound like a very thoughtful and caring person to remember birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays. Have you always been a person who sends cards and gifts to friends and family? If you are, then maybe one of the ways you love others and feel loved is through gifts whether giving or receiving. Could it be that your husband has a different way of giving and receiving love?
It is actually a rare gem of a person who regularly sends cards and gifts to their loved ones. I don't know many people who do this without an organized way of doing it. How do you do it - especially being a SAHM with 2 boys?
Check out the book about The 5 Love Languages (not sure if that is the exact title) by Dr.Gary Chapman. It sounds like you have different ways of expressing and showing love. My husband and I read this book and now when either of us doesn't feel appreciated we will just say hey remember that isn't my love language it is yours. It might help you to understand yourself and you husband a little better.
You probably can’t…since you take the time to buy the cards please take the next step and send them. After years with this man, it should be clear that you ARE the social secretary of the family. So make the calls, write the letters, buy the gifts, and send the cards. While you’re at it, buy something nice just for you and send flowers (from a florist) to yourself every now and then. (write on the little card "thanks for all you do".) Perhaps send your husband some flowers at work with the same card and note.
Some people are not good at verbal communication or demonstrating their feelings with outward affection, spontaneous gifts, flowers or cards. They think as long as they are working and supporting their families this is all that “should” be required. I can see this is hurting and frustrating you. Your husband may see your calls and reminders as NAGGING him. (It’s the Venus Mars thing.)
It’s kind of hard to change the behavior of people like your husband, but not impossible. Next time you buy a gift, send a card or letter, write your greetings out, get everything ready to send (like you always do), but before you send it get a pen, and ask your husband to sign his name before you serve dinner. Maybe he’ll take the time to read what you write and maybe he’ll add something more then his name.
Hi- In my experience most guys just don't do that stuff. As the post below says I would just take care of it yourself if you are concerned that loved ones know your family is thinking of them. Does he get cards and thank yous from his brother and male friends? Probably they come from the wives most of the time as is true in our house. I would however draw the line at him not being thoughtful towards you. It's one thing for a man not to acknowledge his friends or brother's big events and completely another to ignore his wife's. I think by not giving you cards, flowers or gifts on those special days he failing to show appreciation for all you do (including buying cards and gifts for his family/friends:) You should talk with him about how it hurts your feelings and those little things do matter to you even if they are not so important to him. Men sometimes just don't understand that we need those little gestures of love and how much they make us feel appreciated. Good Luck!
No offense but you cannot make your husband send cards to people, some men and women for that matter, including my husband are not card senders. If you buy the card you will have to sign your husbands name and send it yourself, you can talk to your husband about ow you feel but making this a power struggle will only cause him to never send or sign a card again. Not sending cards does not mean he does not care, ask him if there is another way he would like to show his sentiments to people, like a visit, or sending flowers, but let him do it himself
Good luck with this one. I am in the exact same situation. I don't think there is anything you can do to change who he is on this one(at least I never found a way). I just finally came to terms with the fact it's just my responsibility to buy cards and remember birthdays etc. It was more draining to keep trying to make him into someone he's not. If he needs to sign something, I just buy the card, write what ever needs to be said inside, put it in front of him and say, "sign." It's the best I can do and it has limited my stress now that I've just let that one go. If taking all the responsibility is just not gonna work for you, then I hope you find a way to have a breakthrough with him. If you do, let me know. =)
Have you talked with his mother about this? If you have a good working relationship with her, it might help to find out how such things were handled in their home. I agree with most of the people, who said it really isn't a man's thing to do. The one who said her hubby does the card sending and she is the one who doesn't is really an exception according to what I've observed over the years. And I don't think that you sending cards from your family to his relatives is taking away from his responsibilities at all. You are simply being, as the Bible puts it, his helpmate.... as I'm sure he is to you in other areas of life.
As for him remembering you for your important dates... anniversary, Mother's Day, birthday and Christmas ...I would enlist help. Your nine year old son might be able to remind his dad (possibly with a little hint from you a week or so prior to the holiday. Kids his age like a little 'conspiracy' so you could make it a special secret with him that you have prompted him to get his dad to do something for you.) Or you might have your mother (or even better, Dad), his parents, or your siblings on either side do the prompting. Just think about who in your lives could and would be the best at motivating your husband.
