Why Narcissists Give Bad Gifts

why narcissists give bad gifts

Why do narcissists give bad gifts? Do they know they’re awful? Or are they oblivious? Maybe disappointment is the point.

This debate was at the heart of a recent Tell Me How You’re Mighty podcast, where we discussed a bunch of actual shitty gifts FWs had given their partners or children. The submissions are tragically hilarious. I won’t spoil it. Except to say there is an extra-extra large American flag poncho made of polar fleece. Go listen.

This topic was inspired by a recent story on the private Chump Lady Facebook page, where a FW father came to his son’s 13th birthday party and presented him with — a chocolate Easter egg… weeks after Easter. (Photo of actual gift used here with permission.)

The mind wobbles.

First off, this is why we don’t invite FWs to our children’s birthday parties. They’re always the turd (or the discount milk chocolate turd) in the punchbowl.

What was this FW thinking? Obviously, it wasn’t Easter. And obviously, this was a cheap, thoughtless last-minute gift. The questions is WHY? Why go to the trouble to give a gift at all? Here are my theories why narcissists give bad gifts.

1.) Narcissists lack empathy.

Narcissists, FWs, whatever DSM nut cluster you wish to call them, lack empathy for others. This is the hallmark of the Dark Triad personality disorders. Mememememememememe ME and screw you.

To choose a thoughtful gift you have to get outside yourself and consider others. You have to see the gift recipient as a fully human autonomous person who has their own desires and interests and who is not an extension of you. This is an impossible thought experiment for a fuckwit. What, you don’t want an autographed photo of them, or a new stereo speaker for their car? What’s wrong with you?

2.) They know the gift is terrible.

Nothing delights narcissists more than dashing your hopes and expectations. Oh the power! You are not the boss of them! How dare you expect things. A shitty gift corrects the power balance. Takes the centrality off you, returns it to them. Remember, you are the little people. Be grateful the Exalted One deigned to give you a gift.

3.) FWs enjoy the power trip of watching you graciously receive a shitty gift.

Narcissists have very delicate feelings about the bad gifts they give. Are you insinuating this is a terrible gift? They know that you will play by the rules of civility. Rules that they themselves do not feel bound by. Be gracious opening their crap gift. They will enjoy watching you squirm as you find your manners and thank them for the shitty gift. This solidifies the narrative that you’re okay with the imbalance. After all, you thanked them!

Should graciousness fail you (“Shove your discount chocolate egg where the sun doesn’t shine!”) they will also enjoy the guilt trip. How dare you get stroppy! After all they’ve done for you? This is very hard on them. Harder really. They fail to understand your hostility. Who doesn’t love chocolate?

Why don’t you give it back so they can regift it to their other family?

Thanks. Do you still have the receipt?

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EZ
EZ
5 days ago

This is so insightful. For the 12 years we were together, FW made me choose my own gifts. I thought he was just lazy – turns out he was lazy and lacked empathy.

KADawn
KADawn
5 days ago
Reply to  EZ

my ex-MIL AND my ex made me do this, plus make sure that I got my kid and my ex to send MIL the ‘wish lists’ –it was so much emotional labor and made me feel awful. I could kind of understand the MIL and my kid; we lived far away, they didn’t see kid very often, etc. but why did HE need a list from me?! Plus there was that epic time that I was taking our kid on a day trip to nearby bigger city, which would include a stop at our favorite big bookstore… ex said “Oh, be sure to pick out your birthday gift from me while you’re there!” That one I just flat out said No. He was big mad; no empathy at all regarding how I might feel. but make HIM pick out his own gift??!! no way.

Badmovie19
Badmovie19
4 days ago
Reply to  KADawn

I can totally relate! My ex-MIL would start with her holiday gift giving scheming in September. The constant asking of gift ideas and if she bought something for x person would we then chip in some $ and we could all sign the card?! It was completely annoying and ruined gift giving with his family. One year his parents who lived out of state visited us for Thanksgiving. At some point, they hid wrapped Christmas gifts for us in our hard to reach garage attic. The gift for me was a vacuum and my ex struggled to get it down from the attic. I was pissed to receive a vacuum from my then MIL as I found it insulting and it’s not like we had a broken vacuum. I returned it to Kohl’s and got about $230 in in store credit that year and bought what I wanted.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago

Ooh yes one of my favourite topics. Just had a fb memory pop up thanking FW for buying me “a tap and a letterbox” for mother’s day.
My other favourite was the cake tin and cake mix left on the bench for my birthday (that I had to make so he could guts it down).
As the madness set in, it became apparent FW considered his birthday a national day of celebration, even though he had never paid much attention to the fact I always made his and the kids birthdays a special event.
They are so beyond messed up.
My sister is a very mentally unwell narc, almost should be hospitalised, but whilst she was high functioning her birthday was the most important day of the year, like jesus was born.
I saw FW up close a few days ago, first time in years. His face is blank, there is nothing there, no personality whatsoever other than what he harvested from me, or whoever he was copying. Unbelievable.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

mine always had a meltdown and the border between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would shimmer and threaten to melt in the days leading up to Christmas (even though he’s Jewish, ha!) as well as the days before his birthday– now that I think about it, perhaps he was jealous of all the attention baby Jesus was getting! Oh my lord so beyond messed up!

weedfree
weedfree
4 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

Yes the disordered are all the same – they do their best work around holidays and special occasions. They can’t mask or regulate, maybe cos of the excitement or family demands or something. Wouldnt surprise me if jealousy of Jesus getting all the attention was also on the cards. And the Easter Bunny later in the year.

Orchid chump
Orchid chump
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

I’m sorry that is a terrible gift. My ex gave me a hand broom and dustbin for Xmas one year. LOL

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

I usually prefer to ignore my birthday, a nice dinner or card is usually enough for me. Maybe flowers. People who are heavily into their own birthdays kind of make me wonder and they seem to get very upset if you don’t joyously celebrate Little Baby Me.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I made myself invisible on special days, but always thought it was my decision. I can see now it was a bit of that but also how I was expected to behave in the marriage. A few years ago I decided to start celebrating my birthday but mainly because I saw what I was doing to myself through my children’s eyes. We now go away for a few days together with my parents. We only had one trip before d day (FW spent most of the trip in the tent on his phone, hmmmm rather suss), after which FW tried to block me from leaving the next year by parking my car in whilst he “collected something from the shed”, had a chat to the neighbours etc. Another reminder he wasn’t as oblivious to what was going on around him as I thought, just very crafty on the plausible deniability.
I am so relieved that post separation escalation of control period is over and I can sorta laugh at his antics. I am sorry to those still going through it
.

Last edited 5 days ago by weedfree
Cam
Cam
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

I’m familiar with the blankness behind the narcissist’s mask, and it’s deeply frightening.

People don’t understand when you try to explain it to them either – that there’s no “there” there.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Chris Watts before and after face. Ergh.

Orlando
Orlando
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

My ex has no personality either. He liked one thing: his old car. He talks of nothing else, has no other interests.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Orlando

Yes well this is the autism or NPD/psychopathy question. My son’s paed said FW was “very autistic” as he had flat affect, but she saw him during the post exposure/mortification stage when the narc goes blank. Had she seen him in a social setting he was the life of the party. As for the lying she just said “autistic people can lie, he is very smart”.
I decided it was a bit of both, as there is definitely restricted repetitive interests (my son reports “dad just stands outside and bounces a ball” but how many adult men do that and still look like normal people), and mirroring/use of scripts in social settings (though again pretty hard to detect in our society where men talk about sport, the stock market or politics as if that is a meaningful social interaction).

Last edited 5 days ago by weedfree
Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

I would notice the odd lack of affect in photographs, though I didn’t know how to interpret it. He always looked somehow not part of the group. Everyone else in the photo would be animated and interacting, and then there would be him: standing right in the group but the expression and energy didn’t match. I used to tease him that in group photos he always looked like he was the security detail.

weedfree
weedfree
4 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

Umm also yes. Like the grim reaper all he needed was a scythe. Conversely in some work pics on social media with AP (a colleague) FW had a smile 10 foot wide. It all depended on supply.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

Thanks for telling me you saw it too! Hm come to think of it I did notice that he looks engaged, affectionate and smiley in the photos of him with his best friend at his 50th birthday party — I have one of the best friend (yes, a man!) crooking his elbow around my husband’s neck and kissing his head. And yes, he’s beaming! UH OH…..

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

… and at the party, in the pictures with me, the two of us aren’t touching at all, just smiling at the camera together. UH OH… this was years before he abandoned the family, and now I have no idea who he’s with and what he does…

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

Come to think of it, there are many photos of him in which he looks absolutely sinister and tortured, just terrible. Like a caricature of a dangerous criminal. I used to laugh it off and feel sorry for him to appear so unflattering. Now I think the camera caught his essence.

weedfree
weedfree
4 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

Yes very scary when you open your eyes up to what was there all along. I expect there are victims of intimate partner homicide perpetrated by abusers like this, where there was no obvious abuse, not a raised voice, but a seething rage and jealousy hidden underneath.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

yes it freaks me out. And he has spent his career chasing after and interviewing murderers.

weedfree
weedfree
4 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

Who would know with these sorts.
I posted a couple of years ago on here that mine ended up in the local newspaper in a photo with a group of LGTBIQ tennis players wearing sparkly matching tshirts. Except FW just had his same old sports clothes on and looked like he had wandered into the photo by accident. He went by a different pseudonym in the description. Again, the beaming smile.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

… the newspaper gave his name as something other than his real name?

weedfree
weedfree
4 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

He had one of those names that could be varied to make different nicknames (not charles but along those lines, although chucky doll would have been apt). I made a few jokes over the years that he had an identity for every occasion to match whatever name he used, but actually it turned out he did. Lol.
Thank god for weighted blankets and temazepam. And trauma dumping on this blog.

