tough call

A Man Wants His Wife To Stop Buying Him Gifts On Holidays

And he decided to let her know on Valentine’s Day, right after getting his gift.

A man wants to know if he's being a jerk for telling his wife to stop buying him gifts.

Gift-giving is an important part of relationships. An in our culture, it’s pretty expected between romantic partners. It’s also a common point of contention, especially when it comes to men showing up and giving their wives thoughtful presents on holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.

But what if gift-giving simply isn’t your love language — but it is for your spouse. If you want different rules to apply for you than for your partner, are you being a jerk, or are you communicating your needs?

This was the big question on Reddit’s “Am I The Asshole?” this week. A man wrote in to say that he is tired of getting gifts he doesn’t want on the holidays, but when he told his wife this on Valentine’s Day, she got really upset.

Here’s how it went down, according to him.

“So, my wife buys me gifts for the typical holidays. Christmas, birthday, Valentine's Day,” he begins. “Usually it's stuff that I just won't use or knick knack junk. Once in a blue moon, she finds a cool kick knack, but the rest are honestly worthy of little more than the trash can.”

Harsh, but if that’s how you feel, okay.

“Fast forward to today,” he continued. “Valentine's day I bought her chocolate and flowers and a perfume that she had previously mentioned she wanted to try. Easy win. She gets me a skin spa day... Now, I get it, there are plenty of guys who go to the spa and enjoy it. It's just not something I'm interested in or would ever go do.”

So, we’ve established that he doesn’t mind giving gifts. But he also feels uncomfortable getting gifts that don’t interest him.

“Well, apparently I'm the asshole because when she asked me when I'd make an appointment, I told her I didn't know when I would and it's not really something I'm interested in doing,” he continued. “We both have busy lives so time comes at a premium price. I'm further the asshole because I've repeatedly asked her to stop buying me gifts because they either don't get used and take up space or they go in the trash. To me, or doesn't make sense to sirens money buying things that just get thrown away.”

In other words, he’s telling her to not even try, because he’s not going to like the gift. And she feels hurt because her gifts aren’t getting appreciated. Awkward!

And his timing was not exactly the best. Telling someone you want them to stop giving you gifts right after you received a gift, and on Valentine’s Day, might not be the smartest move.

Down in the comments, readers could understand why his wife is feeling upset and disappointed, but they also think that she should respect his request — or buy him different presents.

“Your wife’s ‘love language’ is gift giving or getting. But it’s not yours. And she doesn’t even get you stuff you like or would use. And it’s a waste of money and her gifts get thrown away because you don’t like or use them,” the most popular comment reads. “... I have no idea what you enjoy — what your love language’ is, but your own wife ought to know you well enough to know what you value. And she doesn’t. Or doesn’t care. Well — Happy Valentine’s day.”

A little harsh, but there’s some truth there. Something tells me that his wife would have loved to get a spa day for Valentine’s Day, but she’s projecting that onto him. Either that, or she’s sending hints about what she wants in the worst way.

Many commenters stressed that she needs to think about his interests and hobbies more when she’s gift-giving.

“I’d argue that if this is such a problem you’re willing to consult the internet for some perspective, then I think you should have a conversation with your wife, your partner, about what you like for gifts, and why there seems to be a misunderstanding there,” one gift-savvy commenter said.

The original poster responded by saying they’ve already tried to nail down his preferred gifts.

“That conversation has definitely happened,” he said. “I've tried to give her a list — socks and underwear are honestly always good choices to rotate out the old, but she says those are boring. Same thing for gift cards to stores I go to. I've tried to guide her to gift cards. I'm a frequent flyer at home depot so a $100 HD card would be great. I may not need anything today, but tomorrow I'll probably have to change a sprinkler head or something. That would be better than spending $100 on something that won't get used.”

Just from reading about this relationship, it feels like he is extremely practical and she wishes that she could have more fun with gift-giving — and it’s causing a huge conflict. Maybe it’s time for her to look up cute and creative ways to give someone a gift card, so next Valentine’s Day isn’s a fight?