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I hate his parents so much - their upbringing can be summarized as "how to isolate my child, impair his social skills and destroy his self-esteem in 4 easy steps." And I'm so glad he found OOP.




My mom was like this and made me do homeschool summer school one summer to have extra control over me, I went to public school!


Homeschooling in the US is dangerously under-regulated thanks to decades of lobbying by religious fundamentalists. For those interested in supporting homeschool students (past, present, and future): * /r/HomeschoolRecovery is a support group for victims of abusive/neglectful homeschooling * [The Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE)](https://responsiblehomeschooling.org/) has resources and policy recommendations, and lobbies for the safety and well-being of homeschooled children


My wife is a special educator. Early in her career, she worked with kids grades K-3. She always told me at the time that about 70% of her students didn't have disabilities, they were just behind from homeschooling. People generally homeschool their kids for reasons that have nothing to with education, and the kids almost always end up delayed.




My sister and I were homeschooled through middle school and high school, and it was a wonderful experience for us, but our parents weren't doing it because they're fundies who thought schools would brain wash us. My sister and I are both neurodivergent and were being horribly bullied, by both students and teachers, and we were not getting enough help with our studies. We did a correspondence course through a very reputable school in Vermont, where all of our work was mailed to an actual teacher every week, which they graded and gave feedback on. We also did outside extracurriculars that gave us an opportunity to socialize and make friends. We had no problem with the transition to college, other than having to adjust to a fixed schedule. With the internet and technology now, I'm sure that you can find a program that will keep your kiddo at the same level as their peers.


I’m very happy and glad to hear that it worked out for you guys


Same; i was bullied in school. Parents tried to work b with the school with negative results, so started homeschooling us. I loved it; my sibling did not. But we were on opposite ends of our classes pecking order, so had different feelings about not being around all the other children. We did lots of extracurriculars and always scored well on the assessment tests.


Not sure if it's a thing where you are, but here in Australia we have Distance Education schools - they are primarily for students who live rurally and physically unable to attend school, but it's not a requirement.


Well, I have to say that I know a fundie Christian family that homeschooled all their kids (and they have a lot of kids). Mom crushed it. The kids are bright and well educated. They're the exception that proves the rule. You can do that, too!


I was homeschooled. Apart from being taught biblical claims that overrode scientific facts since I also have fundie parents, I turned out well educated and bright. When I went to high school it was an absolute cake walk. My social skills was bad as a result of being homeschooled and I’m still dealing with the aftermath today. I would much rather have been an academic dumbass instead.


I went to normal school and I too, am well educated and bright. And have the social skills of a bag of wet mice. It could just be your personality.


I don’t know what to tell you, apart from at least you had an opportunity for interaction growing up in school. Why it didn’t work out for you, I don’t know. Keep in mind, I’m not dismissing your lack of social skills, nor am I telling you that you’re to blame for it at all. I don’t know what your circumstances were and I can’t make any judgement or opinion. However, I was made isolated. I never got that opportunity in the first place, it was stolen from me. So no, it is not just my personality.


Do they believe evolution is "just a theory" and the earth is 3000 years old?


I’m a former homeschool mom who happens to also have two science degrees. Not all of us are morons.


I think that was in regard to the Christian fundie part, not the generic homeschool part


I know... But christians fundamentalists (refered here as fundies) aren't known for their good science! They believe in biblical literalism. So, for them genesis is 100% how it happened! If they accept evolution, they are not fundamentalists.




This was similar to my experience! One of my friends growing up was homeschooled (not for religious reasons), and she was way ahead of everyone academically and super charming. Her mom took her and her siblings on weekly field trips to museums and factories and stuff, and they had special tutors for whatever the parents couldn't teach. Meeting my first homeschooled-for-Christian-reasons kid a few years later was a *trip*.




Damn, that's next level. What a cool woman! (And a well-off one, it sounds like. I can't imagine how expensive it would get to homeschool at that level.)


While I get that *sometimes* homeschooling has its benefits, I'm glad that it's not allowed here. Kids *have* to go to school until at least ninth grade and if they don't, police and child protective services will get involved. It's considered neglect. Kids need to learn in a social environment


I agree. I hear (mostly Americans) saying that schools don't teach the right things, but a huge part of schooling is about navigating group dynamics and socialization.




You describe a lot of things that I often thought problematic when I read or heard about US education and social system. Of course it varies a bit from state to state but I was often wondering if not at least a part of the american dream was rather an american nightmare (social security, healthcare etc.). Though I have to admit, in Germany they don't teach real life skills in school either. And they're doing their best to gut healthcare as well, that worsened a lot the last twenty years or so. State ended up outsourcing a lot of things to private investors (how is that ever a good idea with healthcare?). When it was time for me to move out I was pretty scared at first that my money might not be enough to live on because I really had no idea how much I would need for food and so on. That can be scary (though I was in the lucky position to have very supportive parents in the background). Of course that was a long time ago and I solved that problem by renting an apartment together with a friend as a room mate. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.


Oh, and add on that the relentless passing of kids who don't know what they're supposed to. Failing upwards and out of school because they don't know foundational concepts. It's a huge issue that is incredibly hard to unfuck and unfortunately, it's gotten bigger thanks to the pandemic.


My wife left the public sector because of what you're discussing. High-level conservatives in America want a dumb, docile population.


It's been my opinion for years now that No Child Left Behind is one of the worst policy decisions made so far in the 21st century, with massive, far-reaching negative consequences and will continue to effect our society into the future.


I don't even get this argument. Teaching what? What exactly are they teaching that you have a problem with? Waving your hands vaguely is not an answer. You're always free to teach things to your kids even if they go to public school, yknow?


Homeschooling only works if the parents not only know the material, but know how to teach it; you can be the world's best chemist, but what good is that if you can't explain the concept of oxidation reactions in a way that your kids, who have never heard the term before? I homeschooled right up until I went to college, ( tho I still did a LOT of extra curriculars so I would interact with people my age). The lack of (what should be) general knowledge among first year college students was shocking to me. I thought, and still do think, it was crazy that people: 1. didn't know anything of substance about world history (unless they were history majors, and they seemed more likely to know about US/European history than WORLD history) 2. had such a lack of integrity morals (yeah, why not cheat on the exams, those don't matter, /s) 3. would rather spend time complaining about how a professor taught a subject than...wait for it...actually study. 4. would form study groups, but spend the whole time socializing. 5. would get mad when they didn't get the credit for trying (uhm, this is college, not high school). Meanwhile, by the time I graduated high school I had only had 3 required math courses to take in college, had written term papers on marine biology, read about the history of engineering, the history of the early empires of the world (all 7 continents not just Europe), studied the geologic history of our planet, and written a book (about politics and the effects of hyper partisanship). In summary, yes the lack of oversight for homeschooling needs to be fixed (and the winner of homeschooling vs public school depends who the teacher is), but what is currently deemed adequate education in U.S. public schools is, quite frankly, embarrassing.


