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Anyone else's SO suck at gift giving?

chemgirl

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I'm taking advantage of black Friday sales to knock off most of my Christmas shopping.

I have a really solid plan for DH's present.

He, on the other hand, really really sucks at gift giving. Our fifth anniversary was last week and instead of the eternity ring a strongly hinted for, he bought me a new toilet.

There wasn't really anything wrong with the old toilet, it was just a builder standard toilet and he thought I would like a tall toilet with elongated bowl. I have colitis so spend a lot of time in the bathroom, but yeah I don't really care about toilet specifics. As long as it is clean and flushes right?

He thought he knocked it out of the park on that one and didn't get how I wasn't more excited. Side note, he doesn't actually know how to change a toilet so I had to install it....


The year before he had a gas line installed to the back deck because I don't like driving with a propane tank in my car. No new barbeque though so there is a gas line with nothing hooked up to it.

Christmas is coming up and I feel resentment building. I mentioned that Rudsak is having a sale and he just texted me that he looked at their website and doesn't like anything. He doesn't know what I could possibly want from that store and asked if I really need a present this year.

I knew about the gift thing before we were married, but wow, never thought it would get quite this bad.

It's not even a money thing. I would just like him to try and think of something I would like (that's not for the house).

Anyone else with similar issues?
 

tyty333

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Wow chemgirl, I don't know who would think that a new toilet was
A good anniversary gift. My dh was never all that bad but after he
Gave me a printer, fax, scanner early on for my birthday, I started picking out my own gifts. Honestly, I don't know if you can chang them. I guess he is just one of those very practical type of guys.
I'm not sure why he just can't go pick out something pretty from that store you suggested? Seems like he either doesn't want to please you, thinks you don't need any more jewelry or doesn't want to spend the money. Besides telling him exactly what you want, Im not sure how you're going to get gifts that are appropriate and that you will enjoy. :((
 

CJ2008

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My DH is pretty OK at it...

But if he wasn't, I wouldn't let him pick my gifts any more...

Just not worth building resentment over it, especially if everything else is good, you know?

Just to make it a little bit of a surprise for you, and not so constricting for him, could you give him a list of 3 things you want, that he can choose from?

And I'd just turn it into a joke/something to laugh about, just so the gift thing doesn't taint Christmas even a little bit.

ETA (sorry - I know you didn't ask for advice and only whether people faced similar issues. :/ but maybe you can try doing this and see how it works for you. I know it's not as "nice" as being surprised with the just the right gift, but it can still be fun, especially if you turn it into something you both can laugh about.)
 

Calliecake

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Chemgirl. You aren't alone. This is why I just buy myself what I want and then tell him not to worry, I already bought my present. I will never forget the year my FIL bought my MIL a sauce pan. She was furious!
 

marcy

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We both have problems coming up with good ideas. We usually buy them ourselves or tell each other what we want. I'm having a hard time finding something I want this year because I always want new jewelry or to upgrade something and I just don't need any new jewelry.
 

chemgirl

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Thanks!

I have done the list in the past and he consistently buys the cheapest thing on it. I thought this year if I gave him a specific store where I like most of the things it would work. Rudsak sells leather, knit, and fur clothing (I know, not really animal friendly). I thought a new sweater or some nice gloves would be simple and practical. I was trying to appeal to his engineer/programmer side.

I have tried dropping major hints in the past "wow, I would really love a pair of hunter boots!". " girl i run with has a new GPS watch and it is so cool! It maps out her route and tracks her progress. I wish i had one of those.". No dice.

One year I did buy my own present using his credit card and asked him to wrap it. He said it was a waste of paper since I know what it is and didn't do it.

I did bring this up in counciling (and felt like a selfish jerk).

I think part of the issue is he makes 3 times what I do and can easily afford to buy me a pair of hunter boots or leather gloves or whatever. He seems to think that if I really wanted something I would just buy it, when I don't because I can't really afford to.

In every other way he is awesome.
 

CJ2008

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chemgirl|1448654276|3954719 said:
Thanks!

I have done the list in the past and he consistently buys the cheapest thing on it. I thought this year if I gave him a specific store where I like most of the things it would work. Rudsak sells leather, knit, and fur clothing (I know, not really animal friendly). I thought a new sweater or some nice gloves would be simple and practical. I was trying to appeal to his engineer/programmer side.

