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Worst Gift Ever?

Well, I threatened to do this Fun Friday challenge after my birthday thread (a pen… a tie-dyed motif license plate cover…) on Worst Gifts Ever.

It takes some consideration of your partner to come up with a good gift. Narcissists tend not to tune in to the needs of others. So gifts are either impression management (BEHOLD! I PRESENT YOU WITH A GILDED PONY!) or something they have around the house (BEHOLD! I PRESENT YOU WITH A TICTAC!) or nothing at all. They suck at gifts.

But weirdly you may never suck at gratitude for their shitty gifts. OMG, a tictac! I’ll treasure it always. Not: I’ll need to discuss a pony with the co-op board… They had to expend an entire kibble to give you a gift, however much it inconveniences you, so you better return their investment with extra kibbles. (OMG! We’ll name a museum wing for you!) This is how the game is played.

Your challenge today is to tell me about the weirdest, crappiest gift you got — AND how you repurposed it, or imagine repurposing it.

GladIt’sOver once received a half-eaten box of Wheatena cereal, which has been immortalized as a cartoon. Because nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like a box of used whole-grains.

How could we repurpose it? Cook it into sludge and force feed it to certain members of the legal Establishment? Spoon it in, then hands over their mouths until they swallow or choke? (Chump Lady is feeling very stabby today.) JUST A YOUTHFUL PRANK! That I cannot recollect BUT I KNOW IT WAS NOT WHEATENA CEREAL. I have NEVER choked anyone with hot malted goodness! I was busy earning MERIT BADGES.


Bad gifts. Tell me about them. And TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • This isn’t a gift I received from my FuckedUp Unicorn, but what my dear friend received from her idiot then-husband. Her 40th birthday. He has band practice at their house and once again, she has made the house sparkle and provided a marvelous spread.

    He gave her a bag of cotton balls.

    His bandmates jaws dropped wide open when they found out not only was it her birthday, but what he had given her. THEY went out and bought her something and presented it to her the next day. Why the next day? Because they stayed overnight due to alcohol consumption. Every time there was band practice at their home she prepared a wonderful spread of food, planned on having people stay the night AND made a fantastic breakfast the next day.

    Her then-husband said she was a lousy housekeeper and cook.

    I was so happy when they got divorced.

    • 5 mini jars of jam. In a triangle box. Cos. Xmas! But it was a step up from the $250 voucher he accidentally put in the bin with the rubbish the year before. His narc mother helped cover that one up. That from a man who got run down on the road chasing a cigarette that blew away.

      • No, they weren’t and they gave him hell for his behavior before, during and after the divorce.

        I wish we had had weather conducive for freezing those cottonballs to his car!

    • My stbx wasn’t very imaginative, so he insisted I give him exact list of things I wanted and he’d pick what to buy me. I didn’t like this but he would stomp his feet until I did as asked.

      Worst gift was a LV bag I picked out. So, I loved it if course, until I found a receipt a couple years later that he bought a new affair partner the EXACT SAME BAG. Can’t make this up, he is lazy as hell and used my good taste to impress his new whore d’jour.

      I’m requesting to be credited back in the divorce for spend on any affair partners. It’s all I can do at this point.

      • Mine also did the “give me a list” routine. At least I get something I like instead of another generic cucumber watermelon bath set. I hate that scent. I have told him but I’ve gotten so many from him over the years.
        I did get a mirror from him one year. He said, “here, because you like to look at yourself”.
        And he doesn’t wrap gifts. I think some years he genuinely tried but he is so self absorbed he doesn’t even know me after 23 years.
        Most holidays he just says, “should I get you something?” I just say “no, I’ll get myself something.” And I do.

        • Ditto. Mine were put under the tree in the FedEx or UPS boxes they arrived in. All with exorbitant shipping prices because he would buy one thing for me every year online like two days before Christmas. Fucktard.

      • Ditto MC. My ex gave me a Tiffany necklace and Coach purse because I found the receipt!! He never bought me anything extravagant like that . They all use the same playbook

    • My ex gave me many awful gifts, and after reading all these responses I realize the one nice one was actually all about him.
      So the worst: soap for Christmas. It was handmade and lavender, my favorite, but soap?
      When he got a huge promotion he brought me a pair of diamond earrings. Said he was a big mucky muck and wanted to do something for his wife. Really, I think he wanted me to be more conventional. His new baby mama is 22 years younger and has an LV diaper bag. My kids have a large college fund because I never cared about that stuff. Dirtbag actually wants someone who thinks being married to a doctor is a thing, as opposed to someone who actually loved him.

    • A BMW I didn’t want but he told me he would be insulted if I refused. Six months later he left and during the divorce told the judge the car wasn’t a gift but I whined until he bought it. Judge made me responsible for the payments for a car I didn’t want. I wasn’t working and he’s an airline pilot.

      • Pilots seem to be the common denominator…mine cut me off when I left after my friend showed me his tinder account.. We lived abroad I came home suitcase in hand and no job. Piece of shit gave me nothing on several events which is funny now I guess… We are still married he has a fiancé and baby on the way now, court will be fun!

    • Cotton balls, that’s generous!! You can use them to remove your make up at least. Mine forgot my B-day 3 times in 12 years and last time cooked me a burnt omelette and left me alone in my room to go play with his gaming friends. “Fun” times!!

    • My husband gave me coconut lotion and sea salt scrub. Seems like a pretty nice gift huh? I was thrilled, he was thinking about me! He cared enough to buy me a gift! He never gave me gifts, so sweet. Well, apparently his mistress really wanted a gift and complained all the time that he never gave her gifts. He bought three sets, one for his mom, one for me, and one for Skeletor.

    • I got a $5 saw for my birthday one year. We just happened to be in the hardware store so he grabbed it and said “here, this is your birthday present”. WTF?! Lol!!

    • Right?!

      I was standing right there when he did it too. It took me a minute or two to realize that was it. It wasn’t a gag gift and he had the real one stashed in the car or something. Nope. Cottonballs. He didn’t even tape a bow onto the plastic bag or wrap it.

      But holy shit he did present it with a lot of ceremony.


    • Not sure where you live No Shit, but up here in Canada, we would wait until the temperature drops below zero, wet those cotton balls and stick them on the F**kwit’s car. Excellent therapy.

  • After he lost weight for his twinkle twat he gave me his old jeans to wear because he didn’t need them anymore. And for the record they were still too large but WTH? They were re-purposed by Goodwill.

    That’s about it though as he never gave me a gift for any special occasions, just promises that he would as soon as he was paid….sigh. Why did I put up with that crap?

    • Empty promises. Yep. I sure can relate to that one. The Alcoholic never had enough money to buy gifts for anyone but himself. But that didn’t stop him from making promises, not to me or the kids.

      The worst part was when he promised the kids something expensive, promised to pay for it, and told me to make the arrangements (read: first and only family trip to Disneyland). So I made the hotel reservations, booked the flights (“I’ll pay you for that as soon as_______”), got the Disney guidebooks, got the travel DVD, made plans with the kids about what they wanted to do…..

      I used my credit card to pay the hotel deposit and the admission ticket package. He promised the money would be there when the bill came due. The kids’ excitement was intense.

      The bill for the flights and deposit came due. He encouraged me to just make the minimum payment; he was a little short this week….

      We did make the trip. The kids had a wonderful time. The Alcoholic did too, sort of. He spent the evenings drinking, slept the mornings away, joined us in the parks in the afternoons for a while, and complained about how the parks were closing “too early” so he only got to see part of it. At the restaurants he didn’t hesitate to order appetizers, expensive entrees and fancy desserts. He was on vacation, and he was going to enjoy himself. (“Get your fork off my dessert. If you want one then order one for yourself.”)

      Everything went on MY credit card: flights, hotel, meals, park tickets, you-name-it. He got the thanks, and never paid a dime. It took me over two years to pay off that trip, which is why it was the only Disney trip we ever made.

      Another lady who worked at my office, and was paid less than me, went to Disney with her family every single year. That hurt, knowing that it was something I should have been able to afford but never could. But she’d made a far better husband choice than I did.

      • I told my ex last year I wanted *desperately* to take the kids to Disney before my eldest got much older/too cool. We had been through so much and struggled so hard for so many years, and both of us had just finished school and licensing- as soon as we got set in our jobs, we shouldve been making really good money. He raged against me, telling me I was a selfish b*tch, and how dare I tell others we were going to Disney like it was some edict. He was seriously angry and “resentful” (his word) that I wanted that and told others. A few months later, I discovered his decade-long betrayal and hardcore prostitute habit. He was actually pissed he would have to save money to spend on our kids’ happiness instead of blowing it all on playing russian roulette with his dick. He ran away when I told him I knew and the divorce was final last year.

        I get the part about others getting to do cool things for their kids all the time and feeling sad that mine have to miss out bc I chose a worthless halfwit for a mate. It hurts. Im glad you got to go, nonetheless- pleanty never do.

        I just got back from Disney with my mom and my boys last week. We had a great time. Took a lot of willpower not to take a pic of me w mouse ears in front of the castle flipping the bird and using it as my facebook profile pic. 🙂

        • Same. We never had enough money for Disney. And he once said he hated the idea of going to Disney. Because (in his words ISYN), “Disney is a “dry” park and I’m not spending that kind of money to not drink.” And, “I hate Disney since Walt died.”

          Even the $10K his mother told me she gave him for the trip was mysteriously “invested.” Chumpy me never once considered he had “invested” it in himself and exit plan.

          When we were divorced, the first trip he and his skank/would-be-insta-mom took two of our three sons (the middle son was on to him long before the other two) was… DISNEY!

          My two sons who went still shudder when they talk about it. Their “Disney Memories” include not having enough food to eat all week, being forced to take selfies with the happy couple, having to pretend to be nice to a strange woman they knew Dad had left me for, etc. The worst, however, was sharing a room with the happy “new insta-parents.” Dad and Skanky slept in the bed next to the one they had to share. My oldest son woke up in the middle of the night to look over and see his father getting a blow job.

          • There are no words Chutes….good gawd all mighty…your son got to witness a BJ between daddy and his skank whore while visiting Disney Land. **BARF** Please pass the brain bleach. Despicable gross disgusting pieces of shit.

            • OK, I just woke the dog with the involuntary EWWWWWW after reading that. Brain bleach, indeed. My God, *who* does that?

              • Sick, exhibitionist cheating bastards do that kind of thing, that’s who. How much do you wanna bet they got off on the idea? Stupid, narcissistic assholes.

      • MLM….we went to Disneyland often, went big, many years more than once a year, had what I thought was the most fun ever, and he still was a cheater…..

        • Oh, I understand. Cheaters and buttholes come in all packages. If I had to guess it sounds like you got one who made you part of the impression management front. It must have been pretty good, in some ways, until one day it just wasn’t any more.

          Mine took a different route. Financial infidelity and alcoholism were part of the package. His never having enough money left for family needs or savings, despite having a nice income, was one mark of how little concern he had for me. For years his only gifts to me were empty promises and verbal abuse about how stupid I was.

          I was fully invested in dancing to the tune of “do what’s necessary to keep the family together.” But when I realized he’d stolen and sold irreplaceable family treasures I received from my parents and grandparents, I was furious. I also realized that I no longer gave a damn about any of his needs.

          My dancing ended shortly afterwards.

      • Weird how Disney brings out the tantrum-throwing child in Cheaters. My in-laws promised our kids a trip to Disney–it was supposed to happen when they were a few years older. They forgot.

        My EX called his father and raged at him about he was breaking promises to children. His father responded with abject apologies and an immediate promise to make the trip my EX’s birthday present that very month (they didn’t normally give large birthday presents). My EX got even more enraged and said it was HIS birthday, so there was no way he wanted an all expenses paid family vacation. He wanted a gift for HIM.

        Reasonably, my father in-law retracted the offer and sent him a typical gift.

        I planned a Disney trip as my kids had been anticipating one for several years at this point. My EX first said we couldn’t go because WE would be insulting his parents. I did not give in. His parents were invited to join us at the park, were they so inclined. They thanked me and declined (they were elderly and really not up to long walks and long days). Eventually, the kids and I by ourselves.

        My EX went on a fishing trip with male friends. None of those guys even speak to him anymore.

        Although I found all of it hard at the time, with 20/20 hindsight I know our Disney trip was a lot more fun without him than it would have been had he been with us complaining about everything and making the whole trip revolve around him.

        • What is it about Disney!

          We went. The youngest was too small to go on the rides.

          That meant that I stood at the bottom of EVERY SINGLE RIDE with the littlest, whilst super dad rode on every single one with the two who could.

          I remember the Disney holiday well, because how hard I had to spackle to not notice what was completely obvious: how selfish he was, and how I did not feature in his thinking or consideration at all.

          I was a very angry, depressed and anxious person. That of course, was another burden he had to bear.

      • I’m sorry, but were we married to the same guy?
        Did he wait until you flew back home from your trip to announce that he was leaving you?
        Like… he doesn’t love you enough to stay with you, but loves you enough to mooch a week-long Disney vacation? Loves you enough to use your debit card to buy himself souvenirs?

    • I got lots of promises too!!! The only time he fulfilled one was when his football booster president gave him shit about missing my birthday & that with everything I did for the kids on the team I deserved no less than a Coach purse. That weekend (after football ended & on Black Friday) we went to the Coach outlet for a purse. BUT that was just for him to keep up appearances. Otherwise it would have been more empty promises like every other year.

      When I turned 40, his mom was sick & he was using her failing health to never be around. I found out on Jan. 2nd that he had been having an affair the entire time. I didn’t get so much as a happy birthday text on my birthday. I took myself & my kids out to dinner where they ordered dessert. No gift, no happy birthday. A little less than a month later it was his birthday and as usual like a good chump, I set up a birthday dinner at his parents house so his mom would have one last birthday with him. HE didn’t thank me; he got angry with me. And was late getting there! I can only assume it was because he was with the other woman now. Nothing was EVER good enough for him but I better have liked my shit sandwiches or else!

  • One year, for my birthday, my STBX bought me a clothes hamper. He seemed surprised that I wasn’t thrilled with his gift — “You’ve been wanting a new hamper,” he said.

    The best part? From then on, whenever I brought up the fact that he gave me a hamper for my birthday, he would deny that he gave me a hamper for my birthday. “That wasn’t your birthday gift,” he would say. “I just bought the hamper because we needed it.”

    Good God. How I do not miss his lying, his gaslighting, his alternate facts, and his alternate reality.

    • I hadn’t received any gifts for years. Not after I mentioned that I didn’t want another gift certificate for an online jeweler for the third year in a row (I had enough of that particular jewelry). But for the last Christmas he gave me a hamper because I had been wanting a new one. It wasn’t the one I wanted but I was happy to get anything at that point. How sad is that? Two months later he discarded me.

      • Wow….there is a hamper theme. Me too????????????. Still have it. But I like it….nice wicker with a cotton liner and a hinged lid. because “I ” like it I will keep it! And every time I do the laundry I will remind myself how lucky I am not to be doing his laundry anymore. Asshole

        • My cheater got shitfaced drunk, stumbled over the wooden hamper, and crushed it. He promised to replace it so long as I told him where to find one like it.

          I did. I found the hamper on the store’s website, printed out the page, gave it to him. He promised to take care of it “at the end of the week.”

          He never did. After waiting a month, and asking several times, I finally bought a replacement hamper myself.

          Then he told me I was too impatient.

          • The now-ex’s “I’ll take care of it” became a running joke (in my mind) because whenever he said that, I could bank on it never getting done until I finally heaved a big sigh and did it myself. Their words do not mean what you think they mean.

    • I tended to like the practical gifts that I could use but ex didn’t want to give me those kids of gifts because a normal woman wouldn’t want them and he wanted me to be “normal”. One year I asked for a spice wrack for my birthday because I was tired of digging through the spice cupboard looking for the spices I needed. He bought me a spice wrack but then some woman at work told him he couldn’t possibly give me a spice wrack because that would imply that he expected me to cook. I liked cooking. Anyway, he listened to her and didn’t give me the spice wrack and I got nothing for my birthday that year which was unusual because he was usually better about gift giving. When I asked him about later that’s when I go the explanation and finally convinced him to reluctantly hand over the spice wrack so I could make use of it. What bothered me most is that he chose to listen to the opinion of another woman over the expressed desires of his actual wife. He was always like that, however. He was always easily influenced by the people he didn’t know well, but impervious to the influence of those to whom he was close and whose opinions should have mattered more to him. I guess he figured that I already thought he was great so he didn’t need to listen to or please me, but he had to listen to acquaintances in order to get them to like him too.

      • Interesting point. I always wondered why my EX almost always gave me silver jewelry (not real silver, but silver colored) when I have always expressed a preference for anything but silver colored jewelry. Now, I’m thinking it might have been due more to his preference to impress or flirt with the sales woman. But your point that a desire to impress strangers makes a lot of sense in a number of important ways.

    • Mine was a waste paper basket. (Not a hamper, but I think if you were to form a club I could potentially be admitted.) Not a dumpy waste basket, but a cream-of-the-crap waste basket…. Stickley. I still haven’t sold it yet; I need to figure out where all the highfalutin cake-eaters shop so I can list it. Anyway, why in the world, when your marriage is on thin ice, would a man buy his wife a waste basket for Christmas? These gifts really do say a lot, don’t they? My guess is that ,subconsciously, he was ready to throw it all away.

