Gift giving when a couple shares finances
My husband and I have been martial for 9 years, we have recently moved to a new country where we have 0 support structures in place (babysitting) and we have not been on a date for 2 years.
My husband loves buying camera equipment we have 5 cameras and various lenses for each. We discuss all the time that he is not to buy more. Recently he inherited a small amount of money and said he would buy a lens with it, this was fine as it was his money to spend to remember that person by. He bought the lens and had about $100 change.
A month later it was my birthday and he excitedly said I am so excited to be able to spoil you this year (no our finances are not that great, we are doing ok). Our relationship is in shambles because we never get time together. I thought wow what a thoughtful husband. I opened the gift and it was a $1000 action video camera! I do not do action sports and I do not want it. I was totally overcome with anxiety and opened it!
Am I an awful wife to be annoyed? It feels so thoughtless whilst our relationship is in shambles from not having any dates. We could have spent it on a babysitter or a spa day for us both. I don’t work so it’s our finances. When I explained it was unacceptable he said, but it’s my money I spent some of my inheritance on you. Pulling a guilt card when there was only $100 change.
I am really bothered about this and even more so because I feel angry at myself for feeling ungrateful. I feel he bought the action camera for himself and disguised it as my gift not expecting me to get angry about it as it is a cool camera.
Sorry, but I had to laugh at what your husband did. Sounds just like my ex-husband. He would buy me things that HE wanted (like a snow mobile trailer!!) for a gift. Or a size 14 dress (when I wore an 8) - (Hello? Are you even aware I exist?)
My ex never did get it. He continued put the family finances in crisis by buying things we didn't need. Even after there were children, who had needs above his.
I would tell him what I wanted, thinking that he was just unaware of a woman's needs. Nope. After, I thought he was ADD. Then - because he drank - that alcohol was causing the problems. But it ended up being:
Self centered. Spoiled. Impulsive. Blamer. Irresponsible. Sneaky.
Very difficult to live with - so I didn't.
" I feel he bought the action camera for himself and disguised it as my gift "
And so do I. Did even before you said it.
Yep, I'm with you and Susie. Oh, definitely.
But why do you feel angry at yourself for feeling a lack of gratitude at a lack of any act to elicit gratitude? Que? Isn't that the same as saying you're angry at yourself for feeling zero gratitude over having received a slap in the face?
Listen, it could have been a "cool" pair of boxer shorts in his size, they *still* wouldn't have been bought with you and your needs/desires/opinions in mind, would they. Had they, you'd have been [wait for it] PLEASED WITH THEM. Incredible how that works, eh.
Sell it on Ebay, I would. Or ask if he wants to buy it off you, considering he obviously believes that he can inherit and spend that inheritance like a single man, rather than the married man he is AS MEANS THERE IS NO "MINE", JUST "OURS" (did he or you forget that?). I mean, you do realise that if you'd been a woman about to divorce that man, your solicitor would have been right to demand halvesies in the settlement? So - he wants a Yours versus Mine situation, he can damn well buy it off you (if he ever wants to be allowed to use it or doesn't want you to sell it and buy something else instead).
Or do you mean, angry that you can't just get over it this time and what that incapability spells in terms of having to take action?...perhaps because although this particular action is new, the attitudes behind it aren't?
Alternatively, have you actually tried telling him how this self-centred decision of his has made you feel? Or was that the point of coming on here - to check you weren't the one at fault, prior to approaching him about it?
Isn't that fact rather elementary? Why wasn't it obvious for you? Has this sort of thing been done to you before?
More to the point - how come he thought such an act, on your birthday of all days, was probably worth a try, that he MIGHT get away with it?
PS: Why did you have to move to a new country with zero support network?
Rosemary – I think it’s great that you are working on your relationship with your husband. It’s obvious that you love him and want things to work out for you both. Sometimes our husbands think they know us so well and end up giving us gifts that we don’t want or know what to do with. It’s great that you have reached out for help. Have you ever thought about how your husband shows his love to you? It might be good for you to talk about it with him. Check out these websites for helpful ways to communicate: http://peacemaker.net/
You also may want to think about an at home date. Turn off the TV and other distractions after your child goes to bed and have a candlelight dinner.. I’ll be praying for you and your family.