I have tried dropping major hints in the past "wow, I would really love a pair of hunter boots!". " girl i run with has a new GPS watch and it is so cool! It maps out her route and tracks her progress. I wish i had one of those.". No dice.

One year I did buy my own present using his credit card and asked him to wrap it. He said it was a waste of paper since I know what it is and didn't do it.

I did bring this up in counciling (and felt like a selfish jerk).

I think part of the issue is he makes 3 times what I do and can easily afford to buy me a pair of hunter boots or leather gloves or whatever. He seems to think that if I really wanted something I would just buy it, when I don't because I can't really afford to.

In every other way he is awesome.

But then make sure even the cheapest thing on it is something you really want and that you'll be really happy with.

Or heck, give him ONE thing and say this is what I'd really like you to get me. Could you please get me this, so that I'm happy with my present? I will be able to enjoy it if I know you liked give giving it to me, even if I have to tell you exactly what I want, that is OK.

I feel like there's something that's not being said between you guys or that it is being said but just not being understood...there's a solution, and you both can find it together but you need to come up with something you have not thought about yet, and the only way is through talking about it and brainstorming ideas. Do you think he'd be willing to do that with you?
 

Niel

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My husband's SO is the worst.
Lol


My husband is amazing be always thinks of something I would love but not even think of. I, if I get him anything, always get a bit "meh"
 

chemgirl

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CJ2008|1448655513|3954723 said:
chemgirl|1448654276|3954719 said:
Thanks!

I have done the list in the past and he consistently buys the cheapest thing on it. I thought this year if I gave him a specific store where I like most of the things it would work. Rudsak sells leather, knit, and fur clothing (I know, not really animal friendly). I thought a new sweater or some nice gloves would be simple and practical. I was trying to appeal to his engineer/programmer side.

I have tried dropping major hints in the past "wow, I would really love a pair of hunter boots!". " girl i run with has a new GPS watch and it is so cool! It maps out her route and tracks her progress. I wish i had one of those.". No dice.

One year I did buy my own present using his credit card and asked him to wrap it. He said it was a waste of paper since I know what it is and didn't do it.

I did bring this up in counciling (and felt like a selfish jerk).

I think part of the issue is he makes 3 times what I do and can easily afford to buy me a pair of hunter boots or leather gloves or whatever. He seems to think that if I really wanted something I would just buy it, when I don't because I can't really afford to.

In every other way he is awesome.

But then make sure even the cheapest thing on it is something you really want and that you'll be really happy with.

Or heck, give him ONE thing and say this is what I'd really like you to get me. Could you please get me this, so that I'm happy with my present? I will be able to enjoy it if I know you liked give giving it to me, even if I have to tell you exactly what I want, that is OK.

I feel like there's something that's not being said between you guys or that it is being said but just not being understood...there's a solution, and you both can find it together but you need to come up with something you have not thought about yet, and the only way is through talking about it and brainstorming ideas. Do you think he'd be willing to do that with you]

For sure. I usually put a lot of effort into researching the perfect gift and sourcing hard to find things that he wouldn't just buy for himself. Part of me feels like his lack of effort shows that he doesn't care about me as much as I care about him. I get how stupid that sounds.

We have talked about it and he seems to understand in the moment, but then doesn't do anything to follow through.

He shows love and affection in other ways and can't wrap his head around the whole gift giving thing.

I think this is something I'm just going to have to get over.

The toilet is making that a little hard at the moment.
 

missy

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chemgirl, I'm sorry your dh sucks at gift giving and you were disappointed (who wouldn't be with a toilet for one's anniversary I am with you) with your anniversary gift but look at it this way. Since no one can be perfect about everything if this is the only thing he sucks at you're ahead of the game. He is a wonderful loving dh in every way and he's just no good at gift giving.

Easy solution. Tell him what you want and either go with him to get it so he cannot mess up or get it yourself and have him wrap it and give it to you on the day you are celebrating. My dh is pretty good at gift giving but as the years go on I find myself getting pickier and pickier and I just pick out my own gifts and vice versa and we are quite happy about the situation.