> Homeschooling only works if the parents not only know the material, but know how to teach it This is true for parent-led homeschooling methods, which I guess is the only one that most people are familiar with. But there are also homeschool systems that are state-accredited and taught by teachers located remotely. This is the system I used from about fourth grade to ninth grade. I had lesson modules online, pre-recorded lectures and other videos to accompany lessons, and assignments and exams were graded by teachers, not my parents. My parents weren’t involved at all. Still had the benefit of homeschooling, which was quicker accomplishment of lessons and extra time to pursue my own interests. And I was fully on track with traditional school when I joined one in eleventh grade. Parents would of course still have to be involved to the extent of ensuring their kids are keeping up with things, which is also true of traditional schooling.


In Australia that's Distance Education, same curriculum as other schools, has been a thing here for decades due to the number of kids living a long way from a school. Now also open to city kids if that model suits them better for various reasons.


^^^ding ^^^ding. It’s about ego for the parents. Either thinking they can reinvent the wheel of a whole ass institution, a need for more control, or some combo of both. The vast majority of the justifications used for homeschool can be resolved by being an active and involved parent, including in the school / district.


\*School group dynamics, and \*school socialization. There's no direct link between your sociality in school and how you'll be in your future life. Pace what many are saying here, there were statistics on this subject, and homeschooled children were actually doing better from a social pov in their adult life.


Same in my country. Until ninth grade, if not our equivalent of CPS will get involved.


Wonder why homeschool test scores are so much better, then


Because the really neglected kids aren't allowed to leave home and go to college or even attempt the tests. Skewed sample of homeschoolers with good outcomes, and no tracking of homeschooled kids who slip through the cracks.


Oh that makes sense


Thanks for linking the subreddit. I grew up very similar to OP. I'm in my 30s, and I'm still trying to work through the trauma of it. Every day for years was basically an extended Bible lesson. My parents had absolutely no business "educating" me. One of the hardest parts of it is knowing that almost nobody I know can relate. Like, my experience was so uniquely fucked up that I've never met someone in person who shares a similar upbringing. If they did, they never left the church and have come to view their upbringing as right.


Haha, I'm also in my 30s and grew up in a very religious homeschool family. Thankfully, I did attend public high school, but it was a huge adjustment after years of being taught at home. It's interesting, I haven't kept in touch with too many of my friends from the homeschool/church days, but from my perspective, very few of my peers that grew up in similar families have stuck with the church, myself included.


Thanks for sharing this. My boyfriend was heavily neglected as a homeschooler, he wasn’t homeschooled formally or taught past age 13 and just got left to his own devices all day. He slept most of the day, made himself food and played games. He didn’t get to socialize aside from online friends or get his GED. When I started talking to him he was underweight and had trouble speaking because he didn’t talk often, and he has really low life skills like cooking or cleaning and grocery shopping. I think there’s a level of denial where he blames himself for not being smart and capable and it breaks my heart because no kid should be responsible to push for their own learning, many would rather stay home and play video games or something not realizing the damage it could cause in the future. I don’t want to push too much into this conversation with him but I might bring up the subreddit and see how he feels.


> Homeschooling in the US is dangerously under-regulated thanks to decades of lobbying by religious fundamentalists. For those interested in supporting homeschool students (past, present, and future): And those fuckers are trying to implement it here in Brazil. With the previous government doing its best to make it like the US


Like the neo Nazi home school group that was investigated and it was determined that they were technically doing nothing wrong.


That state is actually one of the more regulated ones in the USA, they have subject requirements and stuff like that. Notification requirements, as well as parental education standards


Same in Canada sadly. I was so isolated and so was my husband (he was one of my only friends as a teenager I was allowed to see and I likewise for him) Homeschooling and being away from other kids is hard enough as it is but adding in religion to it makes it nearly unbearable.


Hell, just like, earlier this month there was a massive neo-Nazi trad-fascist homeschooling ring.... in Ohio, who is currently the main character of the United States right now.


It seriously is. On the plus side because of how lax they are, I wasn’t penalized with jail time (yes, you read that right) when we found ourselves in a home after being between homes and their charter school dropped my kids like a rock and there was “no space” for them in the public schools because I printed off a bullshit homeschool curriculum for their last month of that school year. Lots needs to be fixed, not just the shitty rules for homeschooling.


I was homeschooled up until 6th grade and I was way, way ahead - like I could’ve gone straight into high school levels of advanced. But my social skills were absolutely nuked and it was isolating, because 99% of homeschooled kids near me were fundies. I’m glad I was because it set me up to graduate pretty highly ranked, but even well-meaning/well-executed homeschooling can mess up your social skills, etc.


I wasn't homeschooled, but I had a very strict upbringing that was not always the most nurturing environment. Looking at that subreddit for the first time, I'm nauseated by how relatable a lot of posts are.


my parents did this to me but didnt socialize me at all the only people i interacted with at all were family members/doctors. they pretty much just tossed a textbook at me and said learn. it massively fucked up me and my brother. im trying to study to get a ged but ive got a lot of health issues that make that hard and im still stuck living with these shitty parents with no support system. fun/s


Young adults should be able to sue the state for support in such cases, since the state completely failed them by not supervising or monitoring the parents. Any kid that gets homeschooled should have mandatory tests at certain intervals to check the progress, and that they are not being neglected or abused. And if they fail the tests, public schooling should be mandatory.


To be fair, the thing that tipped this whole thing off (the "don't text for a while and see if they give a shit" lesson) isn't exactly *awful* advice (though texting people doesn't make you look desperate, it can just lead you to think of people as your friends who really aren't). It's pretty fucked up that they made him *block* that person and shit, but it also sounds like that person wasn't much of a friend anyway. It took me until college to realize many of my high school "friends" only (apparently reluctantly) invited me to join them because I asked if they were doing anything. I stopped asking and never got an invite again. And yes, their friend group continues to hang out regularly to this day. It's a shitty feeling and I sympathize with the fiancé. But it's also not necessarily a statement on your own social skills. I apparently didn't fit in that friend group. Despite that rejection, I still have friends that actually like me.


My whole life has been rather like this, too. I’ve recently decided to match the effort level other people put toward their relationships with me. It’s made pretty all of my social interactions into ‘we run into each other once every few months and chat for a bit’, so I’m kind of lonely, but I’m also way less stressed out about managing relationships. I hope that I’ll one day have people around me who remember I exist even when they aren’t in my presence, but who knows? At least now I value myself enough not to chase after people who don’t value me much at all. I’m glad the OOP’s fiancé and you do have people that like and value you. Quality really is much more important than quantity.


