That’s exactly how I felt when we were first married. I was so flustered when my husband came home with a beautiful, expensive bracelet. Granted, I was thankful that he bought me something, but the gift wasn’t me. I don’t like extravagant and expensive, and I especially don’t like jewelry with bling. We had been married for 6 months and we’d dated for two years prior — that should have been enough time for him to know what I liked, and what I didn’t. Apparently not!
Thankfully, I got over myself and decided that I needed an attitude adjustment. My kind and thoughtful husband really thought he nailed it with this extravagant gift. I should at least give him credit for trying.
Here’s a word of advice to you ladies:
Don’t expect him to read between the lines.
Don’t expect him to just know what you want for Christmas.
Don’t expect him to remember something you told him 4 months ago.
And most importantly, don’t equate him not remembering to how much he loves you.
If he asks you what you want and you reply, “Whatever you get me, dear,” then you should really mean it. If you do have some specific wish list items, then tell him. Don’t assume he knows because you mentioned it in passing 4 months ago while you were out shopping. Remind him again.
I know it’s wonderful to receive something that you really want because your husband remembers your “hints.” You know that time you all were waiting at the doctor’s office? And he attentively sat through your rambling as you flipped through the Cosmopolitan Magazine and you hinted that you finally found a scent that you liked? Six months later, there it was beautifully wrapped under the Christmas tree! Yes, this is a wonderful scenario, but is not always realistic to expect from husbands who aren’t good with details.
Some men might be great with details, but I’ve found that for the most part… they’re not. They are big picture people, generally speaking. The picture, for a good family man, is to provide for his family. That’s why they work hard to make sure you have a roof over your head and food on your table. So I’m not putting them down for skipping the details on occasion. I’m just saying, ladies, stop expecting them to remember everything and/or read your mind. Talk to them. Let them know what you want and need.
Before you think I have it all together, I’ll be real with you for a moment. After 10 years of marriage, I made this mistake again last year. I didn’t give specifics about what I wanted for Christmas, and honestly, I really thought I didn’t care.
So in 2012, my husband bought me an office chair. Yup, you read correctly — an office chair.
I was really disappointed when I opened up that big box under the Christmas tree. But I decided to be grown up about it and not make a big scene. Weeks later, it was still bugging me. I was still annoyed because this is how I pictured the scenario. Husband runs to the hardware store and suddenly, as he’s looking at drills, he remembers that he needs to get me a gift. Then out of the corner of his eye, he spots an office chair. Since it’s the 24th, he acts fast and calls it a winner.
So I go to him in tears about it, and then he shared his side of the story with me. “Mari, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what to get you. I thought through what you need and would use the most. You’re always at the dining room table on those hard wood chairs typing away, so I thought a nice comfy leather chair would be the perfect gift that you could use on a daily basis,” he said. I was embarrassed. My anger was appeased, and once again I learned a lesson in the chapter of “Expectations and Communication” when it comes to marriage. I actually do love my chair and use it every single day.
I’m one of those people who likes surprises, so I finally figured out how to maintain an element of surprise, even when I’m telling others what I want for Christmas. I came up with a Christmas Wish List (you can find the free printable here), and our whole family all shared 4-5 things that we wanted for Christmas. We all know that we won’t get everything on the list, but that’s where the element of surprise comes in. We’re not sure WHICH items we’ll be receiving.
Stop by my Facebook page and share the questionable gifts that you have received from your well-meaning spouse. And then go thank them for their thoughtful intentions.
Oh, before I forget, let me share the new group that we started! You can join and actively be a part of it: Carpe Diem– Family Style Facebook Group: Because our children grow up and are gone in the blink of an eye—so let’s be intentional about making each day count by seizing the moments with them no matter what age they are and what phase of life they are in! On Fridays, we will share a butt load of ideas and encouragement to inspire you to connect with your kids and family.
Join me each week on “We Are That Familia.” I am ecstatic to be sharing with you here on Babble.com on all things “Family” from parenting, recipes, crafts, inspirational (and not so inspirational) stories, and life as we know it. You can catch up on our merrymaking over at my place: Inspired by Familia , on Facebook, and on Pinterest.