Shadow
Shadow
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

A tap? Was it a tap for a sink/bath? Where’d he get it? B&Q? Wickes? Lidl? A bleedin’ TAP??
And a letter box? For the front door? Hadn’t it already got a letterbox in it? Bloody hell!

susie lee
susie lee
5 days ago
Reply to  Shadow

Blanking on what a tap is.

Young Crone
Young Crone
4 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

I’m guessing a faucet?

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
5 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

What the Brits call a faucet. Great gift eh!

susie lee
susie lee
5 days ago
Reply to  ChumpNoMore

Oh, that makes sense. I was thinking maybe something to open wine with. I was close.

I didn’t see the other post. Thanks.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Shadow

Haha i don’t know what was going on. Just another cray cray narc FW disguised as a silly old duffer who just needed someone to show him the way (the way to the divorce court, as it transpired).

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

What IS a tap though? Like a faucet on a sink? And letterbox is a mail box? Sometime we use expressions that mean different things in different countries. I hope he didn’t get you a water faucet, LOLOLOL, but nothing would surprise me any more.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Sorry guys Aussie here
A tap I think Americans refer to as faucet. The device the water comes out of on the sink.
Letterbox is a mailbox usually separate from the house in the suburbs.

Young Crone
Young Crone
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

I’m American living in Oz. And yes, a tap is a faucet. As in “tap water.”

weedfree
weedfree
4 days ago
Reply to  Young Crone

Thank you for clarifying. We must be due for a Friday Challenge: “what is the vernacular for “fuckwit” in your country of residence”.
Drongo, dipshit and flamin’ galah spring to mind.

Young Crone
Young Crone
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

Beauty mate! (Except I really like galahs 😄)

Shadow
Shadow
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

That sounds familiar- my STBX also came across a bit slow a lot of the time, but although he actually isn’t that intelligent in terms of IQ and education, I have realised he does have what one of my mates called “low animal cunning”. He’s crafty and now full-on devious!
He used to tell me a fella he used to work for used to say to him ” FW, the only things slow about you is your walk!” . Yet another red flag I didn’t see ’til it was too late! Oh well, we live and learn, don’t we? And FWs never learn, hehehe!

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  Shadow

OMG, I use that one “low animal cunning” a lot! I never others using it but to me, it covers a lot of ground.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

The trick with a narc is to make hay whilst the sun shines – i.e stockpile as many quality gifts as possible from the love bombing phase, as thats all you will get for the next however many decades. I did get a trip skiing in France in the early days, albeit FW went AWOL for part of it and I am pretty sure went on a drug bender. Still it is the thought that counts

RedKD
RedKD
5 days ago

This makes so much sense. My ex-FW could buy good gifts on occasion, but most of his gifts were off and I never quite knew why. This explains a lot. Clothes bought on sale and in styles I didn’t like. Then there was the car he got me for Christmas, but before anyone gets excited, this was so I could run around and say I got a car for Christmas, which I did, and everyone was all impressed by my Mr Wonderful. I shortly learned it had note on it so basically, he gave me a car payment (which was finally payed up in our divorce settlement so he finally did buy me a car). He later bought himself a car, but I didn’t ask if we could put a bow on it and give it to HIM for the following Christmas and say it was from me. I thought about it.

But this last Christmas, our grown children came to my place after having Christmas Eve with him and showed me their gifts—a bunch of things he bought with his flexible spending money, including Pepto Bismol and therapeutic skin cream (for a bunch of 20 somethings). Very special. Lol. They all left these behind after Christmas. I kept the Pepto because I decided if I ever needed to use it if I got a stomach virus, that might be a good time to think of him.

Last edited 5 days ago by RedKD
Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  RedKD

While his lawyer was harassing me with accusations I was keeping their devoted dad from leaving Miami to see them, on one of his rare trips back to visit his kids (to keep up that story) he bought some stuffed animals and toques from the airport store as their Christmas gifts. Handed them over still in the bag. They were teenagers so the stuffed animals were not age-appropriate. It was such an insult to the kids he hadn’t seen in months. Couldn’t be bothered and couldn’t even be bothered to pretend he cared.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  RedKD

I feel like the Pepto Bismol wins. The stain stick one a couple comments below is also a good contender, though.

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
5 days ago

Race to the bottom LOL

kokichi
kokichi
5 days ago
Reply to  RedKD

Pepto! Hopefully he “splurged on the name-brand” and not the generic brand?

RedKD
RedKD
5 days ago
Reply to  kokichi

lol. Yes, and cherry flavored! Extra special!

PrincipledLife
PrincipledLife
5 days ago

Gold lame opera gloves. Which I realized later were used, I thought by a previous girlfriend. But wait, it gets worse. Used by him it turns out, in his secret transvestite life.

I figure he got a thrill from the deception.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

yeah, that’s weird

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

OMG, I think you topped my nose hair clippers!!!

Shadow
Shadow
5 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Uuuugh! Still the image of the eejit prancing around like a fairy in them must have given you a bit of a laugh? Once the anger calmed down anyway!

PrincipledLife
PrincipledLife
5 days ago
Reply to  Shadow

I hope to one day laugh about it, but it is still stored in my brain under trauma. Though I do laugh about his response to my question about how often he vogued around in his outfits. Instantly enraged he yelled “I never do that, I usually just read the paper.” Yeah, that’s likely…sit there in gold lame opera gloves, stockings, black patent leather high-heel pumps, reading the paper, sober as a judge. The shit these people expect us to believe! Even I, chump extraordinaire, didn’t buy that one.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

I wonder if he ever sang opera in that outfit, like Florence Foster Jenkins.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

So romance

signatureCDN
signatureCDN
5 days ago

My wife used to wait until the day before my birthday to buy something. It took a surprisingly long time until I realized that she had no idea of my interests, and didn’t care.

This year, my birthday present was.. a frying pan. It was a repeat. She bought me a frying pan several years ago for Christmas. It might have been thoughtful, but we already have a full set of professional grade pans.

It’s like the only value I had in her eyes was when I was doing chores.

KADawn
KADawn
5 days ago
Reply to  signatureCDN

my ex waited last minute for everything as well, and then had to pay extra shipping charges!

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
5 days ago

I think the worst of it is them not knowing what you enjoy or like, even after you have told them. I knew what she enjoyed and liked and would provide that, but she would never reciprocate.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

Yeah, this is very much my experience as well. You definitely deserved better.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
5 days ago

What’s strange is how you start to realize how much you knew about them and did for them and it was never given back to you, I am now just starting to realize how one-sided it was. I hope I can have a real relationship with reciprocity, I wouldn’t know what to do.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

Yeah, I understand that worry. The key is finding someone who understands your previous relationship and ways that may affect you. Someone who might be a little more patient with certain things you struggle with. Everyone has their own weak spots in relationships, so it’s just communication with the right person. You deserve a reciprocal relationship.

But don’t rush yourself. You don’t need someone to be happy. Enjoy reciprocal friendships! Those are good.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
5 days ago

I have a lot of good friends now, and I am learning a hard lesson with a gal. Found someone right after the divorce and that went nowhere, yet I am still dealing with her to this day, even after setting and expressing boundaries. Still need to fix my picker.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
4 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

Yeah, fixing your picker can take time, but I’m terribly sorry you’re still dealing with her! I’m glad to hear you have a lot of good friends, that makes everything better. Hang in there. It just takes time.

Last edited 4 days ago by Chump-Domain Cleric
Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
4 days ago

Yeah, I hit the jackpot with an avoidant that is emotionally unavailable that will try to get back into my life when she is lonely, and I told her to stop, which she hasn’t gotten the clue yet.

Orlando
Orlando
5 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

Exactly. My ex didn’t know a thing about me, I realized when I started quizzing him, nor did he care to know, I realized long after. I told him how to help me “get in the mood” MANY many times, but he disregarded that 99.9% of the time & was annoyed that I wasn’t willing and ready on the spot.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
5 days ago
Reply to  Orlando

Oh yeah, I remember trying to make sure everything was right and relaxed (emotionally and mentally) so that she was in the mood she asked to be in and would get the “I’m tired, maybe tomorrow or when I feel like it.” Eventually I stopped asking because I felt bad about it and didn’t want to make her feel “pressured”.

jahmonwildflower
jahmonwildflower
5 days ago

Woke up and made coffee, and just read this. Yes to all of it. I can see my cheap gift I got for my 69th birthday (I’m an oldie!) a few feet away. An extra long charging cord purchased at the local supermarket, for my cellphone for the car. Something I have never done in my car and never wanted to do in my car. It sits, coated with a layer of dust. In years gone by I’d received generic Starbucks cards, like the kind you buy at a 7-11. Somehow,even as a teenager, my child has always managed to buy me personal, lovely, thoughtful cards and gifts. The kinds of things that I cherish and tell me he actually knew what I liked and who I was. FW was never interested in any of that. Thinking of others, doing anything that wasn’t for his personal pleasure or to cultivate a false image of him…these were incomprehensible to him. I don’t know what sort of medication or therapy could have helped him somewhere along the way, but then agian, I’m guessing he’d have not pursued that. It would have required considering other people’s well-being and not getting any public “attaboys,” for it. He’s 75 years old, and a sad, little man.