In the beginning years we made lists and we would choose a few gifts from each list so it was sort of a surprise. These days we do just get what we want for the occasion. It really takes any stress or concern that the other won't love the gift and is a win win. I find it romantic even without the surprise because I know he loves me enough to get me exactly what I want and I do the same for him. There is no downside for us with this arrangement.

Happy Anniversary and I know you will work this out because you are married to a great guy and he is married to a great girl and I wish all problems were this easy to solve. (((HUGS))).
 

monarch64

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So your love language is gifts and his is acts of service. You guys need to read that book and understand that each of you approaches love and romance in different ways. He thinks it's amazing that he gave you a toilet because that would be something useful to you. You think a toilet is unromantic and was unnecessary because you already had a perfectly good one. The only problem here is ineffective communication on both your parts. If you've brought this up at counseling and were made to feel like a selfish jerk perhaps it's time to find a different counselor who honors both of your perspectives. And if you can't get over this gift-giving thing at all, don't give each other presents and take a trip together instead. Or pool your money and buy something you both will enjoy. Like Missy said, if this is your biggest issue you're way ahead of the game.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

ETA: I just want to add something onto my post. It is really easy to get wrapped up in marketing and as women to feel like our men only love us if there are these sweeping gestures involved and we're given something he must have read our minds or knows us so well and that means we're SO CLOSE and SO IN LOVE. And guys probably feel that way too--I SHOULD be able to read her mind, I should know what she wants, but I can just never measure up to this expectation that I provide the perfect gift--and I want it to be MY idea otherwise I feel like I disappointed her!

My husband gave me (read, US) a hot tub last year. He loves hot tubs. I call them time machines because of that movie and because I think they're kind of creepy. He is a total acts of service person. He has told me before when I've expressed disinterest or indifference towards a gift like that, that he only wants to give me a palace and make me happy. I have had to bend a little bit in my ways of seeing things and he does really well for lots of gifts but sometimes he screws up. I have communicated directly with him about it and when I do he usually buys exactly what I ask for and maybe 1-2 other things I did not ask for. But there have been royal screw-ups, for sure. Nobody's perfect.
 

JDDN

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Oh man, I know how bad it can make you feel!

My dad was a horrible gift giver. In fact the toilet made me chuckle because my dad gave my mom a toilet seat for her birthday one year. He was so clueless and my mom would never say anything about it. Later, he started asking me to help him pick out gifts for my mom and over the years I ended up just buying her the gifts and my dad wrapped it and gave it to her.

My hubby is a last minute-day before the celebration-buying it kind of guy. The gift is usually not anything I want, but mostly I feel like it's a half way attempt and a last minute Oh crap! I need to get her something!! type of situation which defeats the purpose of gift giving. We had to really have it out and there were hurt feelings and all that, but ultimately we're better for it.

This is just an idea....Could you tell him that gift giving is super important to you and he doesn't have to understand it completely or feel the same way, but if he could just accept that it makes you feel loved during special occasions? What if you had a special date where you both go out shopping to a store of your choice and you could pick something out together (that you want of course!)? It could be fun and romantic and you would get something you like.

Not sure if that's helpful, but wanted to say I know how crummy it can make you feel. I'm glad your husband is wonderful in all other ways. :))
 
Q

Queenie60

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When we were first married he found it easy to give gifts. He's a very generous and thoughtful man however as the time has passed (27 years) he has run out of ideas. So I now tell him what I am getting and purchase it myself and let him know that he's off the hook. He would rather that I chose my own luxury gift since I'm the person wearing it. Good enough for me!! :love:

I find that it's simply a matter of good communication. Had I not put my foot down years ago and told him that I don't want certain things, he would not have known. I'm not going to pretend that it's okay when it's not. He's quite relieved to know what I like and dislike, and it works out fine. And the rule stands - no household gifts, or things that he wants for himself! If they don't know what you really want, then you can't expect them to get it right.
 

chemgirl

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JDDN|1448657449|3954735 said:
Oh man, I know how bad it can make you feel!

