Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser

BoredPanda Add post form topAdd Post
Tooltip close

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

“Am I A Jerk For Telling My Husband He Ruined My Birthday… Again?”
User submission
118
135.9K

“Am I A Jerk For Telling My Husband He Ruined My Birthday… Again?”

ADVERTISEMENT

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated! Everyone should feel cherished and appreciated at least one day a year, so birthdays are the perfect opportunity to devour a delicious cake with loved ones and enjoy your favorite activities. When it comes to giving gifts, it’s usually the thought that counts, as it’s just nice to feel loved. 

But when there’s no thought at all, well, that’s a problem. Below, you’ll find a story that one frustrated mother recently shared online detailing how her husband conveniently got sick on her birthday and failed to make her feel special at all.

All this mother wanted for her birthday was one day off from her housework and child-rearing responsibilities

Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual photo)

But unfortunately, her husband managed to find a way out of even giving her that

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: Anna Shvets (not the actual photo)

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: Stitch_and_Trex

There are no age limits on when we should be celebrating birthdays

There is no age limit on when a person should be celebrating their birthday. We don’t stop enjoying cake after we turn 21, and we all deserve to feel special for at least one day. Sure, it’s not an obligation to throw a party or be surrounded by loved ones if you’re not a huge birthday person, but this woman is. She noted that it’s well known she loves birthday celebrations, therefore her birthday should be important to her husband. If he loves and cares about her, he should prioritize things that matter to her. In fact, the only “gift” she asked for was for him to actually help out with their children and allow her one day off from housework, a job many might call “just being a father”, and he couldn’t even manage to give her that.

Sadly, it’s no secret that women tend to bear the burden of taking on more housework and child-rearing responsibilities than their partners, regardless of whether or not they work. In fact, the Population Reference Bureau reports that, “Research funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development suggests that mothers with a husband or live-in male partner sleep less and do more housework than single mothers, despite having someone to share the load for undone housework.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: fauxels (not the actual photo)

Unfortunately, mothers tend to take on the bulk of housework, regardless of what day of the year it is

Now, this woman is a stay-at-home mother, so it’s possible that their agreement is that she handles everything at home while he is the breadwinner. But that’s an extremely uneven tradeoff, as the average stay-at-home mother works about 14 hours a day, or 98 hours a week, while I’m sure her husband works around 40 hours per week. Not to mention the fact that mothers are not paid, or often even appreciated, for their constant contributions to their households. Taking care of the home is seen as a mom’s duty, and she is expected to enjoy the endless caring for her children and husband, while he gets to play video games after work and avoid ever washing a dish.

According to Salary.com, if stay-at-home moms were actually compensated for all of the jobs they have to simultaneously juggle, they would be earning about $178k per year. So the very least we can do is make them feel loved and appreciated on their birthdays. (And we really should be helping them out year round, as no one should be working 14 hours a day, with no weekends or holidays.) Some of the readers on Reddit mentioned that this husband appeared to be utilizing “weaponized incompetence” to avoid having to celebrate his wife’s birthday. Emily Mendez, a mental health expert, explains that weaponized incompetence is “when an individual pretends that they can’t perform a simple action so someone will do it for them,” and it’s often used by spouses who want to get out of household responsibilities.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Your partner’s willful ignorance can leave you feeling used and like your partner isn’t putting as much into your relationship as you are,” Mendez told Care.come. “If it carries on for too long, you’ll likely experience burnout.” The husband in this particular story may not have claimed he did not know how to do things, but he did conveniently get sick on the one day he was supposed to manage the home, so he was claiming that he was incapable of taking on household responsibilities. 