    • The gifts have progressively gotten worse. Since I now “know” he’s a lying cheating scumbag, there is no reason to try to impress on me how wonderful he is. This year I got cast iron skillets, a stack of 3, for my birthday. Should I feel special that he remembered? I’m returning them to the store for the CASH.

  • A small 3 euro stone heart with a text on it. “I love you to the moon and back”. To say sorry for her affairs. And she gave herself a 100 euro tattoo as well with “my crazy life” as a theme.

    Somehow she didn’t understand that her banging a tattoo artist 2 weeks after our marriage (and for the entire period until I caught her 1.5 years later) made me trigger on the fact that she got a tattoo during reconciliation.

    No.. it didn’t work out.

    • My wife and I discussed getting tattoos. We discussed going to a tattoo party together. The point is we discussed doing it together. The hangup was I didn’t know what I wanted to get. So 2 months after DDay#1, she got her own tattoo up the back of her neck. When she told me she was going, I said that I thought we were going to do it together. Her response was that I couldn’t decide and she was ready to get one. So much for trying to reconnect. That tattoo is a daily reminder of her discard/abandonment post-DDay#1.

      • My stupid stbx made fun out of me when I got my tatoos, but one month after he left, he got a huge blocky sun-looking thing on his right forearm. He got it because he liked it – no meaning behind it and it looks stupid. He looks ridiculous with it and every time I see it I think of his skank whore.

  • My ex, used to get me terrible clothes, but his friend gave his wife a vacuum cleaner, his friend cheats as well, he was currently celebrating his anniversary, who is he kidding. He said his wife would appreciate the vacuum cleaner. His friend always has a smirk on his face, sad bastard

  • On our 20th anniversary we picked up our bowling balls from the shop after we had our initials engraved in them. Fell on that day by coincidence but I guess he felt lucky because he hadn’t purchased me a gift previously. This was just a few months after he talked about having a vow renewal ceremony on our 20th. He made it a point to talk about the ball, how nice it was etc. I bought him a watch. I donated the ball after the divorce. I was married to a real loser. Been free over a year now. Life is so much better!

  • Mostly his gifts were of the boring kitchen appliance / practical “thing you mentioned running out of last week” variety. Or stuff you’d buy your mom (red flag!). An immersion blender. Sturdy pajamas. A scarf that I regifted to my 70 year old mom.

    The hurtful one was the last Valentine’s Day we were together -two candy bars he wrapped in construction paper and drew a heart on. In crayon. Like a kid would get for his mom. Later found out he was full on into the affair then.

    • I might win today not just for Worst Practical Gifts but all categories…

      He had given me (not for Christmas) a black plastic Tuff Box (utility box) for the bed of my truck. It was from a truck he no longer owned. A year later, he got a new truck, and one day when I was away from home, took it back and put it on his new truck.

      That Christmas, he made a big show of me unwrapping his Christmas present to me. It was a huge box. It had to be opened at his parents’ house! It had to be opened last! With everyone watching! This was during the time I was waiting for him to ask me to marry him…it had to be The Ring! Years earlier for our first Christmas together, he had given me a diamond band, the ring box wrapped in a series of larger boxes like a Russian matryoshka doll. That time it was just a gift of jewelry (which turned out to be one of a set of guards that he bought from a guy at work, probably stolen). This time it would be different! My years of waiting were about to end in a sweet and thoughtful way!

      It was a new Tuff Box. The room was silent. His sister said, “I don’t think that’s what she was expecting.”

      Fast forward to 2011. He asked me if I wanted a new car. Of course I said yes. We went to the dealer where I picked everything out. We ordered the car. Then the waiting began. When I asked when the car war arriving, the shifting explanations began. Months later, he finally told me HE had decided that WE didn’t need another car and had cancelled the order.

      Then he went out and bought himself the tax credit Dodge Ram Hookup truck.

      • Flash forward 2017….expensive watch from Costco, handed to me not even wrapped. Which I returned to him when I found out he was having an affair when he bought it. Which surprised him, “But it’s your birthday present!”

        Later when I saw pictures of her with all her prominent logo accessories (Gucci belt, Vuitton bag, probably fake) I could see where he got the inspiration for my gift, a Gucci bracelet watch. It looked like something she would wear. He probably got one for her too.

        • And for the Grand (Tour) Finale,

          He gave a trip to Paris. I postponed it…I had been recovering from nerve damage and the house went down with my health.
          As much as I would love to be in Paris in the spring, I told him I’d feel better staying home getting the house back in order.

          After the affair discovery when he was compiling his laundry list of What’s Wrong With Me, he accused me of being a hoarder.

  • Well. Now I wonder if HE is the Chump?
    He gave OVER-THE-TOP gifts. Like literally super expensive. I always told him I’m pretty chill and don’t need all that. All I REALLY want and crave is a quiet dinner, use a coupon even… but one where he didn’t make it about him and how much trouble he went through to spend all his money on me. The gifts were what rich people would give each other. And while nice and appreciated…. they were not ME.
    When it came time to give HIM gifts though…. he had extremely expensive taste and expectations. I would be over come with anxiety wondering and fretting it what Inwas thinking of getting him would be enough or appreciated, would he say thank you this time?
    Eventually the stress of it became so overwhelming I was the one who stopped giving him gifts.
    Last year though, he gave me half of what he normally would (which I am totes ok with) but then I found out that was because he spent the rest (and more) on his sparkly twat-pot-o-mus. The next week he declared he was divorcing me. The following week I found out about twatty-cakes.

    Is he the chump?

    • No. He was all about things that can be seen and are valued by the people sitting in the owner’s boxes, or balconies.

      He’s a hollow chocolate bunny. You’re solid chocolate!

    • This is sort of my story too. My ex was super into image and looooooves spending money so he would always want to buy something. But often “something” was uncomfortable lingerie that he wished I would wear during grabby clumsy sex. Seriously that’s all I got one Christmas. I felt like a doll he was dressing up. Now I realize he was trying to get me to be more like another. Or he’d buy a sex toy he (not me) wanted to try. So glad to be done with that sicko. Just wish others could see through his grade A impression management.

    • You just described my marriage in terms of gift giving. He was impossible to shop for because he only liked expensive things that he had to pick out himself because I wouldn’t get it right. I started giving him my Christmas bonus money every year because it was in the form of a check rather than direct deposit and I could cash it in and surprise him with the money to spend as he pleased. Not very romantic, but the best I could do.

    • I one got a bonus at work —- unheard of at my company (higher education). I spent almost the whole bonus on new irons for him —- got his brother who was dating a woman who owned a golf course to help pick them out, she gave them to me at cost. They were NICE. I was SOOO very excited I could hardly wait. He opened them, explained I bout him the wrong ones and pouted until his family arrived. I was holding Christmas for 20 of his family —. Most brought nothing, and no one helped. He enjoyed himself not raising a finger to help. I was next to tears all day. After he drank himself silly the nightmare day ended.

      He never said thank you, bragged to others about them, and loved those clubs.

      Oh, and I had to give him money to buy me Christmas gifts / birthday presents….even if he was working. I realized over time he wasn’t spending it on me…..he spent it on himself. So then I bought my own…..or suggested a gift certificate……then I ruined Christmas for him…..since he didn’t get the little extras any more!

      My D Day was 8/10….he was supposed to be gone by 9/21….before my birthday (today). Then he told me if he wasn’t gone he’d get a hotel room. Guess who was sitting in the living room drinking himself silly when our 14 year old and I got back from dinner….yep you guessed it. My don has bowling tomorrow morning—we need to be there by 9:15. Our sone asked what time we would be getting up —- said 7:30 or 8:00….and he asked why we needed to get up so early! So much for keeping even the smallest promises

      • My cheating ex was of the impossible-to-please variety, too. Gift-giving to him was a performance, not a way for two people to show appreciation and care for each other (he thought of sex much in the same way).

        He once told me I bought him the wrong sport watch after HE sent me a link to the exact watch he wanted. (At least I had proof in that case).

        Meanwhile he kept buying me cold-weather camping gear even though I repeatedly told him that I HATED camping in sub-zero temps. That kind of cold is miserable to me.

        Ironically, it was his gift of a dozen roses one Valentine’s Day that ignited my spidey-senses. He’d never done that, knew I didn’t like red roses. My first instinct? Ah, he probably bought roses for some other woman (or more than one), then sent some to me as well so he could keep all his gift-giving straight.

  • Worst Gift Ever!!

    Valentine’s Day 5 months after D-day #2. I got a sample size of foot lotion and a card that said “Good for one free foot rub”

    • Last xmas …he was moved out (the real gift :)..I got socks.
      One time out of the blue he bought me an expensive bike. I hated it because I sensed it was bought out of guilt not love. I sold it.

  • This christmas – where we had started seeing a therapist to work on our sexlife – he presented me with… drumroll…. a bicycle helmet!!! No sexy underwear, perfume etc. to show his attraction for me.
    No – A bicycle helmet..
    His response when I commented on it was: “It shows how much I love you, because I worry about something happening to you and want to keep you safe”..

  • Let’s just say what the gift was doesn’t matter once I found out that the Affair Partner picked them out and then had ex buy her the larger, more expensive version ????

    • I never got gifts…..yet, in the divorce, I got stuck with the credit card bill she used to buy him expensive, nice gifts.

      I’m still making monthly payments.

      • What a whore. That makes me so mad!

        Take a deeeeeeeeeeep breath…think of it as money well-spent. Each payment is like an investment in keeping her away from you. One step closer to freedom. And she’ll be spending someone else’s money now.

  • When I began to question his friendship with the co-worker I got random impression management gifts…A new car paid in full, a $100 lawn gnome, etc. On holidays that matter, nope. I love England, so for my Xmas gift I got? Toilet paper with the union Jack on it….yeah. Hoped something else was in the bag. All I could say was that it was different with a smile on my face and a sad heart realizing my husband of 7 yrs doesn’t really think about me or know me.

    • Ha ha that is so funny. I’m English so I hope there wasn’t a picture of the queen on it – but seriously!!!!!!

  • Not me…..but my little sister:

    For her 40th Birthday, Dr. Romance gave her a vintage Playboy from the month she was born. Nothing captures a woman’s heart quite like Miss August 1970.

      • Yes……especially a woman who was forced to have a partial mastectomy 3 months earlier.

          • Luckily for the entire family, he bailed not too long after that. The ladies of St. Louis are now enjoying that wonderful charm.

            • Must be the area — my stbx is leaving me and our 14 year old son to move to Wentville MO to be with the scans he had an affair with 25 years ago. Wonder if there is something drawing them to St. Lois and the towns around it!

    • Wow, just wow! Sometimes I think these people are just brain damaged and that’s why they behave the way they do. Totally clueless.

  • He was a contractor and knew that I hated the sculptured tile in our house. The grout lines were crooked because the edges of the sculptured tile was not straight. He was working on a job site and laying down wood looking ceramic tiles. I stopped by the job site to bring him lunch one day and saw the wood looking ceramic tiles and fell in love with them.

    So for Christmas that year, I got that wood looking ceramic tile floor for our house, but I had to imagine it. He promised he would lay it down after Christmas. No other gifts, not even a card. Just the imaginary floor.

    Christmas came and went, so did Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. Still no floor.

    One day in October he told me about this amazing laminate wood floor he had laid on a job site and brought home a sample to show me. He said it could be laid down over the existing tile and would be a real quick wood floor. It was okay, so I was looking forward to that. Only problem was he was tight on money, so I gave him $1000 for the floor. Yep, paid for my own imaginary Christmas present.

    Fast forward to a couple of months when he moved out suddenly because he needed to get his head together after quitting drinking and I asked about the laminate flooring still in the garage. He reluctantly came over and laid about 35 feet of it. I hated it, but kept it to myself ~ thinking anything was better than that damn sculptured tile.

    I found out after he was taken to the hospital by his then landlord that he was screwing her and had moved on to a whole new life. Every time I looked at that partially laid laminate floor, I got angry. Something undone, not what I wanted and I had paid $1000 for. It infuriated me.

    I took it up piece by piece and loaded it into my car. I drove all the pieces to his construction dumpster and threw them in ~ laughing like a crazed woman as each piece went into his dumpster. Merry Christmas! I yelled as I drove away and never looked back.

  • The only gifts he would give me were flowers from the gas station that was on his way home and a sexually explicit card of some kind…

    OK, great challenge this morning CL, because now I’m reminded of why I’m WAY better off.

    Needed this to snap out of a low spot – THANK YOU!

    Repurpose to the loser OW…. (which I’m sure he already has! Ahahahaha!!!)

    • Same. Every year for every valentine’s day, every mothers day, every birthday, and every anniversary I got the left over, half dead roses you get at the grocery store. No card thou. Usually bought the day of the event, so on valentines day morning after I gave him a gift, candy and a card.. . He would not have anything so he would eat then say I will be back or make you an excuse like we need milk, run to the store. Buy whatever flowers were left over and come back to give me. Apparently I was sappose to be surprised and so grateful he took the time.. .. I once told him that I did not care what he got me just begged him please don’t get me flowers. .. . And he STILL got me flowers. Even my then 10 year was like why did you do that dad, mom even asked you not to. His excuse was he thought I meant the NEXT mother’s day, not this one. I hate flowers now.

      For Christmas I usually got what I asked for. His gifts were so crappier and nothing I liked or used. (He got me electric scissors once. I never used them.) So I just would tell him what to get me. At least I got what I wanted. He used to tell me that I was so picky (I am NOT picky at all) and that I was so hard to buy gifts for (I actually am not, I love any kind of tools or appliances plus I craft) .. .. .. that he never could find anything I liked. AKA I was never happy with anything he did… ..

      Yep and I would have to show proper appreciation for this damn dead flowers and gift I told him to buy. Otherwise, I did not love or appreciate HIM… ..

      Never could repurpose the gifts since flowers die and the other gifts I told him what I wanted, but I repurposed the lying, cheating, stealing, trickle truth telling, back stabbing, gaslighting, broke ass alcoholic husband into an EX husband. And found my peace

      • Ooh, MrsVain, I’m saving this one:

        “I repurposed the lying, cheating, stealing, trickle truth telling, back stabbing, gaslighting, broke ass alcoholic husband into an EX husband. And found my peace.”

        A little too long for printing on a coffee cup, perhaps, but what a great inspirational thought to start anyone’s day.

      • Received 1 Christmas present from him in 29 years (HELLO red-flag – head-slap).

    • I’ll on-up you on those flowers. Mone were hidden in his work duffle bag.
      “I don’t want anyone to think I’m in the doghouse” was the attached warcry when he pulled the crushed and wilted flowers out of his bag. I told him “you know, people get their SO flowers out of affection, not just as an apology”. “Oh well, i thought we needed flowers for the kitchen table!”. Anything to be right ????????????

  • Butane cigarette lighter ‘wrapped’ in a white envelope our first Christmas (I think he got from the corner drug store which he walked to on Christmas Eve when nothing else was open.
    Last year, he gave DD11 cocktail napkins.
    Cocktail. Napkins.

    • I’m so confused – how did it even cross his mind to give an 11 yr old kid cocktail napkins? Were they printed with some kind of amazing design? Favourite cartoon character? enquiring minds are so confused

  • The single Christmas present I received the year before before we split up: A pair of grey, Lands End men’s house slippers, one size too big. Thanks.

  • Of course my cheater wasn’t much of a gift giver. I should have picked up on it early when the first Valentine’s day I sent him a card. He received it, went out and bought me a card and scanned it and emailed the scan to me. We lived 120 miles apart. Yeah, he never gave it any thought.

  • When we met, I was a Brett Favre fan – he went overboard with Packers themed gifts (love bombing). What was I supposed to do with all that sports themed stuff???

    Later on, I got practical gifts, which was better. Even then I knew he’d get me nice, practical gifts just so he could brag to friends/coworkers.

  • On year 2 of wreckonciliation, he gave me a Unicorn mug for Christmas that said “My unicorn understands me”. He said “this is because you say I don’t understand you (re: triggers, need for full disclosure, which he was withholding, etc), so I though maybe a unicorn would”.

    I’m not sure he was trying to fool me or that’s genuinely how his mind works. Which is also a good summary quote of the whole relationship with him.

    Our first Xmas living together, we decided we both didn’t have good ideas for gifts, so we’d buy each other something we needed: pajamas for me and a gym suit for him. I specifically asked for all-cotton and an XL, he bought me synthetic in a size too small on purpose. Guess who is the hidden fat shamer?

    The list goes on…I was most hurt when he insisted on giving me gifts I didn’t want just because he thought I did, no matter how much I said no. The first time he hurt me, gift-wise, is our very first Xmas together (we were in our 20’s) and I hand-drew a bunch of cards for each little gift and then he just left more than half behind, like they were used wrapping paper. I always knew who he was.

    • X asshat did this. Had no clue nor care what to get me for my birthday one year so he sat at his work computer one day and loaded up $500 worth of women’s clothes into his virtual cart for delivery. Not a single thing fit, all too small. None of it was to my taste, either, it was just a miss-mash of random shit he plunked in the cart. I cried as I tried on piece after piece in front of him, feeling terrible that nothing fit and feeling fat and on display in some sort of horrific fashion show.

      His response was to be mad at me and of course chumpy me took it all on as my fault, I guess I was just so fat. Spent $50 in shipping to return it all and got jack shit zero for myself to replace it.

      Most gift-giving occasions were him buying me something the same day or doing an online gift certificate printed out moments earlier. He just didn’t give a shit and blamed me for it all.

      Happy fucking birthday to me.

  • For Valentine’s Day one year, my ex gave me furry handcuffs and a strap on head dildo. All I wanted was flowers and a card.