My dad was a horrible gift giver. In fact the toilet made me chuckle because my dad gave my mom a toilet seat for her birthday one year. He was so clueless and my mom would never say anything about it. Later, he started asking me to help him pick out gifts for my mom and over the years I ended up just buying her the gifts and my dad wrapped it and gave it to her.

My hubby is a last minute-day before the celebration-buying it kind of guy. The gift is usually not anything I want, but mostly I feel like it's a half way attempt and a last minute Oh crap! I need to get her something!! type of situation which defeats the purpose of gift giving. We had to really have it out and there were hurt feelings and all that, but ultimately we're better for it.

This is just an idea....Could you tell him that gift giving is super important to you and he doesn't have to understand it completely or feel the same way, but if he could just accept that it makes you feel loved during special occasions? What if you had a special date where you both go out shopping to a store of your choice and you could pick something out together (that you want of course!)? It could be fun and romantic and you would get something you like.

Not sure if that's helpful, but wanted to say I know how crummy it can make you feel. I'm glad your husband is wonderful in all other ways. :))

Have definitely had that conversation and he says he will put in effort to make me feel loved. He has dragged me around to jewelry stores and asked me to try things on and gets sales associates cards etc. Then years go by and nothing and we have the talk and the cycle begins again.

In September he brought me to Cartier and asked me to show him the necklace I had been talking about. He wrote down info and pricing. When I asked why we were there he said because we have an anniversary coming up and he wanted ideas.

Then I get a toilet.

A necklace has no purpose as far as he is concerned and a toilet is a much better gift.

Did I mention he's an engineer?
 
Q

Queenie60

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chemgirl|1448660036|3954750 said:
JDDN|1448657449|3954735 said:
Oh man, I know how bad it can make you feel!

My dad was a horrible gift giver. In fact the toilet made me chuckle because my dad gave my mom a toilet seat for her birthday one year. He was so clueless and my mom would never say anything about it. Later, he started asking me to help him pick out gifts for my mom and over the years I ended up just buying her the gifts and my dad wrapped it and gave it to her.

My hubby is a last minute-day before the celebration-buying it kind of guy. The gift is usually not anything I want, but mostly I feel like it's a half way attempt and a last minute Oh crap! I need to get her something!! type of situation which defeats the purpose of gift giving. We had to really have it out and there were hurt feelings and all that, but ultimately we're better for it.

This is just an idea....Could you tell him that gift giving is super important to you and he doesn't have to understand it completely or feel the same way, but if he could just accept that it makes you feel loved during special occasions? What if you had a special date where you both go out shopping to a store of your choice and you could pick something out together (that you want of course!)? It could be fun and romantic and you would get something you like.

Not sure if that's helpful, but wanted to say I know how crummy it can make you feel. I'm glad your husband is wonderful in all other ways. :))

Have definitely had that conversation and he says he will put in effort to make me feel loved. He has dragged me around to jewelry stores and asked me to try things on and gets sales associates cards etc. Then years go by and nothing and we have the talk and the cycle begins again.

In September he brought me to Cartier and asked me to show him the necklace I had been talking about. He wrote down info and pricing. When I asked why we were there he said because we have an anniversary coming up and he wanted ideas.

Then I get a toilet.

A necklace has no purpose as far as he is concerned and a toilet is a much better gift.

Did I mention he's an engineer?

Chemgirl: It may be time for you to purchase your necklace and let him know that is what you are getting. My husband feels that jewelry is senseless and overpriced however, he wants me to be happy so our resolution was that I purchase what I want. We can't change them however we can help them out a bit. Good luck and I hope you get a very nice bling for Christmas. :wavey:
 

chemgirl

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Starting to calm down about it all after talking with the husband. He has some strange family issues and gets panicked at the idea of buying presents. I know it sounds strange, but I believe it. I have witnessed FIL throw a fit because he doesn't like his presents. Its a really weird situation and I'll be supportive (and buy myself some Hunter boots in the meantime).

We were in counseling and DH was in individual counseling to help with the in-law issues.
 

arkieb1

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I think you need to buy him the Love Languages book and explain you are the gift one and he is probably the act of service one and that practical gifts don't do it for you.