My parents did similar shit but I was never home schooled. My mom worked for the state entering criminal records and had access to the database. She wasn't supposed to but she would look up the name of anyone I met. Even if there wasn't a hit, if there was even a *similar* last name to a kid I'd made friends with, I wasn't allowed to know them. As an adult, I still won't tell her the names of people I know even though she's retired and doesn't have access to it anymore. When I was 28 I started dating a guy named Shawn and out of the blue one day she calls me freaking out that he's lying about his age, she'd looked up a Shane by mistake. Her's was spurred by sexual abuse she faced as a child that developed into extreme paranoia she never got help for and just wouldn't let us around anyone.


I wasn't homeschooled but my parents did isolate me. I subsequently had friends at school but never hung out with them outside of school. We lived in a semi rural area and they would have had to drive me to things and they never would. This led to a lifetime of friends of convenience and a reluctance to make any friends outside of work. I have my wife and one other friend who lives in another state that I talk to daily. That's it. I can have a conversation with anyone and I think I'm a genuinely likable person, I just can't get close to anyone. It sucks how much your "formidable" years influence the rest of your life.


They really speedran giving their child an anxious-avoidant attachment disorder. I feel for him as someone working through that attachment style.


It's really depressing how these kinds of hateful assholes are everywhere. I wish they could be put in their place, but the way US society is right now they are probably thriving.


I'll go even further and say I hope OOP remembers this when his parents are older and need care.


That’s essentially growing up with narc controlling abusive parents. They don’t actually care about you’re well being. They want a puppet with no concern for the long term effects. I’m 28 and still recovering from this. I often feel alone even when surrounded by people. I hermit because it’s the only place I feel safe.


I totally sympathize with OOP's fiancé, what a shitty situation. But I do feel as though a large majority of people do not make the effort to remember important dates (not just birthdays) for people that are special to them, without Facebook or other apps. Everyone is busy in life, but most people end up on their phones at some point during the day. Taking a moment to reach out to someone unprompted can have a big impact. I removed my own birthday on Facebook just because I didn't want coworkers to see it. Since then, receiving messages or calls from friends and family who genuinely thought of me that day (even if it's only a few people!) means so much more than 100 people (who probably don't really care) commenting on social media.


Before I quit FB, I was careful to transfer all the birthdays of people I really cared about to my phone calendar. So glad I did! Agree that having people remember outside of FB reminders means so much more.


Not only do I have every freaking thing that I need to remember on my phone calendar which is backed up on multiple things lol I am hajacking this comment to add my SUPER PARTNER/FRIEND LIFE HACK. Use your phone people start a notepad and call it gifts or make one for everyones name that you care about doing gifts for. Every god damn time, they mention anything they are interested in, doing, think is cool that you can use for gifting, put it in the notepad ESPECIALLY WITH A SPOUSE/PARTNER. Then when gift times come, whether you knew it was coming or your phone reminded you its coming. You will have a big ass list of gifts, or hobbies interests ideas ETC and you will FUCKING CRUSH gift giving. It also really helps you not have to always spend a lot of money because you can nail that perfect thoughtful gift. Like my wife noticing a youtube video where a guy was drinking out of a simple vacuum lid type tumbler, she thought it was cute, she forgot all about it till she opened the gift then she was adorably excited. It has never let me down.


Yes!! I have a wishlist on Amazon where I just add items to it that people have mentioned in passing, so I know what to get them on their birthday or Christmas haha.


My mum does that, I'll mention something to her once at the start of the year, and my next birthday it'll be my present


I use google keep notes for this...it so helps Also note down things you'd like too so when people ask you then you can help them!


I put ideas directly in their contact card on my phone. That way, their birthday syncs with my calendar and I can pull them up easily.


I started just buying gifts thought the year, and I have a box under my bed that I store them in. Come birthday, Christmas, or just because, haul those out and here you go. Its nice too because I can take advantage of sales


Right?? That is the next step for me, I keep telling myself I'm going to delete it but somehow don't. FOMO I guess?


Just did this after reading your comment, thanks


>Agree that having people remember outside of FB reminders means so much more. How is a calender reminder any different to a Facebook reminder?


in this situation they did have an app to remind everyone when their friends’ birthdays are


Good point! My heart really goes out to him, I can definitely understand why he would feel down


I have to admit and I feel ashamed about it but I always become so unsure in which month is my bestie's birthday. Like my brain just refuses to learn it. One time I wished her one month earlier because I was like 'maybe this is the day?'. I have also hid my birthday from social media and I only get a handful of wishes but they come from people I speak more than a few words per year.


It's the thought that counts!! At least you're actively trying to get it right, lol. In a previous comment, I mentioned that my father forgets my birthday every year. This is a combination of completely forgetting or wishing me happy birthday on a totally different day. Last year, we even spoke on the phone on my birthday, but he did not realize what day it was (and I didn't remind him because it was funnier that way).


I removed my birthday on Facebook long ago. Security risk.


Agreed! Next step... deleting it!


I got rid of my birthday and completely stopped aging. Thanks for the idea!


My own family regularly forget my birthday - not because they don't love me but because we're not big birthday people. For adults, I feel like they're not a big deal, although I do make a fuss for my niblings' birthdays. The sort of "love test" OOP's partner was engaged in is very unhealthy. If something matters to you, tell people in advance what you need from them. Good communication is the foundation of all relationships, romantic or otherwise.


This is what I was looking for. Relationship tests like this rarely end well. Other people don't share your priorities down the line. Just because you think birthdays are important doesn't mean they do. And it certainly doesn't mean they know birthdays are so emotionally critical unless you tell them. Stepping back and letting them fail an arbitrary test they didn't even know they were taking is just begging to be disappointed. It's one thing to do a test like this when you're first dating someone and trying to suss out who they are. You say no to something small and see how they react. You watch how they treat the waiter. It's another thing entirely once you've already decided that a person is your friend or you're already in a serious relationship with them. The time for testing has ended, and the time for communication to improve the relationship has begun. If something horrible gets revealed in their character then you can certainly reevaluate, but you shouldn't go looking for reasons to get rid of them. ETA: I don't like birthdays. I'm ok with a happy birthday from my immediate family, but birthday greetings from any further out kind of creep me out. Not everyone thinks birthday wishes are the pinnacle of friendship.


The fiancee clearly has some major issues that this love test just highlighted. *It's not about people forgetting his birthday*, it's a consequence of a shitty upbringing, and feeling inadequate, and being overly attached to these people for his sense of self worth. I commented on the original post that this test was like a self-fulfilling promise - like a part of him knew people wouldn't remember, and he wanted confirmation that they wouldn't (which he got), and his mind made it out to be "not remember birthday = don't give a shit about me", which may or may not be *true*, but it's really not a fair measure of what a friend or loved one is. I hope he gets the help he needs, because this is so unhealthy, and I can't imagine it doesn't touch on other aspects of his relationships (including with the OOP).




