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I can't believe that no one remembers my birthday

Tagged as: Dating, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (5 March 2010) 18 Answers - (Newest, 8 March 2010)
A female United States age 41-50, *atorgirl0307 writes:

So I'll be 45 in two days. My kids are grown, and I've been dating this guy for 2 years. He has 3 kids; 13, 15, 21. I am currently staying with him until I close on my house (he wanted me to live with him, but the house is too small and I just can't. I bought a house 2 miles from his and own another 75 miles away). Last weekend we had a going away party for his 21 year old she is going in the navy. The family came over and they did a group birthday party as well for her and his mother. His mom's birthday is on the first, his daughter's birthday is on the 8th. My birthday is on the 7th, but no one remembered this.

It really makes me feel like crap considering I have bent over backward for everyone in the family, and there are so many reminders, ie: I have to go to the DMV to get my tag today, my birthday is posted on facebook, my birthday is the day before his daughter's... What the heck??? I can't bring myself to beg them to remember my birthday, It really hurts me that none of them remember. It seems that if I don't want to be hurt, then I should say "Look my birthday is Sunday and you'd better not forget" but I really don't want to do that. If I don't say anything, then I will be resentful and I will probably end the relationship. It seems to me that if they can't remember something important to me, then I should not waste my time.

I don't understand why someone who is nice to everyone, and everyone always seems to call me anytime they want to do something nice for someone else, should be treated like this. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (8 March 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntWell great! Make sure you keep making your needs known, if once you do that and he ignores them, you'll know you have a real problem. Congrats.

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A female reader, BettyBoup United Kingdom +, writes (8 March 2010):

BettyBoup agony auntAw I'm glad your story had a happy ending. See, some people just get dates mixed up and don't mean to forget those important days. I'm glad you got your birthday achknowledge and hope you had a great day :)

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A female reader, gatorgirl0307 United States +, writes (8 March 2010):

gatorgirl0307 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

gatorgirl0307 agony auntSo, I was right. The night before my birthday, he was running over his "to do list" for the following day (my bday), and between basketball game, and going to the airport, asked if he could squeeze in my birthday dinner. He asked "did I forget your birthday or something?" He thought it was the day before his sister's birthday (4/1) instead of the day before his daughter's birthday.

He obviously felt very bad about it, he made up for it, and said that I deserved birthday for a week. He asked why I hadn't said anything and was mortified when I pointed out all of the times that I had. He got all of the things on his to do list done and my birthday was acknowledged. It wasn't important to have a week of fan fare, I just wanted to be acknowledged. Every day, I look around to see if there is any little thing that I can do to brighten another's day, and eveyone knows this about me. Anyone in my circle who has an achievement, or is the center of celebration can always count on me to make their day extra special, because it makes me happy to make others happy.

To those whose advice was supportive, thank you. To those who apparently wanted me to feel guilty for expecting acknowledgment:When we downplay all of the small opportunities that we have to make another happy or to show that we are grateful to have them in our lives, we become complacent with things and begin to expect less and less and then begin to give less and less. I will never feel guilty for having expectations of those who claim to love me or those who reap the benefits of being near to me, because I know they receive nothing but my best.

Thanks,

gatorgirl

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A female reader, Ich_liebe_dich Philippines +, writes (6 March 2010):

Ich_liebe_dich agony auntIf you cant stand the feeling like they are just using you to celebrate other's b.day and they dont even remember your b.day. the best thing to do is leave them alone. Dont joint to their party and make party on your own. I normally feel good when im celebrating my b.day alone. I bring my self in very good restaurant,eat the food i really like & drink my favorite red wine., buy my self something i really like and try not to think people behind me who dont really care about me and my feelings. How is that if you also apply that to you. Do you think its a bad idea? Again, Happy birthday to you, its tomm. then.

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A female reader, BettyBoup United Kingdom +, writes (6 March 2010):

BettyBoup agony auntWhen they were prepairing for the party did you say its your birthday too? It wasn't acknowledged, but when they were discussing having a joint party, did you say 'hey, its my birthday in that week too! why dont we have it as my party too?' Sometimes you need to be frank and obvious to get some attantion on you. Its not fair that he completely ignored your birthday if he knew though. But you need to make a song and dance about it for some people to remember and make an effort. Otherwise they might just think its not a big deal to you.

