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Man Wonders If He's Being Ungrateful When His Wife Buys Him Gifts That Are 'Actually For Her'

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Man unhappy opening gift from wife

Even if receiving gifts isn't your primary love language, they are a great way to show your partner just how much you hear and understand them.

One husband admitted to feeling "disrespected" after noticing the lack of thought that went into the gifts he received from his wife. Rather than presents targeted to his likes and wants, his wife buys him gifts that he has no interest in, and it's left him feeling hurt and unheard.

He questioned if he was being ungrateful when his wife bought him gifts that were 'actually for her.'

Posting to the r/AITA subreddit, the man explained he's never happy with the gifts that his wife buys for him. He recalled that a few years ago, his wife bought him a hammock for his birthday, despite her being the only one to ever express interest in one. He brushed it off, admitting that he found it odd, but thought that she must have simply missed what he might like. 

Man Questions If He's Being Ungrateful When His Wife Buys Him Gifts That Are Actually For HerPhoto: altafulla / Shutterstock

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However, the following year, that proved not to be the case. "A year later she buys me a lawn mower for my birthday, something I would never in a million years want for my birthday but was simply a household item we needed," he shared. "I was annoyed. I likened it to me buying her a dishwasher for her birthday."

His birthday soon rolled around again, and it seemed the third time was not the charm. "This year we have a new car. She's very much wanted seat covers for it. I've very clearly articulated that I don't think we need them, they're a waste of money, etc. My birthday comes around, and my birthday gift is seat covers for the car," he continued. 

His annoyance and frustration only worsened when he compared the thoughtful gifts that he gives his wife to those he receives. 

He recalled that a year ago, he bought his wife a kayak trip since she enjoyed experiences over anything else, along with printed art pieces from the night they got engaged. On another occasion, he got his wife a custom-made hoodie with her favorite animal printed across the front since he noticed she was always cold.

"Another year I bought her a necklace with interchangeable moon pendants (she's obsessed with the moon) with each pendant being the phase of the moon on our first date, on the date we got engaged, and on our wedding date," he added. "Another year I got her a framed image from our wedding (she'd said she wanted more pictures of us) and cooked her cake." 

The most recent gift he gave his wife was a galaxy projector that displayed stars and the northern lights across the ceiling and walls because his wife has always talked about wanting to go see the northern lights.

The man shared that he feels frustrated and disrespected but fears voicing those sentiments because he "will get guilt-tripped into thinking otherwise." In the comments, he revealed that this is a "recurring theme" in their relationship. "I certainly don't feel heard or understood and it's one of the biggest issues we have."

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People agreed that he has every right to feel annoyed because of his wife's lack of thought behind the gifts.

"Clearly, gift-giving in your case has been an exercise in pragmatism over personalization," one Reddit user wrote. "The thoughtful aspect of gift-giving seems lost here, and that's where the hurt comes in — it's not about the material item itself, but the lack of consideration for your interests and enjoyment."

   

   

"I hope you have communicated that, while you appreciate getting a gift for your birthday, the gifts you've received aren't really thoughtful or personal," another used added. "Ask if there is something you did wrong for her present choice. Listen to what she says. If she either gets upset or gaslights you, then you know it was on purpose and she really couldn't care less about getting you a thoughtful gift."

"You sound like a great gift giver. You put a lot of thought into it. Some people are not good gift-givers. They have a hard time figuring things out, even when they try," a third Redditor chimed in. "It can be forgiven if they are kind in other ways. They may need a wish list or just go shopping together where you choose and they pay."

As many users pointed out, some people simply aren't the best at gift-giving, and he may need to have a candid conversation with his wife about his frustrations. A gift doesn't have to be extravagant to mean something as it's truly the thought that counts. Sadly, this man is feeling as though his wife is putting in minimal thought, effort, or care.

The solution here is communication and this couple needs to talk about the expectations for gift-giving and find a compromise that makes both of them feel appreciated. By discussing their feelings openly, they can strengthen their relationship and hopefully avoid misunderstandings in the future.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.