My birthday is just days away. This year is so vastly different than years past, because there is a plan, a party, and a theme (which is my favorite thing). Literally, this birthday is about me and all the things I like, with people I love.
That should be the case every year. We should all get to feel special and celebrated at least once a year. We should be surrounded by people who are excited that we are marking another year in life.
No excuses. No exceptions.
Except… AJ never made an attempt to celebrate me on my birthday. I always enjoy my birthday, because I always pull something together, and some of my girlfriends would make it happen, but to say that something was planned by my husband and effort was put in to make sure I felt celebrated is something that never happened.
I spent all of my birthday planning energy on AJ. Each year I would try to top his birthday the year before. Better gifts, better events, better surprises. I made it my mission to make sure he knew, without a doubt, how celebrated he was. I wanted him to feel all the effort I put in so he knew just how much I thought about him. I wanted to display how well I knew my man and shock him with my creative ideas. From surprising him with friends he hadn’t seen in forever, to making him a Lord of land in Scotland, I went all out for him, each and every year.
I did it all because I wanted to… not because I expected the same in return.
Not everyone is up to my level in gift giving. I don’t always give gifts, but when I do… they are seriously thought out (enter Dos Equis guy here). My sister and I have a gift giving rivalry and I remain the champion, as evidenced by my mother’s (happy) tears when she opens my gifts.
Regardless, I don’t expect anyone to do what I do. There isn’t a scoreboard. I just love making people feel loved.
But each year, I would hope for a few things. I would hope that AJ would remember my birthday. I would hope that I would get a card on my birthday from him. I would hope that he had put together some sort of plan, even if it was just pizza and beers.
And each year, nothing came together. AJ forgot my birthday every single year. My birthday card was always “at the office” on the day of, and sometimes for a week or two after. So every year, I’d throw together a dinner for the two of us or whoever could attend at the last minute.
I remember thinking to myself when we got engaged, Can I spend forever with someone who will never remember my birthday?
I thought I could. I probably would have. I came to terms with the fact that AJ wasn’t a romantic and he wouldn’t remember dates. I’d spend my life reminding him of his mother’s birthday, my birthday, our anniversary and any other important dates that would come up. I could do that.
But, is it really that much to ask for someone to remember my birthday?
Is it so hard for someone to put forth one tiny bit of effort to just put a reminder in their phone for me? Was I really not worth that simple action? Did I really just excuse that behavior?
So, no more excuses.
I will no longer excuse behavior that doesn’t align with what I deserve.
I managed to excuse a lot of AJ’s bad behavior.
He’s bad with money – Well, he was never taught, so he doesn’t know better. He just forgets to advise me of large purchases because he isn’t used to it. I’m sure it will improve.
Lack of intimacy – Well, I don’t think his parents are super affectionate, so maybe since it wasn’t modeled to him that way, I have to remind him. Plus, he is so tired from working.
The truth is, the things that I excused for him were big deals, but also, super easy fixes. He just didn’t want to make small adjustments for me. I made plenty of adjustments for him.
I remember one day, three years ago, I said “my” truck, instead of “his” truck and he told me that made him feel horrible/emasculated. I never claimed the truck as mine ever again. He didn’t need to make excuses for why I did something, because it happened once and then it was fixed.
An easy fix. A simple adjustment to make sure that your partner is happy.
Remembering my birthday would have made me happy and it’s so damn simple. Someone who wants to remember my birthday for me, will.
No. More. Excuses.