But I know how you feel, my boyfriend didnt get me anything. I was just hoping thatsomething would arrive in the post for me as a surprise. But as it got closer and closer to the date, and he hadnt asked for my new address it became obvious that the fact he doesnt think birthdays are important meant that he thinks they shouldnt be importnat to other people. Some guys just dont get the meaning behind being remembered. Luckily he made up for it at christmas and he still wished me a happy birthday. He remembered just didnt make an effort for me :(

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A female reader, gatorgirl0307 United States +, writes (6 March 2010):

gatorgirl0307 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

gatorgirl0307 agony auntMarie Claire,

You are not listening. Yes, the party already took place and my birthday was not acknowledged. I got to clean the house top to bottom in preparation for the party, and then got to sing Happy Birthday to his mother and his daughter. It's getting less and less hurtful the more I have to explain it. So by desensitization, you have helped in a round about way.

Forgive me for crying about leaving everythng that was familiar to me, and then being upset because there is no acknowledgement on the ONE day that there should have been.

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A female reader, QuirkLady United States +, writes (6 March 2010):

QuirkLady agony auntAfter two years you have certainly earned the right to say something. No point in moping around and hoping things get better magically. No one celebrates a doormat. Life is too short to put yourself out for other people and get nothing back. Time to change all that and make yourself happy instead of hoping other people will do that for you.

It's possible that he genuinely doesn't know how important your birthday is to you, so TELL him. If he doesn't come through for you after that, you know where you stand.

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A female reader, mizz.butterflies United States +, writes (6 March 2010):

mizz.butterflies agony auntPoor thing...you said you were driving to see him for a year,you bought a place close to his etc? Honey,what cant you see??? YOu are the one who does all the effort !!! Its about time that changed,dont you think? I think this man enjoys your tederness and care,without reciprocating! He's prolly cheating too or thinking about it.You are TOO caring and TOO good. this is my gift to you : Being bad sometimes IS good! Happy Birthday!

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A female reader, gatorgirl0307 United States +, writes (6 March 2010):

gatorgirl0307 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

gatorgirl0307 agony auntMarie Claire,

The birthday party already took place. He agreed to pick up someone at the airport 2 hours away on the evening of my birthday. He seems to always talk a lot but doesn't always come through on little things. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. I thought I would ask the advice of others but instead I feel as though I am being berated for having my feelings hurt.

Thanks for the advice. ***licking my wounds***

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A female reader, gatorgirl0307 United States +, writes (5 March 2010):

gatorgirl0307 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

gatorgirl0307 agony auntto marie claire,

Yes, I have told him that my birthday is coming up. I bought a camper last weekend and said "this is my happy birthday gift to me", we are both on facebook and my birthday is listed right there and others have wished me a happy one, and he knew that I was time pressured to get to the tag office to renew my license plate. His daughter's birthday is the day before mine. How many reminders does it take considering I remember everyone's birthday and every single little milestone for his children, even when their own parents offer no acknowledgement.

I don't think that I am making a mountain out of a molehill. We started dated two years ago. My kids were just out of the house, and we lived 75 miles apart. I did all of the driving because I remembered what it was like to try to travel with children. I did that for a year. We talked about taking our relationship to the next level. I took a job in town, close to him. I started looking for an apartment and he asked me to live with him instead. None of them could make space for me at his house. There was no room in the bathroom for anything of mine, there was not even room for my clothes. I honestly thought that they would scoot over and make some room, but no one would budge. I had my clothes in suitcases in the trunk of my car for months. I finally decided to buy my own house (in addition to the house I already own 75 miles away) and be close to him, and have room for my stuff.

Making a mountain out of a mole hill? I don't think so.

