Author Topic: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?  (Read 3480 times)

sjc0816

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Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:16:11 PM »
I'm turning 40 next month and tonight, my dh surprised me with a new Apple Watch as a gift. I flipped out. The main reason I flipped, is because he got me the 2nd generation Apple watch LAST year for my birthday too. We don't typically do "expensive" gifts for each other and I am very practical (much more practical than DH)....so I wasn't exactly "thrilled" when he got me the watch last year....but I sucked it up and thanked him and ended up loving the watch.

But ANOTHER one? Sometimes I think he doesn't even know me AT ALL. We've been married 15 years. He thinks I will love the cellular option on the new watch because I am a runner and don't like running with my phone. I'm sure that would be great. But I don't need or want another expensive tech gadget.

So I asked him to return it.....and he thinks I'm being nasty and ungrateful.

So give it to me straight.  Are we required to accept every gift with a smile?

I will add, we are fine financially but we certainly need to watch our spending. And we just rescued a puppy....another expensive item (that we are all thrilled about).

MayDay

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 07:20:17 PM »
I would definitely tell my h to return it.
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ixtap

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 07:40:48 PM »
Are your finances entirely joint or is there some separation?

If joint, this might be a good time to start a discussion to set a limit on how much one spends without consulting the other.

If separate, learn to say thank you.

Nora

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 07:53:24 PM »
Being grateful is important to the intimacy of the relationship I reckon. I have been reading Laura Doyle's book The Empowered Wife which has helped me deal with some of these issues much better. Not that I agree with everything in the book, but I definitely do on these topics.

You could consider selling or gifting the older one if having two is not useful.

It sounds like he knows you well -he chose an upgrade of a gift he got you last year and which you really like, which will suit your lifestyle better than the old one.

What are you afraid of?

sjc0816

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 08:03:09 PM »
I'm not really afraid of anything. I'm planning a weekend away with my two best girlfriends and he knew that's what I really wanted for my birthday. The girls weekend plus these two watches will total close to $1500...and that's a lot for a couple of birthdays. We have plenty of other things we can save that money for (carpet, vacations, etc).

I do appreciate your perspective, though. I'm going to get that book because I struggle with these things.

koshtra

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 08:03:32 PM »
Well, if your finances are really separate, you're kind of a bit*h, I guess. But if you're planning and saving together, then really gift-spending comes out of the common purse, and the fact that it's a gift doesn't keep it from being lavish spending on a wholly unneeded luxury. I would certainly be annoyed if my wife pulled this on me. (She wouldn't, but she's had twenty-five more years to get the hang of it than your husband has.)

Of course you've got to coo over gifts in any event, at least that's the rules at our house, but you do get to then turn around and say "it goes right back to the store, of course, what the hell were you thinking of?"


sjc0816

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 08:05:36 PM »
We have 100% joint finances.

Megma

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 08:09:40 PM »
I think nicely say youíd rather have the girls weekend and he should return the watch, maybe donít flip out 😀 possibly too late for that!

Some people are just bad gift givers, it doesnít mean he doesnít know you or care. My dh is bad at choosing gifts. I tell him exactly what I want, usually with a link to it if itís a ďthing.Ē If heíd be receptive to that, might make it easier in future. If you want a surprise, maybe give him a few choices.
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MrsStubble

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 08:16:15 PM »
So what i'm hearing here is you dh wants your new or old apple watch? :)   I would return it and if you don't like the other one, give it to your dh.

My husband is also horrible at getting me gifts.  He tries, but it was always something i didn't want at all or just wasn't me.    We've resolved this by coming to an agreement that he please not get me any gifts anymore. If there's something i want, i will get it.  I don't need a gift to know he loves or appreciates me and after i explained to him that i was 100% on board with no-gifts and wouldn't hold it against him, he agreed.    He does come how with picked flowers for me and sometimes little drawings or home made gifts. Those are always ok.   

I do buy gifts for him still, he likes getting them, i like giving them.  Go figure.

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terran

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 08:18:46 PM »
I would not want an upgrade to a gadget that is only a year old. I would probably try to be more diplomatic about it than "flipping out" by saying something about it being really thoughtful, but that I think the current watch has lots of life left in it, so I'd really rather return it.

I agree with the others that if you had separate finances it might be a different story, but since you have combined finances you should be having discussions about what's an acceptable amount to spend without checking with the other, and what's a reasonable amount to spend on gifts for the other. We budget an amount every month (we track closely with YNAB) and a reasonable maximum would generally be 3 months worth (2 major events each between birthdays and the holidays) unless we've underspent at past times. We don't even always do gifts though.

Mrs. Fire Lane

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 08:41:46 PM »
You're not a bitch. It's silly and wasteful to have two apple watches. But I hope you let him down easy though - maybe he really thought you would like it for some reason?