    • Yeah, me too. Most gifts involved impractical lingerie or awkwardly sexy clothing meant for his enjoyment, not mine. Now how do I repurpose all of this lingerie? I think the trash is where it belongs…

  • My mother asked him what the plan for vmt birthday was that evening, as she arrived to watch our kids that work day. He pulled out $20 threw in the counter on and said, “Why don’t you pick up a cake or something” and walked out the door.

    I didn’t find this out until 2years later post D-Day. Mom spackled….

  • Back story: My birthday was pretty much ignored each year. No presents. No flowers. No cake. No going out for dinner. My “gift” was a card that he’d leave out for me to find — like on the computer keyboard. My 40th birthday rolled around and I thought that maybe this year would be different. Nope. And of course for his birthday I always made a big deal of it — big dinner, homemade cake, presents and cards from me and the kids, invited his family over. I cried myself to sleep on my 40th birthday. A week later, Mother’s Day rolled around. His mommy manipulated me into having a big family party at our home for Mother’s Day. Along with working 30 hours a week and my usual motherly/wifely duties, I cleaned the entire house myself and got ready for the party all by myself. Mother’s Day came and of course I didn’t get a card, present or flowers. On that day while we waited for our guests to arrive, I said to him, “Aren’t you going to with me a Happy Mother’s Day?” And he said and I quote, “You are not my mother.” However I always heard him wish not only his own mom, aunt, and grandma a Happy Mother’s Day, but I had to hear him wish tons of women at church Happy Mother’s Day. I cried that MD too. My now ex-husband said, “I didn’t know” when I told him that it hurt me that he never celebrated my birthday or Mother’s Day. Every single year since we started dating (23 years of this shit), he initiated a birthday lunch date with a female college “friend” that he shared the same birthdate with. Well, now I know that he has lots of female “friends” that he grooms with remembering their birthdays……..

    So a year later, for Mother’s Day I got a hedge trimmer. You see, for the entire time we owned a home (15 years), I was the only one who took care of the all the landscaping. Before the hedge trimmer, I used to trim all the bushes (and there were a ton of them and some were very large) with I think what’s called hand clippers. I took the hedge trimmer when I moved out. It’s a reminder to never settle for this shit again.

    Dream Fantasy Repurpose: I’d give it to “Dexter” (I just finished watching the series and recommend it to anyone who would like to hear what a psychopath/sociopath/narcissist is really thinking). My ex would be strapped to his home office desk with cellophane. The same desk he’d sit at and masturbate to porn while I was upstairs waiting for him to come to bed. Lined up besides him would be pictures of all the “friends” he cheated on me with and also pics of his harem of women he groomed behind my back while we were married. Dexter would then mindfxck my ex until my ex got to the exact mental state I was in a few years ago.

    • In reference to your Cheater taking Ho out for birthday … yes, my Cheater ruined my birthday and D day was caused by a loveletter he wrote to her for her birthday. Suckfest

    • What. A. Dick.

      I’m getting the pattern here. My ex said the same: You’re not my mother. And, of course, *I* was the one who sent HIS mother flowers for Mother’s Day, because I guess not even his own mother rated. (No more flowers from “him” since she threw me under the bus–now he can remember her.) He refused to ever tell me that I was a good mother. I had to train my kids to do something for me on Mother’s Day, and I do it because I deserve it, but mainly because I would be HORRIFIED if they treat the respective mothers of THEIR children the way their father treated me. So I’m training them, even as a chump myself. I will be hounding them every May to insist that they remember their partners on Mother’s Day.

      I have gifts I’ve given myself which remind me of how shitty he was to me: a pair of Converse he refused to buy for me (I bought them the next day and get lots of compliments on them, but they mean so much more to me than what anyone realizes), a used book he refused to buy for me ($10?). I even have a bracelet from a trip I took to NYC with my girlfriends around my birthday. It was supposed to be a trip to a major city an hour away, because I couldn’t afford to go all the way to NYC as my girlfriends and I had hoped (we were spending thousands of dollars a month on what HE wanted, so money was tight for me on my part-time pay). He could have paid for an airline ticket and one-third of a hotel room, no problem. But, hands in pockets, he refused. So my friends and I decided to go less expensive. It would have been a GREAT time, too! But, instead, THEIR husbands paid to surprise me, and instead of meeting our friend from out of town at the airport, they swept me away on a plane! THAT is true love! <3

  • Honestly he always did fine with gifts, they were thoughtful or something he knew i liked but was too pricey to splurge on the rest of the year (perfume, date night shopping for clothes etc). We were very average with gift giving. Some years big, thoughtful gifts and other years were more of the “I tried my best” variety. That’s part of what hurts about the ending of our marraige. So much of it was normal and good, i got sick of trying to convince him that we were average and that after almost 15 years together it’s normal to not feel like h orny teenagers anymore.

    Then he’d do something ridiculous like get drunk and tell me how unattractive i was and that i put in no effort and did nothing around the house. I think he thought because sober him didn’t treat me that way that what drunk him did, didn’t count…..i digress

    Right after the 1st emotional affair he bought me a ring for valentines day. I spackled the crap out of that and wore it with my wedding rings as we were “working on our ‘second’ marriage and reconciling”. He later told me he only bought it because he was with a friend who bought his wife one and since we were going out to dinner with them on a double date, he figured he should too. I cried when he gave me that ring cause it meant so much to me. I recall him being shocked i was so emotional over it. that was a chumpy moment 🙁

  • I’ve told about mine several times before. These cheesy wall plaques depicting “country” scenes of children doing various things. Something you might find hanging on the wall of your insurance agent or dentist’s office. He had obviously picked them up last minute on the way over to have cake with my family and myself, because I found scissors and wrapping paper in his car when we went out later.

    Months later, my bestie and I were drunk, and she threw stuff at them, laughing, still in their packaging.

    He was one of the least appreciative gift receivers I have ever met, too. I can’t recall a carefully, lovingly chosen gift that he ever appeared to appreciate. I used to write it off as us being from different cultural backgrounds, but, when I gave his brother and SIL a baby gift, they were delighted and put the little outfit on him right away. So, I think it was just him. ????

  • My STBXH was actually very thoughtful at gifts, apart from Mother’s Day (maybe he thought our young children would trot off to town in their own and get something?). I do have a rubbish gift story though. For our 15th wedding anniversary he bought me the most gorgeous necklace and earrings. What’s awful about that you might think? Two days later he announced ILYBNILWY for the 3rd time and said he was leaving!!!! I was left totally baffled why someone who didn’t love me anymore would go to such great lengths buying a gorgeous gift? Image.

  • Genital warts.

    They emerged for the 1st time a few years after he left. He was the only man I had ever been with and they have delayed reaching meh big time.

  • LOL easy one for me this one 🙂

    I became 50 about a month or so after her affair started (I didn’t find out for several more months). She bought me a cheap pen — yay me

    A year later while still pretending to be in wreconciliation, for my 51st she spent 20 on a cheap T-shirt & shorts for the gym. But my spying later spotted that the same day she’d spent 20 on me she’d also gone to one of those money transfer places and wired 250 to the OM — yay me again

  • Asshat was never a great gift-giver. I finally started asking for big ticket items for my birthday. I just bought them myself, you know, as he was too busy to shop for me. Over the years he “gave me” a beautiful leather Lazy-boy, a Weber grill, a Vitamix, a beautiful couch, and a Mac book pro. And, yes! I loved them all and they were perfect. Just what i wanted.

    And he had the balls to ask for all of them in the divorce…nope. Not. Happening. So happy he’s not my problem!

    • That is the kicker…all these “thoughtful ” gifts of jewelry …until he insisted they were part of the joint assets in the divorce he demanded out of the blue. Funny all the gifts i bought him over the years were removed from the house the same day he moved out….

  • Oh Oh Oh! I’ve waited a long time to tell this story. My 50th birthday was a month after the ILYBINILWY speech. Those words were blurted out at a Starbucks in Pacoima (a couple of hours away from where we live) while we were killing time before attending a cocktail attire event.

    But I digress… As a mom of three, one of which has a birthday two days ahead of me, I’ve never made a big deal over my own birthday. It was my 50th though, and also the year of our 25th wedding anniversary. I had spent the year leading up to this finally focusing on myself a little. I dropped some squidgy weight, exercised more, and ran (lumbered along) my first half-marathon. I was feeling good, and optimistic, and hopeful, and looking forward to an anticipated anniversary getaway, and life as a couple again with the kids heading off to college.

    Anyhow, first the speech. Followed by the birthday. The month leading up to my birthday was filled with despair, and drama, and a husband hugging the edge of the bed, and gaslighting, and denials about an affair partner. However, a few days ahead of my birthday, now Ex tells me to set aside the night, that he has made plans for my birthday. I think maybe he has booked a night away and plans to tell me his “confusion” has passed, that he really does love me and wants to work on the relationship.

    What I got… a card handed to me in the morning. A generic birthday card. Inside was written “Wow. You’re 50. It’s all downhill from here.” Mind you, he is two and a half years older than me. OW is 15 years younger though. After the presentation of the card, he tells me he has made dinner plans and has tickets to a comedian that I enjoy. The evening arrives. I find out he doesn’t actually have dinner reservations. He asks me where I want to go. Did I tell you that it turns out THE DAY BEFORE, he scheduled a colonoscopy for the day after my birthday? So he is drinking the drink, and has the food restriction etc… He blew a gasket when I questioned why he chose to schedule a colonoscopy the morning following my birthday, and planned on NOT EATING during my birthday dinner. So, I pick a place. A restaurant owned by one one our neighbors. Thank goodness it was the neighbor’s brother working the kitchen that night. We go to dinner. Wasband is distracted by his phone. He decides he will drink a glass of white wine, as it must qualify as a clear liquid. I decide to hold my head high, and order everything I damn well please, even if I eat alone and only take a few bites of each dish. I start with tuna tartare, and follow it up with top sirloin. I wonder to myself what it must look like. Me feasting like a king while he sips wine, texts incessantly, and keeps taking trips to the restroom. I decide I don’t care what it looks like, and try to convince myself that this isn’t really my life.

    The highlight of the dinner? At a point in time when my now Ex had been in the bathroom for an inordinate amount of time, our server awkwardly approached the table and asked me “M’am, is he coming back?”

    I did enjoy the comedian following dinner. After which we returned home, and wasband slept on the sofa.

    My 49th birthday he bought me a convertible to replace the one I gave up when I started driving a minivan for decades. I also got a “Wife” birthday card in which he wrote about how I was his best friend, a great wife/partner to him and mom to our girls, and how much he loved me and our life together.

    What a difference a year makes.

    • That cocktail party–the one after the ILYBINILWY? So, that must’ve been fun, all dressed up and sparkly but dying inside? You poor mama. I am soooooooo sorry you were married to a prick.


      Good riddance. You are smart. You will do well.

    • Maybe worse than the bag of cotton balls. At least the jerk who gifted the cotton balls wasn’t out to use them himself.

  • Pretty sure X tried to out do himself on the bad gifts, because when I would respond with disappointment or hurt, he could play the victim of a mean wife who didn’t appreciate him.

    It’s a toss up:

    My wedding gift from him was a town t shirt. That became a tissue for my tears in the bathroom when he presented it to me when we got home from our honeymoon. Then it became a rag for dusting. He couldn’t understand why I laughed when I unwrapped it (he used the Sunday paper to wrap it) and looked for more.

    The second contender was the box of copy paper he stole from his job and gave me for Christmas. I would have used it to print out all the emails between him and the skank I found one day on his computer, but our Commonwealth is a no-fault state.

  • I have always heard and read that is how a guy truly let’s you know how he feels about you with your birthday, VD and the others. It shows with some of your stories. Very sad you spent so Many years being treated like that.

  • My 40th birthday was a suckfest mostly because of him but wasnt helped by the other narcs in my orbit…my parents (who treat their events like the Oscars) did nothing, my sibling did nothing so my kids took their cues and did nothing…I got up and expected SOME sort of surprise or acknowledgement, but the surprise was on me…zero anything.

    Come dinner time, I hinted strongly that Cheater should take me and kids to dinner…he very begrudgingly went along and didnt run interference for me when the teen squalked about going. Went to a crappy Italian place that was so shitty that it was changed into a “Wings to Go” and later a shitty used car lot (that I have to drive by every day).

    Later learned he was probably deep into OWs ass by my birthday.

    For my 50th, my then boyfriend (now husband) took me to Turkey, proposed then we got on a yacht (with a cook) and sailed the Aegean Sea. Stayed in Istanbul a few days before flying back…bought silk scarves at the Grand Bazaar…yea, life got MUCH better.

    • Wow! Your story gives me hope! Thank you! From bad Italian/future-Wings-to-go, to a yacht!!!! That’s an incredible story!

    • Same. For my 50th, Awesome Boyfriend booked and paid for a trip to Maui for us, and my friends from overseas met us there. (These are his friends, now, too!) Since the trip fell after my birthday, he treated two of my kids, two of my overseas friends and me to a birthday dinner at our favorite local restaurant on the day of.

      It’s really nice having a confident, happy man. Being chumped really makes you appreciate the good one.

  • Christmas. A can of spray de-icer, a big flashlight, and several pairs of disposable gloves. “To keep in your car!!” My two kids received the same gift and I can easily recall the total WTF look we shared between us. Oh, and there was the necklace I received when we were still dating: 20” of steel roller bearings strung on a chain. That thing weighed about 3 pounds.

    Where do they GET these ideas?

  • Gifts. What a minefield! It wasn’t just the gifts he did–or didn’t–give me. It was shit like expecting me to buy Christmas presents for my family out of a small gift of money my mom gave me while he overspent on his family, because he had to “keep up with the Joneses” on their over the top Christmas present marathon. It was him always expecting–and me supplying–expensive gifts in the exercise or music line (a $650 NordicTrack ski machine although he’d never even tried one out; an all the bells-and-whistles electric piano or recording equipment although he never played anywhere except in the basement). It was him always making me suggest my own present and then packaging that as “I want to make sure you get something you want” when what it really was was “I don’t care enough about you to know what might make you happy or what you might want or need.” It was him traveling on multiple expensive international trips with his father and sister and buying me something expensive while there, with ma thinking he must have cared about me to be thinking of me when away, when it was nothing but impression management with his family. Worst of all it was me, me worrying that I didn’t know what he wanted and thinking what a bad wife I was because I didn’t know what he wanted–when what it really was was his secret life and his hiding himself and his failure to engage with his wife and his lack of reciprocity.

  • My gift was ammo.

    D-Day was over Christmas and my birthday was the following month. I noticed a very large cash withdrawal from the joint account and asked him about it. He said I ruined his surprise because it was for my birthday gift. Of course I apologized and said I was thrilled he was thinking about my birthday! How fun! I was looking forward to it (despite still vomiting daily from the revelations of not one, not two, but at least three skanks who had nibbled on my husband in the private places where I had nibbled).

    So on my birthday, what did I get? A big fat argument and a serious delay tactic. “I WAS going to buy you something really pretty and fancy but you’ve ruined that!” How, I ask? “You just ruined it!” WTF?

    So I got zip for my birthday. No card, no present, not even real cake. I went to work, I made dinner, I gave him his backrub and went to bed with tears silently pouring down my cheeks.

    Phone records from that day revealed he spent most of his day talking with two of his skanks, and emails turned up a fourth! I uncovered plans for more hook-ups and oh isn’t that special. I guess I shouldn’t say I didn’t get anything; I got the gift of more ammo for the upcoming divorce.

    • I got something similar for a anniversary present. We were supposed to be in wreckonciliation. He smiled the day before and told me that he’d got me something ‘really nice’ and made a jewelry box shape with his hands. The next morning which I thought he’d be spending with me, around 8.30 says he has to ‘go out for coffee’ – I say great, I took the day off work, I’ll come too! he goes white an says ‘ no, I just have to go pick up your present, you’ll spoil the surprise. He returned late that evening, empty handed and said ‘ F*ck it, I missed the shops’. Yeay me! Tootsie von trashypants had ‘needed to talk’.

      Come Christmas he walked all of ten feet from the club bar at the sportsclub into the SportsPro shop and she helped him pick out the ugliest track suit top I’ve seen since the 1980’s. It had tight black sleeves and an indeterminate green body with zipper, and was shop -soiled. I knew she’s picked it out before I finished unwrapping it! During a row I threw it down the stairs after him and told him as she’d chosen it, to give it to her. He was so clueless he actually tried and was bewildered she didn’t want it.

  • I got a new SUV for Christmas the year prior to D-day. I was so excited! Until I got the payment book that went along with it. When we divorced, he sued me for 1/2 the value of the vehicle, a vehicle that was supposed to be a “gift” I made all the payments on it and it was the only vehicle I had to go to work and to drive his children in.

    • Oh I got a car too. I found out about his online dating the day we were test driving a Mercedes. Needless to say I did not choose that car. If I had known more about his infidelity then, I would have written a check for the full amount for the other car I eventually picked.
      At least my alimony includes the monthly payments.
      He was always a last minute shopper (on Christmas Eve…online tickets printed that night for whatever was playing- not for performances that I really wanted to see) and the lack of thought that went into these expensive spur of the moment gifts always left me feeling unseen, invisible and an afterthought. But I made sure his entire family had thoughtful gifts and were mailed on time and would try to give him the exact things he wanted.
      I cannot tell you how much jewelry I have, that I never worn. Not once. Some things I returned with valid excuses (the gaudy bracelet is just too big for my wrist… the earrings are too heavy…) but mostly, I just said thank you and put it away.
      I try to forget these things.

