Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: missmolly on November 22, 2011, 08:04:22 AM

Title: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: missmolly on November 22, 2011, 08:04:22 AM
Today I googled the phrase "forgot my birthday" and read all these posts and articles from people, (mostly women), who's SO had forgotten their birthday. They were quite fascinating, and sometimes a little sad to read.


This has never happened to me before, (weirdly I've never actually had a BF around my birthday time), but I was wondering, what is the correct way to act with an SO when they forget your birthday? Do you mention it? Suck it up?
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Amava on November 22, 2011, 08:16:24 AM
I forget my *own* birthday if nobody reminds me of it!  ;D

Now, if my birthday *did* matter to me, I think the correct way to go would be to bring it up and to suggest going to do something together for it, rather than steaming silently about it or letting the disappointment build.

But for me, whether someone thinks of my birthday is certainly not a hill to die on. My hill to die on is: absolutely no surprise parties. That is something I have told my SO from the very beginning. No. Surprise. Birthday. Parties. EVER. Not even a surprise outing with the two of us. If I have to go somewhere on any day, I need to mentally prepare myself for that.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Winterlight on November 22, 2011, 08:53:58 AM
It depends. How long have you been together? Is there a celebratory tradition? Does he forget yours but demand a big fuss at his? How does SO react when reminded- contrite or pouty?
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: guihong on November 22, 2011, 03:13:55 PM
My husband often gets the day wrong, but he's within a week  :D.  Like Amava, if no one reminds me, I'll forget it myself.

Like anything else, communicate!  There's no "correct", but if you want hypothetical him to remember, you have to ask for what you want.  I don't see the point in playing coy-tell "him" "My birthday is next week, what do you say we have dinner out at Chez Dining Pad?" 
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: SiotehCat on November 22, 2011, 03:16:07 PM
I don't think my DH could ever forget my birthday. Not with how often I remind him.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: #borecore on November 22, 2011, 03:38:02 PM
I talk about my birthday a lot leading up to it, so yeah, it'd be hurtful if an SO forgot. I had a first date on my birthday once and that guy even gave me a gift -- a second-hand book (went dutch on lunch, though).

My most recent ex and I had the same birthday, and he hated celebrating his while I loved celebrating mine, so we compromised and just celebrated with each other rather than making a big deal of it; my mom visited on another day for a second small celebration that he mostly avoided (we celebrated 2 birthdays together).

With current BF, I made a big deal about his birthday, and if he didn't at least get me a gift or do something extra-nice I'd feel pretty slighted. And I'd mention it. Not in a fit-of-rage way, just "I'm really hurt" etc.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: amanda_tlg on November 22, 2011, 03:41:50 PM
In 10 yrs, my DH has never once remembered my birthday. Or our anniversary. Or Mother's day. Or Valentine's Day. Or Christmas.

Yes, i am 100% seriously.

Holidays, birthdays, celebrations are just not a big deal to him. He had a pretty horrid childhood with a semi-neglactful mother, so these things were never really made a big deal of.

It was EXTREMELY hard on me at first. I grew up in a family that celebrates. Maybe nothing big and fancy, but bdays and anniversaries were always acknowledged with a special meal and special treatment for the honoree. I'm used to it now.

Usually about a week before my bday or our anniversary I will remind him and say "Hey, make sure you get Thursday off. I've already got a sitter for the kids adn I'd like to go to Fancy Fast Food place."
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: hobish on November 22, 2011, 04:03:52 PM
I forget my *own* birthday if nobody reminds me of it!  ;D

Now, if my birthday *did* matter to me, I think the correct way to go would be to bring it up and to suggest going to do something together for it, rather than steaming silently about it or letting the disappointment build.

But for me, whether someone thinks of my birthday is certainly not a hill to die on. My hill to die on is: absolutely no surprise parties. That is something I have told my SO from the very beginning. No. Surprise. Birthday. Parties. EVER. Not even a surprise outing with the two of us. If I have to go somewhere on any day, I need to mentally prepare myself for that.

