View Full Version : I spent three hrs. crying yesterday b/c my BF didn't get me anything for Christmas.

12-25-14, 07:33 PM
He didn't forget. He said he couldn't find what he was looking for. Although I found it from a quick google search. When I'm disappointed by him (which is a lot) I often later find out it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. But I can't see this one getting any better. idk...

12-25-14, 09:07 PM
That can be a problem with an ADDer. Long term planning is not so great and things can be left last minute which means too late.

12-25-14, 09:43 PM
If he got you a gift, what would that mean to you? The answer is important.

12-25-14, 10:25 PM
That he cares, that he was thinking about me. It's not the item itself that means anything. It could've been a $0.99 card, a keychain from walmart, it didn't matter.

12-25-14, 10:45 PM
I can understand being hurt by this Greengrasshoppe. I think the best thing to do is communicate how you are feeling to him, maybe also with a possible solution. He won't be able to fix it if he doesn't know, but if he does know... well then you can see how things are going based on how he responds I guess.

12-25-14, 11:03 PM
I was trying to get ideas of things my wife would like for Christmas, not things she needs, didn't really get any good feedback, it got last minute, still nothing, then she went shopping and told me about something she liked so I went and had a look, thought it was good and got it. It was close to too late. I find it hard to buy for her because I may miss the mark on what she likes, or it's too dear or this or that. Can't win. She ends up making it last minute and I'm the ADDer. This present was bulky but whilst she was out I wrapped it and put on a gift card. She got a kick out of that as she didn't expect it and it made it more personal even though she chose it.

These things are difficult if you're not both on the same wavelength.

12-25-14, 11:16 PM
He knows gifts are important to me. I've told him. But I guess with the ADHD he forgets idk.

12-25-14, 11:28 PM
The saying's the thought that counts....and this is where he missed the mark. A homemade card or note costs nothing and means everything.

12-26-14, 12:12 AM
Explain how you feel about not receiving any acknowledgement, not just your sadness of not getting a specific item. And then create your own special celebratory day to exchange gifts, based on a day that works for both of you, not the one society dictates you have to exchange gifts on. The pressure of having to have it done on a certain day, even though it's the same day each year, gets overwhelming in the midst of the chaotic helliday hoopla, for some minds.

On the flip side, just to throw in a different perspective, I've cried almost that long myself this year in wishing family could finally understand and accept that I don't care to participate in the fictional and over dramatized rituals that bring about this type of unnecessary stress. I'm convinced there is no such thing as a stress free helliday, regardless. Wishing you eventual peace of mind with it all.

12-26-14, 02:31 AM
Some times people are not on the same page in regards to expectation - Saying gift mean a lot could be taken more than one way and what he heard my not have been what you meant

Gift mean a lot meaning you measure his love for you by the amount of the gift, his ability to pick the right gift , or gifts mean a lot in that you want him to acknowledge you in a traditional manner. . . . all of the above none of the above . . . Gary just handed me $100.00 to pay for a vet bill because he has not a clue,. He often simply pays for some thing I am already buying as a means of giving me a gift because trying to decide on what I want is stressful I guess . . . . I used the money he gave me and bought him an on-line gift card from e-bay - E-bay the bane of our budget existence.

ehhh if it were up to me I would say no to the Clause - My best time was celebrating Yule with some friends Sunday night - Maybe set a date for the two of you to spend time together after the holidays. . .I was sort of bummed out because I stayed home while he went to his family's - I took myself out to eat and spent most of the day chasing cats with flea repellant. . . Gary and I are suppose to meet at a good steak house Saturday afternoon when our brains are less boggled.

As ADDers our brains are already boggled easily so between Thanksgiving and Christmas both of us sort of check out mentally. . . we did holidays differently this year and I think it worked out for the better. I have all but two cats de-flead . . my Christmas was done three days before it got here (write the year on the calendar I got some thing done early) Gary went to be with his family's I stayed home therefore I did not have to listen to kids scream while feeling like some one who is trying to find a corner in a round room

Some ADDers simply do not do so swell during the bustle of the holidays. He may not even be able to think at all never mind about gift giving and all that jazz . . Maybe an alterative celebration after the madness has subsided may be more his speed.

12-26-14, 08:39 AM
Thanks everyone. But tbh I don't know if I can take the disappointments anymore.