      • I was cleaning out a closet and found a bracelet he had given me prior to D-Day. A Chamila charm bracelet. Size XS. I am by far not XS. Sold it on ebay.

    • I was hit from behind and my car was totaled a year ago. Bought a new car in October. When we did our ‘kitchen table’ negotiation he wanted to use the fact it was a $25,000 car mind you we put almost nothing down as it was a surprise- just the $2,500 the insurance company gave us for the totaled car.

      Had to explain ‘equity’ to him —- he wants the car that’s ok with me —- he takes the debt too. Bye backed down….always amazed at how stupid he thinks I am. And my worry is, that I am stupid. After all I married him, supported him, put up with his emotional abuse, his freeloading….and I always feel a step behind him in this divorce.

      So GoneGirl you are not alone, and I’m sure it is a common story…..I’ll be thinking of you today. Hugs????????

  • This won’t sound like a bad gift to most women but you have to understand the context behind it. For my 44th birthday ex bought me a Gucci purse. Sounds nice eh? The thing is I don’t carry a purse. Ex knows this. I’m also not one to flaunt wealth. Ex knows this too. This was his way of saying “I want you to carry a purse and I want it to be an expensive purse”. In other words “I don’t like the person you are and want you to be somebody different that makes me look good. I want you to be the wife that will make all of the other men jealous of me and I want to make all of the women out there think you are lucky to have me”. There was nothing loving about it, more of a “if you want me to stick with you you’d better look the part”. From my perspective he wanted me to look like a trophy wife whose only purpose in life is to make her man look good. Also keep in mind that this was after he quit his high paying job and before his new career took off so we were living off my income and bleeding savings to keep him living to the standard to which he had grown accustomed and he went and spent money on an expensive purse that he knew I didn’t really want. There were other times before that when he gave me clothes. Again this was a not so subtle hint “this is what I want you to wear because I don’t like the clothes you pick out.” Meanwhile, when I asked for some booty slippers for Christmas one year he refused to get them for me because “those are old lady slippers” making me feel embarrassed to have even asked. My new guy says he has a pair of booty slippers himself and they are great. I am definitely getting myself some for Christmas this year.

      • Sell it on Ebay. You’ll get more for it there!! People who go to garage sales usually don’t want to spend a lot of money. Or at least that’s how it is in my area of the country. 🙂

  • ExBF gave me the earrings only of a cheap, pearl necklace/earring set I had seen him purchase while we’d been out Christmas shopping. The necklace was for his mother. Pearl earrings are a great gift… but it was insulting that he’d bought my gift in front of me and only given me half of it. And his mother too… but she’s a spackler, obviously.

    Another ex-BF gave me the cheapest TV set in the entire world for Christmas, so he could watch TV at my apartment since I didn’t have one.

    Cheater, if he gave me gifts at all, made sure they were cheap and vaguely in my wheelhouse. If others would see, he’d get me something WAY too expensive (that I’d surely have to return to pay bills) so he could get all the glory of getting me the gift and be consoled when I didn’t have the elated reaction I was expected to have.

    Like $500 diamond earrings for Mother’s Day because we were visiting his parents even though he’d never even gotten me so much as a card, “You’re not my mother… why would *I* get you a gift?” 1) For context, the sole car we owned was one I had purchased for $440, a year prior. 2) We had $900 in the bank. 3) $635 rent was due 3 days after we returned. 4) He was taking home only $380/week and I had just given birth to our second child so I wasn’t bringing in anything. 5) I can’t wear stud earrings because my left earlobe bends/scrunches up oddly (born with it and dangling earrings pull it down to look normal) and not only can the earring not even be SEEN (it looks like I’ve lost one, while wearing both) but the scrunching ALWAYS removes the earring back… even the screw on kind… these weren’t even those. I burst into tears and became angry… and so, I looked like an ungrateful, shrewy bitch. Even after I explained and his parents agreed with me, they still coddled him like, “Awww- well he doesn’t do money things and didn’t know… it’s the thought that counts!”

    NO. It fucking doesn’t and you have NO idea what his thought was.

    He did the same a year later… buying a Dyson vacuum with an EXTRA $500 we had, like it was burning a hole in his soul, being SAVED instead of spent. Mind you, we had exactly one RUG… an ugly 5×8, mod-style rug he’d paid too much for and matched neither colors nor the style of anything else. I sweep and mop wood floors. I like it. I had no complaints about a vacuum. Had no need for a vacuum, much less a $500 one. He was SO resentful that I wouldn’t even return it for a refund MYSELF… he had to do it. The horror!

    Then there was the Christmas prior to the final D-Day… when he bought me a pair of Gingher scissors that were on sale for $30, that I’d asked for so I could actually have something I wanted. He bought that and literally nothing else, even though we were doing very well, financially. It enRAGED me when, a week later, I found a thank-you note from his ho-worker (a Chinese immigrant older than my mother and married to a surgeon, whose healthy income was solely for her wants) for his thoughtful gift: A $50 gift card to a fancy art supply store he’d FOUND ON HIS OWN (always had me bring him places downtown because he couldn’t navigate it?) because she’d talked about enjoying watercolors. GUESS WHO’S ACTUALLY A TALENTED ARTIST? Our eldest daughter. I’d told him about this place as an idea for what to get her for Christmas… he said that he’d gone online to look and it was too expensive. But not too expensive for his huli-jing.

    • Oh my goodness- spending money when the bills aren’t paid. I’m still paying off his crap 3years after he skipped off back to the States. Frickin asshole!

  • How about giving you a gift and a couple of years later, stealing it and selling it behind my back. Cheater ex did that with a Kirby vacuum cleaner he gave me one Christmas. Or even better, collude with his mother on a colossal mind fuck. I had an antique typewriter I just loved. He stole it, got rid of it and replaced it with a crappy portable “from his mother.” I even had to thank the bitch for it. He did it again with my old Schwinn single speed bike a year later. Again, I was expected to be properly grateful. They were trying to paint me as an ungrateful, selfish DIL. Guess where he got his mindfuck prowess from?

  • Asswipe never had a real job the entire time we were married. He was a “professional” musician. He was the personification of the old joke: “What do you call a drummer without a wife? ……Homeless”. Needless to say his music ”business “ was never in the black. And that was his excuse for never giving me gifts.

    For my birthday one year he decided to take what little money he made from a recent gig and go out of town and party with his friends. I was not invited. That Monday was my birthday and I took the day off from work. He came home badly hung over and tried to play the sad sausage game that he was too sick to do anything and was broke (from buying drinks for his friends all weekend).

    Even he realized he had to do SOMETHING. So when he asked me what I wanted to do, I made my needs extremely small. I said “let’s go for a drive, and you can buy me a slice of chocolate cake”.

    The entire drive I had to listen to the sad sausage routine and what a Herculean effort he was making JUST FOR ME. When he stopped to get gas he bought me a cookie at the gas station. That (in his fucked up mind) was supposed to suffice for my requested slice of chocolate cake.

    I made my needs so small, and he couldn’t even do one tiny thing I asked for. It was a defining moment. Staring at that cookie in my lap, I realized that this was as good as it was ever going to get….and I had to get out.

    So I’m thankful, in a way, for that lousy gas station cookie. It was the last straw. It became became the symbol that I deserved better and kept me focused on the prize as I moved towards a cheater-free life. Whenever I felt myself slipping, or thought I’d never make it to meh, I’d visualize that damned cookie.

    My Tuesday has finally come, thanks in no small part to a lousy cookie and CN. ????❤️

    • @peaceatlast I’ve never heard that drummer joke – my drummer stbxh at least has his caravan! Tho I suppose that’s a place to live, not a home.

  • There are two that stand out:

    1) A homemade coupon book that had stuff she wanted to do that likely would have cost me money (couples massage, go out for dinner, wildflower walk with a naturalist). Nothing that really leaned into something I would like to do or a sacrifice on her part (lets go to a sports event?). I appreciated the thought, but pretty much immediately put it in a drawer and would randomly pull it out to try to find something relevant over our three years.

    2) She painted me a mountain in Washington. Which took her 2 years to complete and honestly was only completed because I kept asking. I personally never thought it was not that great of a painting coupled with we had never been to Washington. The whole thing always seemed odd; I suspect she was memorializing something else from a previous backpacking trip.

    I initially kept the painting after she found her twue wove and our subsequent divorce. I did this because I was angry and wanted to get back. My thought was I was going to use it for target practice with some buddies of mine, but I couldn’t even do that. I called the unicorn up and told her to get it. This was the last time we spoke more than a sentence to each other. With tears in her eyes, she said I made her sooo happy for letting her keep the painting.

    I just realized I wanted her kindergarten artwork out of my house and I’m not a vengeful, angry, destructive person. I don’t need reminders of her cheating.

      • I do live in Western CO, Montrose to be exact. Honestly, just by being me, I have found my friend circle has filtered out to be people who have had similar life experiences and comparable morals, which is wonderful.

        I was climbing in Ouray, with my backcountry ski partner, and learned he had a similar experience that I did. We have been hanging out for 8 months and honestly, it never came up that his exwife cheated on him and that he has solid, solid morals. It feels pretty good that the guy who I trust to save my life in an avalanche is a solid human being.

        I’ll meet up if you’re a guy, as I don’t want to compromise my current relationship because I am 100% positive you went through some pretty crazy stuff and it has some emotional intensity.

        It took 2+ years for me to move on. In retrospect, it went by quickly, but being in it stunk; everything hurt. Be yourself, my experience is that sucky people disappear.

    • We do have a Colorado Chump Nation group, there is a section in the discussion forums that we use to update people on when the next meeting is, feel free to join us on Sunday for brunch 🙂

  • Not one anniversary gift I can remember…15 year anniversary came and went without a gift. 6 months later I bought myself a pretty diamond ring for Christmas and told everyone HE got it for me as a late anniversary present. I still wear that ring sometimes and always reminds me how glad I am that there are no more disappointments from him to deal with.
    I do remember an “oh crap, happy birthday” once. That was a thoughtful “gift”.
    Divorce was final 3 month before the 20th anniversary. Best present ever!!!

  • He gave me gifts that made him look good to give and made sure people knew he was giving them to me. Or he gave me useless junk. There wasn’t any thought put into whether I’d like most of the gifts he gave me. A couple of times he gave me something I loved but even a stopped watch is right twice a day. The worst gift was a swag bag from a convention he went to. Gee, business promotional pens, notepads, and other pieces of plastic desk clutter was exactly what I’d been longing for.

  • I asked for nothing for Valentines Day just a really nice email from him telling me why he loves me.

    Feb 14th…. *crickets*

    Guess his fingers were too tired from texting Schmoopie.

  • My stbx actually would give me good presents most of the time. BUT my birthday was on Wednesday and we have been separated almost exactly a year. He wished me a happy birthday on Thursday. He really thought he was being very thoughtful. It has only been a year and he has already forgotten my actual birthday. Meh.

  • Manchild liked Baseball so we had season tickets for a local team. Dday was shortly before Christmas – a couple of weeks later, he says “I never did get you a Christmas present, so I thought I would pay (me back) for the Baseball tickets”
    Of course chumpy me had already bought and wrapped all the gifts for his entire family before Dday – never did offer to pay me back for those!
    Good riddance

  • The worst gift Asshat gave me was a pair of blue topaz earrings (my birthstone). I had mentioned a few times prior that I didn’t care for the stone. He was aghast at my disappointment and SWORE that I had never mentioned this to him (gaslighting, much?) At the time, I chalked it up to the fact that he just hadn’t listened to me. Now I know it was really an excuse to get a free pass from ever being expected to give me a gift- because he sure never did after that.

    • I got the same gift two years in a row (an ice cream maker). When I expressed surprise at the second ice cream maker, he told me I was wrong. I showed the first one to him and reminded him of the times I’d used it. He continued to express confusion over my ownership of the initial ice cream maker and kept insisting he knew nothing about it. (And pointed out they were two different types–one was electric and one was a hand churn model). And, of course, I was so “ungrateful.” I didn’t doubt the reality of events, but he did make me feel bad–even unsuccessful gaslighting is harmful to us.

  • This is a rerun, but worth it. The exBf didn’t always suck at gifts, but one time stands out. We’d reunited after a month’s break (one of many- D’oh!). My family came in town to take me out to lunch the day before my Bday. BF couldn’t make it due to an appointment. After the appt, which was near a big shopping mall, he went shopping for a couple hours. Came to my place later & showed me the expensive cologne & sunglasses he’d bought. Gave me one of those itty bitty free cologne samples (Paris Hilton’s) that came with.
    Ah, I thought, he probably got me my fave Dior perfume I had mentioned I was out of a couple of weeks before.

    Silly Me! Nope, next day, my Bday, he shows up, hands me a plastic bag with TicTacs, Gum, Beef Jerky, and a travel size bottle of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hand sanitizer. You can’t make this shit up.

    I will say that given our very recent re-coupling, I didn’t expect anything. And we often just took each other out for nice meals or even vacays. But given that he’d been shopping the day before and instead chose a drive-by at the Quik-Stop for my gift, well if it’s the thought that counts……
    In hindsight all the trips & dinners were nice, but then that was for his enjoyment as much as mine. His ‘wins’ in the gifting department were momentary burps in his essentially selfish character.

  • First Xmas…go above and beyond to track down a fine leather maker to retool and repair several of his beloved guitar straps (this was the 80’s and he was an ‘artist’)…a ton of thought went into this ‘first’ for me (back before the internet as a poor college student). He, last minute, decides to work the holiday eve (a bartender), then gives me $117 in a Hanukkah card the next day (we aren’t Jewish).

    I never get another present again (or any acknowledgement of birthday, graduation, holidays). My transgression…not gushing over his ‘favorite’ type of gift, or gushing enough about his selfless act of presenting me with ‘all his tips for the night’…(I never figured out which).

    He did ultimately bestow an over-the-top, completely-not-my style diamond heart pendant…right before walking out of my life. Having zero meaning for me, I eventually pawned it, but always wondered if it was a ‘guilt gift’…Nah, impression management for all the skanky co-workers he was also banging. I used to believe that ‘his mom helped him pick it out from Montgomery Wards’…sure, why not? It wasn’t new.

    • Ahh, the guilt diamonds. My Day was early December & for Christmas, exH gave me not one, but two diamond necklaces, and earrings to match. Trickle-truth followed – if that’s really what you call me uncovering proof of a hooker instead of “just strip clubs and massages”.
      So later, when he was “so hurt” by my calling them guilt gifts because they were given out of true wuv & recommitment, I reminded him he was still lying through his teeth when he gave them to me. Perhaps he hoped I’d be blinded by their sparkle. Hah!

  • I got jewelry early on as one of his physician partners also dabbled in geminology and would make custom stuff for me. When she no longer had that hobby, never got any more jewelry. I just spackled that he was a bad gift giver, that he didn’t grow up exchanging meaningful gifts like my family did, and he would only give gift cards to his parents and siblings.

    I enjoyed making holidays, birthdays, events like baptisms and first communions extra special. For his 40th birthday, I had a surprise party for him and all of our friends. For mine, zip. I did all of Christmas and Easter Bunny for our kids–planning, purchasing, setting up everything for the big surprise. I could barely sandblast that fucker out of bed when I heard the pitter patter of little feet. And yet I gave him credit as the kids got older and realized there’s no such thing. I even came up with a jingle when the kids would ask so who got up early to set up stuff? I’d say “Santa” and he’d say “Claus”, we did it for “Easter”, “Bunny” and “Tooth” “Fairy”. After he left for another schmoopie and Santa came at my house, DS17 was shocked as he thought it couldn’t go on without cheater dad.

    Even after 2 years of realizing the shit show of a marriage I was in for 20 years, to read that narcs are horrible gift givers really does make freaking sense. UGH. Thanks for this one!!

  • I got a huge book on how to select fine wines.
    I didn’t drink wine at all (or I didn’t back then).

    Being a chump, I was very gracious about it.
    Actual repurpose: supports computer monitor
    How I wished I would have repurposed it: told her to shove that enormous book where grapes cannot grow

  • So many bad gifts. So little time. Just a quick selection:

    1989: A packet of cotton handkerchiefs from a drugstore for my birthday. Forget what I did with them.

    1998: A deep fat fryer for our kitchen for Christmas (he liked fried food, but I did the cooking, so …) We simply cooked with it until I left him three years later.

    2010: After being caught cheating, and apologizing and telling me I was a really quality girlfriend, a horribly expensive, hugely impractical heavy leather briefcase which didn’t accommodate my laptop, although that’s why he bought it. He basically bought the one he would have liked to have himself. I gave it to a Goodwill store.

    I think these would be among the worst. But there was also nasty inexpensive jewellery, books I had no intention of reading EVER, and all sorts of other things that screamed ‘I Have No Idea Who You Are’.

    I usually made a huge display of loving the gift and was usually also guilted into using it/displaying it, because I was a Chump. Then eventually it got given away to a Goodwill store, with my blessing.

    What pissed me off was that I was almost never ASKED WHAT I WOULD LIKE. I existed only as a recipient of what they wanted to give me.

    • Now, that’s actually super-thoughtful and attentive! He gave you handkerchiefs, because he knew he’d be making you cry later on. He gave you a briefcase to pack up your business and get out. He even gave you a deep-fat fryer, to hasten his uncomfortable demise!

      To quote Bugs Bunny, whadda maroon.