Leedy
Leedy
5 days ago

A charging cord–that is so sad! And it reminds me of the time I got, for my birthday, . . . an extension cord (surge protector)! I think I got something else as well, but whatever it was, it too had come from Walgreens and was something cheap and random. He was a very successful law professor, so it’s not like he had to save money.

jahmonwildflower
jahmonwildflower
4 days ago
Reply to  Leedy

I’m so sorry to read this. It is pathetic. A good comment I read here, is that there is nothing there. The blank face, the lack of concern or care, the total non-recogntion of anything outside of their personal needs or wants….these are folks who have not and likely will not ever choose to be a decent human being, a real adult, a partner in a relationship. The choice to take into account other people is invisible to them. Anything that doesn’t benefit them has no value to them. So yes, they can act kindly and gently briefly in order to obtain the time or attention of a betrayal object. But when the cheating session is over,it has no meaning…until the next cheatng session with anyone else. So gifts only are worth giving for them if they can get something for it. If I bring chocolate, will she come to my hotel room tonight? What can I buy at the airport bookstore that will help me get my hands on her tonight? For an appliance spouse, itis more like what is easy and quick so I can avoid having to think about it….I am so sorry you were the receipeint of these cheap and thoughtless items. Many of us were. Perhaps someone at the Goodwill store has found use in them!

Leedy
Leedy
4 days ago

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I was an appliance spouse–it’s such a bad feeling!

Shadow
Shadow
5 days ago

My presents from STBX started out quite good, but as years went on, he put less and less thought into them and they became more and more rubbish!
The worst was my last birthday with him; he said did I want a birthday cake made because one of his workmate’s wives was a cake maker and she’d make me one, so I thought how lovely and said yes. It LOOKED lovely but it was artificially sweet, just like him as it goes, I only ended up eating 2 small slices because it wasn’t very nice, he took nearly half of it to work with him that night “for the boys” and also, he was gone for hours when he went to fetch it, and son rang him 3 or 4 times to come home before he did. He lied of course, and I eventually copped on he’d probably been sniffing, because I found out that that workmate of his was a sniffer too! Oh, and I didn’t get a present- the cake was it! So, he managed to spoil my birthday but SEEM as if he was being really thoughtful!
Oh and we didn’t get each other Christmas presents because I was worried sick about where the money was going, even though he was earning more than he ever had done- of course, it was going on cocaine, booze and probably slappers and he ended up spending 370 Euros in one night the Friday before Christmas , leaving 24 Euros in our joint account for Christmas week and I hadn’t even finished the Christmas food shopping! So, he mucked up Christmas for us as well!
I am praying hard that the annulment will be granted but I wish it would mean an automatic civil annulment as well! I think it should and I must remember to bring it up when anymore of them come round canvassing for my vote in all these bloody elections we have coming up here- local, general and European!

susie lee
susie lee
5 days ago
Reply to  Shadow

In the first few years of marriage my fw would bring me peanut butter cups as a surprise, not for any occasion but he knew I loved them. (we didn’t have much money so peanut butter cups were not a common thing to buy for me). I would have been thrilled if in the last couple years he had done that. But, that was long gone.

I do believe their back seat rendezvous took over most of his memory of the good times between us. I am just as sure once they married, and his illicit sex covered glasses came off he remembered; but there is not doubt their relationship over over wrote ours. That is kind of how it works.

Attie
Attie
5 days ago
Reply to  Shadow

Shadow, totally unrelated, but I went for my naturalisation interview in Grenoble yesterday and think it went really well. I’d like to vote in the French elections this time around but I doubt it’ll happen that quick!

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
5 days ago
Reply to  Attie

My lovely godmother was from Grenoble.

Attie
Attie
4 days ago
Reply to  ChumpNoMore

I had been through it a few times but never stopped. The Préfectures was lovely, as is the pedestrian area. Mind you, getting out of there was a nightmare. I’m sure I drove up the tram street!!! I live about 90 minutes from there though so not too bad!

Shadow
Shadow
5 days ago
Reply to  Attie

Oh, best of luck with it Attie, I hope they grant it!

Attie
Attie
4 days ago
Reply to  Shadow

Thanks a lot. Fingers crossed!

Attie
Attie
5 days ago

Hey at least that Easter egg was Thorntons (good chocolate but seriously ….)? One Christmas FW bought me a music player for his car (you can tell I don’t know much about music can’t you) and another Christmas sexy lingerie (which was really for him, right). Trouble is, it was about 14 sizes too small. I mean I could get one boob in it but not both at the same time – talk about insulting! I took it back and bought a pretty tablecloth!

kokichi
kokichi
5 days ago

Narcissistic people heard the saying, “give what you would like to receive,” and ran with it. By the end of the marriage, Cheater was gifting me items that he wanted for himself.

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is
5 days ago
Reply to  kokichi

My FW bought himself a motorcycle. So at Christmas he bought ME motorcycle boots, jacket, and motorcycle lessons. Did I want or ask for those items? No. I was content to ride on the back so we could be close. I didn’t want to ride on my own. It was not the first time he got me stuff he wanted me to have, not what I would actually want to receive.

KADawn
KADawn
5 days ago
Reply to  kokichi

Yep my ex did that too.

okiechump
okiechump
5 days ago

Ugh. So many presents that were really just for him. The last Christmas we were together, he got me a Theragun (he’s the one that works out all the time) and he took it with him when he left four months later. Basically, if he liked it, he thought I would like it.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  okiechump

Reminds me of that episode of The Simpsons where Homer buys Marg a bowling ball with “Homer” engraved on it. Homer probably a covert psychopath as well.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
5 days ago

My FW’s pathological difficulty with making decisions/purchases (he saved the receipts when he bought himself socks) resulted in many nights and weekends of shopping. He would spend the entire week before Christmas shopping and all of Christmas Eve wrapping and bury me in numerous, generic gifts. I urged him to take pictures of the products I used if he was overwhelmed.

I think he may have been shopping for gifts for both me and OW or maybe even shopping for me with her.

But I continue to struggle with labeling him a narcissist. And I suspect many men (including faithful men) rely on women to shop, so maybe it’s also cultural.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

As I read through these posts I’m wondering how many of these guys asked their APs what to get spouse or actually went shopping with them. Especially for things like extra small lingerie. Assholes.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I think we might discover our FWs don’t really have minds of their own, being perhaps more concerned with their genitalia (did they have separate minds in our relationships? Probably not, most of them mommify us), and the AP just tells them what to do, including what presents to buy their spouse.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
4 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

I felt that there were gifts for his children that he’d been directed to buy by a third party who didn’t know anything about his kids.

Orlando
Orlando
5 days ago

My ex-husband love bombs in the beginning…a car (it was used but was still an incredible gift as I didn’t have a car), jewelry, resort stays. I didn’t know about narcissists & lovebombing then. By the time Schmoopie came along, he was giving me 50% off half-dead flowers. For my last birthday with him, he gave me a cheap silk robe and ring from Amazon. I looked them up on Amazon & he paid about $28 for them both!! which I left on his truck with a note to either shove them up his ass or give them to his GF!

Orlando
Orlando
5 days ago
Reply to  Orlando

Just to clarify: the ring was cheap like it tarnished after a day & the robe was also cheap quality. I would rather a thoughtful loving note than a gift any day.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
5 days ago

The very expensive Hawaiian bracelet, acquired during the weird Hawaiian Christmas trip we went through with after DDay in November 2017.

I actually thought/believed/felt that this was a gift from him to me. When it came back from the engraver’s in January, I was at a loss about what to do with it as he was in the process of taking off with the Craigslist cockroach. Denial actually had me convinced that this was a gift he gave to me.

Someone told me to just put it away, so I did so. It was three years before I realized he did not really buy it for me. I picked it out. I chose the engraving (ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian healing prayer). His contribution was telling me he wanted to get me a piece of jewelry, driving the car to the jewelry store in downtown Kailua, and being the one who handed the debit card to the salesperson.
No romantic sentiments from him toward me were involved. A big deal gift is mentioned in The Script by Elizabeth Landers, which outlines the cheater playbook in eerie detail.

I love the bracelet now. I chose it. I chose the engraving. It was bought with my money. It has the Mokulua Islands and Lankai beach on it, reminding me of many happy memories of my daughter when she was little. I am deleting the memories of him and keeping the memories of me and my daughter, and have decided my bracelet is a souvenir of that and that alone.

Last edited 5 days ago by Velvet Hammer
Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

It sounds really beautiful and unique and something that belongs to you from the heart. He was just the messenger boy.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

“He was just the messenger boy.”

I love this line. I’m going to try and remember it!

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

The year I was pregnant he got me diamond earrings for my birthday. So for Christmas I spent an equivalent amount of money on a classic cashmere coat for him from a local high end men’s boutique. It could have been worn forever with jeans, with a suit, with a tuxedo. He returned the coat and lectured me about saving money.

Years later while packing for a trip he actually said out loud to me that he wished he had a nice coat. 🙄

I put a lot of effort into gifts for him only to be met with disparagement or indifference. My enthusiasm definitely waned as time went by. It’s not much fun to give gifts to a grinch. I do love giving but his reactions really put a damper on it.

The first gift our daughter gave anyone was buying lemonade for me from the neighbor child’s lemonade stand when she was about three. Strangely enough, he said to me, “I knew it would be you.”

My therapist said something early on which stuck with me. “Giving with strings attached is manipulation.” Traitor Ex definitely has strings attached and expectations, which is odd when looking at his body of work in the gifting department.

I have found that giving is quite the area of exploration and learning and reprogramming in therapy. There’s a lot of unhealthy behavior that goes along with it that needs to be discarded.