12-26-14, 09:03 AM
That's not right! Everybody deserves a gift at Christmas ,no matter how little! I received the best gift in the world yesterday! My daughter spent her own money to get dad this cute little travel kit,I pulled her aside,told her this was the best gift I ever recieved! Her eyes were glowing, tear runs down cheek!as I type that! Not to get biblical ,but it is written ! Never refuse a gift! You rob that person of the gift of giving! Think about that, next time someone gives you something you don't want! :yes:

Jonny Neurotic
12-26-14, 10:22 AM
Thanks everyone. But tbh I don't know if I can take the disappointments anymore.

Does he treat you well in other ways? Does he buy you gifts at other times just for the sake of it? If it is just christmas he missed then I'd tell you just to get over it and stop being so nit-picky. If he never treats you to anything then maybe you need a new bf...

12-26-14, 11:54 AM

Belated Christmas greetings to you. I'm sorry you had a discouraging holiday. I understand your saying you feel you may not be able to take the disappointments, and of course only you can decide what is or isn't OK for you. If it hurts you too much to take, then you need to decide this relationship is not for you.

But the responses you already received here suggest a more complicated reality than that your boyfriend just didn't bother to acknowledge you at the holiday. I think it's very likely that this present-choosing thing was hard, confusing, scary and too much for him--so he gave up, shut down, did nothing. I am not saying he is right or that you shouldn't feel bad! I am saying that the reason he did what hurt you is probably a complicated one involving his own anxieties and pain and fear.

My partner used to forget me on holidays--once on my birthday, which was really bad since as it happens we share the same birthday. I was so offended and angry at first--I felt that he was behaving in a hostile, selfish, contemptuous way toward me. But I have come to see that he was caught in a trap of confusion, lack of knowledge what to do, memory of past failures, fear, difficulty planning, etc etc. He would have liked to know the right thing to do and know how to do it and be able to do it. And he didn't really know what he didn't know and couldn't do. It wasn't a choice on his part, it was a misfortune. He was suffering, too.

Now I try to give him extremely clear suggestions about what he can give me when presents are required. He still can't plan ahead, still has problems saving up money for holiday gifts and still fails at making time to shop. He is not great at following even exact instructions. And he has an amazing ability to buy me things he wants himself and I don't need or like--I am assuming this happens because it's hard for him to really believe that I want the things I tell him I want, and he is sure that anyone would would want the the things that HE wants.

It would be easy for me to feel rejected--since it ends up that he is buying presents for himself, because he will use these things and I won't. But I am pretty sure that's not his intention, and I see that he has tried. This year I bought myself some small presents and told him to put them in my Christmas stocking. That was kind of weird, kind of sad--but I thought it would make it easier when we opened the stockings and I found that the things he picked for me were things he wanted and I don't like. I don't know what he thought, but I felt OK about it.

And the thing that matters with presents is that other people wish us well and want us to be happy. It is even better, of course, if they have enough attention to and understanding of us that they pick out things we actually want and need and like. It's kind of lonely if we have to treat our partners as we would children, and praise them for any kind thought, even if their actual choice of present isn't appropriate--but if we value our partners then we probably have to accept that choosing Xmas gifts isn't a situation where they are likely to have their greatest successes. And how important are Christmas presents, anyway? Not very important to me, but perhaps more important to you. I don't know.

Anyway, Greengrasshoppe, to come back to your disappointing holiday. Here's how it sounds to me. If everything else were great for you in this relationship, a Christmas present or the lack of a Christmas present probably wouldn't matter at all. But if you are feeling frustrated, disappointed and unfulfilled, then something like this assumes a larger importance, and really feels bad. We all have to listen to our own feelings. If your heart tells you that this is too painful for you and you can't deal with the complications of a relationship where stuff like this can happen, then you should make the choice that's most right for you. But if what you really want is to find ways to reach out to and be embraced by your boyfriend despite the difficulties his ADHD poses, then maybe some of what other people have written to you here will help you find ways to think about the problem differently.

Here's my last suggestion: sometimes it just really feels good to get a nice present, no matter where it comes from. There's nothing wrong with that! Love is most important, but there can be great consolation in things. So--the after-Christmas sales have just started. Go out and buy something really nice, something you really want. It doesn't always have to be someone else who gives you what you desire--sometimes you can do it yourself.

It's OK to love yourself enough to pick out the perfect holiday present, have it wrapped, being it home and enjoy it. Christmas is over, but it could be your new year's present to you … happiness is always better than disappointment, you know.

