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Thread: When someone buys you stuff you don't want or need (huge rant)

  1. #1
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    When someone buys you stuff you don't want or need (huge rant)

    Was just reading through the "Hoarding Sensitive" thread started by (I think) Catherine, about her DH throwing stuff out from her car w/out asking her first.

    I have the opposite problem. I have a spouse who likes to visit thrift stores and has spent over $600 at them in the last year (possibly more; I'd need to check my Mint files). First I should point out that thankfully, I am not in need of anything material. In fact, I'd like to get rid of crap. I was on the "five things a day" bandwagon last year and I fell off.

    In the past month, spouse has brought home:

    1. A five foot long, unwieldy heavy table that opens like a piano bench. This is supposedly for my art room, so I have an area to lay out works in progress. This showed up after I told him I was having trouble organizing my art room and I WANTED TO GET RID OF STUFF. There's no room in the studio for it so he put it (get this) on top of a countertop that I was already using for laying out works in progress.

    2. An IKEA like set of five wooden cubicles, for which we also had no room. So he moved a bunch of stuff to make room for it, displacing where we plug in our electronics at night, our landline telephone, etc. The items he stuck in the cubicle (without asking me first) now cannot be reached because of #1 being in front of the cubicle.

    3. Piles of towels. He took a look at the towels we own and decided the ones at the Salvation Army were in better shape. However, now there's no room for them, so they are stacked in boxes five feet high in a room overcrowded with clothing he does not wear. I didn't want the damn towels. I admit some of ours were ready to be thrown out, but we didn't need ALL the ones he bought. He goes overboard. Plus he ran out and bought $40 worth of hardware to make a standing desk for one of our computers. I've already told him, I am not using it. I'll sit on my fat a$$ on the one downstairs (in my studio).

    4. Several pairs of winter pajamas. He just helped me switch my summer clothes and winter clothes and so he knows how many pairs of PJs I have and that they are adequate. Mumbles something about "I just wanted to get something nice for you."

    5. A pair of bedroom slippers. I have four pairs in the closet that he's bought me and I don't wear/like, plus two in the bedroom that I don't wear/like. I have told him multiple times I prefer to choose my own clothes.

    6. Several computer monitors. He set one up on my art table because he thought "Someone who works in Photoshop so much must probably want an extra monitor." Umm...no. THEN he went out and bought TWO MORE "because you never know when one of them might break." Today he sulked, saying, "Fine, I'll take one of them away."

    I've tried to tell him the budget will not support these unexpected expenditures, and it's like a guilt trip when he says (more or less) "but I bought this stuff for you."

    I'm seriously thinking of just putting this stuff in a bag and taking it back to the thrift store. Or boxing it up, and telling him to put it in the attic, to show him I don't want it or need it.

    I really resent him "trying to help" with the studio in the manner he did. To complicate matters, we might be moving (or *I* might) and I don't need more stuff coming into the house!

    thanks for listening. I am not necessarily asking for advice, but I do know people find themselves in situations like this around the holidays, for e.g., when they get gifts they neither asked for nor need. Open to suggestions if you want to offer them.

  2. #2
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    frugalone,

    I am wondering what needs your hubby is seeking to fulfill in himself by by going to thrift stores and bringing home "stuff for you". It might be rewarding to make a connection, and open a serious and nonjudgmental discussion with him ... to try to identify what needs are operating there.

    Did you ever have a cat that hunted outdoors and brought you fresh kills? I can only speculate why cats do that.

    My suggestion would be for both of you to empathize with the unmet need that your spouse feels... and which is triggered by the wares in a thrift store. One possibility that quickly comes to mind (but I do not know the individual!) is a need to be appreciated, a need we all feel more or less, at least some of the time. There may be mutually satisfactory ways for him to address his needs, whatever they may be, without bringing another package home for you.
    .

