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Thread: The anniversary party, or, am I nuts?

  1. #1
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    The anniversary party, or, am I nuts?

    Hi gang:

    Spouse and I recently celebrated a milestone anniversary. As some of you may know, we have had a rocky relationship, especially recently. Here's the situ: My mother has very kindly offered to host a party for us. She was ill at the time of the actual date, so would like to do it later this summer.

    Spouse suffers from social anxiety, but when he gets to events, he does pretty well. Let us just say, he is displaying a lack of enthusiasm for this event. I can boil it down to this: "If this is what you want, and what your mother wants, I'll go along with it." This does not really make me feel great. I'd like him to be a bit more on board with it. Not in the sense that he should take part in planning, as that will mostly fall to my mom, niece and sister, but that he should actually CARE about the durned thing. I told him I wished he felt differently, but he's entitled to his feelings.

    I should add that my mother is still not entirely well. She has lost a lot of weight and she tires quite easily. We discussed this and thought that perhaps it would give Mom a break not to do the party. On the other hand, if this is a gift she wants to give us, perhaps we should not hurt her feelings and refuse it?

    THEN spouse says these things: 1) How come he's "giving me what I want and I'm still not happy"; 2) why hasn't Mom talked to him directly about it? and 3) If Mom wants to give a gift, why doesn't she just do something for me? In fact, maybe he will call her up and talk to her about it.

    This is the point in the discussion where I kinda snapped and said, "You know what? This is already too much trouble." (He's a champion procrastinator and I can just see him putting off that phone call as he generally takes weeks to call people...) Then he tells me that I basically "pull the misery switch" whenever I can and make a mess of things at times.

    We're not really speaking at the moment. This party has been "dumbed down" from what I wanted it to be in the first place (which was a total fantasy, BTW) and I'm not sure I see the point in celebrating three months after the actual date. He never really wants to do anything for our anniversary as it is. If I asked him five ways he'd like to acknowledge it, I'll bet he wouldn't come up with five.

    Sorry, I am ranting a bit.

    But am I nuts for wanting him to be more on board with this thing? Is bowing out such a bad idea? There's actually a party of me that feels that the whole thing is phony, considering how poorly we've gotten along the last couple of years.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Simple advice if I may.
    1. Suggest to your mother to have a simple celebration of family that recognizes your anniversary but that isn't too much strain on her.
    2. Don't set up expectations that one's partner has to meet - one will almost always be disappointed. I learned this the hard way.
    3. Get everyone to pitch in to help your mother including your partner. Let someone else take charge but help where possible.
    4. Think of all the events and good that the family has to celebrate and simply enjoy sharing.
    5. Focus on making the event memorable in a positive way for your mother.
    6. Make the party a way of giving to others.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
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    Yes, you may, razz.

    If it takes place at all, it will be a very simple event. Probably fewer than 25 people. This is just going to be a family event.
    My husband is not going to help with something like this. Not to be rude, but he is totally clueless when it comes to social events. He didn't even know about tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake at our wedding. It has to do with the way he was raised, I think.

    I just feel like the whole thing is too much trouble.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I would skip it, personally.
    He's not on board; he's expressed that, and he's being dragged along against his will.
    Go out for a nice, relaxed celebratory dinner and call it good.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    I would skip it, personally.
    He's not on board; he's expressed that, and he's being dragged along against his will.
    Go out for a nice, relaxed celebratory dinner and call it good.
    I agree. Maybe allow your mom to take you out as a couple with any siblings, just immediate family, at a restaurant, no party, just a dinner under 10 people, in your honor. No party expectations, just a nice dinner.

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalone View Post

    If it takes place at all, it will be a very simple event. Probably fewer than 25 people.
    I just feel like the whole thing is too much trouble.
    My husband arranged a big "surprise" 60th party for me and about 25 people attended, and it was a big deal. I don't see a family party of that size as being simple at all.

    Sometimes people (like maybe your mom) feel that they SHOULD do something, and that they are remiss if they don't. I remember when my DH and I told my MIL we were planning a big party for her 70th birthday and her response was, "Don't you dare!!" That was fine with us.

    Maybe your mother will be slightly relieved to be off the hook. It would be my worst nightmare to be responsible for a milestone party for any of my kids.

    I agree with Tybee. Small gathering, nice dinner at a round table at a nice restaurant. No gifts. Maybe DH would be able to stomach that. I'm an introvert, and frankly, as wonderful as it was to see my relatives on my 60th birthday, I HATED having the attention on me the whole time.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  7. #7
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    It sounds like it might be a better idea to skip a "party". You'll have to take it upon yourself to explain that to mother and suggest an alternative. It's ok to say "mom, I love the idea of it and love even more that you wanted to make a gift of it but at this point spouse is very uncomfortable with the idea of a party and it's been a rough season for you with your health". Maybe suggest a few alternatives - a tree to plant, a dinner certificate, maybe a simple photo shoot. The old idea of a anniversary party to mark a 50th or 60th anniversary doesn't seem like something our age group is really that interested in. On my parents 25th they retraced their honeymoon...even staying in the same rooms when possible (their advice...don't do that a lot of those roadside motels from the early 60's were not kept up in the late 80's), they wanted and I threw a huge 50th party for them. DH and I barely got dinner out on our 25th. We may try for a short trip on our 30th. If we make it to the 50th....who would we even want to party with.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Tybee +1. I'm an introvert and while I may be able to go to events and seem to do OK, it is entirely different if I'm somehow the center of attention. I would totally be on board with going out to dinner but would not want a party. If there are other issues brewing it would be even harder for me to get past the resentment and on board.

  9. #9
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    Last year, my mom turned 80 and we wanted to give her a big party. She was adamant in that she did not want one. She just wanted to go out to dinner at a local seafood house with the closest family members. So that is what we did. She didn't want any gifts either. We just got her the cake.

    When my parents celebrated the silver wedding anniversary, my granddad hosted a big party for them. I'm glad he did because my dad passed away less than two years later (cancer).

    We just never do much of anything to celebrate our anniversary, not even going out to dinner.

    I emailed my mom and she said she hasn't said anything to spouse because she figured it's our decision. She just wants to know ASAP what's going on so the planning can be halted if necessary.

    I feel so angry and depressed right now that I don't want to do anything to celebrate it at all. After all, it was over last month. I feel like, just let it go.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Can you talk to your mom about what is really going on at home and thank her for the gesture and let it go for now? Timing is everything.

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