Father’s day is just around the corner and its a few days before H’s 44th birthday.
Before H, I really enjoyed doing special things for the people I love on their special day, and loads of days in between. But, last year H had one of his rage sessions and forbidden me to ever acknowledge his birthday again.
This is how it went. H told me he never really had anyone do anything for his birthday. With the exception of a surprise party his ex-wife had thrown him. He gushed about how amazing it was. But that was the only time she made an effort. In my mind, I wanted him to have that awesome feeling again, though on a more modest scale. So, I found a beach camping site with tide pools and reserved that for his birthday weekend. I wanted to surprise him and totally pamper him that weekend. I told him to reserve that weekend for me and to be ready to leave by 9 am on Sat. This was 2 weeks before B-day. About a week before, he made a car appointment for that Saturday at 10 am. I reminded him about the save the date. He got pretty angry but changed the date. Then, a few days before the weekend, he mentioned heading over to his B friend’s house on Sunday. I had reminded him several times about the weekend already because he forgets everything. So I got the impression he didn’t want to go away with me. I asked him if he would rather hang out with friends on the weekend, it was his birthday so I would understand. He got angry again and told me to back off, he simply forgot.
I had spent the week before getting our camping gear out of storage. I bought him 2 gifts and 2 different cards and wrote a poem for him (I did that for him when we were dating) and I got all his favorite foods ready. My son was in on it and was helping me get things ready. Friday night, I had the cooler out on the back patio. H saw it and sighed and stated “I hope to god we’re not camping this weekend.” Then he started drinking. I panicked. I didn’t want to ruin his B-day. I got on the computer while he was watching TV and found a hotel at the same beach and reserved that for Sat. And because camping was out now, I unpacked my car and put everything in our outside storage closet. I came back inside and H had moved to the bed room. I checked in on him and he was in bed watching TV. I went back out to unpack the cooler and he came in and saw I was putting food in the fridge. He started yelling at me and demanded to know what I was doing. When I said my surprise was taking him camping and I was going to surprise him with plan B he became even more infuriated. He said I should know he hates surprises. And then told me I had just ruined his B-day.
I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. He didn’t know how much work I’d put into his weekend but I didn’t expect him to be so mean and disrespectful. So, I started to tear up. Not a full cry but there were tears and he saw them and that really made him mad. So he told me that I was never allowed again to even acknowledge his birthday. He didn’t want gifts or cards. His birthday was off limits for me. Then he stormed off to bed.
My son saw the whole thing and gave me a hug. He knew how much work I’d done. But that really broke my heart. I took his gifts back and threw away the cards. On Sat I didn’t say anything. He went out on Sat, I have no idea where and spent his B-day with is friend where he got a present and a card and proudly showed them to me when he got home.
I’ve tested the waters here and there to see if maybe the threat was only made in anger but he isn’t budging.
The last thing we celebrated was Christmas. I bought him so nice gifts. He bought me a box set of picture frames and told me he was going to print out my favorite photos and hung them for me. I sent the photos and wouldn’t you know it, 6 months later the frames are still in that box.
I’m conflicted. Do I just let it be? Should I ignore Fathers day and his birthday or do I try again and risk another angry outburst?
Do NOT do a thing for his Bday or Fathers Day....
Submitted by overwhelmedwife on
What he did last year to you is inexcusable. I can't even guess what made him think that that behavior was ok.
Does he have an issue with "getting older"? Is he having a midlife crisis?
I agree that he has no clue as to how much work you did to plan and prepare. My past experiences with H has shown that since he never puts any effort into anything for anyone, he is absolutely clueless as to how much time anything takes. I once went to a LOT of trouble to clean, shop, cook and prepare our home for a dinner party with another couple. The couple canceled at the last minute. I was so upset because all of my hard work (and time off from work) went to nothing. H couldn't understand because he's never lifted a finger or spent one minute on such things. He truly has NO CLUE about the blood, sweat and tears that goes into planning a dinner party.
lol...I think you should make plans to go somewhere with your son that weekend. lol ...or with a friend. You've already tested the waters to see if he was just "blowing smoke."
It sounds like he does little/nothing for you on your special days, so......
I have long stopped doing much of anything for H's special days. Yes, I'll buy a few gifts, and yes, I'll take him out to a favorite restaurant, but I now do NOTHING that requires any real time or special effort. No cooking, no hours planning anything. Why bother. In the past, I never knew if he was going to be in a bad mood anyway (He has ruined many, many holidays in the past.)
That said, as I mentioned before, H has "surrendered." And the white flag is still flying. He surrendered sometime in April. May was a breeze. Mothers Day and our Anniversary were in May, and both went smoothly. We went on a trip for Mothers Day (a gift from our son) and we went out for a nice dinner for our Anniversary. H also bought me a new wedding ring since it was our 30th anniversary. It is beautiful, and it's a change since normally the most he's gotten me is flowers purchased on that day and handed to me. June has been going quite well. Today he got a little testy when our son came over (late) to use our jacuzzi for his sore muscles. H made a comment that my conversation with our son kept him here longer (and H was annoyed how late it was getting.) I just calmly told him that I will talk to my kids anytime I want and for as long as I want. Period. He apologized.
the best words that I keep in my head are the words from my sister (a therapist). She said, "he needs you more than you need him." That is my new mantra. I had previously found myself operating under fear. Now, I have no more fear. I just lay it out there....boundary....period.