Hey, same here. Cool :)

Gish would never forget my birthday. Even if he did i remind him :) I ... um ... have to wait for him to get in the shower and then steal a peak at his driver's license to make sure i have the right date for his  :-[
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Daffydilly on November 22, 2011, 04:32:56 PM
I lucked out on the birthdays. Mine is on May 1st and his is on May 2nd. So we remind each other and then have a special outing for "our" birthdays. If we buy presents, he can't wait to give me mine. So I get my present within ten minutes of him walking in the door. And I'll hide his present in plain sight. He misses it every time until we exchange them.

If either of us forgot a birthday, it would be both of us forgetting at the same time. I don't see that happening.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on November 22, 2011, 04:45:02 PM
My husband didn't forget my birthday, but he did forget Valentine's Day once and that really hurt me especially since I had reminded him for the week leading up to it.  I wasn't mad that he forgot either.  I was mad because he knew about it, but decided that it wasn't a big deal even though I had told him that it was important to me.  We had a long polite conversation about it (we were in counseling at the time and using fair argument techniques) in which we both hashed out how we felt and he promised to remember Valentine's Day from then on out.  It's been six years and he hasn't forgotten one Valentine's Day.   8)
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: fountainof on November 22, 2011, 04:52:18 PM
I'm the one in my marriage to forget.  DH pretty much always remembers.  We don't really celebrate most things though, I am not really a "gift" person.  Being married it is all a commual pot and I would rather just buy myself something than get a gift.  For Christmas we buy stuff we want and just tell people they were gifts because why wrap it and wait when you could use it now.  So pretty much everything we buy in Dec we declare as gifts.  We do buy DD things to open though, maybe when she is older we buy ourselves gifts too.

My parents didn't buy my sister and I birthday gifts when we were kids.  They threw a party and that was the gift.  As adults they have gifted us money on some key birthdays but not every year.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: MrsJWine on November 22, 2011, 04:57:08 PM
I really suck at birthdays. It's like that part of my brain is dead. I don't know. If it's not in my calendar on my computer with a remind set to email me the day of, it doesn't exist (this is true of many important things, not just birthdays).

One year I forgot my husband's birthday. We had gone to bed but weren't asleep yet. At exactly midnight of the next morning, he put on his best quavering sad voice and said, "Happy birthday to me?" It was the perfect mix of hilarious and guilt-inducing. I felt terrible, but we still had a good laugh over it. I'm so glad he wasn't hurt too much.

But that's what got me to start put everything important as a reminder in my phone and later in my computer. Forgetting my own husband's birthday. That's a win if I ever saw one.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: purplemuse on November 23, 2011, 08:50:48 AM
Hasn't happened to me yet, but I married a guy who likes to celebrate as much as I do, so we're usually talking about and planning things in advance.

If it did happen though, I think what I would want (and what I would do if I were the forgetful one) is a later birthday celebration with a "forgetfulness penalty" to be levied-- nothing major, just something a little extra to what we would usually do for a birthday; breakfast in bed or dinner at a nicer-than-usual restaurant or something.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 23, 2011, 09:10:33 AM
Not a birthday but Mother's Day.

My brother forgot to get something for his wife on Mother's Day.  She did get a couple of little made in school things from the kids.  She never said a word.

Approaching Father's Day, my brother started hinting at things that would make good Father's Day presents.  My SIL said she thought they weren't doing that this year.  My brother, confused, asked why she would think that.  SIL asked him what he got her for Mother's Day.  More confusion then change in face to a look of horror when the light bulb went off.  He never said another word about Father's Day gift ideas that year but he never forgot another Mother's Day, either.

It was a pretty PA way to handle it on my SIL's part but it did work.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: ixiva on November 23, 2011, 12:39:35 PM
My fiance hasn't remembered my birthday by himself since we were 16, I think it's more down to the fact that birthday's are not really celebrated in his family, same goes for valentines day and most other holidays. He does make up for it at Xmas though so can't complain too much! 
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: magician5 on November 23, 2011, 03:11:57 PM
Well, if you were Lucy Ricardo, you'd go "BWAAAAAAH! Ricky forgot my birthday, he doesn't love me!"
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: blarg314 on November 23, 2011, 07:20:32 PM
  I was mad because he knew about it, but decided that it wasn't a big deal even though I had told him that it was important to me. 