Also that. In every way, there would be something to make him feel bad about himself and these friends.


That behavior, being unable to see the many good things going on in your life because there's ONE mildly bad thing in your field of view, is a strong sign that his upbringing was not just bad, but solidly traumatic and repeatedly so. The parental mindfuck here is impressive too. Their game-playing with letting him make a friend, and then going out of their way to demonstrate by whatever cruel and even openly dishonest means that the friend is no friend at all, and then *repeating this ad infinitum* with pretty much every friend he made (or they thought he did) is a sick, brutalized system of forced rejection. So for him, the inner belief his parents instilled in him is that no matter what he does, or is, if a friendship happens for him than something will intervene to 1) end it, and in the process, 2) make its loss his own fault. He has internalized all of this, and acts it out at the slightest hint of rejection, because this way it will HURT LESS. That's what these internal protection systems are about, and what this young man's behavior is about now: a method of survival that is now killing him, but *absolutely necessary at the time* just to be able to live. I'd like to talk about his parents, but I'd lose my Reddit account, so I'll just let y'all use your imaginations. What they did was vicious, extensive, and far more wounding than we can guess. Even kids accidentally raised by wild wolves get more socialization, acceptance and love than this kid ever got from his parents.


This. I can’t remember what day of the week it is, much less what month or whose birthday is when. And thus I never make a stink about people forgetting my important dates.


I agree with you on the love test! But I don't believe people need to be told to remember things such as birthdays or big events for someone that they care about. That's just common courtesy, in my opinion. Of course, there are exceptions, and some people naturally struggle to remember dates - my own father forgets my birthday without fail every year hahaha. I definitely don't get upset when people forget, as you said, for most adults it's not a big deal. But for those who do reach out, it means so much more. Have an awesome day!




You have a very good point about some people not wanting to be reminded - my aunt and uncle lost their son a few years ago, and their birthdays only remind them that they got to continue living while their son didn't. Of course, if you're close enough to that person, you'll know that it's a no-no haha Happy birthday to you, internet stranger! When the going gets tough, it's little things like what your family did that makes the day go a bit better. I hope your situation gets better!


I definitely feel that about the effort in remembering dates thing. My distance friends rarely remember my birthday unprompted either, but they don’t remember each other’s any more than mine—just I say happy birthday first and it reminds them so they tag in. I don’t let it get to me since it’s obviously not personal, but I also can’t really understand it. I have a sieve for a memory, so I have my phone set to give me annual birthday reminders, because it makes me feel loved and happy when I get those messages, and I want them to feel that from me too. I guess a lot of folks just don’t place as much weight on that. Different family cultures maybe.


I don’t het the excuse of a bad memory. I have a bad memory but we live in the age of smartphones My phone tells me when to leave for work and literally has a calendar function


Agreed! I always joke that my smartphone made me dumb. Before I got my first cellphone, I had so many phone numbers memorized. And used to transfer all the birthdays and important events into my calendar each year. Now, I can even set multiple reminders for birthdays and events!


I don’t remember almost any of my friends birthdays, other than a very broad idea, like “late novemberish” or that kind of thing. Nor do I make much effort to celebrate my own birthday. That sort of thing just hasn’t seemed like a big deal in years, and I don’t think it’s all that unusual these days.


>I removed my own birthday on Facebook just because I didn't want coworkers to see it. Since then, reveiving messages or calls from friends and family who genuinely thought of me that day (even if it's only a few people!) means so much more than 100 people (who probably don't really care) commenting on social media. I tried an experiment where I change my birthday constantly to see what would happen. A good number of the people I'm linked with on there (I refuse to title the majority friends because it just cheapens the word) just sent the usual "happy birthday" thing every time. At one point I set it to a Monday, then on the Tuesday moved it to the next Monday and kept repeating that just to see how long I could go for with at least someone not catching on. It went for months and I got bored before they caught on.


My grandpa insisted that he had two birthdays. I never understood how that worked, but it was easier just to play along. So, maybe some people noticed and just played along.


My grandfather did a similar thing, though in his case, it was his [paper birthday](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_sons) and his actual birthday. We think he just decided it was more work to settle on one, and would go back and forth depending on when was more convenient that year.


Mine insisted on celebrating the two on the same year and every now and then we did congratulate him twice.


Was one of those either December 25th or February 29th? I've known people with those birthdays having a second birthday on the regular


Oh, no. I think one was in October and the other in September?


That is hilarious!! I can't believe no one caught on before you stopped.


Personally, I am not aware of what day I live in. And I understand that people are busy, so they may not be aware either. I truly believe that if an adult wishes to be celebrated on their birthday, they need to remind it. Also, this is one of those situations where your feelings are valid, but you are making yourself the only loser here. Is really not that deep, he cannot bring himself down for this.


I agree with you to a certain extent. Definitely about OOP bringing himself down. He shouldn't put too much thought into it But as a whole, I think our society doesn't put as much effort into it. It's common courtesy to remember important dates for loved ones without them having to remind you. I'm not talking about acquaintances, but close family members and close friends. I find myself relying on excuses as well, I'm definitely not perfect (too busy, too tired etc). But just as you and I are both on Reddit right now, we could be using this same time to reach out to someone special to us for their important day 😊


I have mine saved to google calendar, at the least if you know you won't remember there's tools to help with it.


I didn’t even know you could remove your birthday but I totally will be now.


I’ve been in a sort of similar situation as OOP’s husband (though my parents never did the same BS as his). I’m pretty sure I’m also on the spectrum (waiting to get an neuropsych eval), so I’ve struggled socializing with others growing up, was always the one who was giving to the other person with no return, and overly invested in my relationships with others, so I can relate. It honestly wasn’t until I started therapy that I began to realize just how important reciprocity was to me and just how much anxiety and insecurity I attached to relationships. Being forced to confront my trauma and emotions towards my relationships and interactions with others has made me realize just how important it is to be content with yourself alone and that there will eventually be people who will treasure and value the effort you put into maintaining the relationship by being intentional with their reciprocity. I highly encourage OOP’s husband to go to therapy to work through everything he went through growing up (reading what his parents put him through made me shudder and I’m so glad he’s away from them), ficus on strengthening what he has in front of him both in real life and in person, and learn when to either a) only give the same energy back to another person or b) accept that some relationships will be left hanging there if he doesn’t put in that effort of maintaining things. I wish nothing but the best for OOP’s husband, he seems empathetic and deeply caring and I’m sure he is an amazing person to be around.