Some men are really practical, like engineers. I am married to a very practical person too, he can fix pretty well anything but he has NO clue what I like, none at all, many years ago I wrote him lists and he would decide buying something on that list isn't a surprise so he would buy something else instead. I remember a post about this ages ago, people said that he was being disrespectful not picking one of my choices, but if you knew him you would know that wasn't his intention, he just assumes much like your husband that something he thinks is wonderful or useful or whatever must be the perfect gift, and if we know about it then it's not a big surprise.

So ask for gift vouchers from the places you want to shop and spend them in sales after Christmas or come to some arrangement where you buy your own clothing and jewellery etc. That is what I do buy what I really like for myself because after years of ugly jewellery that I would never wear which I consider a waste of money, and a bunch of presents very similar to your toilet, and a car that was expensive that I absolutely hated (yes he bought me a brand new car as a surprise without finding out what I really wanted - he bought what he thought I would like) to keep the peace it's easier to just get it yourself.

And sometimes you have to try and see things from their point of view too, buying you a toilet if you have colitis means you use it a lot this equates in his mind he is buying you something that you will use that will be wonderful to improve your day to day life. You don't see it that way but that is the way he sees it. It has taken me years to see these gifts honestly come from a place of love it helps to see it if you put yourself in the other persons shoes.
 

chemgirl

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Another crazy present story that I think I blocked out.

Last year I had a late miscarriage in November. I had already given him my Christmas list which included maternity clothes. Then in DECEMBER he went Christmas shopping and didn't realize he was in a maternity store.

Yeah...opened those in front of the family...it was awkward...

I'm liking the advice to just buy my own presents.
 

sonnyjane

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We have been together for a decade. Our first Christmas he got me a CD. I got him and autographed football that has collected dust since. Since then we decided let's not do gifts, so we don't. No gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas - nothing. It's blissful.

When we took our love language quiz, gifts were the lowest priority for both of us, so we work well. Sounds like gifts are probably up higher on your love language list.
 

luv2sparkle

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Chemgirl, I feel your pain! My husband is exactly the same way. We have been married for 35+ years and I can tell you we have had those conversations many many times, and had arguments about it repeatedly. One year, when cell phones were new, I told him the only thing I wanted for christmas was a cell phone with a $20 a month plan. Nothing else. I didn't even want to use it, I wanted it to be kept inside my glove box for emergencies. He is a firefighter and is gone a lot of days and our kids were little at the time. We had taken our kids to the mountains and rented a house for the holiday. When I realized I did not get a cell phone I was livid. He didn't want to get it because of the $20 a month bill. There have been a few of these kind of incidents, but there have also been times he did really really good. This year on my birthday he killed it. He got the boys up early and had them make me breakfast, he took the day off of work to surprise me and he had BGD make me a diamond by the yard necklace. He has also taken me on several trips this year. I tell you this so you know it probably always won't be the same and it can get better.

I truly believe that some men just don't instinctively know how to make us feel loved. We have gone round and round the 'it's not about the money or the cost of the gift', argument. It is about making me feel like you wanted to do something special and you cared about doing something just for me. For many years I would say, I make everyone feel special on their birthdays but no one can bother to do something special for me on my birthday. Man, it took over 35 years but I think he finally gets it! Woohoo! But if next year he slips into old patterns, I will remember this year and it will be enough.
 

chemgirl

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luv2sparkle|1448678050|3954832 said:
Chemgirl, I feel your pain! My husband is exactly the same way. We have been married for 35+ years and I can tell you we have had those conversations many many times, and had arguments about it repeatedly. One year, when cell phones were new, I told him the only thing I wanted for christmas was a cell phone with a $20 a month plan. Nothing else. I didn't even want to use it, I wanted it to be kept inside my glove box for emergencies. He is a firefighter and is gone a lot of days and our kids were little at the time. We had taken our kids to the mountains and rented a house for the holiday. When I realized I did not get a cell phone I was livid. He didn't want to get it because of the $20 a month bill. There have been a few of these kind of incidents, but there have also been times he did really really good. This year on my birthday he killed it. He got the boys up early and had them make me breakfast, he took the day off of work to surprise me and he had BGD make me a diamond by the yard necklace. He has also taken me on several trips this year. I tell you this so you know it probably always won't be the same and it can get better.