I think that's a key difference.

Honestly forgetting is not so big a deal - some people are bad at remembering, or don't tend to think it's very important. It can be thoughtless, but not malicious.  Some people forget their *own* birthdays. So if celebrating X is important to you, then you need to make that clear to your spouse, and help with the remembering.

But if the spouse knows it's important to you, remembers it, but chooses not to do anything because they don't care, that's a different story.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: LifeOnPluto on November 23, 2011, 08:32:57 PM
I usually mention my birthday at least once in the week beforehand. I personally think it's a little odd to never mention your birthday at all until the day actually arrives. At any rate, my DF is actually really good about remembering birthdays.

I agree with Blarg and other posters though - it really comes down to how much your SO cares about remembering. If you've reminded them, and asked them to do something to acknowledge it (be it gifts, dinner, etc) and they do nothing (or fall way short of the mark - eg taking you to Maccas when you told them you wanted to eat somewhere fancy) it's not a good sign. In that case, it's a red flag - when they deliberately ignore something you've made clear is very important to you. 
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: jaybee21nz on November 24, 2011, 02:11:46 AM
Mine is right after Christmas so easy to remember.
I'm also not the silent type!

My partner has forgotten his brothers birthday a few times though.
They're twins.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: katycoo on November 24, 2011, 06:21:31 AM
My DH has never forgotten my birthday, a fact which I'm pretty proud of considering he once forgot his twin sister's birthday (yes, his own twin).
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Amava on November 24, 2011, 07:18:30 AM
My DH has never forgotten my birthday, a fact which I'm pretty proud of considering he once forgot his twin sister's birthday (yes, his own twin).

Haha how did he manage that?  ;D Did he forget it was his own birthday too, or did he just forget for a moment that he had a twin? Or not make the connection that since she was his twin, she had the same birthday?
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: drebay on November 24, 2011, 10:12:45 AM
I lucked out on the birthdays. Mine is on May 1st and his is on May 2nd.

You would think that that would work for us.  Mine is Feb 11th and his is Feb 15th.  He forgets my birthday AND Valentine's Day.  I had tried to let it go, as he doesn't care about his either.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: PaddedPaws on November 24, 2011, 01:57:24 PM
I ususally have a little celebration for my birthday - a quiet date for the two of us. He remembers because it's an "event". He'll buy a gift too but, as long as he is there with me on the day I'm celebrating, that's what counts. :-)
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: katycoo on November 24, 2011, 09:34:49 PM
My DH has never forgotten my birthday, a fact which I'm pretty proud of considering he once forgot his twin sister's birthday (yes, his own twin).

Haha how did he manage that?  ;D Did he forget it was his own birthday too, or did he just forget for a moment that he had a twin? Or not make the connection that since she was his twin, she had the same birthday?

He was a kid.  He got so caught up in the excitement of it being his own birthday he forgot it was hers too.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: WestAussieGirl on November 25, 2011, 06:21:56 AM
I had a friend who used all celebration type dates as a test for her husband. Even though she was well aware that he wasn't good at remembering dates she would deliberately not remind him to see if he 'passed'. He really couldn't win though as if he did remember she'd still find fault - the gift wasnt thoughtful enough, he'd only bought it the night before etc.

I must have told her a dozen times that if it was important to her at he remember or remember in a particular way then she should just remind him a week or so before.  She was adamant though that if he loved her he wouldn't need reminding.

They're divorced now.

It wouldn't bother me if my DH forgot my birthday.  I'm happy to pretend it isn't happening.  For mothers day I do like to get the handmade gifts from the kids but that's all.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: MassachusettsMomx4 on November 25, 2011, 09:59:21 AM
My husband will remember key dates but he hates to shop so he usually doesn't acknowledge them with gifts.  He'll offer to dine out but only at a diner locally (he can drive there without having to go through traffic).

