A Practice Gift

Hubby is horrible at receiving gifts. Just horrible.

Half the time he doesn’t open them until way later.  Or he says “You shouldn’t have gotten me anything.”  And he means it.  He opens it and frowns because – well who knows.  Maybe because I didn’t listen and I got him something anyway.  He has a terrible time saying THANK YOU to the person.  Instead he says ” I told you not to get me anything” while he frowns at you.

To me, that’s like a slap in the face.    Like he just threw my kind gesture back in my face.

Why does he do this?  No idea.  He says he has enough.  He says he already buys enough stuff for himself (meaning all the tractor paraphernalia that he buys and apparently feels guilty about).  His mom is the same way.  She always says “Don’t get me anything.”  And she means it too.

We buy him gifts anyway.  Why?  I dunno.  I have often said that I should just listen to him and not get him anything.  But how can you do that at Christmas?  Or his birthday?  And our kids love to give him gifts too.

One of my love languages is Gifts. People always tell me I am great at giving gifts.  I take pride in that.  I don’t give people things I think they NEED, I give them things I think they will love.  I pay attention when they talk and am always on the lookout for a gift idea.  When I give a gift it is meant as a token of appreciation, or to say “I love you” or “I appreciate you.”  It’s not about the stuff so much. So I keep trying with hubby.  I decided a while ago that I was gonna give him “practice gifts”.  So he could get good at opening a gift with a smile and saying thank you.

Why is this so important?  Why don’t I just leave him alone and quit buying him gifts already?   Well because!  Ha.

Kid2 is a huge gift-giver.  She’s like me in that she takes great pride in her selections and puts a lot of thought into the gifts she gives.  She loves to give gifts “for no reason”.  And she has been hurt more than once by her dad’s reaction.  And I have been hurt by his reactions.  And there are many events in this life that will involve gifts.  That’s not going to change.  And he needs to get over it.  He needs to realize that he is being hurtful and rude when he reacts the way he does.  That’s why.


So today I gave him a gift.  Nothing big.  A box of his favorite creamer.  You know the little flavored cups.  I figured he can take it to work and use them there.  I wrapped it up in the comics.  He was watching tv and I told him I brought him a gift and handed it to him.

He said “Why?’  I said “Remember I told you I wanted to practice this?”  He gave me his crooked smile.  I said “I want to tell you this and I will make it as short as I can cuz I know you don’t want to talk about it…”  And I don’t remember my exact words, but I told him how it feels like he is rejecting me personally when he is rude about receiving gifts and how good it feels when he acknowledges it and lets me know he appreciates the thought and my effort.  He said “So thank you and a smile?”  I said “That would be awesome.”

He opened the gift and said just that.  And then he told I shouldn’t have bought those cuz he already had creamer in the fridge.  I said you can take them to work and use them.  He said “Nah, I was actually thinking I should quit using it, I think that’s why I’m gaining weight.”   OK.  Well I tried.  And I will try again.  He said thank you and he smiled.  And even when he was telling me that I should not have bought it, he didn’t frown at me once.  It’s a start :)


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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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