I truly believe that some men just don't instinctively know how to make us feel loved. We have gone round and round the 'it's not about the money or the cost of the gift', argument. It is about making me feel like you wanted to do something special and you cared about doing something just for me. For many years I would say, I make everyone feel special on their birthdays but no one can bother to do something special for me on my birthday. Man, it took over 35 years but I think he finally gets it! Woohoo! But if next year he slips into old patterns, I will remember this year and it will be enough.

This is it exactly! It's showing that they care.

Glad you had a great birthday this year!
 

CJ2008

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chemgirl|1448654276|3954719 said:
Part of me feels like his lack of effort shows that he doesn't care about me as much as I care about him. I get how stupid that sounds.

We have talked about it and he seems to understand in the moment, but then doesn't do anything to follow through.

He shows love and affection in other ways and can't wrap his head around the whole gift giving thing.

I think this is something I'm just going to have to get over.

The toilet is making that a little hard at the moment.

No. It doesn't sound stupid at all.

But I just bet it isn't true. Not if he's awesome in other ways. And if he shows love and affection in other ways.

It's just the way you interpret it because gifts matter to you, that's all.

I just think that if it's so ingrained in him and so much a part of his personality as part of his upbringing (the bit about his father getting really angry at him not getting the right present really made me sad) I think it would be so loving of you to try to not put so much weight on the gifts and try to brainstorm with him a potential solution that he feels he could follow through on and that you could be happy with.

It's not ideal and I know you wish it was different but it may even bring you closer in other ways if you could give more on this one even if it feels like you're the one doing all the giving.

Easier said than done, I know it's not easy.
 

anne_h

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I am not big into the gifts thing. My husband is great at it. I have proposed no gifts many times, but the act is important to him, so I do it. I still say no gifts for me but he keeps giving them. On this topic we are very different!!

To OP - I totally understand how a toilet would be upsetting! I agree its time to take matters more into your own hands. No need to keep getting disappointed...

Anne
 

partgypsy

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I empathize. Some of the things I have gotten for my main Christmas gift from my husband have been: a waffle maker, a toaster, and a drugstore alarm clock. Hints don't really work. He's not a gift type person and if anything doesn't like feeling any obligation regarding gift-giving. He's also the kind of person who says "I hate Christmas" (I love Christmas).

It used to bother me alot, and there have been years I've been upset at spending alot of time and effort getting his gift or gifts, and it not being reciprocated. So, for my birthdays we go out to eat, and for Xmas don't really exchange gifts other than stocking stuffer level things. He has many other good characteristics. Hopefully you can reach a compromise that works for both of you.
 

chemgirl

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CJ2008|1448683621|3954845 said:
chemgirl|1448654276|3954719 said:
Part of me feels like his lack of effort shows that he doesn't care about me as much as I care about him. I get how stupid that sounds.

We have talked about it and he seems to understand in the moment, but then doesn't do anything to follow through.

He shows love and affection in other ways and can't wrap his head around the whole gift giving thing.

I think this is something I'm just going to have to get over.

The toilet is making that a little hard at the moment.

No. It doesn't sound stupid at all.

But I just bet it isn't true. Not if he's awesome in other ways. And if he shows love and affection in other ways.

It's just the way you interpret it because gifts matter to you, that's all.

I just think that if it's so ingrained in him and so much a part of his personality as part of his upbringing (the bit about his father getting really angry at him not getting the right present really made me sad) I think it would be so loving of you to try to not put so much weight on the gifts and try to brainstorm with him a potential solution that he feels he could follow through on and that you could be happy with.

It's not ideal and I know you wish it was different but it may even bring you closer in other ways if you could give more on this one even if it feels like you're the one doing all the giving.

Easier said than done, I know it's not easy.

We came up with a sort of solution. In the future we will look at websites together and he will make a mental note of a few things and order them. That way he knows it's what I want.

I also explained that this doesn't mean he just picks the cheapest thing (it's not about the money really, it just gets to me if he consistently buys whatever is the lowest price without putting any thought into it). Like if I mention a few things that are $10, please pick more than one.

He seemed to get it and was a lot more relaxed.

That is until we actually went on the websites and everything I had bookmarked was sold out. Black Friday is a little crazy.

We decided that this year is a wash and we'll start new next year.
 