I gave up on thinking it would change.  He is a nice person and very considerate of others so I just let if go.  The trouble is, I am a gift-giver but I stopped doing that too.  We don't exchange gifts on Christmas or anniversaries or Valentine's Day.  It just makes life easier. 
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Lynnv on November 25, 2011, 10:49:26 AM
If it was important to me, he would not forget because I would keep reminding him.  Truthfully, he is better about those kinds of things than I am, so it is much more likely to be me forgetting than him.  And it wouldn't bother me if he forgot it, since it isn't all that important to me.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: blarg314 on November 27, 2011, 08:25:04 PM
I had a friend who used all celebration type dates as a test for her husband. Even though she was well aware that he wasn't good at remembering dates she would deliberately not remind him to see if he 'passed'. He really couldn't win though as if he did remember she'd still find fault - the gift wasnt thoughtful enough, he'd only bought it the night before etc.

I must have told her a dozen times that if it was important to her at he remember or remember in a particular way then she should just remind him a week or so before.  She was adamant though that if he loved her he wouldn't need reminding.


Ah, the "If you loved me you could read my mind" couple.  I've known a few couples like that, where one of them is high maintenance and expects their spouse to just *know* what they want and need, and produce it, or know that even if they say X they mean Y.   None of them are still married.

Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: jaybee21nz on November 28, 2011, 10:13:32 PM
My DH has never forgotten my birthday, a fact which I'm pretty proud of considering he once forgot his twin sister's birthday (yes, his own twin).

Partner in his late 30's, him and his twin bro were sharing a house, they're both so smart they overlook details.

Now they both have gf's and don't forget!
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on December 01, 2011, 11:38:42 AM
I lucked out on the birthdays. Mine is on May 1st and his is on May 2nd. So we remind each other and then have a special outing for "our" birthdays. If we buy presents, he can't wait to give me mine. So I get my present within ten minutes of him walking in the door. And I'll hide his present in plain sight. He misses it every time until we exchange them.

If either of us forgot a birthday, it would be both of us forgetting at the same time. I don't see that happening.

That's funny since my mom and dad were a day apart too, so he never forgot, although he wasnt' great about remember other milestones!

I had a situation once with an ex-BF; we were in a long-distance relationsh*p, and had been together for several years.  My birthday came and went, and I thought, oh, he's in grad school, and doesn't have much money, and he DID call so I figured I wasn't getting a gift, and that was ok.

Next year rolls around, adn I commented something along the lines of how it was ok he hadn't gotten me anything the previous year.  He then said, what do you mean, I sent you flowers!  Which I never got.  And he never bothered to ask me THEN about them when I never thanked him!  I said you know me better than that and KNOW that I'd never not thank you, so you shoudl have gotten a clue, and had you said something, we could have dealt with this then, but now its too late!  Still don't know where they went!
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: saki on December 01, 2011, 11:50:58 AM
I had a friend who used all celebration type dates as a test for her husband. Even though she was well aware that he wasn't good at remembering dates she would deliberately not remind him to see if he 'passed'. He really couldn't win though as if he did remember she'd still find fault - the gift wasnt thoughtful enough, he'd only bought it the night before etc.

I must have told her a dozen times that if it was important to her at he remember or remember in a particular way then she should just remind him a week or so before.  She was adamant though that if he loved her he wouldn't need reminding.

They're divorced now.

It wouldn't bother me if my DH forgot my birthday.  I'm happy to pretend it isn't happening.  For mothers day I do like to get the handmade gifts from the kids but that's all.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect your SO to remember your birthday without a reminder - for me, it would defeat the point if I had to remind my husband of my birthday. I think it's unreasonable to criticise them for not doing a very specific thing - "WAH, I wanted a lemon birthday cake not a ginger one!" style - unless you're going to tell them what that specific thing is, though, but that's a bit different. 
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: mmmchocolate on December 01, 2011, 02:17:41 PM
My ex husband forgot my birthday.  On our honeymoon.  Three days after we got married.