  • Huh….I thought I was alone in the “practical gifts” area! I got all sorts of expensive jewelry that was paid for from our “joint” account (my trust fund) and that I chose for myself….at the start. Then is was “here’s $30….go get your nails done.” “Ill take you to dinner…..” (At HIS favorite steak house) “Let’s go shopping and I’ll buy you something…” (Using our joint account) “Kids…look at this fancy coffee maker/pot/vacuum/can opener/practical household item that I got your mom! She loves things that make our lives easier…”

    Funny thing is…..all the shiny shit he got me at the start……I see Missy McFakeboobs wearing the same things now. All the bank charges (We are still in court so I get to peruse his bank statements….which make for fantastic reading BTW!) are to the same places…..she deposits $ to his account just like I did. He has not and will not change. He just traded me in for a younger edition (she looks like my twin which is not too creepy at all either).
    Missy McFakeboobs now gets sloppy seconds……

    • Oh….and he does the same to our kids now….they get gifts that scream “I DON’T KNOW YOU….but this makes ME happy to buy this thing I would want…and leaves me more money to spend on myself!!!”
      Funny that our kids all see through it….and him….like a plate glass window.

  • In order to maintain his impression management, over the years I received some very nice gifts from xhole. But the ordeal of showing it off to his friends first, making a big deal in front of the family, and asking what my coworkers thought was just the cake he needed to remind himself that he was a wonderful person.

    Fast forward to discard (I didn’t realize yet I was being thrown away). He was totally disinterested in my 50th birthday and acted horrendously that day. He left it to my daughter to plan everything. (Later found out he was in full blown affair during that time.)

    As our 30th anniversary approached few months later, he cancelled the plans for our special trip using the excuse of the expense. On the actual day of our anniversary, he presented me with an ugly hallmark store bracelet and a vase of glass roses…not to mention those items were bought as he ran errands earlier that morning. (Later I found the receipt for the same day that he had bought a lovely necklace for Owhore.)

    I repurposed each one of those roses on the sidewalk imagining they were his face. I left the bracelet with his things with a note attached that the he could feel free to give the bracelet to the Owhore because a cheap, ugly bracelet was more suited to her taste.

    • Hrg. Weaponizing birthdays. It’s only in the past couple of years that I have started celebrating them again. Nothing like hinting at, “I do not celebrate your existence and you have betrayed me with the cardinal sin of getting (gasp) older. You are so selfish to want me to go out of my way for you even one day out of the year! Your friends and family are terrible for saying ‘happy birthday” to you, because it reminds me of my negligence. You are terrible for having friends and family who love you.”

      Bleah. So glad to be free.

    • I made my cheater return the expensive Tiffany heart necklace I received for Xmas, 6 months after dday during wreckconciliation.
      He didn’t know why I didn’t want it.

  • DVD. Season one of “The Beverly Hill Billies”
    A socket set and spirit level.
    And the ugliest man bracelet that I have ever seen that I am convinced he regifted to me from his affair partner after having an equally ugly charm attached to it. Because I asked for a charm bracelet. I only got a second charm because I asked for one. A lot of the gifts I got were very masculine.

    • No way.

      Season 1 of the Red Green Show would have been OK.

      But the Beverley Hillbillies? That’s grounds for divorce, right there.

      • I just wrote below how these stories are pretty depressing, but I have to tell you, Thankful, that yours is the first one that made me laugh. I might actually enjoy seeing Season One of the Beverly Hill Billies and wondering what the hell was that weirdo cheapskate ExH thinking???

  • Skankboy always bought over the top presents before the discard…. impression management, ya know. During the discard phase he bought himself airline tickets to fly up to Rhode Island to celebrate his brother’s birthday. Note the word himself! Yes, kidz, I celebrated MY birthday in Florida alone.
    Looking back, best present evah!

  • One of the reasons I love this blog is how Tracy is able to pull apart ALLLLL the different ways in which cheaters suck. Sometimes it’s naming the traits and helping to make some reasons as to the why within their pathology. I appreciate the everyday little things we can point to and bond over here on the blog. I read it every day because I find such comfort in reading everyone’s stories.

    I NEVER even thought about the gift giving! So, most of the time I picked out and paid for and wrapped my own presents. One christmas/ kwanza/ solstice I asked him to please get me something that came from his heart. I gave suggestions – I love to cook – a recipe book from a place we visited or had cultural significance to us – or a poem – he’s a hip hop artists and lyricist and poet – so sure why not?

    Christmas day the kids are loving everything I bought and wrapped for them and he has 7 pretty significant gifts from me and the kids. I get a deflated stocking (there was a pack of starbursts) and a plastic bag from cvs under the tree. He bought me a cell phone case and charger NOT for an iphone and the case and the charger were not even compatible!

    I regifted by finding folks that could use either. I also told the tale as a funny story. I never really thought about it being sad…

  • My ex was a very good gift giver, so I’m not sure I can relate much to this topic. I can tell you that reading these posts makes me so angry for you all!!! I have posted here many times about the number of ddays I was unfortunate enough to subject myself to. As these years of his affair wore on the gifts I received got bigger and more expensive. Guilt is a terrible thing. The final gift was a brand-new camaro convertible for christmas. The gifts became less about my happiness and more about easing his guilty conscience. I hated what these gifts represented to me. I knew (in my gut) that he was continuing to cheat on me and those gifts were to keep me quiet and keep me in place. The car literally made me sick! I hardly drove it and I told no-one about it for MONTHS! To me……it was an absolute declaration that he was still involve with the OW.

    • They all suck but they suck in so many ways that they don’t all necessarily suck in all of the same ways. The fact that they all cheated, however, is enough to know that they all suck in at least one very important and significant way.

  • What shits me even more is that I was GOOD at gifts. I took time and effort. I asked. I listened. I went to lengths to get the Right Thing. I even wrapped them properly.

    Took me years to figure out that crappy gifts were a sign of not giving a damn.

    • Yup. I’m a considerate gift-giver as well. I really enjoy watching someone open up something they love and have no clue how I knew they wanted it. I’m a good listener when someone is talking about what they like or want, and I file it away for later use : )

  • Mine was Valentine’s Day 2018. In the weeks prior, he made a cryptic remark about how great it was going to be and how he had gift ideas…the gift never materialized and In a desperate attempt at what I now know was blind pick me dancing took myself lingerie shopping. He came home on Valentine’s Day with a shit eating smirk on his face and cold Indian food, from a place I’d never heard of. It was a pathetic last minute gift. I made the night romantic and we had sex, the very next day was D Day. After some investigation, I found out he bought her fancy lingerie and left me to shop for my own. Everything about this memory disgusts me…he was a pathetic waste of my time.

  • The X wasn’t a terrible gift giver. He always went overboard at Christmas.

    Sometimes, he would run out of ideas (understandable, I did too) and would ask for a list. This is where he didn’t listen. A couple of years ago, I asked for specific Keurig, gave him the model number and said, no carousel. What did I get? A different Keurig and the carousel. I’m the only one that drinks coffee so the gift was for me only.

    He also got his feelings hurt when he bought me a sewing machine. I made a comment about wanting one and just needed a cheapie to fix pants and such. He went out and bought an expensive model which hardly got used. Hence, the need for cheap model. He got mad that I never used it that much. Oh, and I forgot. Before I had the chance to use it for the first time, he pull it out and uses it himself. Something about that whole episode just really pissed me off.

    His last nice gift was a ring for my 50 birthday last year. I put in his underwear drawer when I moved out of the house.

  • During wreckonciliation, mine had me get a tongue piercing as a “gift.” I paid for it. (He said he would pay me back. After enough months of nagging, I told him to donate it to a charity. He funded a mutual friend’s run for MS and looked like a hero. Oh, well, at least he didn’t welch and it was for a good cause.) Because the swelling took longer to go down than I’d thought, I returned to a temp-to-hire assignment after the five-day weekend sounding like Elmer Fudd and was asked not to return. I liked that job, too.

    • But I have no idea how to repurpose that. It healed over during a dentist’s appointment. He used to refuse to kiss me because, I later learned, he felt kissing his wife was being unfaithful to his truth love. Maybe I should find the barbell and use it to staple his lying lips shut if he ever talks to me again.

  • I always received gifts, and it wasn’t something I gave much thought too. I thought he did a good job at gift giving. I was made to feel like my gifts were inadequate and especially, like I never gave enough appreciation for what I received. And even now, compared to all the really crappy gifts others have received, I feel like I’m complaining when I shouldn’t be.

    When I’ve looked back, I realize the gifts were always for his benefit, and although that meant I received things that I had been wanting – it was never the ones I really asked for and said were most important to me. They were the gifts that he could boast about to others and show how he was such a good husband even to an awful wife like myself.

    My last ‘gift’ was chocolate (valentine’s day) and I already knew about the OW but I hadn’t confronted him yet. When he came home that evening, he brought more chocolate, the same kind of chocolate he had given me. He said it was for the office – but it was actually for the OW and as it turned out she wasn’t there that day to appreciate the gift either.

  • Ex liked to show off in stores. So I can’t tell if the nicer presents were in consideration for me or for his image. I think it is the latter because the “low-impression management” presents were things like a sewing machine to upgrade my wife-appliance functions.
    I can’t recall anything thoughtful, no matter what the price tag.

    Ex lost his banding band (“twirling it on my desk at the office”) and proudly showed me the new one he got for himself, much heavier, thicker, wider, etc, than my version that had made a pair with his band. I remember spackling that he was being frugal by not not getting new bands for both of us.

  • Mine are probably mild in comparison to some.
    He never,”had time” to buy anything for a birthday so he was a cash guy. You know ,”it’s the gift that you won’t return.”
    I was responsible for everyone’s Christmas gifts and he only had to think of me. There is a local art gallery that stays open until midnight Christmas Eve so that’s where he shopped. The gifts were generally expensive and randomly chosen without thought.One year he gave me not one, not two, but three different styles of handwoven eyeglass protectors which were the same color. Guess who did not wear glasses at the time? 4 Handmade bar stools without a bar? I wish I had taken them all when I left to sell them they were a gift to me but I left him two.
    There was a specific pair of boots that I made known I wanted hoping he would finally ” get it.” This was after the last Dday. I knew he was not present in the relationship so I saved for two years and bought them for myself on my birthday. I loved those boots. Christmas rolled around and it was the first year he came close to the target but months too late. He bought me a pair of boots. If he had given me those the year before they would have been my favorite but at that point they had no meaning. I traded those boots to a guy for his daughter in exchange for car repairs. They really live in a different universe.

  • Worst official gift I ever received from him: For our 15th wedding anniversary, he took my car to the car wash.

    Worst unofficial gifts received after our divorce: The aforementioned half-eaten box of Wheatena with a note saying it gave him gas, and the time he sent our son home from a visit with a suitcase filled with crumpled, used single-use plastic grocery bags to give me.

    • My 1st ex husband gave me a string of pearls for our 15th anniversary. At 15 1/2 years, I was serving him with a restraining order after he beat the living shit out of me in front of our 5 kids. Before our divorce was final, our son let him into my house and he stole the pearls.

      His new wife now wears them.

      • OMFG. Shitheel.

        But the kid did you a favor. Jewelery like that has a lot of bad karma attached. That’s why I have GIVEN everything away, usually to charities, so that it can do some good in the world.

    • For my last birthday before I got dumped, my cheater gave me a year’s worth of car washes at one of those drive through automatic places. I actually liked it! One of his better gifts!

  • My engagement ring.

    It was a $90 Black Hills Gold trinket with a teeny tiny yogo sapphire. It would have been sweet if he’d have been a 15 year old boy making a promise to his 14 year old girlfriend, but he was a 36 year old tech Sargent with some resources who could have ponied up for a decent ring.

    I’ve never said that before, but it SUCKED!! His ring tat has made me rethink how shitty he was to me from the very beginning.

    • And if he had been saving money for a house or investing money for our future or something….

      But no. He didn’t do squat. He did very little in terms of repairs on the house that we don’t own, but it part of my inheritance from my parents. He wanted me to move out of it because he didn’t like it and I was prepared to do so if he would help me leave it in good condition. Nope. He lived there rent free and did nothing.

      I am SO glad I did not give up my house for that twatwaffle.

  • He got me a bluetooth because he didn’t like not being able to reach me when I was driving. Only later did I realize that knowing where I was at all times was a key factor to his escapades..

  • My wedding gift – some rocks from the local rock store – and display stands. They were all gloriously dumped in the trash once he moved out. Repeat gifts were also popular – how many running necklaces does one person need? The first big gift he bought me was a gold emerald necklace – having never noticed in the previous three years that I never wore gold or green – our wedding bands were cheap silver.

    • and the last “gift” he gave me – telling me he wanted a divorce the night before my birthday. sweet.

      • You got freedom from that human equivalent of a canker sore? That’s an amazing gift. You should give him the gift of plastic surgery covered by his insurance by arranging for his face to run repeatedly into a sledgehammer at speed. Remember to put a bow on it! (I would never advocate violence, but let’s be honest: it is sometimes fun to imagine people getting their just deserts.)

  • Thinking back, the exhole always bought me stuff that would keep me busy. He always got some nice dragon/unicorn/alien/predator statuary and then a game or book that I would proceed to get lost in. Great gifts really, but now I wonder what he did while I was engrossed.

    During wreckoncilliation, we went to a Renaissance Faire. He proceeded to get pissed because I didn’t bring the right credit card. He wanted me to buy him the $800 sword. Got pretty shitty with me over not bringing a card that would cover it. I stood there and gaped at him. Then yelled, “You cheated on me, but I’m the asshole because I cant afford to buy you a sword??!”

    Kicked him about about a week later.

  • My last mother’s day before I found Out about the affair he gave me already dead flowers and a small bag of peanut M&M’s

    • Let me guess – you’re allergic to peanuts. That would be the cherry on the shit cupcake.

    • My loving ex took me to a fancy steak and seafood restaurant for my birthday. I’m a vegetarian. He also asked me to choose a wine, which I did, then he changed it when ordering saying that the one he chose was much better “value” ( ie cheap and tasting like vinegar ).

  • For our 20 year anniversary I planned an entire weekend, I had been planning this for 8 months prior. Its a big anniversary. Unfortunately, 5 months before the 20 year mark I found out she’s been having an affair for the last several years.
    Mutually agreed to try and work things out. Everything was already paid for and I was full throttle into the pick me dance so plans went forward.
    Wife and I are big baseball fans. So the weekend was Friday attend a rockies game, Booked a weekend stay at the Brown Palace, A nice romantic afternoon at the botanic gardens, and a couples massage before a great dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant. Needless to say, I dropped a very large sum of money and had been planning this as I said for 8 months.
    What did I get you ask? Zero. Nothing. I did enjoy my self, but it was disheartening that with all my planning and effort, she made zero effort to even buy me a gift. And it wasn’t like she knew about these plans, it was a total surprise to her so this wasn’t a mutual gift to ourselves. She didn’t know anything until we pulled up to the Brown Palace and realized we were spending the weekend there. And when she bragged to everyone and anyone about what I did for our 20 year and got asked by our friends what she got me? She lied and said “it was our gift to one another”. What a chump I am.

    • Betrayed 303
      Hope it didn’t ruin all games moving forward. I’m from Wyoming and travel that way frequently. In two weeks I’ll be there for my 50th with my best girlfriend from childhood. My mom bought us champagne tea at the Brown Palace. I hope it’s good!

      All these stories illustrate how pathetic they are and how important acts of love are to chumps! Enjoy the 303!

    • Hey, do you want to join our Chump Nation group here in Colorado? We would love to have your company.

  • It was Christmas, the last one I would spend with it it turned out, but I didn’t know it at the time.

    I always tried very hard to give him good gifts, but they weren’t really acknowledged with any kind of enthusiasm, and then they’d sit in a corner and gather dust. I didn’t have much money, but I made an effort and often spent more than I should have.

    Most of his presents to me were o.k., but not what I wanted. I often put a Note to Santa on the fridge months ahead with a few things that I really wanted. A bathrobe, a DVD, chocolate…he ignored it.

    I pull out a present labeled for me under the tree. A box within a box thing…you know they way you wonder if there’s going to be something shiny and expensive in the final box… and I unwrap a Go Pro camera. Not something I had asked for, but pretty cool, I am surprised with it….then he tells me its not really “mine”, its his Go Pro, but he will let me use it.

    How generous of him.

  • Chump Lady advised me to dump 4-month (rebound from cheater) boyfriend after he made a point about how he got me nothing for my birthday. Did I listen? Nooooooooo, I stuck around for a ruined summer vacation, a sabotaged Thanksgiving, and a Christmas where I received a …. coupon. A coupon for a “restaurant meal, and one episode of earring shopping,” things he had no intention of ever following through on.

  • Socks and underwear for Christmas, a Chicago Blackhawks license plate cover and stickers for my car for my birthday. More, more, more. I never even got the wedding ring I was promised. Hey! Wait! It’s only been 20 years!

    • Oh, I think I’ll repurpose the license plate cover by putting it on HIS car before I leave. A parting gift…

  • My ex gave me some terrific gifts, and some really, really BAD ones.

    The worst:

    1) Christmas a few months before D-Day: three insulated coffee mugs. I DON’T DRINK COFFEE. Later, I learned that the affair started around this time, so it’s no wonder he thought so little of his gift to me.

