Author Topic: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.  (Read 9569 times)

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saki

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2011, 12:50:58 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.

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. 

mmmchocolate

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2011, 03:17:41 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.

Lexophile

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2011, 04:32:20 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.
"Submission to what people call their 'lot' is simply ignoble. If your lot makes you cry and be wretched, get rid of it and take another." - Elizabeth von Arnim

Isometric

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2011, 04:45:24 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!!)

WestAussieGirl

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2011, 03:27:43 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.

saki

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2011, 05:00:46 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.

WestAussieGirl

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2011, 06:01:36 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.

drebay

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2011, 11:14:21 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.   

violinp

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2011, 12:10:25 PM »
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.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


bekkhild

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2011, 02:12:43 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.

Cami

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2011, 09:41:08 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.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 09:44:19 AM by CamiCar »

zyrs

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2011, 05:39:22 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

alegria

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2011, 12:49:21 PM »
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.  :)

frogonmytoe

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2011, 01:40:19 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!!!)



PaddedPaws

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Re: Hypothetical - When a SO forgets your birthday.
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2012, 12:30:42 PM »
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.