The Married Man’s Unspoken Fear

It’s time to talk about fear. Not fear in general, but one specific fear held by almost every married man.



It’s All About Timing

I have a fear as a married man. What’s interesting is this fear appears like clockwork, well more like calendarwork. (Is that even a word? The spellchecker underlined it but I’m just going to forge ahead.) It grips me in February, May (twice), October (although that one is a fake) and in December (again twice)*. Can you guess my fear? It’s Gift Dread.

Wait, What?

You read that right. Gift Dread. At every event that requires a gift I get Gift Dread. What is Gift Dread? The fear that I will buy a bad gift. One that won’t make her smile. A gift that says, “Yeah, I had no idea the appropriate gift on International Left Hander’s Day…especially since you are right-handed.” If you’re a guy married to a girl then you have likely felt Gift Dread. Oh, unless you are one of those annoying dudes whose primary love language is Receiving Gifts. You people get on my nerves. It’s as if you just have the perfect gifts stashed everywhere you go, like some kind of birthday themed geo-cache. Freaks.

What I Used to Do

I used to frequently buy my wife DVDs. Then we stopped watching a lot of movies. So I switched to books. At least one book for every occasion. Did I mention she doesn’t really like to read? She does read, she reads great stuff, but it’s not her go-to thing when she finds 10 uninterrupted minutes. So the books started piling up. A lot. Now we both have enough books to fill my hometown library. Although maybe that’s not too impressive. My hometown library is just two rooms with less square footage than your average garage.

What I’ve Learned To Do

So I have the secret to defeating Gift Dread. I still don’t always hit a home run, but I’m (hopefully) getting better. Ready for the secret? Don’t tell my wife, I don’t want her to catch on. Don't tell my wife, I don't want her to catch on. Click To Tweet Here it is. I listen. I do my best to listen to things she talks about in the weeks (ok let’s be honest…in the 24 hours) before the said gift-beholden event. Then I try to find something that matches her words. It takes two things to pull this off. 1) Paying attention to your wife and 2) Not breaking the bank. (The first is so you don’t end up buying her a pizza cutter for your anniversary. The second is so you can afford the pizza for the pizza cutter you bought anyway because you didn’t do the first.)

How’s That Going for You?

Lately Sally’s been talking off and on about planting some flowers by the back fence in our yard. Now, I could have made the rookie mistake of picking up a gas station rose on the way home from work and hoping it would take root, but I’ve learned. So what I did was pick up a gift card to a local greenhouse. That way she can pick out whatever she likes. Plus we get the added bonus of (forced) time together to plant these crazy things. Did I do well? Hopefully. I guess I’ll find out after she reads this post. I guess I'll find out after she reads this post. Click To Tweet

Love you all!


* In case you wondered about the specificity of the months:
February – Valentine’s Day
May – Mother’s Day and our anniversary
October – Sweetest Day (the most ridiculous made up holiday ever)
December – my lovely bride’s birthday and Christmas.

  • Birdietells

    My husband is mildly autistic. He’s wonderful, but gift giving isn’t his strong point. I have been known to tell him what to get me or to even buy myself a gift from him. I would much rather have him happy on special days than stressing over a gift for me.

    • Troy

      Wow! You are a wonderfully considerate wife! I’m sure your husband appreciates that in you. :-) Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • David Mike

    What if she has everything already! Gift dread is real!

    • Troy

      You are so right David!!!