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
4,891
I think my SO is a great gift giver....either that, or I'm just not picky and appreciate everything I've gotten from him, because he put some thought into it. I have gotten things from the Magic Bullet food blender (when I was spending tons of time fine dicing and pureeing to make homemade baby food), I've received clothing from him which I get tons of compliments on because he knows what looks good on me better than I do. I've received handbags, wine-tasting trips, hiking shoes, Uggs, workout equipment, kitchen gadgets....all kinds of different things that a lot of women may be offended by, but I don't get offended by them, I'm usually surprised that I needed some of those things, but just didn't get them myself. All his gifts show me that he notices practical things that I'm lacking, that I don't realize myself. Actually one thing that is along the lines of a toilet was a blow-up donut and setz bath that he bought for me after I came home from delivering my firstborn, with a horrible case of hemorrhoids! And when I felt horrible about my wobbly belly, postpartum, he bought me a backbrace/waist corset thingy. I could be mad or offended, but instead I loved that he tried to make me feel better about myself. These were my push presents mind you! No diamond band or cute pendant for me!
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
2,345
monarch64|1448657400|3954734 said:
So your love language is gifts and his is acts of service. You guys need to read that book and understand that each of you approaches love and romance in different ways. He thinks it's amazing that he gave you a toilet because that would be something useful to you. You think a toilet is unromantic and was unnecessary because you already had a perfectly good one. The only problem here is ineffective communication on both your parts. If you've brought this up at counseling and were made to feel like a selfish jerk perhaps it's time to find a different counselor who honors both of your perspectives. And if you can't get over this gift-giving thing at all, don't give each other presents and take a trip together instead. Or pool your money and buy something you both will enjoy. Like Missy said, if this is your biggest issue you're way ahead of the game.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

ETA: I just want to add something onto my post. It is really easy to get wrapped up in marketing and as women to feel like our men only love us if there are these sweeping gestures involved and we're given something he must have read our minds or knows us so well and that means we're SO CLOSE and SO IN LOVE. And guys probably feel that way too--I SHOULD be able to read her mind, I should know what she wants, but I can just never measure up to this expectation that I provide the perfect gift--and I want it to be MY idea otherwise I feel like I disappointed her!

My husband gave me (read, US) a hot tub last year. He loves hot tubs. I call them time machines because of that movie and because I think they're kind of creepy. He is a total acts of service person. He has told me before when I've expressed disinterest or indifference towards a gift like that, that he only wants to give me a palace and make me happy. I have had to bend a little bit in my ways of seeing things and he does really well for lots of gifts but sometimes he screws up. I have communicated directly with him about it and when I do he usually buys exactly what I ask for and maybe 1-2 other things I did not ask for. But there have been royal screw-ups, for sure. Nobody's perfect.

I just noticed the hot tub part! One valentines day DH rented a hot tub. It was neon purple. It showed up on a flatbed truck at 7:00 am and a guy set it up inside our garage. Then he invited people over, on valentines day, to hang out in the sweet "garage tub.". I find rental hot tubs to be kind of weird and creepy. Coworkers called it the Ron Jeremy tub and made a lot of swingers jokes.

The worst part was that the week leading up to valentines day he asked me to take the day off work and make sure my bathing suits were ready to wear because he had something special planned. I thought I was going on a vacation!
 

JDDN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
2,339
chemgirl said:
I just noticed the hot tub part! One valentines day DH rented a hot tub. It was neon purple. It showed up on a flatbed truck at 7:00 am and a guy set it up inside our garage. Then he invited people over, on valentines day, to hang out in the sweet "garage tub.". I find rental hot tubs to be kind of weird and creepy. Coworkers called it the Ron Jeremy tub and made a lot of swingers jokes.

The worst part was that the week leading up to valentines day he asked me to take the day off work and make sure my bathing suits were ready to wear because he had something special planned. I thought I was going on a vacation!

Oh no, that's terrible!! I have to admit that is totally something my hubby would've done. Maybe you're onto something with the whole engineer brain because he's a software engineer :???: . I think some men can just be clueless but not in a mean spirited way. It takes a lot of effort to try and help them understand.