I can envision one of the fathers (yours or his) coming by or phoning to say, "you know son, I'm just not sure what to do for mother for (whatever occasion)what would you suggest?" Even if it's for a birthday and not near any occasion for you, that should help get your hubby thinking more in the lines of doing for you too... and might even help him to get the idea of doing for his family.
BTW... I agree with the person who suggested Gary Chapman's book on the love languages. It's an eye-opener.
My husband is the same. Its not a big deal. I have to buy my own birthday card and hand it to him to write something in. Or he will actually buy one but never write in it or give it to me. I have been with him 7 years and have only 2 things he has ever written to me.
Its okay, just take care of it yourself. Im the opposite.. A card for EVERY occasion etc...
Here is my advice for you. Husbands don't do those things at all. Believe me men don't do things like women does. Just pick it up for him and let him know that you did p/u a card for whoever and sign his and your name and the kids. For me, I always sign like Love, The Lucero Family. It doesn't need the actual names of certain people in the household. Just show him the card and let him know that you would sign it and send it out that way he would appreciate the fact you're doing it for him. The reciever won't know that you're actually doing it all for him. Men won't change at all. Believe me! I hope this works out for you.
I don't think it's something that should worry you much. Family and friends always accept you the way you are. You are judging him because it is important for YOU to recieve cards, gift, etc, it's something that makes you feel cared about. A lot of people do not require acknowledgements so they do not "think" to acknowledge others, it's just not important to them. It does not mean they don't care. He obviously cares about his friends, or he wouldnt have any. He obviously loves you, he married you. Cards and gifts are a pain. I'm the one that does all that in our house and I dont stress him out about it. He and I dont exchange cards and gifts with each other, our relationship doesnt require it.
The up side to it is that you save a lot of money by not having to buy, family and friends really don't miss not recieving them. I quit sending Christmas cards several years ago, I havent had a single family member complain about it. Just do what's in your heart, if it makes you feel good to give and send, then do it, but don't make him do it. Don't dog him about it either. Raise the kids up to do it, and they will make their own choice when they get older to either stick with mom's tradition or they may choose to decide that it's just something they dont care to mess with either. We are who we are.
I think it's something on the Y chromosome, but I agree with the other women, men simply do not buy cards -- my husband's excuse is that it's Hallmark's fault for inventing them. Of course, he doesn't remember to call or buy gifts either.
We've been married for 18 years. I've simply taken to reminding him the day before and the day of his parents' birthdays and Mother's Day / Father's Day, that HE needs to call his parents to talk with them (we live about 3000 miles away).
I'm trying with my children to talk about upcoming events a month in advance to plan gifts that tell the person you thought of them, rather than just spent money. Last year, my son (age 13) gave me a coupon book he'd made himself with coupons to walk the dog, do 30 minutes of chores that I hate, and "to talk".
My husband never did stuff like this either. He would not admit he couldn't remember the dates. So, I made him a book that date book each year, and would write the birthdays in them for the office, so now he has no excuse.
So far as mothers day goes, he thought it was for his mom.
I finally had to tell him it was for the mother of his children as well. He said he never looked at it that way.
My husbands dad traveled for a living, and I often wonder if he had been around more maybe my hubby would have had better ideas on what to do for women.
Get over it. Each of you have your "jobs" of the marriage. This happens to be one of your jobs.
If sending the cards is important to you - then you be the one to send them. Obviously the cards are not important to him. He doesn't care about what others think. My husband is the same way. I get the cards for him to sign because it is important to me. He only buys the card for his mother - because that is important to him.
Search for the ways that he tells you that YOU are important - your kids are important to him and FORGET about the cards. Stop making it something that it is NOT and stop nagging him about it.
Oh - if you want your kids to buy you a card - if that is important to you, YOU take the kids to the store - walk a short distance away and let your kids pick it out privately. And then take them home and send them into their rooms to decorate for you.
I think it's just a man thing. I don't know any man who will go out of his way to pick up a birthday card, get well card or any other sort of greeting card for a friend or extended family member. I wouldn't worry about that. I too always make sure that my grandchildren have a gift for grandpa on birthday or christmas, but like your husband, he does not do the same for me. I don't take it personally - I just chalk it up to being a man! My husband is loving and considerate throughout the year so I don't let it hurt my feelings. I know how much he loves me - I don't need the card!