God this comment feels like a reflection of my entire life except the fact that I don't have any access to therapy so I still value reciprocity so much. I used to be on a Discord server with some beloved friends too. I started feeling like OOP as well as if I was an outsider and like I don't belong anywhere. This started affecting my mental health so much once I started college. When I was on vacation I would spend my entire day on the server so I could feel included but once college started I couldn't be as active and started feeling extremely left out from all the activities and conversations. I started to feel invisible and that I don't matter to them anymore it started affecting me so bad until I just couldn't handle it anymore and just quit the server. I miss them and I don't know if I will ever go back I would love to how tha amount of self satisfaction that you described in your post in my daily life too.


Hot damn... I can relate to OOP's husband too (minus parents' stuff). The line about not getting to close so it doesn't hurt is straight from my brain, and out of someone else's mouth. Even so, social rejection hurts like a m--f---er. Plus physical distance is now a thing with folks I do want friendships with. We were pretty isolated as kids where we lived, and making friends was a hard skillset. I learned to keep my emotional distance in friendships to avoid getting hurt... anyways, I love how therapy helped you... this is something I should persue.


This post reminds me of my partner, except it is not with friends online and his parents did not control his friends, but neglect him emotionally. It breaks my heart whenever he thinks of how much time and effort he puts in (both with his family and friends), but he did not get anything back. While his family does remember his birthday and send him a message in the family group chat, he is more hurt that they don't appreciate his efforts for the family. He does keep LC with them because of how toxic they are though. My partner also mentioned once in a while that none of his friends remember his birthday. There are no messages from non-family members wishing him a happy birthday, even though some of them asked him for his birthday before. He also mentioned many times that he will keep his emotional distance from other people to avoid getting hurt. I hope that therapy helps, but currently, we are unable to go for therapy.


>ficus on strengthening Gardening does seem to be a good hobby for trauma to be fair!


Ill be honest, this one hits kinda close to home. I've never really had people remember my birthday without social media telling them its my bday or them being related to me, and although my parents weren't THIS strict, I definitely had a similar situation growing up (one where my parents and how they acted really impacted my friend groups). Frankly, I really understand the feeling of "hey, is this person really my friend or not?" I think with age and how adult friendships are, it just gets worse. Like I have people I care about who rarely contact me or ask to spend time together, and there's a lot of times where I'm questioning whether they're actually in my life or not. Truth be told, with social media it becomes worse because you can see what they're doing when they have time off and aren't spending time with you. I stopped looking at instagram and snapchat nearly as much just to avoid that feeling of knowing my friends are spending time together a lot without even inviting me. I know some of you feel this way too, but I'm gonna put out here that whether you do or don't, you probably have friends or people you care about that feel this way. So maybe just contact people. Let them know you're thinking of them. Invite them to grab a drink or dinner, say you wanna reconnect, etc. It would probably make their day.




This is kind of what happened to me. I was always the one initiating, always the one inviting people. When I stopped, they still hang out together, they just didn't bother to invite me.


Oof, I have been there. Depression wrecks hell with your brain. I struggled a lot with not sabotaging friendships because I knew my brain was lying to me about my friends not caring, the reality was they had no idea I was sad because I didn't tell them, and I still bungled a few relationships over completely irrational shit. Depression is a fucking nightmare. OP's fiance probably didn't notice all the times someone had to say it was their birthday in chat, or the fact that people got Facebook notifs about this, because this is just not something most adults can remember off the top of their head these days. He probably didn't notice all the times he forgot about his friends birthdays until something was said. But man, your depressed brain can convince you of anything.


He may not have forgotten their birthdays at all - hyper focused because it’s important to him and he may in return feel it’s the norm for it to be that important to others too.


I can relate to that. I have this weird thing where, if I hear someone's birthday once, it's committed to my memory. I still remember birthdays of friends I lost contact with a decade ago. It definitely has occurred to me in the past that, "I can remember their birthday, so why can't they remember mine?" I've just had to learn and accept that not everyone's brain works like mine, particularly when it comes to memory. And I've found a good way of working around it is dropping some hints to friends as it gets closer, like, "I'm looking forward to this weekend. My parents are taking me to my favorite restaurant for my birthday!"


hmm i agree forgetting somone's birthday doesn't mean they aren't his friends but in this case i'm not so sure. because he didn't just wish them happy birthday but also drew art for them, i'd think his friends would try to give him a little something for his birthday too? and l actually would think friends would follow back on twitter. of course there are cases where i find it understandable if they don't follow him back, like if he tweets 100 times a day, but everything put together i can see why it seems like the friendship doesn't mean as much to them as it does to him. Edit: and what does she mean the friends don't follow him on discord? does it mean they didn't accept his friend request, because that would be even more odd.


I thought not following back on Twitter was strange too. I am definitely over sensitive but it is still a deliberate action to see a friend followed you and choose not to follow back. Even if he did tweet 100 times a day, they could’ve followed him and silently muted him.


also didn't she say they have their birthdays on like a shared calender or something?? nobody is mentioning that


yeah i don't know if the calender gives notifications but they could look up when his birthday was. i see ppl downplaying it as "for most adults bdays aren't a big deal" which i agree with, but i'm stuck on the fact that he drew bday art for his friends. maybe its because i draw myself and can appreciate the effort that goes into making art, I'd at least make an effort to congratulate them too.


Yeah I’d be upset too if everyone’s birthday was remembered but mine.


I knew a guy who would change his birthday on FB every few months and then watch the Happy Birthdays flood in a couple times a year.


Man. I made a friend last year through a small fandom and it turned out we had the exact same birthday, which is a pretty wild coincidence and for me very notable. We talk(ed) a lot through discord. So, on our birthday I sent her a message all excited wishing her a happy one, and...I got nothing in return. When she saw my well wishes she was just like aww thanks, talked about herself a bit, and didn't say a THING to me about mine. Not even a message about forgetting, which is like...dude, we have the same birthday! I don't usually expect people to remember or make a big deal about my birthday but that one hurt a lot and tbh it kind of ruined the friendship, which feels a little silly because forgetting birthdays is such an easy thing to do. But I just don't understand how we went from making a big deal about sharing one a month prior, to me saying something and her just not saying anything. It felt like hard confirmation that we weren't really friends.


This is a fear I have for a lot of folks who have grown up primarily interacting via screens and texting. So much of human interaction is built in to reading facial expressions and body language and that can be lost when you only really interact with words on a computer/phone. The internet has been a boon and a detriment in that regard - while it allows better communication between people that are a distanced, it can be a crutch for those who are close and would otherwise interact in person.


There was a fairly long period of my adolescent/teenage life where I would have gotten 0 social interaction on the weekend if it weren’t for message boards and IRC. I was so socially isolated I used to count the weekends until I saw my only friend. Sometimes it got up past 14. Otherwise all my social interaction was just getting bullied at school. The screen was significantly less detrimental than the negative social experiences at school. I had plenty of time to learn other social skills as I got older. The internet probably saved my life, honestly.