    2) My daughter was born a few days before Mother’s Day. When I came home from the hospital, ex brought me my Mother’s Day present: a canary. Yes, that’s EXACTLY what I need – something else to take care of! I not only had a newborn, but two dogs, two stepsons, and a husband who was rarely home because of his job. Unfortunately, the poor bird died because I forgot to give it water. I felt really bad about that…

  • Cheater was actually good at gifts – easy for him to buy for me since I was able to express things I wanted. I sucked at buying for him – I’m no mind reader.

    The worst gift actually came from emotionally enmeshing, narc XMIL. She sent me and his brother’s wife each a dirty, unpackaged, cheap, baby-doll. She stated that the dolls reminded her of us. I’m not sure how, because mine had blue eyes (I have brown), didn’t have hair, etc. My doll was dressed in pink, XSIL’s in blue. The real purpose was to push us to get pregnant. (My doctor said she thinks I have endometriosis and would need treatment to conceive – XH didn’t want to pursue).

    I couldn’t repurpose the doll – it was dirty and I would feel bad donating, so it went in the trash. XMIL will get her precious golden child’s baby soon as whore is due early next year.

    • That reminds me of a gift from ex’s now deceased aunt. One year she sent us a bag of the black and white M&Ms from whatever time period that was. This aunt smoked like a chimney. The M&M’s had clearly been lying around her house for some time because they tasted like ashes. Totally revolting. I don’t think she meant any insult but bleah.

      • OMG – I wonder how she made the distinction between her ashtray and her candy dish – probably couldn’t!

  • My ex gave me a Limp Bizkit CD and a chocolate bar. I had never expressed an interest in Limp Bizket ever before.

    • But one of the worst gifts I ever received was from my narc mom. For my 9th birthday, I got a shelf.


      A shelf.

      For a 9 year old.

      • When my daughter turned 14 we had just moved cross country (because ex wanted to move) and were in temporary housing. She knew no one. I was working a new job. Ex was a SAHD. How did they spend her birthday? They all went to take her two brothers for haircuts. Wee. When she expressed her distress over having to endure such a dull birthday, he got upset with her over her “entitled” attitude. When I got off work I took her to dinner. She didn’t want her Dad along. I think his feelings were hurt.

  • My last birthday, he said he’d give me $70 to spend at the local gardening store (I like to garden). I spent $105 (on my credit card) on plants, compost and soil to dress up our weedy, ugly hell strips and spent the weekend making them pretty (I got no help from him, he doesn’t like gardening and found other things to do…golfing, watching tv, etc).

    He never gave me the $70.

    Happy birthday to me.

  • Every now and then, he’d have flowers delivered to me and they were ALWAYS the very most basic bouquets available. Ugly as sin. A bunch of junk filler crap with carnations and other cheap flowers. And boy you should have seen how hard he’d pat himself on the back for it, too. He’s always known that I love classic red roses. Or roses of any color. I also love orchids, lilies and exotic flowers.

    Anyway, I should have just told him that I hated roses, lilies and exotic flowers because I’m 100% positive he’d have only ever sent me just that for fun. I’d even pick up roses of all colors myself sometimes just for a nice centerpiece because I love them so much. And I remember way back in the beginning telling him that I love roses. He immediately wrinkled his nose.

    But I know now that he’d have wrinkled his nose at any type of flower I told him I liked. Why? BECAUSE THESE ASSHOLES BUY GIFTS THEY KNOW ARE SHIT SO THAT THEY CAN SIT THERE AND SMIRK WHILE YOU RECEIVE THEM. You get to either say you don’t like it and look like an unappreciative bitch; or pretend you like it when you don’t and then they can then use that to prove you liked it and continue giving you shit they know you don’t like. It’s 100% on purpose. They win either way.

      • Late to the party, but here’s a happy memory. When I was a student, my BF – an actual psychopath, I think now, & a genuinely evil individual – loved flashy, trendy, designer everything (I didn’t, but that was his thing). He said he wanted to give me something really special (for Valentine’s Day or my birthday, I forget). And he presented me with a twig stuck in a plastic pot, complete with dirt.

        I stared at it. He began to rage about my ingratitude – for this, he said, was the prototype for the next Pet Rock (eh, I am old) (hated fads like that, as he knew, but he liked them). And he’d paid so much money for it! And someday it would be worth a fortune! What was wrong with me?

        Chumpy me was feeling bad & weepy (& still very puzzled) about having hurt his feelings, until I noticed he was – how can I put it? -watching himself rage. The smirk slipped out just for a moment, nothing I could prove, but I saw it. He started into his favorite routine – “since you can’t appreciate it, I’ll take it back … oh, I can’t get my money back … I’ll just keep it if you are going to be like that!” I apologized – of course I did b/c chumpy – but then saw an out. “Of course I want it, but let’s leave it over here at your place – much safer & nicer here, you know mine is a mess.” And I put it on the stand where he kept his treasures, including his late mother’s photo. Made sure it was always dusted, too.

        Not only did he cheat on me later, he eventually took to beating me, including one especially nasty kicking in front of his roommate – who just watched & then walked off. He always had a plausible story & I am sure he had one then. But the stick in the pot was part of what scared me the most – he really loved deception, the more bizarre the better. Gaslighting as one of the fine evil arts.

        I left finally b/c I feared for my life (will skip the details, but it got worse. I was so demoralized by then that I didn’t really care if I died, but the idea that he’d get away with it or find a way to blame me … that was too much.

        It’s a funny story, the stick in the pot. Except that of all the shit he did to me, that’s the memory that still scares me, decades (& a few narcs later – slow learner!) on. He sounded so very sincere, & so butthurt by my lack of gratitude, & the whole incident was so bizarre – & if I hadn’t seen that insta-smirk, I wouldn’t have been sure.

        (Note: I was programmed for chumphood, particularly around gifts. Both parents, especially father, were narcs, & every year on my birthday my father would make a big deal of presenting me with a beautiful & very expensive sweater. In August. Sweater was always made of wool, to which I’m allergic (he was too – this was no accident). And my mother made me put it on, every time. Did I mention that his high ecological principles (read: cheapness) didn’t allow for air-conditioning at home (of course his workplace, where he spent most of his time, had it)? And that we lived in a very humid region? And as I struggled into each year’s sweater, itching & perspiring & trying not to cry, my mother berated me for not being enthusiastically grateful. All I could think of was “how soon can I get this off & where is the calamine?”)

        • OMG your parents were the worst, making you put on a show for them. And, I’m sorry your BF was an evil abuser, thank goddess you survived! I would try to forget him, and count your blessings that he’s gone.

  • Gift List:
    Coffee Grinder
    Screwdriver Set
    Tea Kettle
    Brake Pads (in a box-no joke)
    The worst was last Valentine’s Day, one month before D-day, in full on cheater mode. He showed up late with a pound of coffee beans and matching mug. I suspect he bought them after seeing her. Maybe he knew some sleepless nights were headed my way after finding out-how thoughtful.

    Here’s the interesting thing, about a week before D-day, everything he bought me suddenly started breaking for no reason.
    The tea kettle, the mug just split in two randomly in my kitchen sink. Even the “toughie” screwdriver snapped! What a message…

    • On our last celebrated wedding anniversary (22 years) he turned up last minute with a gift bought on the way home. It wasn’t wrapped. There was no card. It was a dress in the style that Schmoopie might wear. He was already balls deep into Schmoopie 2.0 at that point so I suppose I should feel lucky I got anything at all. This was about a month before DDay. After DDay I was afraid that she might even have been the one to pick it out, but he claims not.

      On that same anniversary I gave him a card that said on the cover “I may not be perfect but..” and on the inside it said “actually I am perfect and you are lucky to have me”. I felt nervous giving it too him at the time because it seemed rather arrogant and I was afraid it would make things worse but I had been putting up with his devalue for several months, it was getting worse and I was finally getting sick of it. Maybe it did make him discard me faster but now I so glad I stuck up for myself in that moment. He traded tarnished silver for fool’s gold.

  • He always made a big production about not knowing what to get me, acted like he hadn’t gotten anything. Gave stupid gifts. Until he started cheating. Then he said nothing, gave me nothing for Christmas and didn’t say anything when our kids asked “where’s mommy’s present?” Didn’t even apologize. Best gift he gave me was leaving!

  • Gifts? What are those? Ex sucked epically at many things, but his failure at gifts of any kind, for anyone, for any occasion was Olympic level.
    Thus, I usually got imaginary gifts along with guilt. Yes, thirty years of this type of excuse making.


    Cheater: I got you something really nice for Christmas, but unfortunately I just heard from the company that it’s now on back order. It won’t be here on time for Christmas after all.
    Me: Oh, that’s so nice! Thank you, Honey. I can wait.
    January, February pass.
    Me: Have you gotten an update from the company about the back order?
    Cheater: Yes, it should be here next week. Since you’ve waited so patiently, I’ll tell you it’s a new cookware set from Cuisinart!
    Me: Nice! I can’t wait.
    March, April pass.
    Me: Shouldn’t you call the company or something, this backorder is getting ridiculous.
    Cheater: I guess I forgot to order it. There’s no point in ordering it now.
    No apology, no replacement gift, just business as usual.

    Example 2:
    After yet another Christmas where there was no gift for me. Even the kids wondered why everyone got a gift except Mom. (It’s because she bought all of the other gifts). Later that night, after the kids were in bed:
    Cheater: Well, I was GOING TO get you a gift, but you were so mean to me, I didn’t feel like giving you one.
    Me: Then what were those earrings you had in your office?
    Cheater: Those were for you, but I returned them after you were mean to me. (Nope, they were for cheater howorker).

    Example 3:
    Cheater breaks yet another thing of mine, or leaves another book of mine out in the rain, etc. I get a cheaper, used version of said item, given with a scowl and a snarl, “There! Are you happy now?

    Can you say Chump? I don’t miss the spackle, or the lying or the mindfuck.

    P.S. This ends well. I unchump myself, and divorce his lying, cheating ass, and get decent alimony. Last Christmas I went to Europe for Christmas for a month. Ex spent the whole month in a hospital.

    I’ll be buying myself lovely things for Christmas from now on. Good riddance to cheaters!

  • He gave me a pair of jeans at Christmas that were several sizes to big. I pointed it out to him and he said “you’ll grow into them.”

  • Our last Christmas together he gave me a bottle of vodka and a bag of pistachios. As I said, OH MY GOD, what is the matter with you, he ate all the pistachios in front of me and left the shells, etc. on the counter for me to clean. I still have the vodka, never even broke the seal and it’s been 6 years. I’ll give it away eventually.

    We were together 14 years and maybe one of the earlier birthdays he didn’t even acknowledge my birthday, when I cried like a baby he just sat there. Six months later he woke me up in the middle of the night singing happy birthday to me with a candle in a ho-ho and gave me a hairbrush.

  • My kids were little and I remember one Christmas he said “I haven’t bought you anything “ Until then I didn’t care but when my little boy said “where are your presents mommy” it broke my heart! Then on Valentine’s Day we went out with a couple of friends. When I admired her ring she said it was a Christmas gift from her husband and asked what I got for Christmas. It was excruciating saying “nothing “!

    • It broke my heart when my little sons asked why Mommy was the only one who didnt get anything, too. Ex didnt even flinch. I didnt want his last minute dollar store bull crap anyway, but it killed me to realize he was teaching my boys that it was ok to treat me & their future wife with such low regard…

      He made things so horrible. One year, when the kids were 2 and 5, he blew all of our money (on hookers) even though it was right before Christmas and I was finishing school and not going to be bringing any money in for a while. He told me he paid our bills w it- then I got a notice that we were 3 months behind on the house and my car/pre-repo stuff. And he had been running the toll road without a tag, so we got hit with hundred in fines. He punched holes in the wall when I asked wtf to scare me, and then told me he ran the toll road, “because he thought he could get away with it.” I asked wtf was his plan for Christmas- as it turned out I had a gift card that was a gift to me I hadnt spent yet, and I used that for our boys…but he didnt know I had that. He just shrugged and said it wasnt important/that was a greedy and materialistic concern.

  • In the midst of false reconciliation (I had accused ex of cheating, was gaslighted, and we were in marital therapy):
    anniversary gift (5th): box of refrigerator magnets, word poetry, and a card of a campus building.
    years later, I found the receipt in the box, purchased on the afternoon of our anniversary.

    We were married another 13 years until ex fnally admitted to that first affair (still claims the other two were not affairs).

  • Well just before d day 1, douche gave me a very ugly candle for Valentine’s Day, no card. The worst part was that he took my then five year old son shopping for chocolates that came from a boutique type store about 45 minutes from our home. I found out because my son told my mother because douche told him not to tell anyone. ????

  • One year, X asked me what my favorite flower was. I said lilacs. Time passes. A lot of time. He brings me tulips. I thank him, etc.
    He tells me that he could not get me lilacs because ‘You made them up. They are not a real flower.’ I said they were a real flower from a real tree but he told me I was wrong. He said he even asked a florist and they had never heard of lilacs either. He asked me why I thought lilacs existed when they clearly didn’t? I don’t know how I processed this. In my mind, I justified it somehow. Fast forward a few years and we are visiting his brothers house. In the front yard is a lilac tree. I point it out to him and he completely denies ever telling me lilacs didn’t exist. The gaslighting was strong with this one.

    Another year, he asked me to send him my Xmas list (my family does lists) so that he can give it to his family. My list always had a mix of inexpensive and somewhat pricier gifts on it. That year it had a Kate Spade purse on it. Xmas comes. His SIL gave me a purse, not the one on the list but similar. I had no complaints. In the car on the way home from Xmas dinner he says to me that he was ‘disgusted ‘ by the things on my list. How dare I ask for such extravagant gifts. I embarrassed him in front of his family with my selfishness and I didn’t deserve a fancy handbag. This is all in front of my kid. I was so sorry. I apologized for embarrassing him. Later I told my mother what he said. We went to visit her a few weeks later. We walk in her door and she hands me a huge gift wrapped box. I open it and it’s the Kate Spade purse. She says to X, my kid and me, ‘you deserve it’. X was furious.

    I could keep going…….

  • An external hard drive. I have no interest in computers, and this gift was so utterly off the mark that it was the first I ever refused. I got him to refund it and get something else I did want. Years later, where do I find over 2000 photos of his whores, dating back to before our marriage, mixed in with photos of his kids growing up? On said hard drive, hid under his underwear.

  • One Christmas I got a cd of Xmas songs that had been in the car for the whole of the previous two weeks and a gift voucher he had got from work. I felt soooo special.

  • My STBX convinced his AP to do the shopping for my gifts one year. He told her that Karmamamma is not good at shopping and you, Schmoopie, are very good at shopping so why don’t you get my wife’s Christmas gifts this year? You can find her some clothes that look good so she will look as nice as you do. Of course, Schmoopie was in an interesting situation at this point. It doesn’t feel right to her but she might not make him happy if she says WTF, so she solved the problem the only way she knew how. She purchased plus sized clothing and wrapped it. I am not plus sized. Best Christmas ever. You can’t make this sh*t up, can you?

  • I just want to say I’m glad to hear CL is feeling stabby today, because I am too. Grrrr. Entitlement anger, anyone? How DARE she ruin my good image? It’s not my actions that are the problem, it’s your reaction.

    Um, a scouts badge doesn’t mean you didn’t commit sexual assault. I’m pretty sure those two things aren’t related.

    Strength to Ford and those triggered by the last two days. Strength to CN. It takes courage to speak our truth. Thank you CL for helping us see it.

  • Gifts were a strange thing in my marriage. I would observe and listen to my ex’s likes: coffee, fancy coffee machines, high end watches, pens, fancy technology. I often spent hours tracking down gifts for him. His birthday was on Christmas Day and his parents had always made it very special for him. I worked hard to put on a beautiful dinner that honored his birthday as well as the holiday.

    For me, well, he could give nice gifts but like many of the above posts, the gifts he gave me were often to illustrate a couple of points: 1. How great he was, image control, or 2. How little value he had for me. The most insidious thread though, was his lack of knowing me. For years he gifted me nice jewelry, very pretty and I liked it. Always blue topaz. From the time he met me. I wore the jewelry and truly enjoyed it. About two years before we divorced it came up in conversation that he always gave me blue topaz jewelry. And he stated something to the effect of, “it’s your birthstone, that’s why”. Funny. It’s not my birthstone. After over 20 years, he had never bothered to look it up. That says something.

    Another habit was to buy me a gift such as a cell phone or watch that was “nice” and then turn around and buy himself the exact same gift “just because” and it was always one or two notches “better” than what he purchased for me. A small dig? Certainly let me know that he held himself as more valuable then me.

    Thirdly, if I purchased something I had researched, and spent a lot of time tracking down, he would often return it and purchase the same gift, but “a better model”. It got to the point that I never purchased a gift for him that he didn’t pick out himself.

    I realize these are not “worst gifts” but they certainly are a window into his personality.

    As three years have passed and my head is less into the unfairness of it all, I have been considering wearing some of the pieces he gave me just because I like them.

  • So my STBX would travel to Hawaii a lot for work (and even took our daughter and I once! “oh, I’d love for you to join me again sometime! Not this time, but maybe next time!”).

    He would bring me back dresses and skirts from Hawaii. And boast about how amazing the women at the dress shop thought he was, that he was not only thinking of his wife, but that he had such great taste in dresses and fashion that he could buy clothes for his wife! He’d go on and on about how unique that made him. At the time I thought it did too – what a special guy I have! Ugh. It was really all about him.

  • Our first xmas together we had just gotten back from a trip to Niagara Falls. We initially agreed that was our xmas present to ourselves. Then I suggested that felt wrong, let’s at least do a $25 gift. I bought him a beautiful pillow because he always bitched about his neck when he was sleeping.