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A female reader, Ich_liebe_dich Philippines +, writes (5 March 2010):

Ich_liebe_dich agony auntmarieclaire has a point i think i like her comment. by the way if the family really forget your birthday, dont you worry you are not alone having that experience. My mother never remember my birthday too even im the one who call her. my mother's b.day DATE is 10 and i am 19 in the same month. I call her on her b.day to greet her. and i call her at MY b.day and tell her, MA" happy b,day, she just say oh" thank you hahaha,its funny but its true. anyway dont you worry so much, maybe they dont forget your b.day maybe they just wanted to surprise you... Happy Birthday to you... from all of us here....

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 March 2010):

My wife (well ex now) forgot my birthday because she said she had so much on her mind. My kids were 4 and 5 at the time and i would not expect them to remember but my wife? Naw, that was the the straw that broke the camels back for me, we had been having rough times leading up to my birthday.

I am really sorry, but there are some things people should never forget.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 March 2010):

Okay.. there is more here.

You don't know if they have forgotten your birthday. You have already assumed it. There is so much happening in your mind that you are all resentful and secretive about a birthday.

Probably you are downplaying yourself constantly in this family. So they now think you are this sacrificing, boring person...

I remember taking my boyfriend and his son out and seeing how they did not even think of me much. It became about them. And I kept pretending I did not matter. Ultimately they thought my happiness was in seeing them together, not sharing the special day with my boyfriend. I was very hurt. But I realise it is self fulfiling prophecy. When I did take an interest in myself, he was so attentive. Everyone loves people who love themselves - :) nicely though.

It may help to nudge them a bit... Let it come in conversation naturally...compare times of birth with the birthday after yours. You need to lighten up.

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A female reader, mizz.butterflies United States +, writes (5 March 2010):

mizz.butterflies agony auntDO post on your FB that your going on a cruise but DO NOT SAY "that everyone forgot"...No! dont let him think NOBODY REMEMBER YOU! this will make you look insecure.Just dont answer his calls and when you finally do,be like "oh im sorry...i was having such a wonderful time on my birthday,i forgot about you....but you also forgot my birthday so its not that bad eh?" HA!

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A female reader, BettyBoup United Kingdom +, writes (5 March 2010):

BettyBoup agony auntDid you mention it was your birthday? Its possible he genuinely forgot, as in hadn't made a mantal note when your birthday is and just assumed you'd bring it up near the time. I'm bad with dates myself so I know this isnt meant in a bad way. I just dont remember numbers untill they get engrained. Just tell him it was your birthday and tell him how upset you were that he forgot. Unless you talk to him about it and check things out you wont know if it was a callous oversight or if he genuinely didnt know. It could be he thinks its not important to you as you didnt mention it? Or it could be that he was being thoughtless and doesnt see you as important as his mum and daughter. You need to talk to him to find out.

I agree with eyeswideopen though, it sounds like this isnt the only thing thats bothering you about this relationship. I think you need to have a serious talk about things with him. Find out where you stand and re-evaluate how things are going, before you decided whether or not to go off and enjoy a solo cruise. If you're still unhappy, then bon voyage :)

Also Happy Birthday from me!

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (5 March 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntSounds like a good plan. Personally I stopped celebrating my birthdays after I turned fifty, too much wax on the tablecloth and singed eyebrows. I think perhaps there is something more to this story than just a forgotten birthday however.

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A female reader, gatorgirl0307 United States +, writes (5 March 2010):

gatorgirl0307 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

gatorgirl0307 agony auntI thought about that, but it's kind of indicative of my importance or insignificance to them. I know that if I end the relationship, he will be SO sorry not just that he lost me, but because everyone is going to think he is a jerk. He will also know that he is a jerk and that he lost the best thing he ever had because he is irresponsible and thinks only of himself. I think he will be more affected by what others will think. And he will probably be pissed when I post on FB that he F******* forgot my birthday, but whatever. I'm sick of coming last. I never expect to come first, but I think I should at least have a ranking. To forget his birthday is ok, but will only be a tit for tat and 2 wrongs don't make a right. Thanks anyway.

I am thinking about waiting till after my house closes (4/2) then announce that I am taking a cruise by myself to celebrate my birthday that everyone forgot.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 March 2010):

Forget HIS birthday and see how he likes it! I am in a similar situation also.

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