My current husband forgot it a few years ago and I was self righteously miffed.  I decided after that it would much more marriage friendly to just remind him.  Because really all I want is for him to say Happy Birthday-I don't need a gift or party, etc.  This year he put a countdown marker on his computer so he wouldn't forget and I told him all week it was coming up.  It's a big joke now.  Yesterday was my birthday and he woke me up at 530 to say Happy Birthday.  The dog.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Lexophile on December 01, 2011, 03:32:20 PM
My DH forgets important days when he's really stressed out (which is much of the time). I find that, if it's important to me and he hasn't mentioned it by the day before, it's better for me to say something to him and not be a total princess about it.

It was my birthday last time. He was under some serious professional pressure and I suspected he was going to forget. I went through all the anger and disappointment having predicted what was gong to happen. Then, the day before, I was driving somewhere with him and I quietly looked over and said, "You remember tomorrow is my birthday, right?"

He sighed heavily and said, "No, quite honestly, I forgot."

He then braced for a big blowup that never came. I told him it was ok because I knew how much stress he was experiencing.

He was so grateful for me not freaking out on him that he went out of his way the next day to make sure I had a great day - and I did. It also scored me major points that he made up for on our next big day.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Isometric on December 01, 2011, 03:45:24 PM
When I was a teenager a boyfriend "surprised" me with dinner and a movie. Sounds good, except at the restaurant when I was eagerly poring over te menu, he disappeared. He had ordered for me. A bowl of hot chips. To share. The movie was one we had talked about previously, where I had stated I "would never see it in a million years" (teen dramatics).

I'd rather he forgot my birthday!

(Usually I'd give points for effort, but he was mean, controlling and verbally abusive, so he doesn't deserve them!!)
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: WestAussieGirl on December 02, 2011, 02:27:43 AM

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect your SO to remember your birthday without a reminder - for me, it would defeat the point if I had to remind my husband of my birthday. I think it's unreasonable to criticise them for not doing a very specific thing - "WAH, I wanted a lemon birthday cake not a ginger one!" style - unless you're going to tell them what that specific thing is, though, but that's a bit different.


It may not be unreasonable but in this case it was not going to happen so she made herself, him (and me!) miserable.  Every time (not just birthdays but Valentines, anniversaries etc) I'd get two weeks of "he's forgotten", "I can tell he's forgotten because...", "I'm going to see if he remembers..." and then it would turn out that yes he had forgotten or he'd remembered but only the day before so he didn't have time to get "uber-great gift" (and she'd know where and when he got the gift because she'd check with the credit card company).

If she'd just recognised that he had a limitation in this area and offered a gentle reminder in enough time, a lot of angst would have been saved by all.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: saki on December 02, 2011, 04:00:46 AM

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect your SO to remember your birthday without a reminder - for me, it would defeat the point if I had to remind my husband of my birthday. I think it's unreasonable to criticise them for not doing a very specific thing - "WAH, I wanted a lemon birthday cake not a ginger one!" style - unless you're going to tell them what that specific thing is, though, but that's a bit different.


It may not be unreasonable but in this case it was not going to happen so she made herself, him (and me!) miserable.  Every time (not just birthdays but Valentines, anniversaries etc) I'd get two weeks of "he's forgotten", "I can tell he's forgotten because...", "I'm going to see if he remembers..." and then it would turn out that yes he had forgotten or he'd remembered but only the day before so he didn't have time to get "uber-great gift" (and she'd know where and when he got the gift because she'd check with the credit card company).

If she'd just recognised that he had a limitation in this area and offered a gentle reminder in enough time, a lot of angst would have been saved by all.

Or, if he'd just recognised that he should make an effort when it's something that's important to her, the angst could have been saved.  How hard is it to realise that you're not good at remembering dates and programme them into your phone/online calendar, etc, with appropriate reminders?  I'm rubbish with dates and yet I still manage to remember my husband's because it's important to him and because I recognise that I'm not naturally good at dates, I make sure I put things in place so as not to forget them.  My husband is irritatingly good at dates.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: WestAussieGirl on December 02, 2011, 05:01:36 AM

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect your SO to remember your birthday without a reminder - for me, it would defeat the point if I had to remind my husband of my birthday. I think it's unreasonable to criticise them for not doing a very specific thing - "WAH, I wanted a lemon birthday cake not a ginger one!" style - unless you're going to tell them what that specific thing is, though, but that's a bit different.