Last edited 5 days ago by Velvet Hammer
Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Oh, yes, with strings attached! Lizard always gave things with strings attached. He would “jokingly” guilt me over gifts he got me, over gifts I got him (that he admittedly loved and used???), over gifts I got from other people! It felt like he was subtly trying to hold it all over my head. I’m not saying I was perfect by any means, but I felt, in my gut, like what he was doing was wrong. I would get really defensive over it, to which I’d be told I was overreacting or whatnot, but something inside me knew.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Jealous he didn’t get the lemonade? Boohoo typical pathetic narc.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

I’ve told the story of the black plastic truck utility box here before.

He had one that belonged to a truck he no longer had. He gave it to me for my truck. Then he got himself an old Toyota 4WD just like the one he had as a teenager. I came home one day to find that he had taken back the utility box he had given me for my truck and put it on his truck. I was pissed. Taking back gifts is not cool.

That Christmas, we went to his parents’ house for Christmas. There was a giant box there that was from him for me. He made a big deal out of wanting me to open that present last in front of his family. Our first Christmas, he had gotten me a ring, not an engagement ring, and it was wrapped in giant box with a series of smaller boxes inside. Could this giant box be the engagement ring I had been hoping for for so many years? I opened the box to terrific fanfare to find…..a black plastic truck utility box to replace the one he had given me and taken back. I don’t have a good poker face. The room was silent. His sister said, “I don’t think that’s what she was expecting.”

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

That seems like a humiliation gift especially the way he wanted you to open an obviously shitty gift in front of the whole family. Said volumes more about him to everyone than anything else.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Last Christmas he got our daughter a phone holder for a car. That is all. She does not drive. Yet he spent 500K opening an illicit massage parlor and deeded half a 780K condo to the Craigslist cockroach. And during discard complained, “You never do anything for my birthday.”

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Someone please tell me what kind of father comes home from Thrifty with an ice cream cone for himself, eats it in front of his little daughter and refuses when she asks if she can have a bite?

I heard about this pretty recently from my daughter and it actually happened a very long time ago. It made quite an impression on her, and is representative of who he is.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

That is called being a cruel selfish asshole. I wouldn’t do that to ANY kid much less my own kid. That is so fucking gratuitously cruel. My guess is, like some guys unfortunately, he probably harbored a lot of jealousy towards his own daughter. My father used to be jealous of the CATS. He even took to throwing knives at one of them (she was a good dodger fortunately). They don’t understand the idea of love multiplying – when you show love to others to them it’s like it lessens the amount of love THEY get.

Conchobara
Conchobara
3 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

“it lessens the amount of love they get.” That makes so much sense. FW really started disengaging when our daughter was in kindergarten. I can remember feeling it. It coincided with when I quit my full-time job and began a freelance business to be more present for our daughter. That’s around the same time he started cheating. I don’t know if my showing so much love for our daughter was the final straw for him or what, but he definitely acted like I was choosing her over him instead of loving them both.

Cam
Cam
5 days ago

My dad’s entire family was disordered. They never got diagnosed as far as I know, but it was so bad that people at parties would meet my relatives for the first time and then quietly warn us that there was something wrong with those people. I recall one person used the word “dangerous.”

My uncle’s idea of gifts was giving people trash he found at garage sales. He was a bum who lived rent-free with my grandmother for 30 years and never paid her a dime in rent, always claimed to be broke, yet somehow had money for video games and cigars. Imagine a 65-year old man living like a teenager. It was embarrassing.

Instead of holding down a regular job, he went to garage sales and then sold what he found on eBay, then would crow about it to my dad: “I made $20 on this [random piece of crap]!”

My dad would always reply, “Great. Does it come with Social Security and health insurance?” and my uncle would get mad about it, like he expected accolades for descending into old age without a pot to piss in.

Anyway, over the years my uncle developed a habit of gifting people worthless crap at holidays and birthdays. It wasn’t even thoughtful antiquing, like, “Hey, I know you like antique muppets! I found one for you at the garage sale! I looked it up and it’s a limited edition released in 1970!” It was just random useless crap found in a dollar bin, and it got tossed in the garbage as soon as he left.

All these people are gone now. I’ve never missed them.

Cam
Cam
5 days ago
Reply to  Cam

P.S.

My aunt (his sister) was even crazier.

I think the last Christmas I ever saw her, she gifted me a couple Christian hymn books for children. The books were clearly ancient and pulled out of a garage sale bin, with $1 stickers still on them.

I’m neither Christian nor a child. I was 33 at the time.

To this day, I can’t tell if it was meant as a blatant “fuck you” or if she was that delusional. She showed signs of psychosis, but was also a deeply evil person who robbed her own mother’s house, so it could’ve gone either way.

Last edited 5 days ago by Cam
Viktoria
Viktoria
5 days ago

These points help me understand what 34+ years of shitty gifts was all about. The small appliances, the cleaning equipment, the running shoes, the Walmart clearance rack junk……….

susie lee
susie lee
5 days ago

I don’t know where my fw fit in on gifts. He always usually gave me practical gifts for Christmas. But I actually like practical gifts. Occasionally he would give me my favorite perfume, but mostly robes or an appliance type gift that I likely mentioned. So I don’t really fault that.

Where he stumped me even years before the fall was he religiously forgot my birthday. Now to be fair I never made any attempt to remind him, but I began to notice that he not only forgot it, he actually did a big oh dang stupid me, I forgot again. I began to see a certain pride in himself that he forgot it. After, he remembered and did his sorry, dance he never made any attempt to do a late gift or event. It was just forgotten until the next year. This from a man who was OC in his scheduling, he kept a pocket calendar and his entire life was in there. It was just weird to me,

The last year in Nov he and I threw a big birthday party for his best friend. I was fine with it, as this guy was a good guy; but the juxtaposition of that to my forgotten birthday in Oct, still weird.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

My guess, susie, is that he didn’t want to be “obligated” to remember your birthday. Like it’s another way of saying “you’re not the boss of me”. That’s the way it comes across to me.

susie lee
susie lee
5 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Could be. It was just weird.

susie lee
susie lee
5 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

Oh and yes each year for his July birthday, I did it up the best I could do.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
5 days ago

Before D-day, he bragged to me and my kids that it took him only 20 minutes to buy all 3 of my birthday presents. Bang, bang, bang. Three stores. All on the same street. Very little thought!!

I’m all for efficiency, but there was something about bragging about it that was weird. It was as if he was saying, “I spent this little time on you!!!”

Meanwhile, back at the fly fishing shop, the man would spend hours finding just the right fly or rod or reel or whatever the hell else he bought there for himself.

Elsie_
Elsie_
5 days ago

Yes, this was a chronic issue when I was married. I’m not a fancy person and am very much a “gift of time” person. But the gifts always rolled in, often things which were not at all my style. But I had to wear them (of course) and oh-and-ah. Those things are mostly gone of course post-divorce. I sold some of them during the mess to raise money for useful things like utility bills and food.

My adult kids know my preferences though. I had one of the best Mother’s Days ever.

Last edited 5 days ago by Elsie_
JeffWashington
JeffWashington
5 days ago

When the relationship was still healthy/functional, my FW actually did pretty ok in this domain(and in fact spoiled me at times-part of what was probably love bombing at worst.) Gift giving was always more MY sort of thing.

Now, even at her best she was pretty minimum effort at times. If she didn’t understand something she’d give it a good try-I was more touched by the thought of it though. We can flip a coin on if it was harmful or not. Days like today I want to believe there was some good in all of that…

And well…the anxiety disorder. If she got herself good and overwhelmed she’d just sort of shut down. I know the feeling. There was a Christmas about a year before things started to get rough where she claimed she couldn’t afford anything that I handwaved. Beginning to wonder if I should have seen a warning sign…

When the cheating started…

I do not rightly recall anything horrendously thoughtless. It was always a lot more passive aggressive. She was really really good at triggering massive fights around gift giving holidays (Valentine’s in particular). To wit-D-Day was right before my birthday and the forcing open of the relationship (ie, when the cheating had entered the open and it was time to Pick Me Dance) was right before Christmas. There were times where she very directly asked what I wanted-and then I would get not that and a shitty eating grin.

And of course, when she left, she left a big ole pile of things I’d gotten her over the years, most of it still in the shrink wrap/unopened.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

“There were times where she very directly asked what I wanted-and then I would get not that and a shitty eating grin.

And of course, when she left, she left a big ole pile of things I’d gotten her over the years, most of it still in the shrink wrap/unopened.”

This DEFINITELY counts. It’s spiteful and shows she doesn’t care. And who leaves gifts unopened like that anyways? Were they not things she liked?? Ugh. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
5 days ago

Mine left all of my letters and cards I gave and sent her over the years in the trash bin knowing I would see them.

Conchobara
Conchobara
3 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

In the last few years, FW would open a card from me, read the loving statement I wrote, smile, and then drop it directly in the bin. In front of me. The first time I saw him do that I burst into tears. He used to save my cards (or at least pretend to). His excuse was that he was not sentimental and he would remember the message.

Since he’s left I have found all the old ones I had given him and he “saved.” In a pile of junk paperwork or old bills; stuffed in a drawer he rarely used, etc. So he only “saved” them insofar as they weren’t obviously thrown in the trash. For all intents and purposes, though, they were. I had saved every card from him. Even just prior to DDay, the cards had long written passages about how lucky he was to have me and his love for me, blah blah. This is while he was actively employing a sugar baby and cheating with one-night stands on top of that.

I recently actually threw away one of my favorite cards that I had saved. It was still on display in the kitchen, where it had been sitting for years above the sink. I handed it to my daughter to throw away. She looked puzzled since it’s been sitting there for so long, glanced at it, said “Oh” and tossed it for me. (I wasn’t trying to put her in the middle, she was between me and the trash can.)

