Holiday gift-giving is supposed to be fun, but when your partner has very different ideas about it than you do, it can quickly become a source of conflict.
A woman on Reddit found herself in this situation with her partner who insists on thrifting all of her gifts.
She wasn’t sure about how she responded, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by askingforafriendzone on the site, asked:
“AITA – I hate the xmas gifts I get from my partner, even though I ‘asked’ for them”
“I (30f[emale]) am currently in a fight about this with my partner (35m[ale]). We’ve been together for about four years now, and a version of this conversation seems to happen a couple times a year. It always, always goes like this:”
“Him: what do you want for Xmas?”
“Me: gives specific answer”
“Him: cool, send me a link.”
“Me: sends link”
“Him: you know, I have an old one of those I could fix up for you instead.”
“Me: Well… I really like this one because of the color / shape / size/ matches my stuff / have already done the research / etc., and I was thinking of getting it for myself anyway; you don’t really have to.”
“Him: But I could just give you this one, that’s sitting here unused.”
“I should mention that we both have well paying jobs, and are childfree. We split bills and mortgage and have savings. We’re not rich, but money has not been an issue; we are fortunate.”
“We can do ‘nice’ things like eat take out or go on a small vacation every once in a while. And we communicate well; he admits he needs guidance thinking of gift ideas for people.”
“I usually give in because I don’t want to seem wasteful or spoiled. I don’t need any gifts from him at all, but he always insists for bdays and xmas so I try to be honest and name something I would actually use that’s not too expensive, so it’s easy for him. But he always gets me a hand-me-down, thrifted, imitation brand or jerry-rigged version.”
“One year I pointed out a $75 used bike in a shop. He gave me his old bike. (He’s 6’5”. I’m 5’4”.) Last year I asked for a hot stone massage at a spa, he gave me some massage oil and a ‘coupon’ for a massage from him. How can I say no to that without sounding ungrateful? (It was lovely, but it was not a real massage, lol.)”
“So now, just this evening he asked again. Me: Well, I have been browsing a new tent for camping this summer – a dome one so we don’t have to stoop inside as much when we—”
“Him: Oh cool! My dad has a tent he doesn’t use anymore!”
“Me: … … Is it a dome tent?”
“Him: (laughing) no, it’s his old army tent—”
“Me: (exploding) why even ask me what I want if it doesn’t matter what I actually want – sometimes I just want what I want!”
“Him: Whooooa, you should hear yourself, ‘I want, I want!’ (backs away with his hands up)”
“I’m sitting in our room alone feeling like a selfish a**hole while he Calls all of the Duties downstairs. He plays that when he’s pissed.”
People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And they were pretty firmly on OP’s side in this case.
“NTA! You have every right to be upset. It seems he doesn’t care about getting you what you want and he just cares about saving money.”
“This is somewhat petty but if you want him to understand what you mean, switch out his call of duty game for a lower quality shooter game (or just a different one) and when he complains tell him that it’s the same thing ‘it’s a video game and it’s a shooter game, what the difference?'”
“This is a more aggressive approach but I think it would get it through his head.” –Kam_the_devil
“He listens, but not fully/completely which would drive ANY woman utterly insane.”
“Try one more time and try to clearly explain the problem- Use this as a specific example – I said a dome. You said you dad has an old tent, but it’s not a dome tent. SO your dad’s tent is a no bc it’s not a DOME tent which is what I’m asking for.”
“If he refuses to see the difference (your bike example is ludicrous- did he even ask hey why don’t you ride the bike I gave you. Seriously, WTF.) I would refuse to give him anymore gift ideas bc it is obviously pointless and frustrating for you. Let him figure out what to get instead of you giving specifics and he takes them as jumping off points.”
“God bless you! The bike would have been my breaking point, lol!” –Specialist_Kandi_77
After reading her fellow Redditors’ comments, OP came back with some updates.
“UPDATE: I have found and purchased a copy of Orc Slayer.”
“Not sure how to deliver this to him in the most effective way (and selfishly, the most entertaining way for me. I had a sh*tty night.)”
“He slept downstairs in the living room last night and went to work this morning. I didn’t wake up when he came in the bedroom to get ready, so I woke up to an empty house and a bunch of really supportive comments — thank you all so much. I’ll show him some of them and see what he thinks.”
“We usually have good conversations about other differences of opinion, it’s really just this stupid ‘him getting me stuff I don’t want’ issue that has been a consistent problem. And because it’s the only real disagreement we have, I have always felt really privileged and spoiled to be upset about it. So thank you for showing me that it’s okay to ‘want what I want.'”
“ONE MORE THING I just bought myself the dome tent! I selected the gift wrapping and added a note that it was from Santa. I’m so excited!!!!! Thank you all so so so so much for giving me the push to do it!”
“I’ll post an another, real update after xmas.”
Hopefully OP and her partner have a Merry Christmas despite their differences.