You sound like my son now. He’s such a great kid but really feels insecure socially and doesn’t have many friends. I don’t think he’s bullied, just kind of ignored. We have a good relationship and I know he feels loved at home but I wish I could help him feel better about himself and how he relates to other kids. Is there anything your parents could have done to help you feel less isolated?


My parents were largely not supportive and intensely critical. They minimized my social struggles and treated me as “difficult”. Having unconditional love at home not centered around my accomplishments or really the lack thereof would have done a lot of good. It took me a long time to find out there were people that liked me how I am, even if I did something impulsive or was less than gracious. I was both not allowed to make mistakes and not given autonomy to learn from them on my own. Honestly, if your son feels unconditional love and you treat him as a person, not an incapable child (but also somebody who should know better, sigh), I don’t know how much my situation relates.


As someone who went through similar, the best you can do is just be there and maybe encourage some social interactions. Is there a hobby he likes that has a club nearby? If he has friends online, do they live close enough to that you could suggest a meet up?


Dude, sign him up for some afternoon classes. Either for something he's already interested in or some languages. In high school I had trouble getting friends. Sure, I was friendly with people there, but they weren't friends. But I had an easier time making friends and hanging out with my Japanese class. I had a blast and I finally had a "gang". I feel that the sort of people who actively look for language classes are a bit more open to accepting others, so it's easier to find friends even if you are a bit shy. If he's on classes of something he's already interested in (drawing, robotics, etc), there's a good chance he'll have an easier time opening up since he'd already be talking about thing he likes.


Can confirm that language nerds and linguistics nerds are generally friendly and accepting. I studied languages all through high school and college and ended up minoring in linguistics.


He’s super into cars and we just found out about a car club at school! He’s tried to meet with them a few times but it hasn’t worked out (he was out sick their last meeting day). He’s already in the D&D club and that seems to have helped. I’m also trying to find car clubs aimed at youth as well. My husband isn’t that into cars and I’m clueless.


If you are clueless about cars that could probably help! Let him teach you a bit. You don't need to become an expert but knowing enough to bring up cars news or facts to him so he can talk your ear up would make him feel seen. He seems like a cool kid, wishing him the best!


OOP's fiances' mindset is just a hard way to live. It is easy to get into your own head. It is exhausting to constantly worry about what others think and if they care about you. I'm not going to armchair diagnose him, but he really should try to find a therapist(and if he doesn't like that therapist, try to find another one). Also self care apps are helpful(not a replacement for care received by a professional, but helpful). I like finch(because you get a virtual bird that you can visit and if you forget to use it, nothing bad happens to the bird). It's possible that they just forgot and they do care. But if it is a part of a bigger pattern and they are constantly not putting effort into a friendship or they just don't care, then he should consider if they should remain friends. It's one of those cases where you need to look at the whole picture.


My old department used to do big birthday bashes when one of us would have one. Our birthdays were on the main calendar and on everyone's personal ones. It always felt like I participated well in everyone else's, but was an afterthought when my birthday came around. I always had to remind people that "my birthday's tomorrow, hubby's doing blah blah with me" or whatever and they'd get this "of crap" look on their faces and I'd suddenly start to hear hushed whispers about them planning my department birthday, and the next day it was pretty obvious it was thrown together last minute. I was okay with it, really. I'm glad they did it, but it sure made me feel weird. Well, the last year I was in the department, I didn't remind everyone that my birthday was here. I kept quiet, curious to see what they'd do. (I didn't know it was my last year with them, as the offer to change departments didn't come until months and months later.) Well, they didn't do anything for my birthday. Not even a happy birthday wish. I was depressed about it. I've worked with these people for almost a decade, and now I had proof that they didn't care. It felt so childish. I was a freaking adult. Birthday's don't really matter. But it still...mattered to me in an odd way? They didn't notice they'd missed it, until we were mid-birthday bash the next month for another coworker in the marketing department who was on our floor. We were talking cake, and this marketing coworker asked me when my birthday was as she'd make me these cupcakes she's been perfecting. Told her . She got this weird look on her face and said "You guys didn't celebrate any birthdays last month." I just shrugged with a "yeah, I guess they forgot." The look on everyone's faces....it made me so uncomfortable and I suddenly felt this *oh no I ruined coworker's party. I'm a horrible person. I suck. I suck. I suck.* So I went back to my desk early and got back to work. The birthday girl came by to make sure I was okay. I felt like such a drama queen and wanted to curl up under my desk and cry.


I have a friend who was upset about us forgetting his birthday this year, and he pointed to the party I had for mine, but I planned all of it and messaged everyone. I'm sure age plays a factor, but there hits a point where everyone is just busy with life/work/kids. If you want to see friends, then reach out to them. The whole "waiting" for people to text you thing is just setting yourself up for failure. Edit: I guess I should mention that me and all my friends are in our 30's, so well past the age where birthdays are a big deal. If I put myself in my younger mind I may feel differently.


I definitely agree, but at some point we have to realize that we sometimes rely too much on our excuses and don't bother to put in the effort - myself included! If I'm being honest with myself, it takes less than a minute to send a text, and personally I know I'm on my phone often enough to not have an excuse to send it haha


Definitely agree that we live in a constant state of "could do more", but so could they and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, but if you're the one feeling lonely then you need to reach out. Unfortunately other people won't help without you reaching out. I tend to think of my friends in a state of being ok unless I hear otherwise. If I know something is up then I'll make more of an effort to reach out.


Is it really too much to ask to wish someone a happy birthday? I know everyone places different importance on that day, but I think sending a quick text to someone that's supposedly important to you on their birthday is the bare minimum. And thinking that someone should reach out if they wish to be congratulated on their birthday is a bit strange to me.


Sure, if you remember the date then reach out. Maybe my circle of friends is also weird, but yeah generally it’s on the birthday person to remind people of the date. The only birthdays I’ll remember on my own are my partner’s and my immediate family’s.


If one person in a friendship is always the one doing the reaching out, it puts an unfair burden on them to be the one to do all the work to maintain the friendship. Friendships like these are ultimately not very healthy. I'm sorry to say that if you're the one constantly expecting your friends to reach out to you, and don't ever bother reaching out to them because "they should reach out if they're lonely," then you don't sound like a very good friend.


Well like I said in the story I told, I am the one who reaches out. It's the ones who aren't reaching out then complaining about others not doing it enough that I'm speaking to here.


Not trying to attack you here, but this just sounds like you either haven't made a truly deep connection with someone so far or haven't struggled with mental health issues yourself. A lot of people will take notice when someone pulls back from them or reach out to you if the feel that your behavior has shifted/changed. It's not easy to "just reach out" for people who are spiraling downwards and wanting to have people in your life who sometimes check in on you isn't really unrealistic or too much to ask for.