In the future you could give him some hints about what you would like. I know it's not romantic but my husband just asks me what I want for my birthday. Usually I pick dinner and a movie. Maybe you can teach your husband to be better at planning dates than giving gifts.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 08:52:29 PM »
Nope. I'd likely be upset about how little he actually thought about me or things I actually like if my husband did something like this.

It is a basic lack of thought - buy the techy gadget based off of a superficial reason coupled with the idea that it's expensive enough to look like a "worthy" gift if someone asked what he got you.

Now if you really did flip out and get upset with him and even yell, that's kind of mean (but I kind of think justified since a gift from someone is supposed to love you and be super close to you shouldn't be so terrible). But just saying no thank you and can I return it? No, not mean. 

And if he does this sort of thing often, then maybe sit down and make a list of stuff you like and would like to receive as gifts. If he has a decent assortment of ideas to work with, he might start figuring out things similar that would be a nice surprise eventually on his own.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 08:59:21 PM by Frankies Girl »
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Zikoris

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 08:55:53 PM »
If I was in that exact situation, I would probably sell the old one on Craigslist and start using the new one. But there would definitely be a change in the gift-giving system afterwards, to either "no gifts" or "pre-approved gifts only".

Our personal system that we use is primarily no gifts, plus small stockings with consumables at Christmas, and pre-approved birthday presents (typically concert tickets, a massage, or a video game, but always agreed upon in advance). I'm actually pretty good at buying gifts, but my boyfriend finds the process very stressful, so this benefits him a lot. We switched to this system very early on in our relationship, and I totally recommend it.
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elaine amj

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 09:56:39 PM »
I'd suggest switching to no gifts for the future. My DH and I switched to no gifts soon after we got married and I love it. We do occasionally get each other something here or there, but its on random birthdays/Christmas and never anything expensive. One memorable Christmas, I got an IOU circled on a flyer for a padded toilet seat! (it was going on a super sale the next day). I was thrilled since it was something I had been wanting (the bathroom in our house then was freezing cold all the time) and yet had a hard time spending the money on. Plus, it makes for a hilarious story!!

Dollar Slice

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 10:43:19 PM »
This reminds me of someone I know. Spouse A has always been a big reader, and embraced e-readers early on as a great convenience. Spouse B kept buying the newest latest greatest Kindle as a gift for Spouse A. So they ended up with a ton of Kindles. I think for people who aren't very good at gifts, they latch on to that one gift they got one time that the recipient seemed to really like and use a lot, and try to stick to the theme because they think it will continue to be a hit. Sometimes it works out great (chocolates, whiskey, books, event tickets) and sometimes it's a little bit dumb (Apple watches, Kindles). But probably well-meaning.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 10:46:23 PM by Dollar Slice »
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MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2017, 12:26:23 AM »
Sure, we all get where youíre coming from, this is MMM after all.  That said, sheesh, he was thinking of you.  He knows you love running and thought this would be a great gift for you. Why flip out? Why make him feel like shit for trying to do what he thought was right? Youíre financially fine, just say thanks for being thought of and make some joke about having two watches and sell the old one and put that towards whatever you want. I donít call women the B word, but I do think you were insensitive and mean. He gave you a gift, he didnít have an affair or something horrible, you over-reacted. I hope you have the emotional maturity to apologize.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2017, 02:45:47 AM »
Honestly, your reaction makes you one, not the motivation or thought process. You should have said thank you and that it looks awesome. Then the next day say that you were thinking about the watch, and say that you honestly are ok with the watch from the previous year and that it is more important to you that you spend the money on (XX, YYY, "Experiences", "saving for retirement", or whatever you truly want). This will allow him to have better ideas in the future and give him insight on what you really care about.

Focus on saying you liked the thought but just don't feel it is worth it. He won't be as offensive. You should also let this lead into a conversation of any purchase over X amount that isn't a necessity should be agreed upon.

Also, this is why I like separate or discretionary funds. You adjust the percentage by your point in life (I know my portion will be cut when I become a dad). If he doesn't like the idea of a gift needed to approved, you can look into this.

So say 5-10% of each total income goes into each discretionary account. He can use his on fantasy football and you on a spa day, and neither can judge. You make your own budget in that agreed upon amount. Then if he saves up watch for you, it is truly a gift instead of stealing from the cookie jar to buy the gift.

BattlaP

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2017, 03:40:31 AM »
Honestly, your reaction makes you one, not the motivation or thought process. You should have said thank you and that it looks awesome.

Jeez, judgemental much?

I overreact about my partnerís purchases sometimes. And she sometimes overreacts about mine. Humans are silly creatures. Maybe her partner could have reacted differently and not been such a pissy little bitch about wanting her to fawn over his oh so special and thoughtful gift?

Next time heíll think twice before making dumb financial choices.

Good relationships will deal with the fact that both spouses are idiots sometimes. A bit of overreaction can go a long way to other people really understanding where you draw your lines. Tell him to get over it and return the damn watch and get you what you actually wanted.