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    We have been having problems for a long time now and divorce has come up as a topic more than once. It would not surprise me if he thought he was pleasing me in some manner, perhaps wooing me. I feel so angry that it's hard to bring up this topic--especially since he does not contribute money to the household. So they're not "gifts". He's spending MY money to give me stuff. I did suggest to him that he stay out of thrift stores. That they're like malls for some people--that shopping can become a hobby and become a problem.

    I do try to make him feel appreciated, but there is only so much I can do. He needs to have more of a life of his own, and he does nothing to move toward that goal. I've tried all kinds of suggestions and it's like NOTHING works.


    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    frugalone,

    I am wondering what needs your hubby is seeking to fulfill in himself by by going to thrift stores and bringing home "stuff for you". It might be rewarding to make a connection, and open a serious and nonjudgmental discussion with him ... to try to identify what needs are operating there.

    Did you ever have a cat that hunted outdoors and brought you fresh kills? I can only speculate why cats do that.

    My suggestion would be for both of you to empathize with the unmet need that your spouse feels... and which is triggered by the wares in a thrift store. One possibility that quickly comes to mind (but I do not know the individual!) is a need to be appreciated, a need we all feel more or less, at least some of the time. There may be mutually satisfactory ways for him to address his needs, whatever they may be, without bringing another package home for you.
    .

  4. #4
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I am wondering what needs your hubby is seeking to fulfill in himself by by going to thrift stores and bringing home "stuff for you".
    Here's me speculating: you've mentioned your husband doesn't work. Perhaps its bothering him that he's not in a traditional role "providing" for you, and this is his way to try and do that? Aggravating nonetheless when its money spent and things you don't want.

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    You may very well be right. But he does provide in other ways, such as doing all the cooking, driving me to and from work, pet care, taking care of the confusing medical insurance, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    Here's me speculating: you've mentioned your husband doesn't work. Perhaps its bothering him that he's not in a traditional role "providing" for you, and this is his way to try and do that? Aggravating nonetheless when its money spent and things you don't want.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalone View Post
    You may very well be right. But he does provide in other ways, such as doing all the cooking, driving me to and from work, pet care, taking care of the confusing medical insurance, etc.
    Of course, all of us are on the outside of the conversations on these points. But does DH understand that you feel his somewhat-non-tangible are sufficient and that he does not need to provide physical tokens of his affection for you? That may be quite contrary to his preference and/or upbringing. Have you two ever discussed the five "love languages" -- or might that serve as a starting point to discuss this area of conflict? It sounds like DH is trying (the table, the pajamas) but he's not quite connecting the dots.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    Is your husband not working something that the two of you agreed too or did he just decide on his own? If it is the latter it could be he has a pattern of doing what he wants without considering your feelings. It might be good to go to therapy to figure out what you want independently of him.

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    No, we did not agree on it and it's a major problem in the relationship. I'm going to therapy starting in two weeks. I've been in therapy before, and so has he, but this time, I am going to figure out what I'm going to do with my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Is your husband not working something that the two of you agreed too or did he just decide on his own? If it is the latter it could be he has a pattern of doing what he wants without considering your feelings. It might be good to go to therapy to figure out what you want independently of him.

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    No, I've never heard of the "five love languages." I'm off to follow your link.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Of course, all of us are on the outside of the conversations on these points. But does DH understand that you feel his somewhat-non-tangible are sufficient and that he does not need to provide physical tokens of his affection for you? That may be quite contrary to his preference and/or upbringing. Have you two ever discussed the five "love languages" -- or might that serve as a starting point to discuss this area of conflict? It sounds like DH is trying (the table, the pajamas) but he's not quite connecting the dots.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalone View Post
    I feel so angry that it's hard to bring up this topic--especially since he does not contribute money to the household. So they're not "gifts". He's spending MY money to give me stuff.
    I had a boyfriend like this. One time I told him I liked Cheetos. Then later when I was on a diet and told him that I would go to get gas for my car, he was with me and offered to pay and pump. I would give him the money, and he'd also come out with Cheetos he bought with my money as a "gift" for me that I did not want. Ugh.

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