This topic contains 40 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Bittergaymark 6 months ago.
September 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm #716848
I think your boyfriend loves the idea of the grand gesture so he talks big but he doesn’t actually bother to make the gesture. I’m guessing that when it comes down to it he prefers to spend his money on himself. That’s why he talked about his and hers tattoos but then just got himself a huge tattoo.
When he tells you that he has an awesome surprise for you he is saying that he already has that surprise but he didn’t have anything so he isn’t honest. He liked to make you think that there was a holiday but there was actually nothing. He liked building the excitement even when he wasn’t going to go through with the gift.
This is who he is and how he will be. He doesn’t have a problem coming up with gift ideas. He has ideas. What he doesn’t do is spend his money to get those gifts. When it comes down to it his money is being spent on him. I think he sounds self-absorbed. He likes to think of himself as the guy who does the big things but when it comes down to it he isn’t that guy at all.
Unless he makes other kinds of gestures I’d move on. Does he talk about doing things and never gets around to them? Is he full of ideas that never pan out? Does he have trouble managing his money? Has someone like his mom or dad always purchased the gifts that he gives to others?
It’s only good to celebrating anniversaries if you are with someone worthy of a celebration. It doesn’t sound like this guy deserves to make it to five years.September 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm #716849
There’s not a definite line where you can bring things up this many times but once more and your in nag territory. A lot of it is about tone as well as frequency. Maybe we are interpreting her words differently. I took her saying she got “super upset” and then “constantly” asked him about her present to mean she was nagging. I may be splitting hairs here, but if she’d said she were dissappointed to discover he’d done nothing for her d-bay but told her something was on the way and she asked about it a few times when nothing materialized, then that would come across less like she had a tantrum and started demanding he produce a present. We don’t even know if he did nothing. He may have taken her out to dinner or baked her a cake or cleaned the house… all she’s complaining about is the lack of a present.
Aside from that one situation, she was totally right to bring up their anniversary ahead of time. And he was totally wrong to lead her to believe he’d planned something when he hadn’t.
Her statement in her last paragraph about not feeling appreciated, to me, that’s the real issue here. She seems to be focusing on the gifts which are just a symptom of the problem rather than the actual issue. By doing that, specifically her behavior after her last b-day (at least the way I interpret it), she’s not helping herself.September 12, 2017 at 1:59 pm #716850
@MMR “….he should have lived up to his promises, or flat out told her she shouldn’t expect presents on their anniversary or her birthday because he doesn’t do that, regardless of how it makes her feel.”
We are 100% agreement here!September 12, 2017 at 2:34 pm #716852
I just wanted to clarify for LW. When I statedthat if someone asks for something then they shoulnd’t get it, I only mean if you are annoyingly nagging and acting entitled to somethg, or bratty about it, then I think it ruins it for the giver, and I could understand why they woulnd’t. And also, there are a**holes out there that play a game and if someone is asking then they won’t do it because it gets the other person emotionaly charged and stirred up, it gets a rise out of them, and they enjoy that. I’m leaning more towards you are not over reacting, but there isn’t much information on exactly what you mean on constantly reminding him.
If LW just meant she gently nudged him, and that he should know what she likes for her birthday, and if he is a supportive boyfriend (which I’m not sensing), then no LW you are not over reacting. But, if LW means she was nagging, and complaining, and constantly on him about a gift- it could lose meaning for the giver.
Either way, by him telling her something was coming, and the tattoo incident- I don’t have good feelings about him, it sounds to me like he is playing a game. Let me dangle something so she gets excited, or get a rise out of her, or he is lazy… just by actions not words, and it’s unfortunate you have to question it now after a lot of time but don’t settle if it is not making you happy. But, I would talk to him still.September 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm #716853
I guess it is in interpretation, redessa—because your first reaction is to say, “ugh, what a nag! I wouldn’t get you anything, either!” rather than “yeah, it’s really lousy to promise birthday acknowledgment and then blow off the promise, even though it’s clearly really important to the other person.”
You chose to blame the LW most. I choose to blame the boyfriend most.September 12, 2017 at 2:59 pm #716856
I think that when someone has a bad feeling about a relationship they will sometimes look at gift giving to prove that they are wrong and to take away the gut feeling. If the LW has had an uneasy feeling about the relationship but then hoped that he would come through with the promised awesome gift and that bad gut feeling would go away she has just had the gut feeling confirmed.