Last edited 3 days ago by Conchobara
Elsie_
Elsie_
5 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

It was written into the divorce agreement that all cards/letters addressed to him and a reasonable division of the family pictures had to occur. I can’t remember if my ex or my attorney put that in, but my attorney had a fit over it one time, saying, “OK, so ‘the boy’ wants documentation of everything he blew up.”

After I finally got all of the boxes shipped to my ex, he emailed me that he had put them into his garage. Yup, several decades of pictures in a garage. You know that those are toast…

Last edited 5 days ago by Elsie_
One last time
One last time
5 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

My ex left and did not take a single picture of us, me, or our oldest daughter. She has a few of herself and our youngest. She obviously didn’t want any reminders.

Conchobara
Conchobara
3 days ago
Reply to  One last time

Same; all our wedding photos, engagement photos, pictures of our daughter on the day she was born, etc. All still sitting here, in the house. I’ve taken everything down and will box them up for our daughter if she wants them but he has never asked for a single one.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

That’s SO CRUEL. Evil! Evil, I say!

PhoenixFlame
PhoenixFlame
5 days ago

For years, I got things like:

A laundry basket
A spatula
Ugly ass clothes that were either too big or too small, all from the clearance section at TJMaxx
A purse made from fake CAMEL FUR.

Nothing expensive. Nothing sentimental.

From his mother, also a raging narcissist: everyone got nice things, gift cards, etc. She gave me a STAIN STICK. And not just a stain stick, one pilfered from the two pack she bought herself. And that was IT. A STAIN STICK.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  PhoenixFlame

FWs narc mother once either gave or received one of those little grooming kits in a leather case. I cant remember the context of the present, but I do remember her putting the leather case in her mouth and biting/chewing it. It was so bizarre. Hadn’t got through the oral stage, obviously.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  PhoenixFlame

What on earth can you say to a stain stick? Every time I use this I’ll think of you?

Leedy
Leedy
5 days ago
Reply to  PhoenixFlame

A stain stick! This one wins today’s prize!

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  Leedy

I have to agree, this is the best/worst. So insulting, dismissive, cheap, thoughtless. Wow, MIL was a real gem.

Tracy
Tracy
5 days ago

There were many last-minute, cheap and crappy gifts, but the most FW gift was a statue of a elderly gentleman with a fishing rod – which was puzzling. I asked him why he chose it, and he said, it reminded me of when we discussed the Old Man and the Sea book. I replied that I’d never read it. Wonder if it was Schmoopie’s thing?

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  Tracy

Another lol from me. What planet do these nincompoops live on.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
5 days ago

Before the big fuckathon cheating pallooza, FW’s gifts were okay. Never romantic but “useful” and usually useful for purposes I wasn’t that interested in. Like the set of pricey oil paints that I could never use around our highly allergic kids or a big expensive book on a subject I might have mentioned slight passing interest in but otherwise “meh.” But then during the affair, it was cheap garbage or nothing at all.

The worst “affair era” present– aside from either nothing or a $3 burlap makeup bag– was a monstrous, scratchy gray throw blanket that looked like it was woven from drier lint and fiberglass insulation. It came from China and was stiff and heavy as industrial carpeting but couldn’t even be used as a rug because the giant, lumpy braiding would turn people’s ankles. I received it during a sweltering summer.

Turned out it was supposed to be a present for the AP the winter before to match her ugly couch, probably meant to protect the couch from more cum stains (which I swear were visible in her insta-pix in between the greasy takeout stains). It seems even the USPS tried to ditch the thing because it got “lost” for months so I ended up with it instead.

It was the one time in my life I ever gave a present back. I said I didn’t want in the house because I seriously suspected it of being repurposed industrial refuse and that it might even be dangerous. FW only looked baffled, probably since he assumed it was a wonderful declaration of wuv that wasn’t even intended for me.

After D-Day I realized that, if the blanket was a measure of FW’s esteem for the AP, I wasn’t missing anything. Moreover, it represented all that was left of FW himself: a health hazard I didn’t want in the house.

One last time
One last time
5 days ago

“Turned out it was supposed to be a present for the AP the winter before to match her ugly couch, probably meant to protect the couch from more cum stains (which I swear were visible in her insta-pix in between the greasy takeout stains)”

Lol, awesome description.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago

This is terrible, but the way you’re describing this blanket is KILLING ME. Also,

“Turned out it was supposed to be a present for the AP the winter before to match her ugly couch, probably meant to protect the couch from more cum stains (which I swear were visible in her insta-pix in between the greasy takeout stains).”

I’m now imagining those all-pink designer-obsessed lifestyle instagrams where like… they only dress and decorate in pink and they have over $100,000 in Birkin bags that all look really similar and are still ALL PINK. Now take that. But instead of overpriced designer BS like Chanel and Birkin (not that I can judge much, I have my own brands I’ll swear on) and nice, fancy furniture, it’s all cheap Amazon garbage that will fall apart in less than a year and is covered in food and bodily fluids. That’s the mental image you’re transmitting. How accurate is that?

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
5 days ago

Lol, you’re in the right ticky-tacky ballpark– just a little more desperate!!

Because the AP’s taste in lit was apparently Cosmo or worse, she probably read one of those articles on how to “Make Your Man Commit by Making Him Feel at Home.” In any case, when her dad bought her the bargain basement condo so church friends would stop gossiping about her stumbling home drunk after 2am Tinder bangs, she asked FW’s opinion on every purchase and designed it all around FW!

The result was somewhere between “Wonderland murder scene” and “Newark Airport, circa 1985.” Gray walls, dark gray modular everything from Ikea with blood red accent streaks and formica stuff surrounding a flat screen. The pièces de résistance was a stunted, anemic looking plant and large, garish color-by-numbers oil pastel of an Easter bunny she did herself. She didn’t cook so the kitchen was basically a bar.

Seeing those insta photos cured me forever of any regrets for typically voting FW down on furnishing choices because behold the horror that could have been. My reasoning had a lot to do with health since my allergic kids couldn’t have tolerated formaldehyde outgassing from the cheapo MDF-constructed MCM knockoffs FW always wanted to get “until we could afford better.” But it was also because I’m depressed by tacky shit that breaks and know it costs much more in the end. Instead I scoured for deals and did trades on old teak and restored some genuine mid-century industrial. The kitchen is a functional paradise. There’s a kind of chandelier of stainless steel and cast iron cooking implements and the kids made an “art naif” ceramic shrine for my espresso machine. Rather than bachelor pad dank, the walls are white and there’s a fair bit of fuschia and chartreuse.

I did very little screaming as the kids grew because everything’s basically indestructible or just looks better with paint smears. If I ever sell that house, I’m prying out the part of the plaster wall that has the kids’ tiny toddler paint hand prints on it.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
4 days ago

Oh, yes, you’ve mentioned that before! The mental image of your home always makes me smile when you describe it. It sounds so warm and inviting, full signs of people actually living. You should take pride in your home! It sounds so lovely.

As for AP’s… ew. Definitely not my definition of cozy. I don’t mind unusual furnishings, but I’m big on everywhere looking comfortable enough to nap. Happy, calming, full of love, you know? Obviously, this is all personal taste when it comes to aesthetics, but I think it’s fair game to talk about. And furniture that will break quickly, or poses a heaalth hazard, is a little more objective, especially when you can get furniture that… is not that.

And where did she get the money for IKEA furniture? Maybe it’s my zillennial-chronically-broke age showing, but Ikea can be pretty pricey. I hope none of that was payed for with marital funds.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
4 days ago

Thank you regarding my home decor. I think a lot of the warmth and beauty of the space evolved from the fact that I wasn’t pretending we weren’t struggling at one point and was never trying to mimic swank. I’m proud of thrift and innovation. I still have the same old knife block I got for $5 at a garage sale. I hand-sewed the velvet cover for the budget “minimalist” couch (good purchase as it turns out, solid construction). The teak furniture isn’t “artfully distressed” for effect. It’s just really old and all the more battered by toddlers. The kids and I actually read the books in the bookcase. I’ve come to love ever dent, flaw and toddler paint smear in that house.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
4 days ago

I don’t think “Wonderland murder scene/Ron Burgandy bachelor pad” is anyone’s idea of tasteful, individualistic decor these days.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
4 days ago

Not that I ever believed much of what FW said about the affair after D-Day when he claimed he didn’t pay her bills but the “secret affair credit card” didn’t show any Ikea or Crate and Barrel charges at the time the AP was furnishing the basement condo her dad bought her.

After D-day, I did scrounge up some undeleted emails from the AP trying to ply FW for gifts and amenities. Like “What do you think of this (overpriced, nauseatingly bad wall art)? And “What do you think of this (tacky modular) couch??” But his responses to the plying were his usual artful dodges of “Yeah, whatever you think is best (rapid change of subject)” with no offers to pay.

Because her salary was shit at the time, I imagine she plied some more housewarming funds out of mom and dad on top of the condo down payment. Even if what she managed to ply out of our family assets to pay her bar tabs and bistro grub was more than we could afford at the time and put us in credit debt, if you put an hourly fee on the affair, it really only works out to about the same bonk-rate as a streetwalker in a Texas border town. She wasn’t exactly a glowing success as a “sugar baby.”