Image credits: Tina Dawson (not the actual photo)

Some spouses even utilize ‘weaponized incompetence’ to ensure that tasks will be done for them

And unfortunately, this is a common way of getting out of taking care of kids or cleaning up the home. “I regularly hear about incompetence being used regarding child care,” Kurt Smith, licensed therapist and the founder of Guy Stuff Counseling, told Care.com. “Many men will claim incompetence regarding bathing the kids, getting them to fall asleep, etc. Their partners will then take on the task out of frustration and for their kids’ well-being, otherwise their teeth don’t get brushed, hair isn’t washed or the 5-year-old is up until 10 p.m.”

It’s heartbreaking to hear that this woman’s birthday was ruined, and that it was not the first time, but many of the readers of her story have assured her that she did nothing wrong. Hopefully, next year, she won’t be in the same situation on her birthday. We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever had your birthday ruined by an inconsiderate partner? And what advice would you give this mother? Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda piece discussing weaponized incompetence, check out this article next.    

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: Lisa Fotios (not the actual photo)

Readers expressed sympathy for the mother and shared concerns about her marriage, so she joined in on the conversation

Others continued sending messages of support to the mother, with some even adding stories of similar, personal experiences

136Kviews

Share on Facebook
Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Read less »
Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Author, BoredPanda staff

Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Rasa Žilinskaitė

Rasa Žilinskaitė

Author, Community member

Read more »

Rasa is a photo editor at Bored Panda, they have a college degree in photography and are currently studying sewing. Ever since childhood Rasa was interested in visual arts, including painting, photography, knitting and so on. When not at work or studying they like to knitting, cooking and spending quality time with their cats.

Read less »

Rasa Žilinskaitė

Rasa Žilinskaitė

Author, Community member

Rasa is a photo editor at Bored Panda, they have a college degree in photography and are currently studying sewing. Ever since childhood Rasa was interested in visual arts, including painting, photography, knitting and so on. When not at work or studying they like to knitting, cooking and spending quality time with their cats.

What do you think?
Add photo comments
POST
carolyngerbrands avatar
Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Stop doing anything for his birthday. Just get on with life and forget to do a single thing next year - on his birthday. See how he likes that. What an idiot.

lisah255 avatar
LH25
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree, she needs to stop going all out. And it might be that he doesn't care that much, and it won't bother him. He might get upset she didn't. Gives them a place to maybe start talking about it.

Load More Replies...
thirium_310 avatar
Marika
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow, what a terrible and narcistic partner! I never understood this "adults don't need birthday parties." nonsense. Of course we do! It's not just about the gifts, it's about taking care of that special person, appreciating them and celebrating them on their special day! The fact that he even didn't bother to wish her happy birthday is so aweful, how can someone be so disrespectful and careless towards their partner? I hope she stops making extra efforts for him and spoils herself with little gifts and things that brighten her days. Also, I really hope she finds a solution for her work to be more independent.

xqueenbee59x avatar
Spittnimage
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sounds like my ex. His motto was, "I don't do anything for you, but you do everything for me."

Load More Comments
carolyngerbrands avatar
Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Stop doing anything for his birthday. Just get on with life and forget to do a single thing next year - on his birthday. See how he likes that. What an idiot.

lisah255 avatar
LH25
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree, she needs to stop going all out. And it might be that he doesn't care that much, and it won't bother him. He might get upset she didn't. Gives them a place to maybe start talking about it.

Load More Replies...
thirium_310 avatar
Marika
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow, what a terrible and narcistic partner! I never understood this "adults don't need birthday parties." nonsense. Of course we do! It's not just about the gifts, it's about taking care of that special person, appreciating them and celebrating them on their special day! The fact that he even didn't bother to wish her happy birthday is so aweful, how can someone be so disrespectful and careless towards their partner? I hope she stops making extra efforts for him and spoils herself with little gifts and things that brighten her days. Also, I really hope she finds a solution for her work to be more independent.

xqueenbee59x avatar
Spittnimage
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sounds like my ex. His motto was, "I don't do anything for you, but you do everything for me."

Load More Comments
You May Like
Related on Bored Panda
Related on Bored Panda
Trending on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda