Gift Exchange Redux

I initially didn’t do a very good job of bringing up the Christmas gifts with Bennett and chose the wrong time and started an argument between us.

So I waited a few weeks, until I thought coast was clear, and I mentioned it to him again this morning….that I would like to exchange my Christmas gifts for something else.

He attacked immediately, telling me “how could I not find that gift useful?” and then claiming I didn’t want it for other reasons.

Well, the other reasons are true, but I don’t want the gift in any case.  I don’t want it for the reasons that it wasn’t romantic and it was tech, but I really don’t want any expensive gift that will sit on a shelf and gather dust.  In my opinion that’s $750 of pure waste.  Frankly, I can do a lot with that money that would make me happy.

So we argued a little bit back and forth and he told me to do whatever I want with it.

Then he made a joke that he would take it and find someone to use it.

Maybe the hot girl at the bar last night he was telling me about.

That joke was in poor taste, I was already upset about the fact that we couldn’t have a normal discussion over returning the gift, and I said goodbye and hung up the phone on him.

I’m already stressed this week because I know the end is near and I wanted to resolve the gift.  It made me crazy this weekend as I was cleaning up the Christmas debris to see the pile stacked on my desk already gathering dust.

I knew it wouldn’t be an easy conversation but I thought since time had passed and he knew I was unhappy with my gift that he would be receptive to allowing me to exchange it for something else.

I was wrong.

And I feel the exact same that I felt every time I told my x husband I didn’t want or like something he purchased for me – that what I want is “wrong” because what they got me was somehow “better” for me than what I wanted for myself.

He even threw in that I didn’t tell him what to get me…and when I said “that’s not true” he said “you have more jewelry than anyone I know, why do you need more jewelry?”  He also claims the time for returning it is past.  I don’t buy that, all Christmas gifts can generally be exchanged until end January.

One thing I have learned about Bennett, since he was already mad at me for bringing up the gift, and then hanging up on him….I doubt I will hear from him because he will remain stubborn.

My stress level with him is much too high since his mother has died and getting through the holidays.  Strangely (or perhaps not so strangely) things sort of tilted back to the way they were last week as we got back into our routines and he has been wonderful.

Perhaps it was a mistake to bring the gift up at all and I should have sucked it up…but in a way, that makes me mad.  If I received a gift I won’t use or really don’t like, why should it go to waste?  Should I have just let it go?

It seems so, in his opinion.


I’ve come back to write a postscript – I believe I realize that raising the issue of the gift highlights a larger problem between us.  I am sure I made him mad enough to be upset with me and want to back-off again.  While I was planning to speak to him about it on Thursday, I will be surprised if we make it til then.

I am mad at myself that I couldn’t just shut up until Thursday and do it on my terms like I planned.  Now I put the ball in his court.


Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

13 thoughts on “Gift Exchange Redux”

  1. Totally agree with you. The amount of jewelry you already own is not up for debate. It’s like shoes. Men don’t get that sure we don’t NEED 20 sparkly bracelets but it doesn’t stop us from wanting 21 sparkly bracelets and doesn’t stop us from being thrilled with getting sparkly bracelet #21 from our romantic partner. We don’t always want our gifts to be practical and useful. Three years later I think my husband is still upset that I exchanged the sapphire pendant he bought me for a sapphire ring. The ring I’d wear every day, the dainty necklace maybe, MAYBE once a year. Hang in there girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a good real-life scenario for the two of you. You both usually get the “best” sides of one another, but this situation is showing another side of you both. I think that returning the gift is perfectly fine – he didn’t get you something you liked. That happens all the time in relationships. Instead of saying “my bad” and graciously agreeing to returning it and perhaps instead making a shopping date to turn this into a positive experience, he has turned petulant and stubborn. This says a lot about him in general. Listen to what and how he is handling this. He is not handing criticism in any form well. Sigh. Good luck.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It looks like the the romantic mist that had been enveloping you is finally lifting and you are now seeing much more clearly. I agree with Maggie he is showing you a side of himself that you are never going to be able to live with. Buck up Buttercup and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Unfortunately, we cannot change other people. Once again, we all need to pay attention when people show us who they truly are as human beings.
        I believe this is one more part of his controlling nature. I’ll bet he purchases what HE wants his wife or you to have and that’s just it. How dare you question his gift giving… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I confess I’m really on the fence about gifts. I don’t know that I could ever tell someone I didn’t like what I got and risk hurt feelings, and yet I can fully understand the need to express that when we’re talking about something as expensive as a tablet that will never get used. In which case, honesty seems the best policy. I guess I’ve been lucky, most of my life with this stuff.

    As for Bennett, it’s disappointing to see other dimensions of someone that aren’t ideal. But, you know where you’re headed with this… so why agonize over the gift thing at all? If anything, it’s an opportunity to just give them back to him when you make the break.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am sort of cursing myself for doing this days before I tell him it’s over….I think I am just terribly anxious.

      And, I am upset in a way that he didn’t offer to “just fix it” and take me shopping rather than making an argument out of it – I didn’t like, it’s expensive, why waste it?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I realize this is coming very late, but I haven’t been “on-blog” since before the holidays very much. IMHO, a gift is just that: a gift. Once given, it’s the recipient’s to do with as they choose. (Except, of course, for an engagement ring, which is a very different sort of gift, fraught with all sorts of emotions and meaning.) The fact that the giver gets to dictate the rules of the gift seems very petty and immature to me, unless you have or had the type of D/s relationship whereby Bennett was or is your Dominant and dictates the “rules” of your relationship, which you must obey. This would, of course, include you accepting any and all gifts without question. It isn’t my impression you had that type of relationship. As it was given when you were happily together, I think it’s just sour grapes on his part; he gave you something he “thought” or assumed you’d like. Meaning he never really knew you very well at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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