I have been on the other side of this story, and swallowing my pride is something everyone needs to know how to do.

libertarian4321

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2017, 04:07:56 AM »
Keep the puppy.  Return the watch thing.

Villanelle

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2017, 04:18:29 AM »
Whether you were bitchy depends, to me, on your reaction.  You say you "flipped".  What does that mean?

While it missed the mark, it doesn't seem like this was actually a thoughtless gift, since the running and phone thing has been something you've clearly mentioned.  He was aware of a problem and sought to fix that problem for you via a gift.  Yes, the calculus of size of problem vs. return on the investment in the problem-solver was not a match for your personal evaluation of that comparison, but it doesn't seem like it was thoughtless.  Not all gifts get it right.

I'd probably say something like, "thank you, DH.  I appreciate that thought and understand why you thought that the cell capability would be great for my runs.  But I can't mentally justify the cost of this, so I don't think I could ever really enjoy it. So I think I'm going to return it, but I do truly appreciate the thought and generosity."  If you truly did "flip out", then I think do you owe him an apology. 

Not wanting, liking, or keeping a gift isn't bitchy.  Being rude in the face of a generous and fairly thoughtful gift is, however.

BattlaP

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2017, 04:39:21 AM »
Damn, you people sound like fucking robots. What's wrong with a person flipping out every now and then?

Be realistic for gods sake, emotions are a thing, you know? And sometimes those emotions get tangled up with important life goals, like a combined financial situation?

Do you honestly expect her to say "thank you, DH.  I appreciate that thought and understand why you thought that the cell capability would be great for my runs.  But I can't mentally justify the cost of this, so I don't think I could ever really enjoy it. So I think I'm going to return it, bla bla fucking bla" when her amygdala is rattling off like a bump stock in Vegas (too soon)?

Life is messy. Flip out if you want. Be a bitch. Be yourself. What's the big deal? If he loves you he'll deal with it.. and he sure as hell won't buy any more stupid watches.

Villanelle

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2017, 05:23:02 AM »
Damn, you people sound like fucking robots. What's wrong with a person flipping out every now and then?

Be realistic for gods sake, emotions are a thing, you know? And sometimes those emotions get tangled up with important life goals, like a combined financial situation?

Do you honestly expect her to say "thank you, DH.  I appreciate that thought and understand why you thought that the cell capability would be great for my runs.  But I can't mentally justify the cost of this, so I don't think I could ever really enjoy it. So I think I'm going to return it, bla bla fucking bla" when her amygdala is rattling off like a bump stock in Vegas (too soon)?

Life is messy. Flip out if you want. Be a bitch. Be yourself. What's the big deal? If he loves you he'll deal with it.. and he sure as hell won't buy any more stupid watches.

Right.  And when you flip out and are a bitch, after the emotions have settled, you apologize to the person to whom you were bitchy.  Not sure what is robotic about that.  The ideal response would have been to not flip out in the first place.  For some reason, this was especially emotional for her, so she did.  It's not a big deal.  But she asked the question, so of course people offered their thoughts, perhaps trying to get her to see his side and understand.  And no one called her an awful person for it.  I made sure I didn't even call her a bitch, despite her using that term.  It was a bitchy moment.  They happen.  Even to decent, kind, thoughtful people.  And decent, kind, thoughtful people generally own up to it after the fact, especially when it may have hurt someone they love.  Or do only her feelings matter, and not his?

If he loves her, yes, he'll deal with it.  But if I love someone and realize I flipped out on them when they didn't really do anything wrong, I apologize.   To me, that seems pretty realistic, and also decent and thoughtful.   

Brother Esau

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2017, 05:43:37 AM »
My DW would have done the same thing. You're fine.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2017, 06:00:39 AM »
Honestly, your reaction makes you one, not the motivation or thought process. You should have said thank you and that it looks awesome.

Jeez, judgemental much?

I overreact about my partnerís purchases sometimes. And she sometimes overreacts about mine. Humans are silly creatures. Maybe her partner could have reacted differently and not been such a pissy little bitch about wanting her to fawn over his oh so special and thoughtful gift?

Next time heíll think twice before making dumb financial choices.

Good relationships will deal with the fact that both spouses are idiots sometimes. A bit of overreaction can go a long way to other people really understanding where you draw your lines. Tell him to get over it and return the damn watch and get you what you actually wanted.

I have been on the other side of this story, and swallowing my pride is something everyone needs to know how to do.

Didn't mean to be judgmental. She asked for our opinion and, yes, that one reaction was bitchy in my mind. Should have clarified it doesn't make her a bitch :) I'm just being honest that I feel you should never lash out against your SO. Does it happen to everyone and will your relationship survive? Yeah, but I'm not excusing the behavior. Are you anti-mustachian because you slipped and bought an expensive car? Yea, you deserve a face punch. Again, doesn't mean it defines the person if it was a one-time thing but you don't just ok the behavior.