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago

An industrial oversize cum rag. Was it stiff before or after he bought it. I cant go back to sleep now I laughed so hard

Last edited 5 days ago by weedfree
Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

Urg, basically. I suffered from serious TMI during the “full disclosure” part of (useless) RIC therapy because it’s like FW went into a temporary truth-trance and started vomiting out disgusting facts. Like all the unprotected porn-bonking on that on that ugly stained couch.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

NOOOOO THAT’S KILLING ME, PLEASE, I’M AT WORK.

I haven’t grinned this much all week. I needed this terribly.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago

Reading this comment in middle of night with tears streaming down my face. Can’t stop laughing.

Bruno
Bruno
5 days ago

This is a sore spot.
My XW was capable of giving thoughtful gifts, at least until the discard started. I am a pretty relaxed dresser. I am most comfortable and feel like myself in jeans and T-shirt, but I can dress up when appropriate. The last coup years of our marriage she was regularly trying to get me to change my appearance. Cut your hair like this, trim your beard just so, wear these pants with pleats at the waist. I wanted to please her, but I really felt she was trying to turn me into somebody else. The gift giving reflected this. I have lots of hobbies and interests and am not hard to please, but she persisted in giving me clothes she wanted me in, instead of what I would have liked. The last Christmas, a few months before DD, she did it again. The infamous pleated pants in triplicate. Despite the conversations about it and suggestions she asked me to give her.
Then discovery of an AP and some sleazy rendezvous. Divorce and moving on in life. A few years later her mother passes away and at the funeral this weasely looking guy approaches me and shakes with a clammy hand. It is the AP. He is wearing the infamous pleated pants. Suddenly the skies opened, the trumpets sounded and everything fell into place.

unicornomore
unicornomore
4 days ago
Reply to  Bruno

My Cheater was from a working class town…a Folgers coffee / Head and Shoulders shampoo Fred Flintstone sort of guy. His OW was from Seattle and she started grooming him to be a fancy city guy…shampoos, face cream, fancy teas. On Day, I threw the shampoo across the room and put the tea in the toilet (then pooped on it).

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
5 days ago
Reply to  Bruno

Yikes. So whatever dysfunctional male role model who helped turn her into a criminal psychology case study wore pleated pants.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  Bruno

That’s so painful. I’m so, so sorry about this. Screw those pleated pants! You look great without them. She can have McWeasels in his pleated pants. You get comfy pants for reclining on a comfy couch.

I’m pretty lucky, Lizard would have known he couldn’t get away with something like this because of my unusual sense of fashion and my protectiveness about it. I also shut down his attempts at convincing me to style my hair more like ex/OW. He did try to bring up me wearing similar perfumes, but her preferred scents had become a trigger for me, so I wouldn’t wear them (which sucked, because I loved those scents beforehand, and one of them actually had personal importance for me. I have slowly learned to love them again). Ugh. I can’t imagine being in your shoes.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
5 days ago

At one point my FW was asking “hey…what is the name of that perfume you wear that I like so much?” He was trying to sound casual but it set off huge alarms for me. I’m pretty sure he wanted to buy it for AP.

phoenix
phoenix
5 days ago

I got oven gloves as a Christmas gift from him. He thought because they were from Williams Sonoma it was legit. #worstgiftever

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
5 days ago
Reply to  phoenix

A box of tampons would have been more personal.

Cloud
Cloud
5 days ago

Hilarious!
This explains so much! Here’s a list of gifts FW and schmoopie have given my young adult/teenage kids:

Used queen size duvet cover for my sons twin size bed
Pink tshirt with the “c” word on it for daughter
Tarnished tea kettles from shmoopies dead aunts estate for Xmas
One cardboard coaster for each of my five kids with a picture of a man in a Speedo on it
Used mug- in an envelope so it arrived broken
Walking stick

Some decent gifts but still missed the mark: engraved pocketknives; edible fruit arrangement for first day of school; used books that ex owned when he lived here; cat bed for my son for our cat; bonsai tree that promptly died; mattress for my son after he said the hotel bed was softer than his own.

For me and the kids it is a perpetual running joke about what they’ll send next!

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago
Reply to  Cloud

“Pink tshirt with the “c” word on it for daughter”

THE “c” word??????? The one like aunt? Does he have a particular problem with her? That is absolutely horrible.

Cloud
Cloud
5 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Yep. The shirt said,
“Don’t be a c-asaurus.” (Spelled out the c word) Included picture of a dinosaur.
Xmas present given at a dinner. She was 20. She came home and cried and cried and cried.

He hasn’t given Christmas gifts the last couple of years to the post 18 yr old kids – which is probably a good thing.

unicornomore
unicornomore
4 days ago
Reply to  Cloud

Truly ghastly thing to do !!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
5 days ago
Reply to  Cloud

Hate-infused gift. Probably setting you up as the “head on pike” that your daughter was supposed to avoid emulating.

I imagine you’re very close to your daughter? I realized in retrospect that, during his creepy affair, FW had sent all sorts of texts to our sons but barely any to our daughter who’s especially close to me. It’s like he could sense all along what eventually happened, which is that my daughter found out about the cheating, flamed dad and sided with mom.

I get the sense that FW’s, like classic domestic batterers, tend to be almost preternaturally aware of which way any bystanders will lean if ever the truth comes out.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  Cloud

“Don’t be a cuntasaurus” on a shirt. That’s a new one.

I’m trying to figure out if that’s a dig your daughter, or if it’s meant to be a warning to people around your daughter. Either way, it’s a terrible gift to give family. Especially on a holiday. I would expect this type of stuff to be a surprise “no reason” gift between college-aged friends. Like a, “I was at Spencer’s, saw this, and I thought it was right up your alley.” Not a freaking family Christmas gift. And he made her cry! That’s awful.

Yeah, it might be for the best that he doesn’t get them gifts. It’s hurtful, but his gifts may hurt more.

OutButNotDown
OutButNotDown
5 days ago

Some of my top bad gifts from my ex are:

1) A very brightly-colored tie-dye blouse which isn’t me at all, and while I politely thanked him, I’m pretty sure I could never bring myself to wear the ugly thing (ugly imo).

2) A gag gift that he enlisted the kids’ help with. They took my hairbrush off my dresser and proceeded to wrap it in layers and layers of boxes and wrapping paper. Others might think this a fun gift, but that type of thing just irritates me because it’s a waste of time for all involved and a waste of trees. So I don’t think I could hide my displeasure unwrapping that monstrosity even though my ex was getting a big kick out of it (as were the kids since they were little). Goes to show how childish they can be!

3) After separating and moving to my new apartment, I bought myself an Amazon Firestick for my new TV, with money from our joint bank account. Shortly after that it was my birthday and he said he would consider that my birthday present. Thanks! Something I “needed” and had already bought – and he didn’t even have to press One Click to order it. What a guy.

I have a very narcissistic and personality disordered mom, too. Now, not only do her adult children have decades of experience with getting “little crappy gifts” from her, but her grandchildren do, too. So a whole new generation gets to experience the very silly little gifts she gives them all each Christmas, including things like a product that unfreezes frozen car doors, windshield scrapers, pocket calendars, etc. Thankfully they think it great fun to see what she comes up with next.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
5 days ago

To the extent I ever got gifts from FW, they were invariably late, and for some reason they were never wrapped.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago

Around the time I found out my husband was doing on line bullshit, he gave me a pair of nose hair clippers for Christmas. No, I don’t have nose hairs in need of clipping – I just braid them and throw them over my shoulders. And even worse…..I think it was a re-gift from something he got his dad (he was like a freaking werewolf) that he didn’t use. Top that ladies!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
5 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

No one can top that. Or the joke about throwing braided nose-hairs over your shoulder. 😀

unicornomore
unicornomore
4 days ago

That is unbeatable. It even beats my parents gifting me toys and childrens clothing (intended for me) when I was almost 40.

Should Know Better
Should Know Better
5 days ago

My FW wasn’t terrible at giving gifts (I’m the first to admit that I’m really hard to buy for; I have probably a few $hundred in amazon gift cards unused because I literally can’t think of anything I want…probably points to some kind of personality disorder on my part…)

But she is terrible at receiving gifts. She’ll express thanks, and then put it in a pile and never look at it again. She’s always prided herself on being a reader, and reading together in bed before turning the lights out used to be every night. Except she hasn’t read a book in years (how can that possibly compare to showing everyone on Instagram how fabulous you are?), so all the books I spent ages trying to fit to her tastes are in piles, unread unless I picked them up. For her last birthday (before D-day) I got her a $500 sapphire necklace. I think she wore it twice, and then said she lost it. A few years ago she asked for a new cover to replace the ratty one for her very old e-reader. Instead I got her a brand new very nice one. She got mad when I took it for myself on a work trip after it sat in the box for almost 2 years.

I can deal with thoughtlessness, but it’s heartbreaking every time I see my daughter look at the pile where the thoughtful gift she picked out for her mother sits unopened months later.

Bluewren
Bluewren
4 days ago

Yeah- I had one of those.
Pretended to like what he was given but didn’t really care.
Nothing like repeated apathy to cut back your enthusiasm for gift giving.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago

I can see losing a bracelet or watch or earrings, I’ve done that myself……but a NECKLACE. Nah, she sold that.

Mehitable
Mehitable
5 days ago

Nothing says I don’t care like a really shitty gift.

ChumpItUp
ChumpItUp
5 days ago

My ex gave me a photo of himself. It was in a nice frame. Found out soon after it was a photo taken my his mistress. Talk about triangulation.

unicornomore
unicornomore
4 days ago
Reply to  ChumpItUp

I made a face when I read this

Cam
Cam
5 days ago
Reply to  ChumpItUp

Wow.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
5 days ago

He bought me a pair of Wonder Women tube socks and a lid for a Yeti cup. (The Yeti cup would have been a good gift, but what would I do with just the LID?)