It may not be unreasonable but in this case it was not going to happen so she made herself, him (and me!) miserable.  Every time (not just birthdays but Valentines, anniversaries etc) I'd get two weeks of "he's forgotten", "I can tell he's forgotten because...", "I'm going to see if he remembers..." and then it would turn out that yes he had forgotten or he'd remembered but only the day before so he didn't have time to get "uber-great gift" (and she'd know where and when he got the gift because she'd check with the credit card company).

If she'd just recognised that he had a limitation in this area and offered a gentle reminder in enough time, a lot of angst would have been saved by all.

Or, if he'd just recognised that he should make an effort when it's something that's important to her, the angst could have been saved.  How hard is it to realise that you're not good at remembering dates and programme them into your phone/online calendar, etc, with appropriate reminders?  I'm rubbish with dates and yet I still manage to remember my husband's because it's important to him and because I recognise that I'm not naturally good at dates, I make sure I put things in place so as not to forget them.  My husband is irritatingly good at dates.

Well it was in the dark ages before most people owned cell phones or PCs but I guess a calendar could have served the same purpose if he remembered to look.

The thing I found really irritating about it was that she knew he would fail.  It wasn't a one-off disappointment.  I could understand the hurt a lot more in that case.  That's why I said she was contantly testing him.  She wasn't waiting around for her birthday wishes that never came.  She knew they weren't coming.  I think when it is every single occasion you either make up your mind that this person isn't the right one for you (since he doesn't make the effort for something you find important), accept it, or you accept that you'll always have to remind him.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: drebay on December 07, 2011, 10:14:21 AM
DH didn't mention our Anniversary again this year, so neither did I.  Again, not hard to remember, as it falls near Thanksgiving.  It's only been on that day for 17 years.  Oh well.   
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: violinp on December 07, 2011, 11:10:25 AM
I have to use Facebook to remind me of my friends' birthdays, because I'm so bad at remembering. I manage to remember my close family's birthdays (considering I have a twin, forgetting her birthday might be...bad... :P), and my cousin's, but I have to write down everyone else's to remember.

If my hypothetical SO expected me to just know when his birthday occurred, he'd be only setting himself up for disappointment.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: bekkhild on December 07, 2011, 01:12:43 PM
BG: I rarely had good birthdays growing up. Since my birthday is at the end of June, i was often at camp or at a family reunion when it occurred. I never had a friend party (although my sibs did because their birthdays where during the school year) and several times I had a joint celebration (my sibs never did) with my grandfather, whose bday was the day after mine. When I finally got up the nerve to tell my mother that I didn't want to share my bday anymore, I was made to feel selfish and that I didn't really love my grandfather, which is far from the truth.
So, my birthday has never been the best, and DH has tried to make them better.

However, my husband has forgotten my birthday several times.

A couple of years ago we had just moved to a new city (10 hour drive from hometown) and my birthday came about a month later. So, I had no friends and no family in new city, so I was feeling a little lonely, although I had received cards and phone calls from family members. DH said nothing as he left the house that morning. He called me in the middle of the afternoon to wish me a happy birthday. The only reason he remembered? He had just gotten paid and he was writing the date on the deposit slip at the bank. Instead of coming home after work, DH went and had drinks with a friend who was in town for a convention, because he already had it planned. When he came home that evening, he wanted to know if I was upset. Uh, yeah. He forgot my birthday and I had no friends or family to celebrate it with, not counting my then two-year-old son.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Cami on December 08, 2011, 08:41:08 AM
Speaking as the person in the room most likely to forget a special date, I would definitely appreciate it if you told me I'd forgotten.

The reason is that I would not want to ever hurt someone and if I have, I want an opportunity to make it right.

As the person most likely to forget a special date and who doesn't really care if anyone remembers my dates either, I feel it's incumbent upon me to remember that my needs or lack thereof are not the same for others and that if I care for others, I need to remember what's important to them and do it. I have a calendar and I look at it. It's really that simple....if you actually give a crap about other people's feelings. By the same token, my family members do not set me up to fail -- they remind me of the dates too.  They usually make a joke about it, but I think we're a family of people who make the conscious choice to laugh instead of cry whenever possible.