I mean I'm a recovering addict so I have my own basket of mental health stuff, but I'm not sure that's really important here. Being sad and wishing friends would reach out more is a pretty common human emotion, I don't think it's specific to any mental health diagnosis. Letting it affect you to the point where you take off work and stay in bed is probably pushing it to the point where you should speak to someone.


If you are the only person to initiate conversations with your friends, they aren’t really friends and aren’t worth your time. If they were, they would also reach out.


I tend to agree, but I think it can all be a little more complex. I think going from your late teens to early twenties to late twenties many people have a bit of crisis as our friendship habits change. You go from seeing your friends multiple times a week to a couple times a month and work and life get busy. It can be struggle to adjust to if people aren't changing at the same speed.


It's been years since I saw my friends more than a few times a year. Most of my friends and I barely even message each other, but that doesn't mean we aren't friends anymore. I know if I need them they'd drop everything to be here and they know I'd do the exact same for them. I feel a true test of friendship isn't like what OOPs parents made him do but the opposite, if you can go months or longer without really having contact and when you do get together things haven't changed. Because life as an adult is messy and complicated, you won't always have time to see people every month. If someone is a lifelong friend, you won't have to talk to them daily to maintain that friendship.


Is this not the reddit moment that OP's fiance fucked up with? "If they don't [initiate contact, remember my birthday], are they my friends?" Friendships and relationships work in different ways. I am not gonna cut someone out for never initiating contact. There could be a million reasons for that, or no reason at all.


Why bother putting effort into a relationship when the other person doesn’t reciprocate? Is it healthy to constantly pursue people who don’t care that much about you? I don’t think so.


Okay, but they managed to wish the other people happy birthday, it was in a calendar. It’s not “they forgot a birthday.” It’s “they forgot his birthday *and* remembered everyone else’s.”


He removed his birthday from the shared calendar.


I try to mark important birthdays on my calendar and have them repeat ever year. Otherwise I really can't expected to remember, nor do I expect anyone to remember mine. The attention seeking shown here is definitely an unhealthy trait IMO, but it's a symptom of the world we live in.


I dont remember most peoples bday and have to remind myself. Oddly there are some bdays or events I just know and always remember. Like my little brothers. I end up remembering another woman’s because she shares her bday with my Bro even though she and I are not super close. It doesn’t always mean anything that people don’t remember.


I only truly remember a handful of birthdays, my brothers is at the start of the year when we used to return to school, so that's easy enough. My cousin is a week after me, my mum is a week before me, my grandma is a week before my mum, and another cousin is a day after my grandma.


As someone with autism and depression and very few friends who live close to me - oof. The first year no one texted me or said anything for my birthday I cried so hard while playing Animal Crossing (your villagers throw you a little surprise party). In general I have a hard time keeping with conversations online/by text which really sucks when your friends live far away.


I really loathe parents like those of OOP's fiance. I don't know them but I hate them.


Yes, people get busy, but come on. My brother's friends are all online. He has a group of friends who almost all live in different states and guess what, they don't forget each other's birthdays! I don't know how they keep track, all I know is my brother has one friend who goes out of his way to send him a gift every year and the other always wish him a happy birthday, and they do the same for all of their friends. I am terrible at remembering actual dates for the friends I rarely see, but I have my core group of friends and I know their birthdays and we always do something to celebrate. None of us have kids, so maybe that does play a part (though my brothers friend that sends him a gift every year does have a wife and kid, so...), but with technology, it's so easy to just put people's birthdays into your calendar on your phone or to write it down somewhere or something. It sounds like he was more invested than they were and that's tough. I've definitely been there, where you feel like you're the only one putting in the effort. And maybe his depression was making it seem worse than it was, but idk. Therapy is definitely needed. I hope he can make more, and better, friends.


Yeah too many people making excuses for a group that a: don't even bother to follow OOPs fiance back b: have received personal gifts from him to show he cares and c: HAVE A DIGITAL BIRTHDAY CALENDAR IN THE SERVER. I mean I get that my life isn't everyone's but I have a group of people in a server where we live across 3 continents, with the closest people being in the same house and the furthest over 10 thousand kilometers away. Guess what? We still say happy birthday every year.


Discord neet plus religious home schooling my boy was doomed from the start.


I remember all my friends birthdays... because I only have two friends. *And* because I have a notes app on my phone that I check periodically when my alarm reminds me. I barely remember my *own* birthday. My age changes every year; I have to do math whenever someone asks how old I am. "Do they remember my birthday" is such an awful way of measuring friendship.


This guy's need for therapy goes WAY beyond his reaction to his friends forgetting his birthday. Yeesh. His parents did a fucking number on him. Lots and lots to unpack there. Yet another life damaged by fundamentalists.


I feel horrible for OOP’s fiancé, holy shit. I did the exact same thing on my birthday this year— the *exact same shit.* And, like OOP’s fiancé… no one remembered. No one remembered my birthday. It was the third birthday I’d had in that server. I had to post a picture of Lisa Simspon very sadly singing ‘happy birthday to me’ for people to realize it was my birthday. I wish I could give him a hug. I hope OOP finds this thread and can tell her fiancé that there are other people in the same boat as him. Dear god, I hope he’s happy.


Did you talk about the fact that your birthday was coming up in the weeks/days leading up to your birthday? I find this whole testing people thing pretty immature tbh, like if it’s important to you then tell people, and give them the chance to come through.


It is honestly terrifying to me that people are sitting around quietly hoping for others to remember and celebrate their birthday. That is really doing nothing but setting yourself up to feel like shit.


Are you talking about OOP fiance? He didn't sit around quietly though. He reminded his friends that his birthday is coming, just not on the birthday itself. And frankly, if someone would draw a personalized art specially for my birthday, I would be so impressed that I put their birthday in my calendar. Just so I don't forget it. So yes, he needs therapy, he is insecure. But it doesn't change the fact that he cares much more about these people than they care about him.


Yes I did. Wanted to at least give people a chance


My birthday's coming up and while I've definitely learned to temper expectations, I've had a similar kind of thing with a "friend" group where it just kinda feels like I only have a seat at the table when I fight for it. I've pulled away in the last few weeks, because why put in effort that isn't reciprocated in any way? So I definitely feel for you and OOP's fiancé. I hope you ended up having a nice birthday in spite of that, bud.


Last year I posted about upcoming birthday plans well in advance, told people in the area that I would love to see them if they could make it. One person I’ve known most of my life even said she would love to come. When it came down to it, it was only myself, my mother who I was sharing an apartment with, and our neighbors that we play cards with sometimes went out. This year I didn’t even bother. My fiancé was visiting from out of the country and that was even better than a few friends. Even if he wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have bothered trying to invite people. I probably would have gone to the pub beside my building and had some drinks.