I totally disagree with your feelings about overreactions. The few times I've flipped out at my wife, it didn't end well. She got defensive and those issues become a touchy subject. My wife has the Italian temper every once in a while she'll blow up. Yeah, you are damn right I won't make the same mistake twice, but I will also be less willing to try to new things to show appreciation and probably resent her for little bit. No one has a right to lash out at another human when they are well intention-ed.

Humans aren't that different than dogs. You can scream at them if they misbehavior and it will probably correct the behavior. Doesn't mean it is healthy and their aren't more efficient ways of training good habits into a dog.

sjc0816

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2017, 06:28:26 AM »
I didn't actually flip out in a "lose-my-mind" kind of way. I had just gotten home after chauffeuring kids around all night and when I saw the box on the counter I knew exactly what it was and I said..."honey, no...I'm not keeping that!"...in a fairly excitable tone. I wasn't rude but I did act shocked that he would buy me another expensive gift. 

It doesn't hurt my feelings for people to tell me I acted bitchy...that's why I asked. Sometimes I can be bitchy...and I definitely don't always handle situations at home in the best way...with my husband or my kids.

After the kids went to sleep, I apologized and told him how much I appreciate the thought...and that it's an awesome watch, but I'd rather go on my girls weekend and we can't afford both. He told me he had to order the watch two months ago...which was before he knew I was planning on going away with my girlfriends. He said he wouldn't have bought it if he knew. He is returning it today at lunch.

I am going to have a conversation with him at some point about discussing any purchase over a certain amount of money. It honestly has never been an issue (neither of us are spenders) until my birthday last year and now this year. He typically gets me chocolate and a card as a gift (which I love). lol

Completely appreciate the feedback!

MayDay

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2017, 06:46:01 AM »
The thing is, it was a shitty gift for multiple reasons (lazy because you didn't really want it and he was just upgrading what you had, out of your gift budget, etc).

You don't need to do emotional labor around his feelings. It's not your job to make him feel ok about getting you a shitty gift.

Tell him how you feel and if he doesn't like it maybe he won't keep buying you this stuff.
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maizeman

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2017, 07:07:25 AM »
Maybe her partner could have reacted differently and not been such a pissy little bitch about wanting her to fawn over his oh so special and thoughtful gift?

Next time heíll think twice before making dumb financial choices.... A bit of overreaction can go a long way to other people really understanding where you draw your lines.

Life is messy. Flip out if you want. Be a bitch. Be yourself. What's the big deal? If he loves you he'll deal with it..

I was in a relationship once with a person whose views and statements matched the ones you just posted. Longest two years of my life. After it was over (all night one-way screaming match), I remember sitting on the floor with my back pressed against the locked and bolted front door of my crummy little apartment, and realizing the unfamiliar feelings starting to trickle through my brain as the sun rose were safety and peace.

Treating someone loving you as a license to be as brutal as you like to them is a great way to ensure that (sooner or later) they won't love you anymore.

@sjc, obviously none of the above applies to your situation. It sounds like you were taken by surprise and naturally gave the first and strongest reaction you had to seeing the gift, then were self aware in realizing it might now have been the most effective way to convey your feelings and figured out at way to correct the situation later that night (while still ensuring the watch got returned).
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elaine amj

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2017, 07:18:54 AM »
Maybe her partner could have reacted differently and not been such a pissy little bitch about wanting her to fawn over his oh so special and thoughtful gift?

Next time he’ll think twice before making dumb financial choices.... A bit of overreaction can go a long way to other people really understanding where you draw your lines.

Life is messy. Flip out if you want. Be a bitch. Be yourself. What's the big deal? If he loves you he'll deal with it..

I was in a relationship once with a person whose views and statements matched the ones you just posted. Longest two years of my life. After it was over (all night one-way screaming match), I remember sitting on the floor with my back pressed against the locked and bolted front door of my crummy little apartment, and realizing the unfamiliar feelings starting to trickle through my brain as the sun rose were safety and peace.

Treating someone loving you as a license to be as brutal as you like to them is a great way to ensure that (sooner or later) they won't love you anymore.

@sjc, obviously none of the above applies to your situation. It sounds like you were taken by surprise and naturally gave the first and strongest reaction you had to seeing the gift, then were self aware in realizing it might now have been the most effective way to convey your feelings and figured out at way to correct the situation later that night (while still ensuring the watch got returned).
I agree. Yes I make stupid mistakes sometimes and my DH deals with it and forgives me. Doesn't mean I shouldn't strive to be better. And why oh why do we treat our friends and casual acquaintances better than the people we love?

I am having this ongoing discussion with my DH (it is taking years). When he gets upset, he likes to yell at the kids and I. Afterwards, he says he feels better. I am trying, trying ,trying to get it into his thick skull that making someone else feel bad is NOT a good way to make yourself feel better. In the meantime, I understand and am gentle with him during those moods. I have learned to let it all roll off my back and am teaching the kids to do the same. And if he gets really unreasonable, I will call him out on it and put my foot down (that does often descend into noisy screaming matches though as I succumb to temptation so I generally avoid it).