It's really not that hard if you actually care about the feelings of others.  So speaking as someone who has this affliction but works to overcome it, I have little patience with those who don't try because to me it shows a lack of caring. But I also don't have much patience for those who regularly set up tests that people are likely to fail -- just go out and find yourself people who will pass your stinking tests.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: zyrs on December 08, 2011, 04:39:22 PM
One year my wife forgot my birthday.  She was incredibly stressed in the months preceding it and I didn't realize that it had slipped her mind.*  I felt so bad for her when she realized because she was so worried I would get offended and freaked out.  But I understood those months were stressful.

So now we make a big deal during the 2 weeks leading up to a birthday with questions like: "So, where do you want to go eat on your birthday, it's coming up soon!".

l
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: alegria on December 13, 2011, 11:49:21 AM
My husband forgot my birthday when we were in college (before we were engaged).  What made it egregious is that my birthday is on Valentine's Day, so he has essentially the entire greeting card, chocolate, and jewelry industries reminding him starting on December 26th!  He tried to play it off like the gifts hadn't arrived, but they were all postmarked after the day so I knew he had completely forgotten.  I was pretty hurt.  :(  We talked about it and he hasn't done it since, although sometimes he hasn't quite lived up to expectations...my 30th birthday was a serious letdown after the hints I'd gotten and the effort I expended on his 30th birthday two years before.  Ah, well.  :)
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: frogonmytoe on December 13, 2011, 12:40:19 PM
It's possible if I don't bring it up that my husband would forget - but he's always made a big deal out of his birthday "month" being special, so I figure I get the same amount of time, only I forget until it's a week into the month :P both of us are born later (21/20 of the month). So we talk about it enough he hasn't forgotten (yet).

he did however not get me a present this year. But - he asked what I wanted, and I only wanted to put money towards a new camera or somethings we really needed (new TV, couch).  So I basically said I wanted nothing, that's what I got... I did however get an amazing weekend of doing whatever I wanted to do, which included dinner out one night with friends, and a luxurious and pricey brunch!  He worried that he screwed up by not getting a card, I said no, I don't care about cards that much. At the time I was hoping he still had a gift for me... He didn't. I'm (now) ok with it as really anything I wanted I had. Next year, if I don't have a wish list for him to shop from, I'll ask him to just get me something he finds so I have something to open.

And the follow up is that I got enough birthday money from family to buy the camera I wanted, only it went up in price (it was a refurbished one from the manufacturer.)  I would have waited and saved more for the new one, but I ended up buying it with his blessing and consider it my birthday gift from him (and the rest of the family). :P


Now, my dad on the other hand, has forgotten my birthday for 3 years in a row.  :(  At first I thought it was payback, as I forgot his birthday (remembering a week or two later) two years in a row. I plead innocent on the first, as my mom decided (rightfully so) that I was an adult and didn't need her to remind me of her ex-husband's birthday. Only she never told me this decision, and I always relied on her reminders :P lesson learned!  I did apologize profusely and send gifts late.  Second time, I forgot to have the entry on the online calendar carry over year to year.

And three years go by, with phone calls on thanksgiving (since he moved out of state) which is right AFTER my birthday, and nothing. Every year since my grandma died and hasn't been there to remind him. I don't even know how to say anything about it now, but I have stopped stressing and buying gifts on his birthday (I do call him though!!!)


Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: PaddedPaws on January 05, 2012, 11:30:42 AM
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect your SO to remember your birthday without a reminder - for me, it would defeat the point if I had to remind my husband of my birthday. I think it's unreasonable to criticise them for not doing a very specific thing - "WAH, I wanted a lemon birthday cake not a ginger one!" style - unless you're going to tell them what that specific thing is, though, but that's a bit different.