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
5 days ago

FW was a red flag-waving love bomber in the beginning, back when I had no idea what love bombing looked like. It dwindled, and yet most of his gifts were thoughtful — not perfect, but it appeared he put thought into them. Ordinary humans occasionally fail at gift giving for various reasons, so what you have to look at is the pattern.

Those thoughtful gifts became perfunctory gifts — ah, another pair of nice earrings in the style and stones he loved… a repeat of the same Bath and Body Works sets in scents he most enjoyed…a strange Disney dangle bracelet that wasn’t remotely like anything I would ever wear or enjoy… a silk caftan so I could wear it with nothing on underneath for him. Gifts became what was either convenient for him, or something that would just fulfill the obligation.

The worst gift, the very worst, the one that hurt the most came on my birthday, a few weeks after D-day.

It was a plastic, light-up rose. Ugly plastic, the kind you could find at the Dollar Tree. Just a rose. (Cost: $19.99, ordered online) Really, horribly ugly and cheap and terrible.

When I looked aghast, he exclaimed, “I wanted it to be like the roses I was sending you when I fell in love with you!” fifteen years before, live roses, crystal roses, etc.

It had arrived four days before my birthday and he never bothered to open the box and even look at it first. Just wrapped it and hoped I would forgive him and fall in love again. Oh, but look, he also wrote a long love letter to me! I read it, and honestly, for the first time ever — now that I could see through his cheap schmoozie Chicago-suburbs facade — it read like a regurgitation of every cornball romance line ever.

For his birthday four months later, I gave him an ugly backgammon board I picked up at the local drugstore. He tried to be effusive with thanks. I just stared at him. I believe he got the point I was making.

Bluewren
Bluewren
4 days ago
Reply to  HunnyBadger

That’s a discard gift if I ever saw one!
Good answer with the ugly backgammon board 😆

Bluewren
Bluewren
5 days ago

I used to get what he thought I’d like- a bit like Facebook picking up your cues and advertising what you’re thinking about, but it was often impractical, extravagant or the complete opposite end of the scale which is nothing or something that made me think ‘huh’? Or designed to make him look good. He got it once or twice but….

His own birthday was a terrible day if it couldn’t be spent getting drunk, no matter what was planned or done for him.

He often said he just wanted to be with me- which was lies since I don’t drink and would involve him with his face in a screen ignoring me.
One father’s Day his kids came later in the evening and gave him a chucked together box of junk food- he was not impressed and complained about it to me afterwards.
I just laughed and told him he gets out what he puts in.
That was a good smack with the reality stick for him.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago

Ah, yes. Lizard was an interesting case – he couldn’t pick out gifts for me (despite me constantly sharing my interests with him), yet somehow ex/OW got the PERFECT gifts for her and he put lots of thought into them. That isn’t to say that my FW never got me anything. But it was more rare, and the one or two times he got me something without me pointing it out to him, it ended up being something I never used.

Before people cry, “Shallow gold digger!” (although I doubt I would get called that here) I did get him things as well, because gift giving is really fulfilling for me and it’s the right and kind thing to do. Things I knew he would like, based on his interests, but that were complete surprises. And he did like them! A lot! But unless he saw me fawn over it in person with someone else, he couldn’t seem to pick out gifts for me for the life of him.

I’ll definitely have to give this episode a listen this evening.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago

Yes unfortunately with the FWs expecting something like a $2 gift on our birthday is considered yet more evidence of our nefarious intentions to swindle them aka “gold digging”.
I read some pretty interesting articles about the origins of gold digging etc, and women being gifted jewels as they couldn’t have bank accounts etc. I think I may have even sent FW a link post d day to an article about the origins of gold digging as I knew he was a misogynist who would frame me pursuing what I was entitled to in accordance with law as “gold digging”

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
5 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

Everything is transactional to the FW, and a transaction is only fair when the FW gets more.

2xchump
2xchump
5 days ago

Everything, it makes me cry now when I look back hoe much was one sided, just for him

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
4 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

I’m so sorry, 2xC. It’s not fair or right that the relationship was so inequal. I know it hurts, but you’re free now.

LookingforMeh
LookingforMeh
5 days ago

After his holiday with ‘friends’ (aka schmoops) he brought home gifts for me. But not nice perfume or even nice toiletries sold on the plane; instead he handed me a neon green & yellow Friendship bracelet- not ‘me’ at all. And a garish purple tin of cookies. Oh and a glitter mirror on a key ring which he said came free with the cookies. It was all so random & looked like a last minute airport grab. (I later wondered if OWh picked the friendship bracelet) The kicker is am coeliac. Pretty sure I’ve been unable to eat gluten for the duration of our relationship.
Bdays & Christmas gifts were always underwhelming or chosen by me, but it’s this one that sticks in my memory.

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is
5 days ago

My FW was a notoriously bad gift giver. One of his doozies, “the perfect butt” actually made it into today’s podcast. He was usually so bad that our last married Christmas, during wreconciliation, he gave me a license plate frame that was personalized with the pet name of my car on it. I nearly cried because even though it hadn’t cost much, it obviously had to have been special ordered. This meant that there was some actual thought and effort that went into it. I was over the moon because in my emotionally compromised state I thought this indicated love and commitment. I proudly put it on my car! Two months later I got a letter from the OW that he claimed he had no contact with, telling me their affair of 4 years had never really ended. Now the wifetress can have all those “gifts” FW is so proud to bestow. I have the best gift, freedom from a FW!

sleepyhead
sleepyhead
5 days ago

I’ve told this story before, but nobody ever believes me because it appears to be straight out of the movie Love, Actually. (In reality, it happened years before the movie came out and to this day I can’t watch that particular film.) FW #1 had been hinting for months that we were going to get engaged on my birthday; I saw a card from a jeweler prominently displayed on his desk and so I obviously thought he was going to propose. Lo and behold, when my birthday rolled around, he proudly gave me a box containing a crappy low-end car radio – it wasn’t even as good as the one I already had – and it appeared to be an open-box item. I had suspected him for a while of cheating with a law school classmate and a couple of weeks later I happened to see her with a very nice bracelet from that exact same jeweler. So he *could* give appropriate gifts when he put his mind to it; I just wasn’t worthy of them. [Another gift that I particularly remember was an extremely cheap set of pans – again, not anywhere near the quality of what I already had, as I’m a hobby baker and had some very nice kitchen stuff. Oh, and let’s not forget the extremely gaudy framed mirror, absolutely not my style, that he’d picked up God knows where.] I’m really not a snob but I’d appreciate at least a minimum of thought.

unicornomore
unicornomore
4 days ago
Reply to  sleepyhead

Cheater and I married young and for years I wore a half carat ring that I loved (he did a fake, shitty almost- but -not -proposal as a practical joke a few months before we actually got engaged which was a red flag that I missed, but…)

He tainted out marriage and everything in it with his cheating but I was a Unicorn and I think I coined the word “wreckonsillyation” here and was in one for a long time.

As we got close to our 25 year anniversary, I DESPERATELY wanted a new ring…a big, sparkly one to show that he really loved me. He hinted all over the place…checked my ring size, spoke of jewelers blah blah.

Long story short, I got a cheapo fake sapphire ring on our anniversary and told myself some lie about how it was all OK.

Just before he died, I uncharacteristically flat out asked him about it “you hinted about a diamond for a long time but didnt get one, why is that? ” He said “successful men get their wives big diamonds and I wanted to be successful enough to do that but Im not”…nary a word about the, love, marriage, commitment …it all had NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.

In the end, IM SO GLAD he didnt buy it, WTF would I have done with it when he died ? I do have a lovely sparkler on my left hand as I type this…from a good man who doesnt cheat.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
5 days ago

Hey, has anyone received a gift given to assuage the FW’s guilt about the affair?

He bought a suit for me at Nordstrom to assuage his guilt after her first slept with the AP. I learned this after the fact.

Although the gift was expensive, it was not my style nor anything I would ever wear.

I returned it and was floored by how much he spent.

It’s hard to describe how it all went down, but basically I felt that it was a non-gift-gift, something he tossed money at but put no thought into.

When I pointed out to him that I figured out that the first day he says he slept with her matched the date of the receipt I’d just found, he shrugged. Five years later and it still makes me angry.

Conchobara
Conchobara
3 days ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

For the last couple of years of our marriage, FW would periodically make noises about replacing my wedding and engagement rings. When we first got engaged/married, he made very little money. My ring had a very small stone. I was fine with it but he would tell me that when he was more successful and made more money he would replace it. I would say it was fine.

Eventually, I gained too much weight and had to have the ring cut off. It still sits in a drawer in my desk. He brought up getting a new one again. I said, let’s just get the old one resized it would be less expensive. At the same time, he was always telling me how broke we were. I found a fake ring set at Kohl’s in the style I’d always wanted for about $40 (sterling silver and cubic zirconia). I just started wearing that. I loved it, in fact. I told him it was fine since we couldn’t afford a new ring. Save the money for important things like daughter’s school tuition or to fix things around the house.

He brought me one of those plastic ring sizers one day and said to get my new ring size and he would buy me a new ring. Again, I said that we shouldn’t spend the money. I think this was all guilt-related. He was cheating the whole time he was insisting on buying me a new ring. The only costly thing I ever asked for during our marriage was a diamond pendant necklace. I always wanted one. It’s the one thing I never got that I would have liked. When our divorce is final I’m taking my old small diamond engagement/wedding set and seeing what kind of pendant can be made out of it.