Maybe a book some of the other's have mentioned like the 5 Love Languages would resonate with his engineer thought process.

I can totally see how getting a toilet after going shopping to Cartier and looking at specific things would make you feel disappointed. I don't think you're saying the toilet seat isn't a thoughtful gift in it's own weird way, but gift giving is about what you think the receiver will love and be excited about.

And you just about broke my heart with the miscarriage/maternity clothes story. That would've hurt my feelings big time. I'm sure he felt awful about that, but it's kind of telling that he's not really thinking during the process of choosing something for you and that's what probably stings the most. :(sad
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
19,304
chemgirl|1448688726|3954866 said:
monarch64|1448657400|3954734 said:
So your love language is gifts and his is acts of service. You guys need to read that book and understand that each of you approaches love and romance in different ways. He thinks it's amazing that he gave you a toilet because that would be something useful to you. You think a toilet is unromantic and was unnecessary because you already had a perfectly good one. The only problem here is ineffective communication on both your parts. If you've brought this up at counseling and were made to feel like a selfish jerk perhaps it's time to find a different counselor who honors both of your perspectives. And if you can't get over this gift-giving thing at all, don't give each other presents and take a trip together instead. Or pool your money and buy something you both will enjoy. Like Missy said, if this is your biggest issue you're way ahead of the game.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

ETA: I just want to add something onto my post. It is really easy to get wrapped up in marketing and as women to feel like our men only love us if there are these sweeping gestures involved and we're given something he must have read our minds or knows us so well and that means we're SO CLOSE and SO IN LOVE. And guys probably feel that way too--I SHOULD be able to read her mind, I should know what she wants, but I can just never measure up to this expectation that I provide the perfect gift--and I want it to be MY idea otherwise I feel like I disappointed her!

My husband gave me (read, US) a hot tub last year. He loves hot tubs. I call them time machines because of that movie and because I think they're kind of creepy. He is a total acts of service person. He has told me before when I've expressed disinterest or indifference towards a gift like that, that he only wants to give me a palace and make me happy. I have had to bend a little bit in my ways of seeing things and he does really well for lots of gifts but sometimes he screws up. I have communicated directly with him about it and when I do he usually buys exactly what I ask for and maybe 1-2 other things I did not ask for. But there have been royal screw-ups, for sure. Nobody's perfect.

I just noticed the hot tub part! One valentines day DH rented a hot tub. It was neon purple. It showed up on a flatbed truck at 7:00 am and a guy set it up inside our garage. Then he invited people over, on valentines day, to hang out in the sweet "garage tub.". I find rental hot tubs to be kind of weird and creepy. Coworkers called it the Ron Jeremy tub and made a lot of swingers jokes.

The worst part was that the week leading up to valentines day he asked me to take the day off work and make sure my bathing suits were ready to wear because he had something special planned. I thought I was going on a vacation!

:roll: They're so dumb. Looks like you're on a better track. Glad PS was here for you and you received some great input. (Funny stuff about Ron Jeremy jokes, etc.!)
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
27,339
chemgirl|1448669667|3954800 said:
Another crazy present story that I think I blocked out.

Last year I had a late miscarriage in November. I had already given him my Christmas list which included maternity clothes. Then in DECEMBER he went Christmas shopping and didn't realize he was in a maternity store.

Yeah...opened those in front of the family...it was awkward...

I'm liking the advice to just buy my own presents.

Oh chemgirl, I'm so sorry :(( . I'm married to an engineer too (heck, I am an engineer, at least before I had kids) and like I said,
my husband isnt all that bad but having worked with lots of guy engineers I know there are a lot out there that just are very
practical and have a hard time with girl gifts. Sounds like your dh really did try to get what you want with the clothes. Just
missed the "maternity" part of it. Their minds can be so busy thinking about other things that they miss the obvious. I'm sorry.
I'm sure this was painful. To be honest, I think he is going to be hard to change. His mind just thinks differently.
I liked JDDNs idea about taking him directly to the store you would like the gift from, showing him what you want and
making him purchase your gift before you leave the store. Then go out and have your anniversary dinner to celebrate. Make
it a tradition...I hope that he can fine some enjoyment in your happiness. Give him lots of appreciation/pats on the back etc.
 
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