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Woman is honest with husband about his 'embarrassing' birthday gift, 'not even an ecard.' AITA?

Woman is honest with husband about his 'embarrassing' birthday gift, 'not even an ecard.' AITA?


"AITA for being honest saying my husband’s bday gift for me sucks? Should I just suck it up?"

We aren’t rich but we are comfortable in our lower middle class way. My birthday was this weekend and while I don’t expect much I am wondering AITA here. My husband gave me a loofa/poof/sponge from the dollar store and a chocolate bar from the dollar store to me for my birthday.

Now, my kids took their own money out and bought me some chocolate too and they on their own made me some cute cards just before my birthday dinner. Dinner was made by my eldest (I took him shopping on my birthday for the couple ingredients we needed).

Now I’m not upset he didn’t spend a lot of money, but the effort and thought were zilch. I’d said I need to buy a new one for the shower and my old one was hanging unraveled on the hook in the shower the week before my birthday.

For our anniversary I’d bought my husband a few small gifts, a particular item for him that had features he really was excited about for our vacation. I also bought him a few other small items I knew he would enjoy. I spent probably about fifty dollars in total. But I also created a whole scavenger hunt through the house with clues based on things he says and family jokes. He had a ball completing the scavenger hunt and spoke about it for weeks.

Then for his birthday a couple months later I bought him another item I know he’d enjoy but spent about fifty again. Included in the fifty I’d bought about ten items from the dollar store and turned them into a game during his birthday dinner with me and the kids. Each of us closed our eyes and picked out an item and then had to explain why this was a perfect gift for him or create a birthday blessing based on the item.

For example one was a pack of highlighters and one of my kids said he should be blessed with brightness in his life and and his life should be filled with high lites and only good things. It turned out to be a beautiful activity, he loved it and my kids asked to make it a regular for all our birthdays. So here I am with low expectations from past birthdays but this one was the worst. He made no effort for anything- not even a massage or a card. Not even an ecard.

So I am pissed off. I don’t expect him to be as creative as I am. I don’t need fancy things. But seriously? I was so embarrassed in front of my kids, and even more when family asked if I got anything for my birthday. Then I realized I have nothing to be embarrassed about.

He doesn’t think he did anything wrong and doesn’t see why I’m annoyed. He said it is the thought that counts. But that is exactly my point. It feels like no thought! I don’t want to talk to him or even look at him anymore over this. Am I overreacting? So does it’s the thought that counts mean. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

JNF919 said:

NTA. "It's the thought that counts" is BS. If you got him a quart of milk for his birthday because you're out of milk, I'm sure he wouldn't be thrilled either. You're not mad about cost, you're mad about the lack of thought, and that's absolutely fair.

Bluehotchilipepperz said:

NTA. He could have gotten you some flowers. He could have planned a DIY "fancy" dinner with jazzy music and candles. He could have set up a cute picnic. He could make a cute card out of some scrap paper, or left you meaningful notes around the house.

When my partner and I were broke as hell, these are super cheap/ free but thoughtful gifts and we still do things like this even though we have more money now because its the thought that counts. A little effort is free of charge.

StarTheVagician said:

NTA…I wouldn’t care what the gift was or how much it cost if the gift giver had just put a little thought into it. It seems like he grabbed the first thing he could find. I’m sorry.

perpetuallyxhausted said:

NTA you need to start matching his energy for his gifts. Is there any chance that he's genuinely no good at Gift giving and bought you the loofa because you said you needed one? Like if you'd said you needed a spa weekend or something might he have gotten that instead? Or do you think it would have still been some half as%ed gift?

LivingBreadGirl_ said:

NTA. Early on in our relationship my husband and I had quite a few birthdays where we financially struggled HARD. But we ALWAYS made sure that there were at least some small, personal gifts that had meaning. Even if it was just a sweet card or a promise for a later birthday - even when we didn‘t have a lot we never let one another feel unappreciated. Your husband‘s an idiot for this. And saying that it‘s „the thought that counts“ is downright lazy.

MenopausalMama said:

NTA. I've been married for over 20 years and I should have spoken up much sooner. My husband gives terrible gifts. Not necessarily cheap, but just awful. Stuff from the "As Seen on TV" aisle at Walmart. I finally spoke up a few years ago and asked him to just stop and I'd get myself something. It's great.

I have no more terrible gifts to sneak into the dumpster or to the donation center. He has no more stress of trying to shop. I get myself what I really want or need and know we can afford. Sometimes that's nothing but nothing is better than something I have to figure out how to get rid of.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this couple?

Sources: Reddit
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