Incidentally, a couple weeks after DDay I got the mail. Inside was a packet addressed to him from a ring company. It had plastic ring sizers for his/hers rings. Clearly not for me since he’d confessed everything and told me he had known for years he didn’t love me and he didn’t want to be with me. I threw it all away.

2xchump
2xchump
5 days ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Sleepy head, i actually get triggered when I see men buying flowers. Each and every time I say to myself..I wonder what he did…It’s awful really to always go there. I hope that gets better

Chumpcat
Chumpcat
5 days ago

My heart goes out to every poster here! These “gifts” are so incredibly bad it boggles my mind. I guess when it comes to cheaters the only time they go above and beyond is when you figure they can’t get any worse.

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
5 days ago

One FW (not the one I come here to occasionally talk about) gave me a horrible beige scarf that he said he found. On my birthday. On a camping holiday which I mostly paid for. He’s one I am totally MEH about. I would step over his burning body in the road.

2xchump
2xchump
5 days ago

There is something more to watch for…gifts to buy you off or get what they want. My #2 XHCheater would buy me lacy underware at Walmart. He would go with me and let me find something I agreed with and magnanimously buy it. This happened often. At the end,as devaluing reached its peak, he threw my whole drawer of some 30+ pairs of nighties, panties and bras into a trash bag and said ” what good are these if you won’t give me what I want?” Gifts to get what he wanted were also bed and breakfasts and hotel weekends. Everything he did for me was so that I would “owe him”. I told him I felt like a vending machine and his answer was, yea so what? What’s wrong with that? Since I had no idea how much he was into his basement life…his addiction progressed to me, his wife, being an object just like the massage people, the online people, and his coworkers. All including me were of use. Nothing he did for me the last few years was for love, it was all an exchange of services. There was zero respect and zero love until I filed. Then there was respect.

unicornomore
unicornomore
4 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

Yes, I am sure that some of the nicer things he bought me were guilt or transactional “I fucked that gal at work, so here are some pearls” sort of gift.

weedfree
weedfree
5 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

He is utter scum

Young Crone
Young Crone
4 days ago

I am not the best at buying gifts, but I do try. In fact I overthink it which is probably why it’s not my strongest suit. I don’t care that much about receiving gifts but I certainly appreciate it when I do. My experience has sort of been the opposite in that the FW did not like or appreciate anything I gave him and could be really horrible about it. Hmm. Probably why gift giving isn’t my thing.

RachelTheCatLady
RachelTheCatLady
4 days ago

Oh yes, I’m having flashbacks now.
My ex was such a shitty gift giver that I honestly didn’t mind giving him not just hints, but specific instructions. Otherwise he’d just wander around the dollar shops and grab a cheap set of shitty saucepans or similar.
One time, I think maybe for Mother’s Day, I told him I’d really like a large casserole dish so I could bulk cook more often. He came home one day very pleased with himself saying he got me something even better and that I would use even more. Imagine my feelings on opening my set of….car seat covers. OMG. I nearly cried.

Oh, and then there was my poor DD. Coming up to her 12th birthday she really wanted an MP3 player (this was 16 years ago). She wasn’t even expecting an iPod, just an MP3 player. I’d told her I couldn’t afford a decent one, so she asked her father. Her birthday came and no MP3 player, but she took it okay, was appreciative of the clothes and books she was given. Four months later, her sister’s 10th birthday, he gave her… Guess… An MP3 player! She hadn’t even asked for one!
My poor elder DD quietly went to her room and had a quiet cry and messaged me…I had no idea what to say but my heart broke for her. I wanted to call her but she said she had to put her phone away because if he found her messaging me she’d get into trouble.
A week or so later I get an email from my ex saying he’d found DD1 crying and she’d been honest about how hurt she was. He wanted to know if she’d been taught “psychologically healthy ways of dealing with disappointment”. I normally tried to be as polite as I could in my dealings with him, but this time I let him have it. He never got what the problem was.
Then less than a year later when both the kids refused to see him anymore, he really couldn’t work out why.

Young Crone
Young Crone
4 days ago

How awful. They weaponize gifts. Glad that your daughters are wise enough to stay away from him, and are able to do so.

WidowChumpy
WidowChumpy
4 days ago

My former husband was actually pretty good at gift giving, but it was clearly something he liked to put thought into. After he died, I found a list of Christmas gift ideas for me and his other mistresses and another with all our underwear and shoe sizes – he had us all on the same list! The Agent Provocateur underwear was only for the OWs though (seeing the orders for the sets he bought I don’t feel I missed much!) but as two of those have the same bra size, I’m not sure which set he sent to Vegan Bob Job and which to Gizzalight! They won’t be getting anything this year 🙂

unicornomore
unicornomore
4 days ago
Reply to  WidowChumpy

I am also a widow chump whose Cheater was a generous gift giver but that didnt save us from our own flavors of pain. I cant imagine finding a gift list with the OWs bra sizes on it – gah !!

His deepest betrayal (which I thought was his first but may likely have been his last) was with a howorker back when he was still active duty military. I knew what he made to the penny and I controlled the family finances thus it would have been very hard to get much past me.

She bought him gifts that I learned about on dday but to this day I think he bought her almost nothing with a single exception. He bought her a book on Catholicism which he asked me suggestions as to which book to buy. I forget the lie he told as to who he was buying it for, but he took my suggestion. Me, him and youngest kid went to a faraway mall for him to buy it and he was as mean and cruel and critical as I had ever seen him which is saying something (I wonder where it says that Catholic men should be mean to their wives when buying books about Jesus for their side chicks).

Later, finding the letter he wrote that accompanied that book when he sent it was the big DDAY. That was in 2005 and here I sit still processing all the shit he did to me.

WidowChumpy
WidowChumpy
4 days ago
Reply to  unicornomore

My husband spent five years in a seminary but was a committed atheist by the time I met him. We married in a registry office (I am of the lapsed DGAF variety). After I found out about his double life, I do wonder if he believed that ‘technically’ he wasn’t committing adultery in the eyes of the church…

Hope49
Hope49
4 days ago

Well, I think that I would have to say there is an exception here and that is because my husband as I see it was a covert narcissist.

He would get me FTD flowers for my birthday, anniversary. I love flowers. To me that was very romantic. Additionally, not always but sometimes he would go out of his way to do something really BIG in front of the family. He would put on the show for me and them.

The first Christmas as a married couple celebrating with my family and cousins with their family we had a gift exchange. He brought over his gifts for me on the 300 mile journey instead of us opening just our presents at our home. He had 7 or eight beautifully wrapped presents. Inside was an entire Christmas set of lights and glass ornaments. In addition he had purchased not one but the ENTIRE set of Victorian village Christmas mantel scene pieces. He easily spent over $1000 on my Christmas presents. Of course I was astounded and so were my parents. So you see he must really love me because he spent so much money, right?

Impression management big time. Of course what he was hiding was terrible money management ability/ He opened a business without any business background. Started an affair with his office manager before our son was celebrating his first birthday. He spent all kinds of money on her I found out. Love bombing once again. Of course after he tried to get her to act more professional at work, not take long lunch breaks etc.? She filed a sexual harassment claim against him. His business failed getting shut down by State regulators in about 6 years. Yup…he wanted to ‘look’ successful but had zero understanding or desire to do the true work and sacrifice to be successful.

My point is Narcissists come in a variety of flavors but the covert narcs are I think the hardest to spot when you are wowed or strung along by their romantic gestures that you mistake for ‘LOVE’. It is all confusing and you stay too long when you should have run the other way.

Cal
Cal
3 days ago

So here’s a funny one, it was just my birthday. Someone I haven’t spoken two in over two years – on purpose, after a blowup beween my wife and I and him and his bf made me just be done with their shit – sent me a gift.

It took me a minute of staring, and I almost bust a rib laughing when I realised this was a gift that is 100% something the narcissistic bf looked at and went “I’d want that for me”, and they somehow turned that into “And Cal would definitely want it too”.

Don’t get me wrong, the bf and I share enough in common (bf was actually my friend of many years when I introduced them) that the two items aren’t completely unrelated to my existence (in that I am queer and they are queer related stuff). But a) I’d never have looked at them and gone “Oh yes I want those”, and b) I have literally cut them out and blocked them on everything for over 2 years!! But they thought I’d want something from them??

Narcissists are fucking weird.

Conchobara
Conchobara
3 days ago

FW was a pretty good gift-giver for years. He’d buy me something he thought I’d like and it would be close, just the wrong size or color. No biggie; I could replace that. Eventually he started buying fancy electronics and much more costly gifts. Nice stuff. I’d get a new iPhone, kindle, or something like that.

Things “suddenly” seemed to change and he stopped even trying. (Suddenly, of course, coincides with when the cheating began.) He began to ask me for a list and buy exclusively off the list. I would never know exactly what I was getting but it would be 1 or 2 out of the 5 or 6 things on the list. Nice things, but no thought at all.

Of course, as a chump, I spent ages finding the perfect gifts for him every time. I would shop several different stores to put together really nice outfits from the skin out – underwear, socks, shirt, jeans, belt, jacket, etc. He told me shortly after we started dating that he loved how I picked out clothes for him and what good taste I had. It took me a looooong time to realize that he stopped wearing these thoughtfully purchased, very expensive outfits. Not that shocking when I discovered after DDay that his secret storage locker housed an entirely separate set of clothes picked out to match his new lifestyle, almost 50-year-old-hanging-out-with-girls-half-his-age. Concert t-shirts, leather jacket, high top Vans, etc. Not the attractive, expensive, middle-age man clothes I was buying.

Last edited 3 days ago by Conchobara