My husband grew up in a family that did not make a big deal about birthdays which is very different from how I grew up. I do not send bday cards to his family and it's his responsibility to call them. I do try to remind him to call them because he is super busy working long hours and the date will slip his mind. Because this is how he grew up, his family doesn't expect anything different. For our friends, his coworkers, my family, etc, I take care of cards and gifts but I do ask for his input.
It's probably partly a "guy" thing and also how he grew up. I would get yourself a nice gift for Mother's Day and your birthday and ask him to spend some time w/ the kids so that you can have some "alone" time.
That's a hard one. Is he caring in other ways? If so, maybe he's just not a card sender, but you said he will not even call. It sounds like he has a hard time being there for others, or caring about their feeings. I know this is a strange question for you, but could he have asperger's syndrome? My husband does, and he has a hard time being considerate of other's feelings. He cannot put himsef in other people's shoes. Just a thought.
It ususally falls on the wife to take care of all these occasions. If he is a great husband is every other area, let this go. Have you ever sat him down and asked him in a non-confrontational way, why he does not do these things? I think if you just asked he might tell you. If you already have and he didn't give you an answer, I would look at the way you asked and try a different approach. Guys are funny that way. Anyways, it is not a big deal, but on his next birthday or father's day, don't do anything for him and see what happens. Remember, it is not about reciprocating.
You may just have to stand over his shoulder and make him do it for the rest of his life. Guys can be really bad about some things. It took me 15 years of constant reminding to teach my husband to wash his hands (for instance).
A relative of my husband's just sent him a bunch of old family photos. I'm going to take out a card, take it over to his office, stand there while he writes a thank you note, and then send it for him. Otherwise it will not happen.
I'm also going to make him call his old friend back, who called him a few weeks ago.
Don't be offended - I guess your husband doesn't have much of a feminine side.
p.s. - In response to one of the moms who suggested blowing off your husband's birthday: I did that once, it didn't work at all. I think the direct approach of asking him for something and reminding him is better than the passive-aggressive approach.
I would have to agree with the other responses. He is communicating to you that exchanging cards/gifts/correspondences are not his thing or comfort zone. On the surface, there's the easy fix for you to take you on the communication responsibilities. Period. With no resentments. Just accept that this is your strength and important to you. Send those cards/gifts with the love from your family.
My guess is that his lack of participation impacts you on a deeper level too - he doesn't seem to value your request; it is embarrassing that he does not do the "right thing" and "how will that make me/us look to others?" I imagine the hurt feelings for not being reciprocated on mother's day.
Couples come together with different values on this. It will be up to you to figure out what you need from him (what is your bottom line) and then to articulate this to him. It is also his job to communicate his needs around this too. Find the common ground and then set up a win-win plan
He most likely does not intentionally not care about people. Sending cards is not a "normal" thing that most guys do. I generally amthe one to get the card. My husband will sign it and I will get it into the mail. Just talk to him about it. I doubt he is trying to make you upset on purpose. It's just not his thing. Just do it for him, mars vs venus!
I'd say if its important to YOU that your husband's friends & family receive gifts & cards then it sounds like you have to be the one to buy and send them. I do all the card buying/sending here and just ask my husband to sign the card. I am blessed though, he does go buy gifts for his brother and dad and has even for my dad if I ask him to help me!
Hi C., first, I'm sorry you've received some insensitive responses. I read some of them, and thought, "Wow. What's thier problem?".
Anyhow, I don't have any answers but know exactly what you are talking about. My husband will outright REFUSE to call someone on thier birthday. He also does a passive-resistant thing where I will remind him of MOTHER'S DAY (!!!!) and he'll give me a "um, we'll see" (I think that's whay your husband does when he doesn't ssend the cards you've bought and asked him to). I think there is a deeper reason for not doing the card giving and the phone calls. But I don't know what it is. Sorry.
Do they think it is ridiculous?
Do they think they are being "forced" or "mothered" to do something they don't think is neccesary?
Do they feel insincere doing these things, because they don't care, and that's why they don't do them?
Don't know. I never get a straight answer from my hubby on the issue. LET ME KNOW IF YOU EVER GET ONE!
Just seen this...Mine is the same way....maybe it's a guy thing. On the other hand I kinda think it's the way they grew up in their families. My family always made it a point to make it a "big" deal it was your birthday. All I can say is continue "remembering" these special or stressful times because people do remember these "small" gestures fondly. There is that saying "You reap what you sow". Good luck hon.