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Woman Upset When Husband Screws Up Anniversary Gift After She Put So Much Effort Into His

Woman opening a small box.
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

When giving and receiving presents, they say “it’s the thought that counts.”

Even so, sometimes we can’t help but be a little disappointed when opening a gift and find ourselves needing to play up our reaction.

As we might unwrap an item of clothing we will never wear, a kitchen utensil we would never use, or tickets to something we would never normally see.

Sometimes making the gift we receive all the more disappointing is the seeming lack of effort the gift giver put into their present, when we might have gone to great lengths to find them the perfect gift.

Redditor engineerdoinglife took her wedding anniversary pretty seriously, particularly when it came to the presents she and her husband would exchange.

While the original poster (OP) felt she found the absolutely perfect gift for her husband for their most recent wedding anniversary, she was underwhelmed, to say the least, at what her husband had chosen for her.

Wondering if it would be wrong to say something, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“WIBTA if I told my husband I’m disappointed with the jewelry he ordered me?”

The OP explained why she felt she had a right to be underwhelmed at her husband’s anniversary gift, and felt she was equally entitled to tell him so:

My husband (34 M[ale]) and my (31 F[emale]) wedding anniversary was this week, but we delayed celebrating until this weekend.”

“We do traditional gifts for anniversaries and this year is flowers/fruit.”

“He is not great with gifts and asked for ideas last month and I sent him a link to an Etsy shop that makes ‘birth flower jewelry’ and told him I’d like something with our son’s birth flower.”

“I also let him know he could just get me flowers or anything else and that would be fine as well.”

“For his gift, I picked up chocolate-covered strawberries, wine (because grapes,) and went to a fancy cheese shop to get some fruit-infused cheeses, meat, etc to make a really nice charcuterie spread for tonight.”

“I’m going to create a ‘picnic’ in our living room, and I think it’s going to be really cute.”

“I also got him a card and wrote a heartfelt message.”

“Just for reference.”

“I assumed that he had figured my gift out BEFORE our anniversary, so imagine my surprise when I opened a prime box and found a jewelry box.”

“I didn’t open it but it was labeled ‘birth flower necklace’ so it was obvious.”

“Honestly I’m a little disappointed but I’m not sure if I’m being unfair and could use some perspective.”

“If he ordered the gift via Prime that means that he didn’t order it until after the actual day of our anniversary had passed.”

“The box was labeled with MY birth flower, not my son’s.”

“Which is not what I wanted.”

“The box/labeling looks very cheap, and looking on Amazon I think he ordered a low-quality piece (think Chinese Amazon front, <$20.)”

“When we were younger I would wear jewelry like this and it would always fall apart, color my skin, and/or tarnish quickly.”

“I’m a bit upset.”

“I spent a significant amount of consideration and money on his gift and he totally flubbed mine in a way that specifically seems very uncaring.”

“He’s going to be giving me the gift tonight so I have about 4 hours to figure out how I’m going to respond.”

“I don’t want to ruin our plans with a fight but I’d like to (gently) tell him I’d rather he order something I will actually wear.”

“Or should I just thank him, not say anything, and just not wear the gift?”

“Am I being entitled?”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was fairly divided on where they believed the OP would fall if she confronted her husband about his anniversary gift.

Some felt that the OP was in no way the a**hole to be disappointed by her husband’s gift, even if many still felt she should proceed with caution before confronting him about it.


“If he not only got you low-quality stuff, but also got it after your anniversary had passed, it means he didn’t put much thought into the gift, but I wouldn’t confront him about it before your plans.”

“Maybe tomorrow or sometime this week say that what he did bothered you and see where it goes from there.”- skcoSku

“I think it needs to be phrased carefully but NTA.”

“It’s not necessarily the gift itself that’s bothering you, it’s the fact that he didn’t listen to you and didn’t put in the effort that you were hoping for.”

“I fully admit that I don’t care for anniversaries but if it was important to my partner, I will absolutely put in the effort for them because of the fact it is important to them.”

“You gave him an easy out by saying just flowers would also be nice.”- nidoqing


“You gave your husband the direct answer to what you wanted and he didn’t get it.”

