Your husband may have had other concerns that prevented him from doing anything for your anniversary, including financial constraints, work stressors, or health concerns. If you didn’t clearly express your expectations, he may not know this is how you experience his love for you.
So, the day of your anniversary arrived, and you woke up excited for breakfast in bed, flowers, a gift, maybe even a posh dinner… but the day passed without any attention or acknowledgment from your husband. What now? If you find yourself wondering what it all means, there’s a way of working through it to come out happier and healthier emotionally at the end.
While there are many reasons for why this could’ve happened – many that require your to give your hubby a bit of leeway – there are also some that could be quite concerning. Let’s look at what those are.
So, how bad was it? Was this a case of hubby didn’t even remember and the day went by as any other day would, or was it just a rushed kiss and cuddle in the morning before everyone went about their business as usual?
Setting the scene is important because if you don’t know how this happened, it’s going to help to figure out where the problem actually lies.
What Were The Anniversary Expectations?
Think back throughout the course of your relationship: it’s essential to consider how things have always been done in the past. Have you had a set routine when it comes to special occasions like anniversaries? Naturally, if there was an expectation or even a discussion about what you both wanted, that makes this all the more concerning.
However, if the situation has always been treated like any other day, it’s not fair to be upset about nothing being done, is there? But let’s say you’ve both made a fuss of your anniversary throughout your relationship, or you made it clear there was an expectation and nothing realized, here are some of the things to consider:
Communication Is Key
In the run-up to your big day, did you specifically make plans or request something is done? Because if you didn’t, there’s a big gap in your communication which could be to blame. You’ve heard the phrase, “I’m not a mind reader,” and this is important when dealing with tension in relationships.
It’s hardly fair to expect someone to have acted in a certain way if they didn’t know that’s what you wanted. Unless it was explicitly stated that you wanted something done for the occasion or a standing expectation every year, you might need to chalk this up to bad communication.
Are There Extenuating Circumstances?
Regardless of whether there were expectations or plans in place, if there are valid reasons for something going wrong, you must consider this. For example, if there was a work crisis or an issue with the kids, it stands to reason that this could have impacted how things happened. There should be room for these types of circumstances in a healthy relationship without taking it as a personal affront to your relationship.
Additionally, it’s also necessary to consider health – not just physically in terms of being ill, tired, or overworked, but what about mental health concerns? Someone suffering from anxiety or depression or any other often debilitating condition needs a little more understanding in such situations. It may be worth looking at your partner closely: is there a reason to suspect they aren’t okay emotionally?
What Else Is Happening?
You can add more puzzle pieces to see the bigger picture if you look at everything happening in both of your lives by taking a step back. What else is happening that could’ve contributed to this? Ask yourself whether there are financial concerns that may have hamstrung efforts to celebrate an anniversary or whether you’d just had a particularly serious falling out in the days before.
If you find that you’ve had repeated arguments or fights in the last while, there may be a deeper issue that deserves looking at. Suppose there has been tension in other areas of your marriage. In that case, it may have spilled over into not wanting to celebrate an anniversary for any one of myriad reasons: anger, revenge, spite, hurt, or maybe just feeling unsure.
Naturally, there is also the concern of whether there is a third party involved. You should never just assume that your husband has someone else in his life, but if there is a long list of other concerns relating to this, it cannot be discounted. Do you have a reason to suspect there is someone else? If you don’t, this is the last thing you should be giving your energy to.
What Does It Mean – To You?
Once you’ve looked at a few potential reasons why your husband didn’t do anything for your anniversary, you need to ask yourself this question: what does it mean to you? Is it really such a meaningful gesture in the grand scheme of things?
We’re not trying to play this off or suggest it shouldn’t be an occasion you celebrate, but there is something to be said for understanding how different people express their love for another person. Is your husband a gift-giver? Does he like to pamper you with tokens of affection? Or is his version of expressing his love for you to help with chores, taking stress off your shoulders, or doing things like running you a bath and cooking dinner?
This is important because if you expected jewelry, flowers, and to be spoiled with gifts, of course, you would be disappointed in a hand-written poem and cooked dinner while you put your feet up. Re-look at the situation first, and then decide if there was clear communication, clear expectations, and understanding between you.
It is vital to understand that you cannot measure your partner’s love for you by gestures or gifts if that doesn’t come naturally to them, or you haven’t made it clear that this is how you feel loved – of course, they will fail! Having said that, they are also responsible for loving you in the language you understand – so, if he knows this is important to you, he should make some effort, within reason.
Now that you’ve had some time to think about what could have caused this and whether your relationship needs a bit of TLC overall, how do you move forward? Here are some of our practical suggestions for dealing with the situation:
- Get on the same page: Have an open discussion about what happened, and discuss how it made each of you feel. Talk about things that may have added to the negativity around it.
- Speak the same language: Talk about your expectations going forward – if this is important to you, verbalize it clearly and make sure you reciprocate. Did you do something for your anniversary for your husband? And if you did, is that what has meaning for him?
- Consider more significant issues: If this discussion opens up more severe problems in your relationship or even regarding either of your mental health situations, pay it the attention it deserves. All relationships go through ups and downs, and dealing with the issues at hand will help to ensure there are more ups and less downs, and hopefully prevent such painful scenarios in the future.
- Call it off: If this situation leads to severe admissions of non-negotiables like a third-party involvement or displaying a lack of interest entirely, it may be time to consider calling it off. This is especially the case when there are repeated instances of neglecting your feelings on a matter or when it comes paired to repeated fights over the years that never get resolved.
Related Reading: Too Late For Marriage Counseling? 10 Signs
Of course, it hurts when your partner seems to forget something that you hold dear. There’s no shame in feeling upset about this situation unless you can also take responsibility for the scenario by admitting that you did not verbalize your expectations clearly, to begin with.
But being hurt by it doesn’t mean your husband doesn’t care – there may be other stressors and issues, maybe even health concerns, that need to take priority right now.
And, unless you are sure there is a reason to call the relationship off, such as finding out there is a third party involved, it’s always worth investing in your relationship and dealing with existing problems, and learning to share your expectations more clearly in the future.