The thing is, if a date is important to you, I don't understand how a person could not remind their partner. For example, I'm pretty "meh" about birthdays, but anniversaries are important to me. So I start talking to my boyfriend about doing something special for our anniversary in advance. Since I want him to be a part of those plans, how could I not talk to him them? I would have to go out of my way to not say anything to him. It doesn't make sense.

I understand birthdays are a little different because they're not as much of a "joint" celebration. But, still, each person has a different way of wanting to celebrate birthdays. Not everybody wants or even cares about recognition. It's simple enough to say "Let's do something fancy for my birthday." I don't understand the reasoning behind not saying that.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Reason on January 10, 2012, 11:59:56 AM
This thread made me wonder about another hypothetical.

Say you don't for the life of you remember when your SO's birthday is. How would you ask your SO when it is without looking like a clown?
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 10, 2012, 12:01:49 PM
Reason, I think I would try to look at my SO's driver's license sometime when they aren't looking.

Otherwise, I'd just 'fess up if I wasn't comfortable rifling my SO's wallet.  'Honey, I'm such a doofus.  When is your birthday?'
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: violinp on January 10, 2012, 02:14:33 PM
Reason, I think I would try to look at my SO's driver's license sometime when they aren't looking.

Otherwise, I'd just 'fess up if I wasn't comfortable rifling my SO's wallet.  'Honey, I'm such a doofus.  When is your birthday?'

That's what I would do.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Marbles on January 14, 2012, 01:12:20 AM
My DH gets the month right, but  still asks me every year whether my birthday is the 24th or 26th. The other date is his ex-wife's birthday. I rib him good-naturedly about this.

To be fair, I had to check his driver's license the first couple of years.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: rain on February 04, 2012, 08:14:28 PM
BG: my b-day falls on my ex's parents wedding anni.


when we started dating, ex would remember his parents wedding anni, but not my birthday -I didn't get upset... but I'd give him a hard time about it.  Later on, he'd remember my birthday but not his parents' wedding anni.

the first few years after we split up I'd still remind him aobut it (ie - DS did you and daddy send grandma & grandpa an anni card?    - btw, I had good ILs, too bad I didn't get to keep them)
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: saki on February 05, 2012, 10:08:17 AM
This thread made me wonder about another hypothetical.

Say you don't for the life of you remember when your SO's birthday is. How would you ask your SO when it is without looking like a clown?

Despite having been with my husband for nearly ten years, I can never remember exactly when his brithday is - I know the month but I can't ever remember the day..  I just double check it on Facebook.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: emwithme on February 05, 2012, 02:55:41 PM
Both DF and I are quite "lucky" in that we have memorable birthdays.

Mine is Valentine's Day and his is Halloween. 

I did have to tell him the first V-Day we were together that I expected birthday AND V-Day cards/gifts.  He doesn't get out of buying me something tacky for Valentines just because it's also my birthday. 
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: Tilt Fairy on February 05, 2012, 03:20:18 PM
Me and my boyfriend have been together 5 years. I don't think he has remembered my birthday once. Like some of the posters above, I barely remember my own birthday. I'm never hurt as I guess I don't see birthdays as a big deal. In a way it's nice not being reminded that I'm one year older and somehow none the wiser.
Title: Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
Post by: blarg314 on February 05, 2012, 08:53:18 PM

I tend to be confused about the dates of my husband's birthday - I know that it's one day away from my Mom's, but tend not to remember if it's before or after without asking. But we've only been married two years, so I'll get it straight eventually.

I think it does matter how long you've been together. In the early years, you're still adjusting to each other's styles, and it can take a while for someone to whom birthdays really aren't important to get that their SO is different. 

However, after a few years of spelling out that that it is important to you to have your SO remember and plan something for your birthday, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to program their computer to remind them as needed.  At the same time, you need to pay attention to whether your own expectations are too great. If your spouse is someone who is normally loving and thoughtful, but who just isn't good at planning events or buying gifts without help, then you have to adjust your expectations - whether you want a surprise that's not all that great, or something really nice you help plan.

I've seen the reverse, though; a spouse who just will not accept the fact that their partner doesn't like celebrating birthdays and doesn't want any special notice when theirs comes around, and keeps planning surprise parties for them.