14 June 2013

I Would Like a Birthday Present.

I've always considered one of my good traits as a wife is that I am very clear about communicating my expectations. I've seen other women disappointed when their husbands don't do something that they hoped he would...and then I wonder if they really gave their husband a chance...if they  made sure that he knew what they wanted in the first place.

 In my marriage, I've found that the best way to make sure that we're both on the same page is to tell Angel what I'm thinking, instead of just staying quiet about it and then pouting if he omits to fulfill some feminine wish of mine.

I learned this lesson at the beginning of our relationship. We got engaged three weeks before my 19th birthday. I waited eagerly for my first-ever birthday present from a special guy...and none came. Not even a birthday card. In my mind, being engaged to Angel clearly qualified me for special birthday recognition. But there was none, and, honestly, I was disappointed. I found out much later that he had decided all on his own that the engagement ring he'd given me three weeks previously counted as a birthday present.

To this day I would argue that no, an engagement ring is an engagement ring. A birthday present is a birthday present. And ne'er the two shall meet. I understood that he was poor and paying off student loans, and that's why in his mind, our engagement and my birthday might as well be lumped together, but because I didn't communicate, "Hey, I really want a birthday present from you"--he didn't understand how much even a birthday card and a big box of Sweet-Tarts would have meant to me.

Most of the time, when I'm thinking that I want him to do something, I let him know. Of course, this system is not all-encompassing. I found that out last week when a bouquet of a dozen pink roses were delivered to me at school--with an accompanying card saying that he just wanted to send me flowers for no reason.
I was completely astonished. Shocked. I didn't even know that Angel knew it was possible to order flowers from a real flower shop and have them delivered. We didn't even have flowers in our wedding, and in the last few years, he's bought me a bouquet from the grocery store every once in a while, which I love. But I never would have dreamed that he'd have flowers delivered to me at school! I felt like I was walking on clouds for the rest of the day; I couldn't stop smiling.

So yeah, while I still believe that my system of direct, clear communication of expectations works--there's nothing quite like the feeling when your husband surprises you with something he knows you'll enjoy--not because you already told him what you wanted, but simply because he knows you.

What works for you? When you want your spouse to do something, are you direct about it, or not really?
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Liz Trull said...

That's so sweet! The flowers are beautiful. I agree with you that clearly communicating what you want is really the only way to get it. My fiance and I each keep an Amazon wish list on each other's accounts so we have a list of things to choose from when looking for gifts for special occasions.

Anonymous said...

I try to give be very clear on what I expect, but my husband interprets it as he wants. I made it super clear that I don't want him to buy me anything for my birthday this year since I'll be spending a lot of money on my trip home. He took it as a test and told me he bought me things anyway just in case it was a trap.

Suzanne said...

It's always great to get flowers unexpectedly. In fact that is the best way to get them. Brownie points for your hubby!

I don't think I could communicate more. In fact my husband probably thinks I over-communicate. I was like you...I didn't say much for the first birthday when we were together as boyfriend girlfriend in France. That was a big mistake. He gave me money for my birthday. Can you believe it??? Then when I told him how much I hated that idea he bought me a necklace I would never wear and an art book. Well I still have the art book, although giving a person travelling with a back pack a huge heavy art book isn't the smartest thing, and the necklace I don't know where that ended up, but he has never made that mistake again. I made darn sure of that! LOL


Holly said...

I LOVE surprises. And I love flowers from the grocery store too :)

I try to communicate what I want, but sometimes I still just think he should know ;) Why? I don't know why..because I'm pretty sure he's not a mind reader!!

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

i can say what i want, but peppy can usually see right through me. we don't make really big deals out of special occasions, but when he knows i've had a really bad day he'll surprise me with flowers or my favorite ice cream.

Unknown said...

Amen to this! We listened to some CDs, and read the book called For All Eternity by Dr. John Lund and it talks all about this, you can't expect them to read your mind. You have to content communicate, and be held accountable for things you did and didn't say. It's been hard for me to learn, but I'm so much happier when I just tell Hal what I want because he'll always do it, instead of me being sad that he didn't read my mind. Part of it becomes unsaid over time, just as they learn to know you, and visa versa. Hal knows that an engagement ring would not be acceptable as a present (side note, I just realized we got engaged like 3 1/2 weeks before my birthday too), but mostly because I'm obsessed with birthdays. It's all a learning process. But AMEN, nothings better than your husband surprising you with something sweet like that.

Jessi said...

I would have been mad if I didn't get a birthday gift too! Haha. Sometimes guys and girls think SO differently. Communication is a beautiful thing! And so is a little romance every now and then :) I love when my Hubby randomly gets me flowers!

Lauren {at} Life.Love.Lauren said...

Way to go Angel!!!

Anna said...

oooh, when's your birthday? :)
and yes. I completely agree that you shouldn't lump gifts for separate occasions together. Unless you talk about it. I love the roses though, I'm very impressed!

Genna said...

My fiance decided that my engagement ring was my birthday and Christmas present (my birthday is 20 days before Christmas) when we got engaged a year and a half ago. I was really confused when I didn't get presents for either because he didn't propose until AFTER those days on New Year's! And I am in complete agreement that the two gifts should never mix.

Moonofsilver said...

Wow. That would have hurt my feelings too! I was a bit confused when Brian thought that dinner was a birthday gift. But, after talking, I understood that in his house no one celebrated Christmas (his parents are in a cult. really.) and birthdays were celebrated only with a dinner to a restaurant of ones choice. When he realized he had to buy me something, I think he panicked because I got a box (with AMAZON on the side) that had a skin of yarn and a iPhone stand in it, with the invoice still attached, lol. I know my husband tries, and that's what counts for me. What I don't like is when I tell him an expectation and he forgets (and i think he is ignoring my wish) and then he gets upset at himself and I then feel bad.

Janise said...

That's great that you can openly express how you feel to your husband. Men can't read minds, so yes we women need to tell them what we want. The roses are beautiful!!! Have a great weekend.


Kristin said...

We're very direct, but I tend to hold stuff in until I explode too once in awhile. With the exception of my "good" jewelry", which was all a surprise at different points, Scott has always let me pick out my own gifts. He doesn't want to mess it up lol. I'm not a gifts person, according to the 5 love languages, so he doesn't stress over it anymore.

Lovely flowers!

Charlotte said...

I don't really mess around when it comes to letting my husband "guess" my whims. I usually tell him what I want - including the engagement ring I wanted! - as it makes it easier. Of course, surprises are simply wonderful as well.