“It’s the lack of effort on his part.”

“You deserve for your partner to listen to your desires and put effort into your celebration.”- travel-eat-repeat-

Others had a bit less sympathy for the OP, who didn’t feel her present to her husband was anything to brag about, and thus had no right to be disappointed or confront her husband about his.

“You bought appetizers and dessert and called it a gift.”- FartingChampion

“If you have Amazon Prime, they automatically upgrade you to free shipping on everything, I get stuff same or next day even when I don’t need it for a week.”

“Also, a lot of people re-use prime boxes, it could be from the Etsy store you mentioned, just in a prime box (unlikely but possible).”

“Assuming that he didn’t buy it till just before just because it came in a prime box is a terrible idea.”

“If he messed up the birth flower, that’s on him, I dunno how much that means to you, only you can decide that.”

“Again, It seems like you are making negative assumptions on very little data here.”

“Chinese front stores do everything they can to look like legitimate, decent quality brands, have you even seen the jewelry?”

“Or just the packaging?”

“YWBTA if you jump to conclusions based on very limited information and then get upset at your husband over it.”

“And you will really be the a**hole if you ruin your anniversary over an imagined slight based on bad information.”- I-Fail-Forward

The OP later returned with an update, sharing more details about what her husband’s gift actually ended up being, as well as having a thing or two to say to those who criticized the present she gave her husband and their traditions when it came to anniversary gifts:

“We had our anniversary date last night and it was really lovely.”

“Just to recap, every year we follow the traditional wedding gift themes so this year was fruit and flowers.”

“Despite many commenters belief that I have trapped my husband and unfairly insist that he must buy me things and selected a yearly theme to make it harder for him… he was the one who originally suggested following the traditional gift theme!”

“I love that we do it, I think it’s a nice tradition and every year we can look back at the last themes and reminisce on what we did, gifted, etc.”

“Based on some of the feedback saying that ‘my’ gift was actually for both of us, I didn’t set out the chocolate-covered strawberries with the rest of the food/wine.”

“I gave them to him separately and made sure to let him know they were just for him and he didn’t need to share.”

“He did insist on my having two so that I could try each flavor, and then ate the remaining 10 all himself so safe to say it was a hit.”

“The charcuterie spread was excessive and delicious.”

“He asked me to explain the various items and was an especially big fan of the huckleberry goat cheese spread with prosciutto.”

“Some commenters asked about my husband’s love language; it’s physical touch and quality time.”

“The nice thing about the ‘picnic’ was that we could cuddle while we ate and when the food/wine was gone we ‘celebrated’ as mommies and daddies do.”

“A surprising amount of people wanted to make sure that was a part of the gift as well?”

“Y’all are weird.”

“A few commenters also pointed out that I didn’t know if the necklace was all he had done, and they were right!”

“In addition to the necklace, he had also bought flowers and MY favorite wine.”

“’Well yeah, grapes are a fruit!’”

“So we both had that same idea lol.”

“I didn’t say anything about the necklace until this morning.”

“I told him I loved that he remembered I wanted a birth flower gift but would be be okay if I exchanged it for one with our son’s flower instead?”

“He responded, ‘don’t worry about it, it was really cheap, I just remembered this week that you’d mentioned it so I figured I should get something like that’.”

“If you want something else let’s just order it.”

“I should have known better than to spend time stressed about the conversation, he’s a very laid-back guy.”

“So yeah!”

“A great night.”

“I’ll just add a gentle reminder that these posts don’t paint the full picture of a person, a relationship, or a life.”

“My husband and I are very happy, we have an amazing life together, and he is a great partner to me and father to our son.”

“I’m not some evil ‘bridezilla’ (as someone commented), and he is not an abusive a**hole (but thanks to the person who contacted Reddit cares.)”

“We decided last night we are ready to start planning baby #2, so I’m excited to continue building our life together!”

It’s a relief that the OP’s anniversary celebration was every bit as nice as she hoped it would be.

Even so, the OP and her husband may want to re-examine their current anniversary gift policy, if not throw the idea of anniversary gifts out altogether.

Just to avoid a repeat of this stress and anxiety from happening next year.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.