She also doesn’t say that he never gave her gifts in the first years. I’m assuming it was only a surprise last year because he had been giving gifts and it stood out as strange and not like him to treat her the way he did. Now he has repeated the treatment this year. I think he’s basically done with the relationship and so she should end it.
LW If you want a conversation I’d ask him why he said he had an awesome gift for you when he actually had nothing. Ask him why he would do that. Ultimately I don’t think this is worth a conversation. He is showing you clearly that he doesn’t care and can’t be bothered. His actions tell you how he feels about you and the relationship. A conversation isn’t going to change that, especially when his words don’t match his actions.September 12, 2017 at 3:51 pm #716857
You know, there’s nothing wrong with couples actually communicating with each other about preferences, even when it comes to how any individual chooses to define “nagging.” My late first husband specifically talked about it with me, as it was important to him: because of his experience with his family of origin, he defined nagging as, “mentioning something more than once.” Not even, “mentioning in an unpleasant way more than once”, just ANY mention. Well, it probably sounded great that he DID define it, but personally, I thought that was nuts, and there was more than one occasion where I just simply couldn’t remember whether I’d even mentioned a chore to him or not, so I’d wind up just fucking doing it myself, rather than wait or guess. It was something that probably would have has me dragging him to a counselor over, had he lived for much longer than he did, because it was no way to live, but I use it as an example of defining a term, even if it happened to be in a fucked up way like nobody else does.
Bottom line is, the LW’s fella could easily use his words to address any nagging the LW might have been doing. He didn’t. He could also use his words to point out all the extra little things he does to show his love. It doesn’t seem that he’s done that either. So based on the information we have, along with the fact that he’ll talk about what he’s getting and doesn’t do it, I’d have to conclude that he either is an asshole who doesn’t give a shit, or someone who has lower than kindergarten level communication skills. Either one sucks, in my book, regardless of how I feel about excessive gift giving.September 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm #716863
@vathena EXACTLY! That’s what I thought too. Thank God there was no matching tattoo you’d have the laser off.
I don’t think this is about love languages. Love languages are unspoken. This isn’t I expected jewelry and he detailed my car and cooked me dinner. She communicated her wants. He acknowledged that he heard her. He promised he’d deliver. And then he didn’t. And didn’t. And didn’t again. He doesn’t care what she wants.
I’m guessing the cavalier attitude is not only about gifts. Usually assholery spreads itself over different aspects of a relationship. Accept it or move on. He is not going to change.September 12, 2017 at 7:29 pm #716877
Well if someone promised me something and didn’t deliver I’d be asking what the hell was going on fairly often too. Especially if they saw it upset me and still didn’t do it. To do it more than once after all that is especially shitty. Whether it’s a birthday gift, help with chores, cooking, whatever. If you promise things to a person you supposedly love you put up or shut up. Just because this is a present and not a ride to the hospital to deliver a baby doesn’t make it any less of a shitty thing to constantly do.September 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm #716879
I’m not quit sure some of Y’all know what I mean by Love Languages but what I am talking about is author and counselor Gary Chapman (who also has decades of experience with couples)who came up with how to speak your spouse’s love langauge. This is spoken love. There are 5 languages he came up with that fit everyone but there is a primary love language that stands out for each person:1. Words of affirmation 2. Acts of services 3. Quality time 4. Physical touch. 5. Recieving gifts. This helps better understand a persons partner wants and needs. Its the best way to learn how to show love to a person because not ever one knows how to go out and buy a person and gift or knows how to spend quality time with a person. This is a way of communcation in a relationship.And even if a person may know this but ignore their partners needs/wants then there will always be issues there and the relationship will likely dissovle. She has a right to voice herself about wanting gifts on her bday if that is how she best feels special that’s not her nagging. And to the ppl who think it is nagging, I think if you took the test, recieivng gifts would be on the bottom of the todom pole for you.September 12, 2017 at 9:08 pm #716883
I think the love languages concept is pretty well-known. I don’t think it’s that people don’t know what it is, it’s that they have differing opinions on it and how it relates to this letter.
I don’t think the LW is in the wrong here. But it’s still possible for the love languages concept to exist and for a person to nag. Of course, that person has to determine if the nagging is because they going overboard or if it’s a sign that their partner doesn’t listen to them/care about their needs.September 13, 2017 at 8:05 am #716911
Different love languages would only account for the first time he didn’t get her a gift. The underlying principle of that theory is that partners need to try to understand how best to show and receive affection from each other. The boyfriend clearly understands what the LW wants (hence the promises), he just doesn’t value her enough to put her needs before his own on occasion.