He's slowly, very slowly getting better. I usually try to wait until later when he is calm to discuss what he is doing and he has apologized to me and to the kids several times. He still hasn't fully accepted my point of view but eventually he'll get there :)

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acroy

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2017, 07:25:41 AM »
No, but his way of loving you is not the way you want to be loved.
Seriously: try the book 5 Love Languages.

the 5 ways are
Words of Affirmation,
Quality Time,
Receiving Gifts,
Acts of Service, and
Physical Touch

People usually have a strong 1st preference and a less strong 2nd; and little or no interest in the other 3. They perform and expect to receive the above as expression of love.

DH may be strong on Gifts; while you want something else.

In my case I am strong on Acts of Service; so I am always doing stuff for DW, who would prefer me to quit working on stuff, and spend more Quality Time with her! and even though i know this intellectually, it hard to live it, because it is not natural for me.

Good luck!
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MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2017, 07:27:09 AM »
I didn't actually flip out in a "lose-my-mind" kind of way. I had just gotten home after chauffeuring kids around all night and when I saw the box on the counter I knew exactly what it was and I said..."honey, no...I'm not keeping that!"...in a fairly excitable tone. I wasn't rude but I did act shocked that he would buy me another expensive gift. 

It doesn't hurt my feelings for people to tell me I acted bitchy...that's why I asked. Sometimes I can be bitchy...and I definitely don't always handle situations at home in the best way...with my husband or my kids.

After the kids went to sleep, I apologized and told him how much I appreciate the thought...and that it's an awesome watch, but I'd rather go on my girls weekend and we can't afford both. He told me he had to order the watch two months ago...which was before he knew I was planning on going away with my girlfriends. He said he wouldn't have bought it if he knew. He is returning it today at lunch.

I am going to have a conversation with him at some point about discussing any purchase over a certain amount of money. It honestly has never been an issue (neither of us are spenders) until my birthday last year and now this year. He typically gets me chocolate and a card as a gift (which I love). lol

Completely appreciate the feedback!

Glad you reflected and made amends. Heís probably thinking that youíve been sacrificing for years and now that youíre financially fine then he can splurge a bit on you because you deserve nice things.

To be fair, your original post was a bit dramatic. This post far more level-headed. You know you over-reacted, apologized, communicated and you both listened. Not sure what motivated you to have strangers judge your character when you seem to have worked it all out?

KBecks

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2017, 07:28:21 AM »
Apologize, accept the watch and get on with life.   

I have a hard time receiving gifts and my husband often gets it wrong, but if I could do it again, I'd accept every not so great gift with a smile. 

You're not a bitch, but you should look at the big picture, and the watch is small stuff.

ETA:  Looks like you have it settled, so enjoy your girls' trip!    Make sure you show appreciation for whatever junk he buys you for the next time -- Christmas / anniversary, etc. 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 07:32:49 AM by KBecks »

sjc0816

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2017, 08:16:38 AM »
I didn't actually flip out in a "lose-my-mind" kind of way. I had just gotten home after chauffeuring kids around all night and when I saw the box on the counter I knew exactly what it was and I said..."honey, no...I'm not keeping that!"...in a fairly excitable tone. I wasn't rude but I did act shocked that he would buy me another expensive gift. 

It doesn't hurt my feelings for people to tell me I acted bitchy...that's why I asked. Sometimes I can be bitchy...and I definitely don't always handle situations at home in the best way...with my husband or my kids.

After the kids went to sleep, I apologized and told him how much I appreciate the thought...and that it's an awesome watch, but I'd rather go on my girls weekend and we can't afford both. He told me he had to order the watch two months ago...which was before he knew I was planning on going away with my girlfriends. He said he wouldn't have bought it if he knew. He is returning it today at lunch.

I am going to have a conversation with him at some point about discussing any purchase over a certain amount of money. It honestly has never been an issue (neither of us are spenders) until my birthday last year and now this year. He typically gets me chocolate and a card as a gift (which I love). lol

Completely appreciate the feedback!

Glad you reflected and made amends. Heís probably thinking that youíve been sacrificing for years and now that youíre financially fine then he can splurge a bit on you because you deserve nice things.

To be fair, your original post was a bit dramatic. This post far more level-headed. You know you over-reacted, apologized, communicated and you both listened. Not sure what motivated you to have strangers judge your character when you seem to have worked it all out?


I worked it out after my post. Guilty feelings motivated me to make the post....and I wanted to post it here, with frugal-minded people who might understand me better than most super-consumers.

elaine amj

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2017, 11:35:37 AM »
+1 to the 5 Love Languages.

