Who's the asshole? (Probably long)

So, Monday is our 13th wedding anniversary. A week or so ago, Mrs. Stof mentions a nice restaurant she’d like to go to for our celebration this Saturday. I’m good with this because after years of grad school poverty, I’m finally gainfully employed and I’d like to show my appreciation of 13 years of putting up with my shit.

So then she mentions a few days later that her friend is having a birthday party that day, in a city about an hour-and-a-half away. Cool. We’ll put off dinner for a week, though I’m disappointed.

So she’s going to put a CD player in my company car as my anniversary present because I’m traveling so much. But we go through bills and really can’t afford it this week. Cool. I can wait.

So, friend’s birthday party isn’t in the afternoon…it’s at night. She’s going to have to get a hotel room. She’s also going to have to pay for her dinner at a nice restaurant and cover charge and drinks for the whole shebang. Probably more money than the CD player would have cost.

Should my feelings be hurt? Should I think that if we can’t afford anniversary presents for a 13-year relationship, we shouldn’t be spending more on a 2-year relationship?

Aw, hell, I’m going to bed–or the couch. Thank Og we don’t have a doghouse or I’d be out there.

I don’t know if your feelings SHOULD be hurt, but they obviously are. I say mentally postpone the anniversary for a week or two and then celebrate the way you want.

Hell, I was so poor this year I made my husband not sign or seal my anniversary card so I could give it back to him from me!

Postponing your gift exchange will allow her to go to the party and to give you your gift. Win/win!

Plan a free celebration on the actual day, even if it’s just a breakfast together or a card exchange.


Wait a minute…you’re not going to the birthday party with her? Yes, you should be upset. And why would YOU be in the doghouse? You haven’t done anything wrong, and in fact I can’t even begin to see what might possibly be construed as something you’ve done wrong.

I agree with nineiron, you have done nothing wrong, don’t feel as if you have.

Me thinks Mrs. Stof ought to give you a special present, before she leaves town.

If ya know what I mean.:smiley:

Yeah, I think I would side with you on this one, Stofsky. In my leetle brain, I think anniversaries with hubbies are more important than birthday galas with friends, and I also think that once someone has made plans with me, they’re not free for that time any longer (as in, once your wife made anniv. plans with you, she wasn’t free for friend’s bp any longer). Even if the someone making plans with me is my SO; it makes me feel unimportant when people break plans with me; it seems like plans with me were just the stopgap until something better came along.

And I agree with you about the present; while it is not a great idea to focus too much on monetary stuff, I agree that if she can’t afford the gift for you, she can’t afford the extraordinarily expensive birthday party.

Just my WAG, but is all this making you feel kind of unimportant to her? Like you’re kinda getting taken for granted? Cause that’s the vibe I’m getting here.

I agree with the people above. I don’t understand why the missus would put any other event above your anniversary. You’ve done nothing wrong, and I completely understand your hurt.

Have you confronted her? Asked her why she considers a friend’s birthday party more important than your anniversary?

Ditto, ditto, ditto…you’re not the asshole, here, although I’m not sure she is either, not really knowing your circumstances. For example, if she’s a home-maker and feeling like she really needs to blow off some steam with the girlfriends and this is the best opportunity she feels she has. But having said that, I think her priority should be you guys and your relationship, because you made the promise 13 years ago that that’s how it would be.
Can you tell I’ll be getting married in 17 days, 18 hours, and 13 minutes?
Anyway, I think you do have a reason to be hurt; I would be too. Maybe it’s time to go back to the basics, date and rediscover…uh, er, or any other cliché relationship solution you think would suit you two.
Good luck.

You’re not the asshole.

Not having input from her, I can’t peg her as the asshole either.

Best I can come up with is that you tell her that she can go to the party and she can forget the CD player for a weeks worth of daily blowjobs.

After all, why on earth would you put a CD player in a COMPANY car? Go for the guilt! Go for the BJs!

I’m using all the imagination I have (such as it is), and I find I can’t imagine traveling to a city an hour and a half away for some goddam birthday party. That better be a hell of a party.

featherlou, you got it right on the nose. Her friend is important enough to drop the cash on, but I’m not.