    He bought me dishwasher pods.

    Birthday? Our birthdays are 1 week apart. I made a cake, invited his family to the house. He ruined it by humiliating his son in front if everyone and excluding him from the event.

    Because he was shit at gifts and had ruined the other holidays, we agreed our birthday budget was $100. I bought him specials socks because he stands all day at work, and a new cell phone case.

    My birthday? I get an expired log cake from his work that they were going to throw out. And attitude. When I told him I felt like a bitch for now having to ask 3 days later if he actually got me a real gift, he told me that he was a poor, single dad and feeding his children was more important, and “whoop-di-shit”, he would get me something in the next few days. Meanwhile, he had bought himself a case of beer, whiskey and top sirloin steaks. Yeah.

  • 1st Xmas after DDay while he was still in the house, I got a book on Female Midlife Crisis!!!!!

  • That’s easy…..early in the years of the destruction of my family by my ex-wife who was sleeping with my cousin at the time….Father’s Day was visited upon us. My loving sons were happy to be with me giving me some awesome Father’s Day gifts, when I saw the exe’s face as she realized she had forgotten another family moment….so she reached into her cheater handbag and presented me with a $2.49 can of salted peanuts as a gift for my years long service as loving husband and father. Not even a flavor that I liked….the following year, ex had been kicked out by then…my oldest son gave me a gift wrapped can of peanuts on Father’s Day…lol

    • Were your kiddos old enough to realize it was a fake gift and they were joking with you about it? Or did they think you just really love peanuts? Either way, its cool you can laugh about it now 🙂

  • The ex was very good about giving gifts that I would love. This is a part of his M.O. He’s very good at reading people and manipulative love bombing without it looking tacky. Therefore over the years my presents were usually pretty outstanding.

    I on the other hand, could never compete with giving him the same feeling about the gifts I chose for him. He would usually make some comment about how he appreciated my efforts, pat me on the head, give me a kiss and then return whatever I got for him or tell me not to get him anything but I still tried so hard to please him. Eye roll!

    A year before D-Day and during his discard phase of our 27 year marriage he got me a Kcup coffee maker and he got the same one for his mom.

    I was upset and cried and called him on it, because it was another indication something was not right. He denied this and made me feel I was ungrateful.

    I ended up writing a letter to him apologizing for being so ungrateful and telling him how wonderful he was and that I didn’t deserve his love and I would try harder to be grateful to him!

    Meanwhile he was boinking his coworker and spending the night at her house when he “working overtime”. He totally and coldly premeditately controlled everyone around him, love bombed his coworker and married her right after our divorce. They are blissfully happy … sigh, until she too gets a Kcup coffee maker for Christmas….lol

  • Boy, are these depressing stories. Usually I just shake my head and chuckle at the stupidity, but today for some reason it has gotten to me.

    I have shared this story before, but here it is again, and it still has me scratching my head:

    Every year, ExH (archaeologist) returned from his summers working in Greece with presents for our daughter and me. Mine was always honey or olive oil purchased at my request, and eventually, after that episode with the faulty, leaking caps, came back in his luggage wrapped in protective plastic bags. As my devaluation went down, the quality of the olive oil went down, and eventually I received horribly expensive but not-so-great “tourist olive oil” purchased at the airport instead of the excellent supermarket oil that the locals actually used.

    My daughter, at the age of 11, had already begun to realize what a dope her father was, but she was very kind when she opened the package with the EXACT SAME UGLY pair of earrings for the THIRD year in a row. She thanked him, muttering sideways to me, “Mom, don’t say anything.”

    And that is why I’m still confused by that cheater ex and whether or not he’s really that stupid. I know he is unkind, since I too always heard on Mother’s Day, “But you’re not my mother.”

    I feel sad for all of us with the bizarre stories. But please realize, as has been mentioned here by other chumps, that the best present they have given us is their absence.

  • The POS sent me a juicer with a note saying, “Happy Anniversary!” This would have been the 9th wedding anniversary in August, 2015.

    In October, 2015, I found out that this was sent while he was on a getaway weekend in Newport, Rhode Island with his wealthy girlfriend on the wedding anniversary weekend.

    I later saw that the joint credit card paid for the juicer. And I found out shortly after that they were together since 2013!!

    Lying, cheating, purely evil sociopath!!

  • Eh, he thought he was something super special. If he wasn’t ranting and raving about “made up holidays” we either “couldn’t afford anything” which translated to “I spent all our money on booze and another guitar I really really wanted”. One time after I had a severe back injury and he knew that anything that touched my back tended to leave me in excruciating pain, he bought one of those really awful huge “automatic massage” devices that was the size of a person. Second hand. So some big massage mat that I couldn’t use because those terrible moving lumps would have left me in abject pain, and he couldn’t even have bothered to get it for me new or even clean it, I think. He said “Do you mind if I use it then?”

    He was king of the Homer Simpson bowling ball gifts. It was like he never even knew me. If he liked it, he thought I would. He also liked to give me cats as gifts. His thinking (he revealed to others) was that every time I made noises about wanting children, he’d get me a cat. He hoped to push off having kids until it was no longer physically possible. He refused to tell me he didn’t want children because he was afraid to lose me. Isn’t that precious? I ended up with a son, so was very lucky in that regard, but I wanted two and that ship has sailed.

    He’s always been a shitty gift giver, but I especially loved it when my birthday came around (end of month) and we never had money. His, (beginning of month) we always had to do something special. He even once said “I don’t want to get traditional gifts, I want to give gifts when the feeling hits, any time of year!” which for him was obviously never. Such fun.

  • For my birthday, he gave me a print that he found in our hall closet. When I said thank you, but wasn’t this from our closet (which it was), he went nuclear. Told me I was insane, crazy, blah, blah, blah.

  • I received the Griffin and Sabine trilogy of books in 1992 from my ex asshat. It is an artistic set of books that uses letters pasted into the pages as a way to tell the story of lovers separated by thousands of miles. Interesting books and a bit of a fad at the time.

    In 2017 when he abandoned me by e-mail (31 years together, no idea he was going to poof on me) he stole the books from me. He gave them to our daughter who is a graphic artist, declaring that “Mom never liked them anyway”.

    He then stole them from daughter to mail them to his European honey, a 25YO co-worker–his lover separated from him by thousands of miles. Yup, he sent MY USED LOVE STORIES to his sparkletwat, a gurl our daughter’s age. When DD found out she blew her top and told him he was a piece of shit and that was the end of their father-daughter relationship.

    When I found out and screamed at him about what he did he went right down the narc mantra:

    That didn’t happen!
    And if is did, it wasn’t that bad!
    And if it was, it was no big deal!
    And if it was, it is not my fault!
    And if it is, I didn’t mean it!
    And if I did, YOU DESERVE IT!

    Yes, as I was screaming at him about how-dare-he-do-that he first denied and then diminished and then told me it was because I never liked the books anyway. And he still denies that there was anything going on all with the sparkletwat, he still has the nerve to deny it even though he moved to Europe this spring permanently. Nope, nothing going on.

    Beyond this stunning example it is true he was totally checked out and was shitty at gifts during our relationship. It was clear he never cared a whit about me. I figured that was my fault.

  • Got a gift card to Michael Kors with happy birthday written on a post card, nothing else. It was my birthday and our 1st wedding anniversary (yes he is that selfish, whisked me off to Vegas to elope on my birthday, because it can’t just be about me). And this from a man who use to write me pages and pages of love letters (I know believe he had someone else write all those letters). I think giving a significant other a gift card of any sort shows a complete lack of effort and thought. Two weeks later I found out about AP…

  • I got a pair of suede UGG slippers. It’s well known I don’t eat meat and I don’t buy leather.

    He’s sick in the head. Always trying to test the limits of my soul and break me. Never gonna happen!

    • I am also a vegetarian for humanitarian reasons, at least initially. Ex took up hunting about twenty years into our marriage. Looking back now I can’t help but wonder how many of his actions towards the end of our marriage were intended to get me to leave him. Alas, I was just too darn loyal and committed so he had to cheat on me, move out and make no motions towards reconciliation for a few months to finally get me to initiate the divorce.

  • A couple of days ago I related the story of my fortieth birthday where my husband of eight weeks gave me a belated gift and card the day after. The gift was tea bags from the local drug store. It was an epic fail because he spent the entire week beforehand within walking distance of the biggest shopping centre for hundreds of miles and came back the night before my birthday as happy as could be. I was anticipating a very nice birthday! When my birthday came, he regifted me a gag gift I gave him and left for work wishing me a happy birthday. The best was yet to come, right? He came home, I cooked and cleaned, and he sat in front of the TV and I wept. I got no effort, no card, cake or candles. The next day he went to the drugstore for the gift and card and left them on the table for me to find while he hid out in the garage. This marked the beginning of ten years with a man whose special gift was setting me up for disappointment.

    A few months after my epic 40th, I accompanied my husband and stepdaughter as they looked for a birthday gift for her mother, his ex wife, who ended up with a well chosen personal item.

    An idea for repurposing the tea bags isn’t coming to me but I could possibly see throwing them in the laundry with his white t shirts.

  • I only got gifts from him at the beginning when I was being love-bombed and at the end to distract me from what he was up to. In both cases, the experiences were off-putting, which was probably the idea.

    Fifteen years ago, when we were dating long-distance, the week before Valentine’s day, he asked me my lingerie size. A week later, he told me I’d be getting a present from him in the mail, and he hoped it fit. I asked him if he’d bought the sizes I told him, and he said no, because he just knew I was wrong. He told me the bra size I’d given him was clearly too big, so he bought a bra that wouldn’t have fit my prepubescent self. When I expressed dismay, he told me that at least he was sure the panties would fit. I said, ‘oh, you didn’t buy a smaller size?” and he said that he went to one of his coworkers who “has a big ass” and told her that my ass was as big as hers, and asked what size panties she wore. I am thinking for the first time — as I write this — is that he likely got a hands-on examination of those panties and that ass.

    For Christmas that year, he gave me a hunting knife (I don’t hunt), and he gave his mother a used and slightly rusted can opener. I was such a chump, I thought it was all very funny, and I am embarrassed to admit, charming.


    • That reminds me of a gift the Troglodyte got for me during wreckonciliation. He was going to buy me some lingerie (for the first time in our 19 year marriage) but didn’t know my size. He bought lingerie that fit our 14 year old daughter since he saw her undies in the laundry and thought they were mine.

      • Oh EW EW EW!! I’m sorry but I was not even close to the same size as my Mum at that age, how cringeworthy for her and you.

  • It’s my bday today… so many bad memories
    —10$ jewelry purchased st the airport after two week business trip ( aka hooker fucking spree)
    —Letter written for our anniversary ( mine with funny details regarding to our life together and plans for the future, his with list of the things I should improve- it left me speechless and I had to evacuate to the restroom- restaurant)

  • My EX wasn’t much of a gift giver and eventually convinced me we should not bother with gifts. Two Christmas gifts he got for me (different years) stand out in my mind. One was a used car — model that I am convinced he mistakenly “knew” I disliked and bought so he could drive it…wrong! I loved the car and drove it often, so he rarely got to. The second gift was a chintzy fake-gold necklace with a locket engraved with “Forever in My Heart.” I turned it over and the $19.99 price tag from Walmart was on the back…I’m sure the only reason he bought it was because our young child was with him and convinced him to get something for me. What a dimwit! I am so much happier divorced.

  • During the affair, I got treated poorly and got shit gifts. Painfully shitty. But the eye opener was when he came home with homemade jam, a gift from a coworker, rhymes-with-schmolleen. “Which one is she again?” I asked, genuinely. He exploded. I never paid attention, I didn’t care about his work, what the fuck was wrong with me (he hadn’t even finished coming thru the front door), I was so uninvolved with his job. It was so attacking and out of character. Every hair on my neck stood up. I knew something, but it was early days and I tamped it all down. He only got cagier and weirder. And for our anniversary, he gave me a bunch of things from the same shop – the one he passed 2 x day coming and going from the subway, when he was on the phone with her, including a deck of cards that said “im sorry”. Sorry for what? I asked. “I dunno. Everything”. How romantic. Luckily, since he gave me everything in the shopping bag, with the tags on, I marched right over on the subway and returned it all. I wasn’t calm, I was hysterically screaming to give me a refund since my husband was phone fucking schmolleen while he paid for this shit, then real fucking her after. I was sobbing. Not my most dignified, but I’m an artist, I have Poor emotional control.

    From the first gift to the last was 5 months and my body knew that first day. I ignored it. The jam, along with a guitar that was lent to my son by the wet hole, were ceremoniously destroyed into smithereens with The Who blasting to cover my sobs. God I was a wreck. She was incredulous that I destroyed a musical instrument, like a savage. Wanted to be paid back for it, $100. Because I ruined something of hers and had no right to do so.

  • I had 22 years of buying my own birthday, Christmas and Mothers Day gifts because he didn’t believe in gift giving (but he was always expecting that he would receive gifts). Then after 22 years he decided that he would buy the gifts…First year he gave me a packet of tea, and a tea towel covered in pictures of wedding rings with a 50’s housewife on it, saying “Why’d I have to get married? I didn’t do anything wrong!”…. the next occasion he gave me a vacuum cleaner “because ours is broken”….the next occasion he gave me an expensive kitchen appliance (which I had coveted for years, and absolutely love, but was so out of character????…should have smelt a rat then?!). His final gift to me was “let’s not get each other gifts this year -Christmas is so overrated”. Unbeknownst to me that Christmas he had already gifted me the gift that kept on giving -a series of downstairs infections. Then between Christmas and New Year I discovered that he’d had a girlfriend for the previous 2.5 years. Needless to say that day I gave him the perfect gift for a horrid cheating narcissist-the boot!

  • In the beginning of our marriage we were broke. So we decided not to get each other anything. Just the children. This practice continued. Through the tears I started earning a lot more money then him. I bought him cell phones, tools, let him spend his money on his 1970 Dart. I rarely got anything. Well the exception of divorce papers on my birthday. And of course the gift of skankella harassing me. Just last night i received a text from her. ” I know you are spreading my number all over the place. I am going to press charges. You know we will meet up some day BITCH.” Oh, how wonderful. Thank You to my SYBX. He sure can pick them.

  • I just remembered this one. I had almost forgotten because it was so out of character and it is the only time I got a gift so much like the ones described by others. I think it was Christmas the year he was banging Schmoopie 1.0. He gave me a half used tube of scented hand lotion from a boutique that was going out of business. It was their sample lotion. I thanked him and used it every night to show how much I appreciated it. He had been a dick to me in recent months and I thought it was because I wasn’t being loving and appreciative enough. I also thought he wanted me to use the pretty scented lotion so I would be more feminine.

    • Oh and here’s the kicker. It actually didn’t smell very nice. After I had been using it for a week or two he started to complain about a nasty smell in our bedroom and more or less accused me of being smelly. It took me a while to figure out the smell was coming from the lotion. I really thought it was me developing some kind of nasty smell on my person.

  • I was at an event with Douchebag standing at the bar, and he asked the lady next to me what perfume she was wearing. She told him, and DB later asked me if I had liked it. I said, “Not particularly, it is just very strong, almost eye-watering.” My next birthday guess what I got. And the birthday after that another bottle. I was also a bad gift-giver if truth be told though. What do you get someone who consistently buys himself the finest of everything? I couldn’t surprise him with a luxury item that he would not have splurged on himself. I got DB a nice watch and he said, “I don’t like to wear a watch.” I got him a wallet and it didn’t have enough credit card slots. He just never liked what I gave him and I guess I got a little discouraged as time went on and finally just suggested we get each other cards and either make or go out for a nice dinner. If there is anything I was not very good at and perhaps the finger pointed at me, this would probably be one of the things.

  • Another one, and probably the one that could have saved me 30 more years of grief: When we were 17 and dating less than a year at that point I baked him Valentine cookies (our first Valentine’s together). I put them in a brown bag which I had decorated sweetly and gave them to him in the hallway at high school. He threw them HARD into his locker, breaking them. He was mad at me. I can see clearly now I was being punished and abused but at the time I spackled hard and determined that he just didn’t like Valentine’s day and I had somehow embarrassed him with the attention. It was my fault.

    I should have run away and never looked back. At least I got my daughters.

    • The contrast here is heartbreaking. Your sweet, thoughtful and super-appropriate gesture on one hand. His anger and lack of graciousness on the other. I’m guessing he was indeed embarrassed because you did this sweet, heartfelt thing for him and he hadn’t bothered to do anything at all. So he shamed and hurt you.

  • Stuffed his dick in a kleenex box and told me to open it.

    …he literally attempted Dick in a Box.

  • Jackass: Birthday card he bought at Walmart. He always underlined key words. Then he hotfooted it back to the truck so he could text with the MOW Schmoopie.

    XH the Substance Abuser was a really really good gift giver during the 1st half of the marriage. And he was always good with his kid and grandkids. So when he started complaining about buying gifts for me, that was a red flag.