DH is into Acts of Service - which drives me crazy because I'm a thoughtless, spoiled brat. Over the years, I've learned to humor him and do the little things he likes. Makes zero sense to me (why does water taste better when I bring him the cup?!), but hey...it keeps the man happy.

I like Words of Affirmation myself. My cooking typically becomes good after a few days of praise :) Too much grumbling and only disaster comes out of my kitchen. He's getting better ;)

acroy

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2017, 12:08:52 PM »
I like Words of Affirmation myself. My cooking typically becomes good after a few days of praise :) Too much grumbling and only disaster comes out of my kitchen. He's getting better ;)
LOL!

My instinctive tendency is to only compliment for something exceptional. I expect routine excellence because that is the standard I have in my head and (try) to hold myself to. Routine compliments sound fake to me and I probably come off as an arrogant ass to others!

But the more I affirm DW, the more she likes it and the harder she tries. It's like water & sunlight. Pretty amazing. And it makes both of us happier, so win-win!
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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2017, 01:27:12 PM »
I'm turning 40 next month and tonight, my dh surprised me with a new Apple Watch as a gift. I flipped out. The main reason I flipped, is because he got me the 2nd generation Apple watch LAST year for my birthday too. We don't typically do "expensive" gifts for each other and I am very practical (much more practical than DH)....so I wasn't exactly "thrilled" when he got me the watch last year....but I sucked it up and thanked him and ended up loving the watch.

But ANOTHER one? Sometimes I think he doesn't even know me AT ALL. We've been married 15 years. He thinks I will love the cellular option on the new watch because I am a runner and don't like running with my phone. I'm sure that would be great. But I don't need or want another expensive tech gadget.

So I asked him to return it.....and he thinks I'm being nasty and ungrateful.

So give it to me straight.  Are we required to accept every gift with a smile?

I will add, we are fine financially but we certainly need to watch our spending. And we just rescued a puppy....another expensive item (that we are all thrilled about).

My wife is the same way. She equates love with expensive gifts even though she knows my number one goal in life is to save money and retire as early as possible. She just can't understand me, even though I've been telling her about Mr. Money Mustache for the past four years. I'd already be retired if I had a frugal wife but now I've just accepted the fact that I'll retire at approx. age 47. We're happily married with a baby and we live car-free so we're both pretty happy with our life. I'll retire a decade later than some people on this site but I can live with that.

My advice would be to accept the gift for the sake of the marriage but keep trying to convince your husband that you don't need fancy gadgets to be happy.


AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2017, 02:58:40 PM »
I'm turning 40 next month and tonight, my dh surprised me with a new Apple Watch as a gift. I flipped out. The main reason I flipped, is because he got me the 2nd generation Apple watch LAST year for my birthday too. We don't typically do "expensive" gifts for each other and I am very practical (much more practical than DH)....so I wasn't exactly "thrilled" when he got me the watch last year....but I sucked it up and thanked him and ended up loving the watch.

But ANOTHER one? Sometimes I think he doesn't even know me AT ALL. We've been married 15 years. He thinks I will love the cellular option on the new watch because I am a runner and don't like running with my phone. I'm sure that would be great. But I don't need or want another expensive tech gadget.

So I asked him to return it.....and he thinks I'm being nasty and ungrateful.

So give it to me straight.  Are we required to accept every gift with a smile?

I will add, we are fine financially but we certainly need to watch our spending. And we just rescued a puppy....another expensive item (that we are all thrilled about).

I don't think this has anything to do with money. It's about courtesy and gracefully accepting a gift, especially from someone you care about. Besides, you said yourself that you ended up loving last year's watch. Maybe he knows you better than you think.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2017, 03:36:05 PM »
+2 or +3 or whatever to the love languages.

Obviously you two are communicating, but at the same time are not fully happy with the complete picture.  Learning and applying ways to sort out and improve on squishy yet important things like the love languages can make a big difference.  Basically you have a chance to eliminate unnecessary problems through better understanding... understanding that will make each person feel better.  You'll find the relationships easier to maintain, and more fulfilling to be in.  You can do this just on your side, with extra benefit if he learns a bit about it too - by which I don't mean to endorse unequal efforts, simply I mean that your own understanding by itself can improve relations, so you have lots of power to improve things.  Much more important than one watch. 

Best wishes in all aspects of your marriage.

Evgenia

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2017, 06:39:37 PM »
I don't think you are, but I can also see how he might take it that way. Many years ago (though I now know I did not NEED to do this), I decided to give my then almost-husband permission to get me inexpensive gifts, and be lavish in my praise of said gifts. I wanted to make inexpensive gift giving not just OK but EASY for him. The first REAL example? Fancy dried beans.

If I buy dried beans at the grocery or bulk foods store, I buy the $.79/pound dried beans: cheapest type. But, there are these OTHER beans. Rancho Gordo beans. They grow heirloom varieties (SUCH DELICIOUS heirloom varieties), and support indigenous crops in Mexico, and YOU GUYS, they are SO TASTY. They're also $5.95-$6.95/pound. So, I don't let myself buy them.

One Christmas, as a joke, Best Husband stuffed my stocking with three bags of different Rancho Gordo beans, and I was so happy and excited I actually *cried*. Now he knows, REALLY KNOWS, that I LOVE to get them and that they are all I REALLY want.

Maybe, if you can find a small, inexpensive thing, or a few, that you genuinely LOVE and that he BELIEVES you love, he will not get you fancier things like the watch. Maybe! I wish you luck.
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elaine amj

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2017, 09:29:55 PM »
I like Words of Affirmation myself. My cooking typically becomes good after a few days of praise :) Too much grumbling and only disaster comes out of my kitchen. He's getting better ;)
LOL!

My instinctive tendency is to only compliment for something exceptional. I expect routine excellence because that is the standard I have in my head and (try) to hold myself to. Routine compliments sound fake to me and I probably come off as an arrogant ass to others!

But the more I affirm DW, the more she likes it and the harder she tries. It's like water & sunlight. Pretty amazing. And it makes both of us happier, so win-win!
DH is the same way. But he's been trying harder and even when it's a bit forced, it's still nice to hear "thanks for working hard on dinner, honey", "that was a great meal - thanks" or better yet, "it's OK that you burnt that. It happens". 

Our home is happiest when we all start every other sentence with " thanks.."

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partgypsy

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2017, 06:39:04 AM »
Wow, this reminds me of me and my ex. We just didn't understand each other about gifts.
For us, it boiled down to, me and my family don't mind other people exchanging/returning gifts to get something they want/need better. He was offended if someone returned or exchanged a gift. OTOH I would spend a lot of time and thought trying to get something the other person would like. He instead liked to get gifts at the last minute without checking on the other person.

In your case, I think this boils down to more money issue; you share joint purchases, and are probably only open to an expensive gift if discussed ahead of time.
Maybe have an agreement that gifts over a certain amount ($50) be discussed? I am the same way, where if I feel I am pinching pennies, someone else in household splashes out on something you didn't feel were consulted on, even if it's a gift for you. To me it feels like a waste of money. 

« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 06:56:46 AM by partgypsy »

gypsy79

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2017, 10:29:32 AM »
Oh, wow, do I identify with this. For Christmas last year my very sweet and kind husband gave me a brand new iPad, which would have been great if I didn't already have an iPad that worked perfectly fine. In fact, it was a downgrade since the new one didn't have cell capability. I thanked him and am still using it, but he could tell I was disappointed and it made me feel guilty. I was having the same internal dialogue you mentioned, does he know me? I am the person who gets a kick out of using things until they break beyond repair.

Le sigh. I agree with what others said about the love languages. I prefer Acts of Service. He prefers Gifts. It's easier for me that he prefers Gifts. I get him the latest, most expensive gadget, he's happy. It's harder for him because he can do something really nice for me, but then he feels guilty that we spend far more money on him overall. (Which I could give a hoot less about. If you really want to even it out, do it by spending less on you, not more on me. There's an Act of Service, LOL.)

 

« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 10:36:24 AM by gypsy79 »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2017, 02:27:15 PM »
Prior to MMM, our problem was Iím pretty good at gifts but go overboard and was spending a lot of money trying to ďbuyĒ my partnerís happiness, which only worked for the moment. My partner has a great heart but isnít great at buying me gifts that I want or find practical, which I found frustrating but kept to myself, just rarely used the gifts.

But then MMM came into our lives and what a difference. First, I now have a reason to stop spending so much on gifts because we have to look at the bigger picture. We also had a conversation about literally having everything we need and not needing new or more stuff. If anything, we need to get rid of stuff. Lastly, the mantra now is, spend money on experiences, not things. Itís taken a couple slip ups but this now sticks for us. Of course, every now and then a physical present is nice, but so is a night out, a show or a weekend trip together. Experiences, not things.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2017, 05:38:39 PM »
... the idea that it's expensive enough to look like a "worthy" gift if someone asked what he got you.

This just gave me instant insight into why my husband was mortified when I asked for a new butter dish for my birthday (the lid broke on the current one), then ordered it on eBay and had it sent to him at work.

Him: I'm not giving you a butter dish for your birthday.
Me: But I want it.
Him: No, we need it. That's different.
Me: No, I could keep using the lid that's been glued back together. That means a new one is a want. :D

As far as love languages, I don't think anyone has mentioned that people can give and receive in different love languages.

I am acts of service for both. I take on a lot for other people as a way of showing love, and having someone take something off my plate is a huge relief.

My husband is physical touch to receive, and gifts when it comes to showing love for others.

I manage gifts for our family and friends, and 90 per cent of the time he will say that I didn't spend enough.

I think it stems from insecurity and from having a cheap (not frugal, cheap) mother.

He's away so I texted him about this thread. He said, "I want you to have nice things. I want to be generous."

Awesome thread, guys.

talltexan

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2017, 12:58:03 PM »
I also come from a relationship in which gift-giving is poorly matched between my spouse and me. ptf.

Meesh

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2017, 06:23:19 PM »
We have had similar problems too. It doesn't really sound like you were a bitch, just honest.

We now have basically a no gift policy. Sometimes we get pre-approved gifts like stuff we need or fun experiences. We try to celebrate holidays by doing fun things instead.

DH also has a small budget for doing whatever without me having any say since I do all the finances but want to stay married. Otherwise, he lovingly refers to me as "procurement" since I approve all purchases just like he has to do at work.

On a side note I told my family we were only giving Christmas gifts to kiddos a few years back and I'm pretty sure I made my Gift loving mother cry. So the 5 languages thing is definitely real. Just glad DH is not one.

MrsPete

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2017, 06:30:45 PM »
Every gift should be appreciated.  The recipient should always show gratitude, especially to his or her spouse, who is -- after all -- the most important person in your life. 

However, not all gifts are well thought-out.  This repeat-watch seems like one of what-were-you-thinking gifts. I don't think the problem was the gift so much as the way you reacted.  If you'd said -- in a kind voice, "Oh, I absolutely love it, and you were so generous to get this for me -- but don't you remember that you gave me the same thing last year?  I love the one I have, and it's still working perfectly well.  What will I do with a second one?"  He'd probably have been a bit shame-faced and would've thought of returning it himself.

MrsPete

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2017, 06:37:57 PM »
What's wrong with a person flipping out every now and then?
It's not something I do.  It's not something my husband does. 

"Flipping out" isn't a consequence-free action.  Mean things are said, feelings are hurt, and those things aren't forgotten.  It sets a bad example for children.  It gives your spouse permission to treat you the same way later.  No, "flipping out" is something I see my students do at school occasionally -- they do it when they're out of control and aren't bothering to think /behave rationally.  Not an acceptable choice.

asauer

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2017, 12:06:32 PM »
Let me show you the thoughts you're having:
1. This gift is wasteful
2. My husband doesn't know me
3. I don't want this

I encourage you to think this way:
1. My husband is an adult and can do whatever he wants, his job is to love me
2. I'm an adult and can do whatever I want, my job is to love him

These second two thoughts allow him to buy you the watch and you to return the watch without nearly the drama you have posted.

CestMoi

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2017, 12:59:30 PM »
You're not a bitch for thinking he spent too much on your (mostly unnecessary) gift. It's more the way you go about telling him that. It was a gift, after all. Express yourself, but be considerate. It's not just that he gave you something you don't really need; you also feel the gift was overly expensive, and he should know that. If you don't tell him somehow, you may get a new watch next year.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Give it to me straight - am I a bit*h?
« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2017, 06:45:11 PM »
DH is poor gift giver.   He thinks a lot about the person, then explains the reasoning for a specific present, so it is sweet.  But the gifts are bad and overpriced.  He also waits until the last minute to get something, often.  (ok. Maybe not last minute, but the week for before christmas, day before or day of birthday).

After sweetly saying thank-you and using the gifts over the years, I finally put my foot down.  Flipped out.  No more presents with electrical cords.  No more tech gadgets.  Nothing over $150, that I haven't previously suggested.

Past presents as examples:

An iron -- because he saw how frustrated about ironing I was, and how much I disliked it.  (Two thirds of the ironing was for his shirts.   The true gift would have been for him to take over ironing his own shirts before we go out for dinner with my parents, or just hang his shirts to dry)

A vacuum  (don't buy your wife a vacuum at Christmas, just, don't... buy it and bring it into the house on a non-holiday and wrap something else)

A wine cooler.  (uses power and I tend to buy a bottle, drink a bottle, so only 1 bottle at a time in there.)
A plug-in coffee mug for the car $30, fell apart after 5 uses.  Instead of a Contigo insulated coffee mug (on my gift list, not tech enough)

A car wash "ionizer"/ soft water sprayer -- because I got a "new to me" car the prior year that I liked, but he noted that I seemed to like washing cars because I would wash his, too, every month or two (he never did it, it drove me nuts if I had to take his dirty car sometimes).  He wanted to get a present that related to something I must be excited about (the new to me car).

Here is a beauty -- I asked one year for a CD walkman with headphones ($25), to use while walking the neighborhood.   This was pre-ipods.   He bought a $480 mp3 player, circa 1998.  Sound quality was.. not great.... In today's money, that would be a $650 tech gadget.   

We, too, had wholly joint finances at the time.   I was usually the only one working, and tightly budgeting the grocery bill and scrimping on my work wardrobe to afford extras, like a nicer fridge or to pay for my night school, and he ends up buying tech gadgets.  Gah.

Took me 6 years to flip out.  Put my foot down.
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