12-26-14, 01:06 PM
He didn't forget. He said he couldn't find what he was looking for. Although I found it from a quick google search. When I'm disappointed by him (which is a lot) I often later find out it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. But I can't see this one getting any better. idk...

Hey there!

I can tell you from an ADD point of view, this sounds just like me.

It's not a good excuse that he forgot--but the wound is still fresh. I would give it time, tell him how much it hurt you and for him to KNOW that this is something he can't let slip because fo how much it hurt you that it should be one of those 'emergency' feelings he gets.

My GF is the same (well now ex at this point :(), but I was in a situation almost like yours where i bought a gift last minute because I almost forgot! You must think how can someone forget wit hit being so close to christmas and that it's everywhere yo usee?

Sometimes our brains just lose track before it's too late and we procrastinate. His excuse of it saying he was waiting to buy the right gift could have been true. He maybe told himself e was going to go to the mall to pick it up because shipping and wtih it being so late...but with everything else he may be doing right now he completely forgot until it was too late!

I wouldn't go too hard on him besides telling him how much it hurt you and how he needed to prioritize it becaues of how much it meant to you. The key is for himt olearn from this and hope it doesn't happen again and not just use ADD as an excuse....

My 2 cents...

12-26-14, 01:30 PM
I'm thrilled if I get a present. I'm not devastated if I don't get one.
I also don't feel a need to celebrate on an exact date (holiday, birthday, anni).

Any day I can get together with loved ones is a celebration.
Don't care if we have to wait until the weekend to get together.

I'm not saying you're wrong to be upset.
I'm just saying I don't understand it.

My youngest granddaughter is autistic. She's 13 now and we learned a long
time ago that it's best to stagger her gifts out over several days rather than
overwhelm her all at once.

This year her big sister wanted just one specific, and expensive, camera for
Christmas. But every evening as little sister opened her gift for that day,
I could see the disappointment growing on big sister's face.

So the day before we did our big gifts I quickly wrapped some jammies I had
gotten for her from a facebook swap. Not a big deal, but she was pleased.

Sounds like your boyfriend may think you'll be upset if you don't get that
special something, and when he can't find it, he just gives up. I resonate.

Would you be happy with something less-than and a promise that he'd keep
looking for the something you're hoping to get?

Would you be happy with a gift card to shop for it yourself?

12-26-14, 03:32 PM
I'd have been happy with a keychain from walmart. It's not the item itself, it's the thought behind it.

12-26-14, 04:25 PM
I'd have been happy with a keychain from walmart. It's not the item itself, it's the thought behind it.

Was he raised to think that the gift reflects the thought behind it?

That buying a keychain from Walmart shows how little he really thinks of you?

But he can't seem to find what reflects his true feelings and love?

12-26-14, 04:40 PM
Sorry to hear you had a rough Christmas! I am not trying to make any excuses for your BF. I am just curious if you feel he actually forgot and doesn't care much about your feelings.

I know many times for me I get overwhelmed by gift giving. I never forget, but I can get paralyzed by my thoughts in picking a proper gift. Trying to find a great gift for someone I truely care for can be torture. I want to find just the right thing however, I can never develop a sound game plan to do it.

I can spend days or weeks thinking about it, but taking those thoughts and converting them to action is the really hard part. I can have the best intentions but without action they are still only intentions.

I have no idea what the situation is here with your BF. Perhaps he just got bogged down with the pressure. If you know he loves and cares for you then there is hope. I hope that is the case here.

Best of luck

12-26-14, 06:42 PM
In day to day life we rely on others to act in a predictable manner. That they don't forget that we planned to meet them at a certain hour. That we don't need to ask them to do something but they know to do it habitually. Gifts often symbolize how well we know each other and as such how well we can predict each others behavior.

Unfortunately, the inability to regulate attention that is at the heart of ADHD often leads to unpredictable behavior which creates an artificial sense of distance between couples. What might seem like a simple task such as going to a certain place at a certain hour can become a real challenge as the mind wanders away while preparing for the journey. A phone call, a random task that was forgotten jumps to mind and the person becomes distracted. Most people can just ignore the intruding thought and continue down the original path but those with ADHD stop dead and have to start it over from the very beginning.

One way for you to become closer to your boyfriend is to understand and expect that this might happen and simplify the process for him. Going shopping with him, reminding him that he needs to start getting ready to go out, asking him to help you when you expect him to do so. The challenge is to predict the struggles that your boyfriend might have with certain tasks and help him cope with them.

Your BF thought of a present and intended to get you it but somewhere along the chain of actions needed to take in order to get it, he fell down and wasn't able to get up. Talk to him about it and figure out where he fell, how you could have helped him and maybe prevented the painful outcome. I'm sure you expect your BF to change for you in various ways and this is understandable as relationships are often about compromising and aligning various aspects of your lives. However, this is a two way process and for the relationship to work you might likewise need to adapt and change.

12-27-14, 07:33 AM
I there any possible way he was concerned that he couldn't financially express his love via a nice gift? I'm not saying thats it but I know if I can't find the perfect something for someone or that I financially can't afford to what I think they want, I've been known to freeze up and do nothing. If anyone has ever read watership down I call it going"tharn". I don't mean to upset the receiver but I get so caught up in my head projecting what I think they feel that it more of a duck and cover situation for me.

12-27-14, 09:12 AM
^^^I don't think that's it. Thanks though.

12-27-14, 09:39 AM
^^^I don't think that's it. Thanks though.


12-27-14, 11:11 AM
Greengrasshoppe you sound very sad in your posts :( What are you going to do? Do you have a plan? What have you said to him so far?

12-27-14, 07:01 PM
Does he treat you well in other ways? Does he buy you gifts at other times just for the sake of it? If it is just christmas he missed then I'd tell you just to get over it and stop being so nit-picky. If he never treats you to anything then maybe you need a new bf...
He's not big on buying gifts (for me). I've had to remind him to get me something for most gift giving holidays and my birthday. I thought he'd finally "gotten" it and wouldn't need reminding this time.

We've been together 2.5 years and he can be very caring. He's been patient w/ my insecurity, jealousy. He even said he'd completely avoid this woman we know because I'm so uncomfortable around her. He's not as attentive as other BFs but maybe I was spoiled by them in a way. I have trust issues but any time I doubted him and had to look into things everything turned out ok. There's good and bad. But I don't know which one wins out right now.

12-30-14, 12:54 PM
A cold hearted sociopath can buy the perfect gift.

Personally, I don't give gifts because it seems like emotional extortion to me, because I don't translate affection into "here, this gift represents how I feel about you," and demonstrations of affection that are expected on a schedule seem shallow. But that's just me. No girlfriend for me.

Still, I find it sad that you cry for three hours, so you have my sympathy. Hope things get better.

12-30-14, 02:09 PM
A cold hearted sociopath can buy the perfect gift.

I kind of want to say...I know that some people here don't seem to mind about giving or getting gifts, or even don't seem to like this custom at all! but I think Greengrasshoppe does like it and for some people giving or getting gifts is a way of feeling loved or thought of/cared about. And I think that any amount of reasoning about why this or that person doesn't think gifts are that important doesn't help because it obviously is important to her and that's all that matters. The fact that she is so torn about it tells how important this particular gesture is to her. I am sure she is trying to reason herself out of being sad but as we all know emotions don't often work that way!!

Anyways, I still think it's really key to convey to your boyfriend that this is something that's important to you and you WILL feel hurt despite yourself and any reasoning you can have with yourself about it if he doesn't at least try. And then I think you can have a conversation about creative ways that you can help each other through this particular obstacle, there have been some nice suggestions here of things that will make it easier for him if it's the organizational aspect that is required which makes it difficult. Maybe you can go shopping together before the holidays, or schedule your gift giving day in the summer instead of in the craziness of December like someone suggested!!

I've had similar things with my boyfriend where I felt like I was hitting him over the head with how obvious I was being about "it doesn't have to be anything major but I want a gift on my birthday"!!! Like seriously a bar of chocolate, I would be delighted!! It took a little while but I think my making it really easy for him to think of a present for me definitely helped. And for him it's not the organization of it lol it's more of a money thing. But anyways, you're not alone on this challenge.

**hugs Grasshopper** Good luck with talking to your boyfriend about this, and I really hope you come up with a solution that puts a smile on your face!! :)

12-31-14, 04:18 PM
Greengrasshoppe, my heart goes out to you. You seem to have a lot of pain already. You described yourself as insecure, jealous, uncomfortable around certain girls you think are competition, etc. There are a lot of people that way, so there is nothing wrong with you. Still, where does the pain come from?
Getting a gift from the boy seems like a reasonable expectation to me. Crying for three hours is a LOT of pain. It just seems like all that pain has to come from somewhere else, besides the boy. Its like he move a few rocks in a dam that is holding a bunch of water, and woosh! Big flood.
This is not your fault. You don't need to justify for feeling the way you do. Emotions just happen. For me, I know that some things that happened to me when I was in my teens make me feel like I can't trust people now. I wonder if someone important hurt you of left you when you were young.
I probably sound like I'm lecturing to you, and I suddenly remember that when girls tell about their problem, they don't want a solution to the problem, they want sympathy. So I'll just shut up. Except to say that I wasted years of my life running from the pain of childhood. It's better just to face the demons as soon as you can.
So NOW I'll shut up. Except to say hugs. Talk to boy. Tell him everybody said he should have given you a gift, but you Oh right. This is me shutting up.

01-01-15, 02:10 PM
lol actually I'm different than most women; I usually want a solution to my problem rather than just an ear. But you're right about the rest. The crying was a disproportionate response to the situation. I think it came from the fact that I've never been totally comfortable in my relationship. I'm always wondering/worrying if he *really* loves me and wants to be with me. Or if I'm just another distraction for him? Or worse, what if he's just with me out of pity because he knows I love him so much. Never being quite comfortable in our relationship takes an emotional toll on me. Not giving me a gift just seemed to confirm what I always feared.

It reallllly didn't help that he repeatedly talked about the gifts he got his nieces and nephews. He said he was going to the store on Christmas Eve and I jokingly asked if it was to buy a book about The Rock (He knows I like The Rock), but he laughed like that was so absurd. Getting me a gift is an absurd thought? Maybe I'm way more invested than he is. I'm just tired of trying to analyze every little thing.

01-01-15, 02:19 PM

You know, to me the thing that's so hard about this kind of thing is accepting that someone I love really, really, REALLY is the way he is--which is not how I assumed all people were and not how I wanted my partner to be. It's the great divide.

I think you know that your boyfriend doesn't actually think giving you a present is absurd. But at the moment when you said that when he laughed, he was in some other mind-space, and that put him a million miles away from you, your feelings, and your Christmas. present. And that is a very painful thing if you love someone, and seek connectedness and intimacy.

You say you don't know why he is with you--if it's out of pity. Yikes! This takes us into deep waters here and I think it may no longer be about ADHD. Why do you feel as though that's possible? If you have a lot of insecurity about yourself, this relationship may be particularly difficult for you. If your boyfriend can't or won't address your feelings as you need, you may not be able to stay together. But if you don't feel right with yourself, you'll take that burden with you wherever you go, in or out of this relationship. Would it help to talk to a therapist, just for you, about your feelings and needs?

01-01-15, 02:42 PM
(Not an advice comment but I just wanted to say that I think it's so cool seeing how much helpful advice there is happening in this thread! How many places can you think of that are so supportive like this forum? This would be so helpful to someone else reading who might be going through similar emotions! There are some really insightful thoughts here :grouphug: Anyways just feeling grateful)

And an extra hug for greengrasshoppe **SQUEEEEZE** Now that others have brought it up - it does sound like there might be some self esteem issues tied in to your feelings in this relationship. I think you should seriously reflect on that, I'm curious what you will find...

01-01-15, 03:13 PM
Like you are walking on a tightrope. Wondering if his love is real is like looking down at the ground far below. Don't look where you don't want to go. That is where attention comes into play.
Certainly he is not the only thing you have going in your life. If he is, maybe HE is a distraction for YOU. Fall in love with yourself. What if you met a girl who was exactly like you in every way? Imagine what it would be like to meet this girl and discover you had all these things in common. Couldn't you like this other human being and become friends? Does it have to be ANOTHER person for you to like her?
A lot of people have offered help. Hope all this attention replaces the gift you didn't get.

01-01-15, 03:19 PM
i think its ridiculous that he didn't get you ANYTHING (not just something fancy) for christmas

nobody forgets about christmas, add or not, thats just silly

to me, that says incredibly self absorbed on his part

if someone i was in a significant relationship with couldn't be bothered to get me a thing on Xmas (stressing again, anything , we aren't talking about greed here) that would sure give my self esteem a huge hit

you have every right to be upset about this