  • After I gave him the boot he had to come up with gifts for the kids himself. When his mum is in town she does the gift shopping for him and all is good. When ex mother in law had been away there have been some shockers….including the almost expired movie tickets he gave Miss 11 for her birthday. The tickets had been issued to Schmoopie by their workplace 11 months earlier and were due to expire in 4 weeks (his work gives tickets each year to staff for their birthday-but he and Schmoopie couldn’t use the tickets because they work together and even though I had given him the boot 6 months earlier, he was still wearing his wedding ring and pretending he lived at home, and no one knew they were together and he still couldn’t go anywhere public with her because… impression management!! And even more insultingly for poor Miss 11 the tickets had been issued to Schmoopie!!!). Then there was the tin of chocolates and licorice for Miss 17 – whom he should have known doesn’t eat either choloates nor licorice! That gift came with an all round side of trauma for kids, dog and I when the dog ate them and almost died, resulting in an emergency vet visit and cost me almost $700. Kids have wised up and now just ask him for money. Much safer all round.

  • I was a good gift giver, thought really hard and chose good things he appreciated, bought for all his family as well, again well researched and thoughtful things. Yet after the first few years little reciprocation. Eventually Christmas gifts degenerated into whatever the tbh not very good local garden centre had left, usually a packet of sprouting daffodil bulbs and a couple of pots, plus some novelty junk. Last Christmas he was there this was a battery light to go on a parasol for the garden, but alas no parasol to use it on. Wtf. I only discovered last year popping into a slightly further away garden centre that even Christmas eve they had a lot of quality stuff many items of which would have made a nice gift, or even daffodils that weren’t shrivelled or sprouting but hey, that would have meant going out a quarter of an hour earlier to get there before closing time. Birthdays, an identical carved elephant 3 separate years. A stay where he wanted to go to. No anniversary pressies, not even on the big ones, 25, 30, didn’t quite make 40. But we bought stuff for his parents for theirs and went to parties we had to. Wouldn’t even buy something Pearl for the birthday in that year he didn’t like pearls, well due, the idea was for me to wear them not him. Mostly for anniversaries he would generate an argument so he could storm off and enjoy a walk on his own. Actually he frequently engineered arguments on special Days, Chris as, birthdays, anniversaries. When I think of how hard I tried to get him thoughtful gifts, didn’t have to be dear, just something I knew he’d like, what an ungrateful sod he was. He had 2 presents to buy per year, birthday and Christmas, but he would complain and moan about how hard it was for him to have to do that, how selfish I was expecting something. It does sound materialistic how I’d hoped that I might get something nice, but I’d have been happy with something cheap and thoughtful. His parents died when we were divorcing so I don’t even have the satisfaction of knowing he had to buy for them on his own for years, suppose he gets his brother and family stuff, but not my problem. The year he moved out I asked people for contributions towards a TV, he wouldn’t have one. When he commented on it I was glad to tell him his. Mother had contributed to it.

  • When our marriage started going downhill, Snakeface gave me the kinds of birthday and Christmas gifts that say pretty clearly, “I’m no longer in love with you; this is just something for you to open in front of our sons and extended family.” I got things like poly/cotton blend sweatpants in a lovely shade of mold green, food storage containers from Costco, a cheap-ass remote device to help me find my misplaced car/house keys (a gift and an insult all in one!), a Starbucks gift card (for drinking coffee alone), a Red Lobster gift card (to use on an outing with our younger son), and crappy plastic bracelets that must have come from the dollar store.

    My birthday is Christmas Day. When I turned 40, Christmas Day happened to fall on a Sunday, and I told Snakeface that I wanted to mark that milestone birthday by going to church that morning, to worship and have communion. I loved my church community, and it provided me with a lot of consolation and meaning for my life when my marriage started to fall apart. I was an active member, the pastor was a good friend, and my oldest was in confirmation that year. Snakeface surprised me by calling all our local extended family to join us at church, and I was really touched by everyone being there for me.

    The one problem with the still lovely memory, though, is that it just took a few phone calls to pull it together. That’s all the effort I was worth. For Snakeface’s 40th eight months prior, I spent weeks organizing a sweat lodge ceremony, contacting people who were part of his Lakota spiritual community, making little gifts for everyone for the traditional “give away”, and cooking and baking for the meal held after the sweat. I put my whole heart and creative energy into putting together an event that reflected who he was and what he cared about (thought now it now looks like a big ‘ol “pick me” dance), and I don’t think I got one fourth of the thanks that I gave him for the birthday surprise that he – wait for it – PHONED IN.

    One more thing: Snakeface and I decided to divorce in September of 2015, but we had to wait to tell our sons, followed by the rest of our families, the following February. (It was the right decision – trust me.) That meant we spent one last Christmas together. That’s when Snakeface decided to pull out all the stops and get me a Chromebook and a couple of other pricier things. I always figured his new generosity was motivated by guilt, or maybe a twisted expression of gratitude because he was getting what he wanted in the end.

  • These are all so fantastic. Can’t help but laugh.

    I got replacement dinner plates. like 5 of them.
    I still remember opening the box.

    Wha… the…… fuc….? ..felt like I opened a box containing a bag of sand.

  • My engagement ring was supposed ( I thought) to be temporary until we could afford something more substantial- it was amber,and cost about $100. I picked it out, I liked it but was waiting for the real deal. never happened. After about six months I took it off to clean our flat in London before we moved back home to Australia and lost it. That was it, no replacement ever turned up.
    Years later, someone at a party starts ribbing him about not getting me a ring, he says “Well, she lost the first one, why would I give her another ring she’ll just lose?”
    he recently got engaged to OW3- she got a big ring, despite the fact he’s crying poor about everything else.

    • I did get a nice pair of earrings after he went to Denmark for a music festival, from Australia, when I was 6 months pregnant with our first child- you know, like that’s normal-because he got the exchange rate wrong. As in ” I wasn’t planning on spending this much, but I got the exchange rate wrong” is what he actually said. He didn’t hurry home, he thought he might as well go to Vienna on the way back, since he was over there and all. And I was so used to making my needs tiny that I pretended that was fine. I am pretty sure he cheated on me while he was over there, because he cheated on me pretty much all the time.

  • Worst gift ever was the last one he tried to give me. It was actually something I’d been interested in. He’d listened to me. He went to some effort to get it for me, and bought and signed a card to go with it. This was about 6 weeks or so after bomb drop. I was pick-me dancing furiously. I was touched by the thoughtfulness of the gift. Then he made it clear that he was still in touch with the rescue twat, and that she was his main chick, and I, his wife, and mother of his children, had been relegated to side chick (not his words, but when the dude is texting her on my birthday, it’s clear). I was GUTTED. So, I gave him the gift right back and told him that I never ever wanted anything from him ever again.

    Best gift, though? That rescue twat. Best gift ever. She rescued ME, as it turns out. Sadly for her, there are no take-backs.

  • One year for my birthday I got a car.
    A few issues with that.
    I had a perfectly good car.
    The birthday car was an unremarkable old car.
    It didnt go.
    It was not insured or registered.
    Why did he give it to me?
    “So what is the plan?” I asked him.
    “I will fix it up for you, it will be wonderful!” he says.
    I knew it was total bull*+&# so decided I would never mention it, my predicted outcome was that the car would just sit there.
    One year later on my next birthday, I pointed out that my last years present was not drivable, still not registered, insured and that not one minute had been spent “fixing it up”
    He brushed it off, saying he just hadn’t had the time, and that was the last time it was ever spoken of.

    Psycho shit head.
    Happy birthday Savannah! yeah right!
    Anyway, life is awesome now he is a mere speck in my rear view mirror.

  • Hi Y’all! I’m new to posting but not new to the CN. I’m a soon-to-be-free chump. My NLB (narcassistic little bitch) cheated for the 5th or 6th time in 5 years and I finally said kick rocks. He sports around our small town with his preschool girlfriends spending OUR money making everything sparkle and shine. I never got many gifts and if I did I had to choose them myself or they were group purchases that he claimed he paid for but never did. Once he bought me the same camera backpack as the trollip he was refueling with at the time. The kicker was my 50th birthday…MY 50th birthday. I had requested for years to be taken to Vegas. Instead, I sat in my front yard and watched my grandkids play on a giant waterslide my husband had conned someone into for a day free of charge. I did however get a $800 diamind necklace for V-Day this year only to be told he wanted yet another divorce 2 weeks later. I repurposed that parting gift into a nice gift card and a new wardrobe. His current girlfriend, hense my screen name, is Felicia. Her husband was killed in the line of duty fighting a fire that was set by an arsonist 3 years ago. She has 4 daughters and her dead husband’s initials on her license plate with my fucktard at the wheel. I sure hope I bought her a new playground so they aren’t fucking like rabbits on her husband’s side of the bed. Do you think she took all of his photos down or just told her little girls tough shit, Mommy has a new sparkly unicorn now. Men suck. Alimony is the SHIT. I bought cotton balls tonight. GAME ON.

  • Our next to last Christmas before I knew what was going on, I received an extension cord and a pair of scissors. I know my jaw must have dropped. My teenage kids were dumbfounded. His response was that I was always talking about extension cords and scissors disappearing and this would fix that. I just want to say that since he’s been gone my extension cords and scissors are always where they’re supposed to be. He blamed the kids for all of his bad habits. To this day, he denies giving those to me as a Christmas gift even though the kids always remind him that he did. The following Christmas he upped his game and gave me a deep fat fryer. I have never wanted one but he told me that’s what I asked for. Five years later it’s still in the box in the basement. While I got a deep fat fryer, the OW got a diamond necklace. He never gave me jewelry, not once.

  • This is a fun subject for me considering that today is our 22yr wedding anniversary. Needless to say, my cheater stbx husband gave me nothing today.
    Last Christmas, he gave me a bag of beef jerky- my only gift. He was being clever by calling me a jerk with that gift. I was a jerk for rejecting his anger addiction, drug habit and constant lying. Little did I know he had begun a relationship with OW already.

  • I got a rosary from his mistress when she went on a trip to her home country of Poland. From him that Christmas, I got a set of cookware. He insisted on taking half of it when he moved out. The joke is on him because our darling children bout me some new pots and pans for Christmas this year and I love cooking with them knowing my children got them for me.

  • Worst gift? I don’t know which of the SIX STDS to choose from…maybe the genital warts that sprang up just in time for the birth of our firstborn? Yeah, that was the worst. Nothing like laying in the stirrups, torn from stem to stern, with a nice case of HPV for the doctor and nurse to judge you by. That may have been why the doctor was so stingy with the anesthetic when he was stitching me back together. Note to those of you in the healing professions: don’t judge, the person with the STD may have been an innocent victim of a lying cheater.

    • I agree. My sociopath womanizer ex told me he just got tested by his doctor and didn’t have any diseases. Months later I found a bottle of Valtrex in his bathroom and called him to ask what it was for and he admitted he had herpes.

  • Four years post seperation I got $3000 diamond earrings. That he told our daughter she could have when she turned 18. So I cant sell them.
    I dont like diamonds. Never have. He joked when it came to engagement rings how happy he was to have me who wanted gems not diamonds…..
    The children bought me fruit scented soap and bubble bath. That I love.

  • For Valentine’s Day I got a half dozen carton of gourmet red velvet cupcakes from an expensive local bakery, less one. He said he couldn’t help himself and ate it on the way home. No matter, because I happen to hate red velvet anyway (he knew this) and I didn’t even mind because he actually bought something for ME and it was so THOUGHTFUL! I shared them with my kids and thought he was the best husband ever.

    Of course I later found out that he actually bought them as a gift for his ho-worker. Red velvet is HER favorite. But she only ate one (probably told him she didn’t want to get fat like me, seeing as how that was the major topic of their text conversations) so he “thoughtfully” brought the rest home. How ironic that he gave me her leftovers.

    As far as what I wish I could have done with the gift, that is probably too messed up to discuss in polite company. However, I would have settled for a tube of ugly stale icing to write W H O R E on the remaining five cupcakes and have them delivered to her at their workplace.

  • How low are we setting this limbo bar of bad presents? I think I can slide right under with my Gifts from my dirt farmer magi. Sowing, Hoeing, mowin, raking, etc while managing a beef herd didn’t keep him busy enough (and away from family) so he worked in a feed store/seed cooperative on Saturdays and Sundays. Far two distracted by work to help plan or shop and prepare for the gigantic 3 day festuvus that our Christmas with his family demanded. That left me to cook, clean , shop, wrap for our 3 children, parents, nieces, nephews, cousins, coaches and teachers while I worked full time: Loads of fun I tell ya. A regular Pollyanna I am.

    When he closed the store at 4 on Christmas Eve, farmer Scrooge lifted and never paid for a 12inch wide roll of industrial duct tape and a 5ib bag of bird seed. No theme there. No birdhouse waiting in the wings. Just what he could easily pilfer and dump on me unwrapped Christmas am. How we laughed over that one for years

    • It does give insight into the pure evil inside of them, doesn’t it?

      Glad you’re free of that POS.

  • One thing I can look back on now and see with clarity is how her gift giving and receiving changed once the affair must’ve been in full swing. We were always pretty thoughtful with each other in regards to birthdays and Christmas and all holidays really…but the months before she left she was different. I knew something was off but after 24 years I didn’t think cheating was a possibility. Our daughters boyfriends birthday was about a week before mine so her mom helped her decorate the house to the nines, streamers, balloons, cake blah blah, they were teenagers so I got it and it was fun. The night before my birthday a week later we were outside and i remember this distinctly, almost a glare from her and in an irritated voice, “So do you want to do anything tomorrow or what..?” …I was taken aback and just said no that’s ok. I remember my daughter got me a cake from the grocery store I think she was a little shocked her mom blew the whole thing off. I had written here before, my ex was screwing the daughters boyfriends dad so there was definitely impression management going on there, I didn’t know at the time though. It was about 3 months later she dumped me and left.

    • OH, God. Wow. What a display she put on, and a complete discard of you.

      So glad you’re not hitched to that abusive bitch any more. Just wow.

  • Initially the gifts were stunningly good – it was part of the lovebombing effort. Everything I’d wanted but didn’t realise. I still have some of them since they’re useful, nice and objects are innocent.

    Once the devalue was in progress – a voucher for a tattoo parlour that STBXH had used. I was really unsure about getting a tattoo and never went ahead. I realised later that Schmoopie had recommended the tattoo parlour to cheaterX and gotten a matching tattoo with him there.


  • When xh gave a gift he thought was nice, for example x-mas, he’d indicate that “this is your birthday gift, too.” By the end — 3 or 4 holidays would be wrapped up into one shitty gift he would pick out.
    Not kidding. One gift covered anniversary, christmas and my birthday. 3 months apart.

  • After our daughter was born I had post-natal depression. For our wedding anniversary I get a card with a picture of someone yelling I can’t cope and jumping out the window. Honestly.
    He told me I took things too seriously.
    Makes me shudder to write it

  • A dvd of Gone Girl I hadn’t asked for it for Mother’s Day it struck me as an odd gift at the time. Kind of creeps me out now.

  • Not the worst gift he gave me, but here goes:

    A heavy, cast-iron frying pan.

    A brave gift for a man leading a double life with an OW to give to his Chump —something I only appreciated in hindsight.

  • Worst “gift” was 1:00 a m day of my birthday.. I discovered him at whores front yard, both of them sitting on a porch swing. After they humiliated & verbally assaulting me I got into my car crying he yelled out loud- “ by the way you can forget about tomorrow..have a nice life”. They both laughed.

    After 34 years this was the worst gift ever. But it really was a good gift for I’m free of the abuse. So sad ????

    • By the way, whore died recently & he quickly moved into another woman’s house. Sick narc ????

    • Kathleen, that broke my heart! (hugs) I am glad that man-whore is out of your life!!

    • Kathleen, it was an omen. Forget about tomorrow [with him in it] and have a nice life [without him] I think is what he was foreshadowing.

      Fucker. I hate him.

      • Stephanie
        I never thought of it that way. That’s really something to think about!

        Thank you ????((Hugs)) ❤️????

  • I got a watering can for Christmas. For one of our anniversaries I got a cookbook with a note about how I could cook us a “romantic” dinner. It was titled, “Intercourses”. Gag.

  • Chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary…after he had left me for his mistress.
    I threw them away.

  • A laser pointer toy for my cat, who was dying of bowel cancer. (His own cat would later die suddenly under suspect circumstances.)

  • My ex returned home to Canada after a 3-week artist residency in China and gifted me with a beautiful piece of art (he asked what I wanted from China and I said a small piece of art). Two days later, he sits me down to tell me that “he didn’t betray me, but he had feelings for a woman in China that he hasn’t felt for me in a long time”. Two days after that, I find out that he fucked her several times. Two days after that, I find out that the beautiful gift of art he gave me was indeed her creation.

    Oh, and he always gave me books on topics that I had no interest in whatsoever, but funnily enough he was very interested in. He gave me and family members gifts that he actually just wanted for himself.

  • I had to stop.

    I’m almost 8 years out from the bomb drop, and I have a great life, and I am honestly glad to be rid of the cheater, who made way for the love of my life to bless me.

    But this shit is so fucking depressing and sad, I just can’t.

    It should be required reading for anyone in a serious relationship contemplating marriage and kids. People should have their spackle barrels taken away from them, sat in a room with a laptop, and forced to read these entries. The shitty, SHITTY behavior and selfishness of people who turn out to be cheaters is just GLARING here. The thought of you good people gagging down shit sandwiches for so long, and putting on a brave face, and brushing off horrid insults is just so fucking SAD. I can’t. Maybe because I lived it, and, like all of you, blamed myself for so long for being too greedy, too butt-hurt, too demanding (demanding? I never demanded a thing), too ungrateful, too all of it. So I reframed my thinking, filtered his actions and words, clung to the barest minimums of decency, and gagged down another poo sammy.


    If you see yourself here, and you haven’t gotten out, GET OUT. It doesn’t get better. Trust all of us.