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Thread: I need some alternative perspectives...

  1. #1

    Question I need some alternative perspectives...

    Today is my 30th wedding anniversary. My husband was 10 years post injury with a C5-6 SCI when we married. With very rare breaks, I've been his caregiver for our entire marriage. You know how it is, I don't mind most of the time but want to be acknowledged and appreciated. He is a very good man. We both work full time and have a variety of outside interests. Went away for the week-end which I planned, packed, unpacked etc. I asked if we were "doing" gifts and he suggested that our trip was our gift to each other. I guess I agreed. We returned today and exchanged cards and he gave me a ring that he saw at the counter of the local garden center. I feel like this milestone anniversary was an opportunity to do something thoughtful and I'm dissappointed. We have a good marriage so am I making too much out of this?

  2. #2
    I would think that the gift of still being in love and that kind of a trip is great. I'm not married or anything but I think the time you got to spend together on the trip is the real gift rather than something material but that is just me. You know him better than anything, maybe you can discuss it with him?

  3. #3
    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Salisbury NC
    No matter the situation people can begin to take each other for granted if they do not take care not to do so. I think it is sometimes easier for a person with an SCI to take the other person for granted, that is no excuse just means we need to try harder not to do so. You said he works so I am not sure why you seem to have done all the work for this trip and how what you did becomes the gift you give each other. It seems like the ring was an after thought from the outside looking in. You said you have a good marriage so I think talking to him about it would be a good idea and maybe next time he can step up to plate more... Or maybe he won't wait till next time...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Madison,Wisconsin, USA


    Honey, are you sure you've been married 30 years? Many men don't "get" the celebration of these occassions and women compound it by trying to make light of it--all the while hoping for the romantic gesture to appear. You need to talk to him about it, after all 30 years is pretty special now. Congratulations!

  5. #5
    Yes, I'm sure we've been married 30 years :-) I did talk to him today when we got back. A bit of history... for our 25th anniversary, I had mentioned several times that I had high expectations and wanted it to be special. I made reservations at a 5 star hotel, got play tickets etc. He got me a card and spent much of our dinner craning his neck to catch the game on the TV in the bar. I told him 5 years ago that he could do better and I was dissappointed. We talked, he feels bad that he's let me down and assures me that he appreciates all I do. Flash forward five years to our 30th. Same song second verse.

  6. #6
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by kelpa123 View Post
    We have a good marriage so am I making too much out of this?
    Sounds to me like you have a completely normal marriage.

    You are right, it should have been treated like a milestone anniversary, but you screwed up by agreeing to the trip being the gift. Men have such a hideous time buying gifts that they will take any 'out' offered. But, dammit you knew that already after 30 years.

    Congrats on 30 years! (the real gift is having a good marriage)

    "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
    - Barack Obama

  7. #7
    Sounds like something my mother would write about my dad. Just like I tell her, you can't assume that dad is going to do anything, much less what you want him to do for a holiday unless you tell him what you want.

    That applies to you ask well. He suggested the trip was your gift to each other, you agreed. If you wanted more, or something different, you should have said something. We can't read minds. After 30 years, that shouldn't be news! Grats on the happy marriage though! That is definitely an accomplishment in this day and age.

  8. #8
    Congrats on 30 years!
    Flicka said everything I was thinking.

  9. #9
    I'm beginning to feel all these special occasions are like New Year's Eve-We build them up in our heads and get let down, time after time. It's very unfair that you did ALL the work and it was called a gift to each other!

    I've had a shit year, been sick for every single event. Trying not to feel sorry for myself, trying to not project my series of disappointments on your situation.

    I'd suggest not hinting. TELL. Look him in the eye, TV off, and tell him what you hope for the next milestone. If he still makes no effort, you know where you stand. If you feel you communicated your hopes for 30 and your disappointment or 25, I'd call all that done and proceed accordingly.

    What I would do next is typical of me...I'd plan to spend the next milestone away with girlfriends. No need to get angry or ugly, I'd just calmly explain that my disappointing milestones are behind me. (In my case I'd go scubadiving, most likely. My husband chooses to spend his travel budget on go-kart races so we no longer take dive trips together.)

    I don't do martyrhood and can't see endlessly repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. If he decides he'd like to spend the milestones together as a couple, he'll catch on. If not, you'll still have a great time. It's not a way of punishing him, it's a way of rewarding yourself and getting maximum enjoyment of your life.

    Best to you both. Congrats on 30!

  10. #10
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa
    Quote Originally Posted by kelpa123 View Post
    With very rare breaks, I've been his caregiver for our entire marriage. You know how it is, I don't mind most of the time but want to be acknowledged and appreciated.
    I think 30 years of being caregiver, not minding most of the time, and wanting every 5 years or so to be acknowledged and appreciated is completely understandable.

    Seems like the problem is that he doesn't get what you need from him nearly as well as you get what he needs from you. If both of you were ab, that would be garden variety marriage stuff. You're not, though, which means that what's been asked of you is a couple of orders of magnitude larger than what's asked of the ordinary ab wife.

    I know, because I've been both ab wife (for 15 years) and wife to a da husband (for 9 years), all within the same marriage. The injury changes the rules for everybody, not just the person who is injured. It does, and those of us who really are in it for the long haul are -- imo -- not crazy or self-absorbed or selfish to think that the occasional acknowledgment and appreciation is appropriate.

    kelpa123, your husband kind of blew it on this anniversary. I'm sure he loves you, and I'm sure you deserve to be loved. Well done.

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