Sue, I’m getting the CD player in because I expect to put about 65,000 miles on the car this year–the extreme reaches of my territory are 5 and 6 hours away. But I’ll save the old radio & swap them out before I trade cars next year.

It was a long night on the couch–my choice, BTW, because I was too pissed to get in bed with her–and she’s still pissed this morning. I’m just going to forget about it and see if she gets over it.

Count me as one who is amazed that a birthday party would take priority over your anniversary.

You’re not the asshole here.

She get’s over it? Over what? You’re the one who gets to sit home alone saturday night while she’s partying.

In her defense, though, my guess is that she’s thinking “I don’t get to see this friend very often, it’s a big party, and I’ll get to see X other friends. If I miss it, who knows when we will get together again, could be months. Stofsky and I will celebrate in a week anyway, why is he so mad?” I can sorta see where she is coming from, not that you are less important it’s just that you can be postponed by a week, and the friends can’t.

My big question is why aren’t you going along to the party too?

I should have made that part more clear–she works with the friend. They see each other on a daily basis, and have lunch a couple of times a week.

I’m not going along because a) we don’t have an overnight sitter and b) I can’t stand the strident bitch any more than her 2 ex-husbands could. However, I’m smart enough to keep b) from Mrs. Stof and am exceedingly polite and cordial around the friend.

Do you know - I’ve been kinda in the position of Stof and Mrs Stof at various times in the past and each time I was sure that I was the one in the right?

As a neutral, I give it to Stof. But it can be so easy sometimes when you live with someone and see them every day to be tempted to put back an engagement with them when something else comes up. It’s not right necessarily… just tempting to think that it is. You’re going to be disappointing someone, so why not let down the one you hope will understand better; the one with whom it is much easier to make things up?

OTOH my circumstances have never included the money part. That’s harder to reconcile.


Based on the info in this thread, stofsky, your wife is being extremely selfish and immature.

She’s driving an hour and a half to a birthday party for a friend she sees every day at work? And postponing your anniversary celebration to do this?

I wouldn’t even dream of trying this tactic. She’s implicitly saying that her friend and the party are more important that day than the celebration of your 13 years together.

Question: If y’all couldn’t afford to buy the CD player after all the bills were paid, how is she gonna afford the hotel and the fancy dinner and all that?

I say while she’s gone to the party, you buy a more comfortable couch as her anniversary gift. That way she won’t toss and turn all night while she’s sleeping on it.

I’m wondering if you aren’t about to join the club of her friends two ex’s. Watch your ass.

Well, keeping in mind that I’m a single man who doesn’t have a girlfriend, I have the following advice:

Fuck taking her out to dinner next saturday, she had her celebration already. Take the money you were going to spend on her, and spend it on you instead. Go out with your buddies, have a blast, and come home drunk and horny at 3am.

She should have told her friend/coworker that she has plans already. Is she planning on attending friend’s birthday party and postponing your anniversary every single year from now on? I think they will conflict with each other fairly often, being annual events, you know…

I think you have every right to be mad.

However, I would be clear about why you are mad. Will the cost of her trip forego your anniversary gift, or will it just delay it? If the difference is just a delay of a week or two, I’d forget about that aspect of it. It sucks to postpone your gift so she can spend money with her friends, but it’s not the end of the world to have to wait. The real issue is that your celebration took back seat to her party. That’s a bigger deal in my mind, especially depending on how she handled it. She should recognize that postponing your anniversary celebration is a big deal, and that she is asking for a lot to get to go to this party, especially since you can’t go too. She needs to be the one working to smooth things over, not you.

Wiser words have not yet been spoken.

stofsky: you’ve been married 13 years and you have at least one kid. You don’t get there without knowing about compromising schedules and finances. Celebrating an anniversary on a particular day–not important to some people, important to others, but you said it was ok in advance for your wife to go to the party. The only surprise after the fact seems to be that she is paying her way and staying over night. (Possibly something a mother doesn’t get to do very often while a father who travels does?)

In the big picture of a long marriage, this doesn’t seem to me to be that big a deal.

Are you feeling generally that she’s not paying enough attention to you lately? If this is just an isolated event, I’d shrug this one off.