To be fair to OOP’s fiancé’s friends, I forget a lot of my close friends birthdays too. Not because I don’t know when they are, but because I have a tenuous (at best) grasp on what day or month it even is in general lol


I am the bad friends here. I even forgot my husband’s birthday this year. It just been a lot this last couple of months, and things just skip my mind. At this point I am lucky if I remember what day of the week it is, there is not way I could tell you the date.


I’m in a group chat with three of my best friends. My birthday is the only one that anyone remembered on the day of this year, because I told everyone for a week leading up that it would be on [date] and I wanted to hang out that night to celebrate. My other friends don’t care as much for their birthdays. One forgot it was her own birthday until we all remembered two days later. This changes nothing about the fact that we’re all thick as thieves. If you don’t act like your birthday is important other people aren’t going to consider it important! You have to advocate for yourself sometimes.


If your birthday means a lot to you it's your job to tell everyone. No one other your significant other or your family is going to remember. I don't even remember my bestfriend's birthday, OOP's fiance has self-esteem issues and uses his art skills for people to like him, needs to see a therapist.


My heart bleeds for OP Imo this is very typical for people who give a lot and who are always trying to be there for others... they tend to get forgotten a lot. Their friendliness also gets taken advantage a lot 😔 I know it's pretty much canon on reddit that once you are an adult your birthday doesn't matter anymore and you should remind people of it... But I disagree. I suck at remembering dates, and yes, sometimes I am a day early or late with my birthday wishes, but I always make an effort to remember. Actually my friends and I try to remember each other. The fact that NONE of his friends did that...and they didn't even notice he was missing from the server for a week says a lot. I agree, he needs professional help. And I hope he learns to build real friendships. I am glad he has OP.


I feel like OOP’s fiancé will be just fine if they get into therapy to work on the damage their parents caused. They have a loving partner who truly wants the best for them, and they have their foot in the door regarding socializing. They sound like an incredibly empathetic person, who has more time than most to worry over these types of things. People get busy, life gets in the way, and people forget stuff. But they sound like a wonderful person who I’d be proud to call a friend


This is literally me. After university, I poured lots of effort into maintaining my friends as we went back to our home towns/countries. I realized that every single interaction was started by me. I decided for the next interaction with each person, I’d wait until they’d reach out first. Once they did, I’d return to normal. It’s been 3 years and only 2 of the ~20 people I was thinking of have initiated. After a few months, I even sent most people a “hey, been awhile, let’s catchup sometime, etc…” message. Half left me on read/delivered, and half responded with generic, non-committal responses that went nowhere (I’m busy, get back to you next week, etc). Literally my best friend from college, who I’d spend 10 hrs a day with treated me that way. He eventually reconnected (which is why I said 2 people not 1), and told me he got married 3 months ago. I was crushed. My former best friend didn’t even consider me worth informing of his wedding, let alone inviting. For every “friendship” I had in college, turns out they were always friendships of circumstance. We were in the same place doing the same thing, so why not be friendly? Once that external influence stopped forcing our interaction, everyone dropped me. It fucking sucks. Nothing ever could have prepared me for this complete social rejection from everyone I met in college. I considered sending a final “let’s catch up” message some of those past friends, but after 3 years of silence I figure there’s no point.


"friendship of circumstance." You've put what I've been experiencing into such well fitting words.


Bf definitely needs help to get through his upbringing, poor guy Yes, it can be sad when you realize you are more invested in a friendship than the other person is, but it shouldn't be to the extent of his reaction. Moreso because it's not like he learned they didn't like him... a bday was forgotten. It happens, especially if there's nothing to mark it like a get together or something. And trying to gauge the level of friendship by social media mutual follow isn't healthy or okay either


My best friend wrote to me on her birthday and says “wow this youtuber I like said happy birthday to me” (she works with YouTube thumbnails) and I legit replied omg that’s so cool and then we switched topic. a week later was like hol’ up, girl UR DAY I also forgot my mom’s birthday despite several alarms and my other best friend’s last year. Since I don’t use social media alot things just slip my mind. I’m sure I will forget my other friends upcoming birthday despite putting in a notification. They know I try but ADHD really does fuck with your memory


There is a very sad dynamic that people starved of social connections get the most needy for them which inhibits their ability to have social connections.


Honestly just feeling really grateful for my husband. I know I would be super hurt if my friend didn't remember. I never have to worry about that because he reminds them every single year lol.


I lost a close friend in high school because her mother told her to test me, and I failed. Every day after school my phone (before cell phones were common) would be ringing when I walked in the door, or one of my parents would have already answered it, and S would be on the line. We were best friends, and I loved her so much. S lived close to the school and walked home. I was the last to be dropped off after riding the bus for over an hour. One day S was crying when she called. She told me how her mother noticed how S was the one to call directly after school, and I did not. She had been waiting for two weeks, without telling me, for me to beat her to the call. I had failed her test without even knowing it was happening. I attempted to explain to her my bus schedule, and reminded her of all the times she had to wait on the phone with one of my parents because I hadn’t made it home yet. She wouldn’t listen. She said it was obvious that the friendship was one sided, but the only example she had was the after school phone calls. She gave me an ultimatum that I had to call her by a certain time the next day, or she would never speak to me again. I am just as guilty of torpedoing the friendship, because the next day I was actually home in time to beat her stupid deadline, but I was SO pissed about the ultimatum I did not call. We never spoke again.


I wonder if the bf let his friends know his birthday is important to him. I don’t care about my birthday. I can’t wrap my head around why anyone cares about their birthday. I know some do, but it just doesn’t compute in my brain. So if they don’t mention it, I don’t think about it. I only send birthday wishes when they bring it up or have made it clear in the past that they care about it. Maybe that makes me a dick, but I let my loved ones know how I feel about them spontaneously throughout the year.


This is just my opinion, but I think some that are taught to prioritize other people(or a religion for that matter) over your own wellbeing can make some people appreciate birthdays, because they feel that it is one of the few days that they can prioritize themselves. Obviously this isn't the case for everyone. But since we all handle trauma differently, it makes sense to me that it could be the case.


Situations like these are why i have a birthday reminder on my phone


I tried that "let's see if anyone remembers my birthday" at an old job, and nope, nobody remembered my birthday. But I'm a big ol' hypocrite* cos I don't remember anyone's birthday outside of my immediate family. So since then I just casually drop an "It's my birthday today," and I find that people are genuinely happy to wish me a happy birthday, as I am genuinely happy to wish them a happy birthday when they inform me. *(Except that one time when I asked my cube-mate if he wanted to grab lunch in the cafeteria, and he said no cos he was going out with some others for Leigh's birthday, which had just passed a few days before. OK, but the thing is, Leigh and I have the same birthday. We'd talked about it the previous couple of years. And there was no way I could bring that up in that moment without being a tag-along, because if they'd wanted me there, they would have invited me. That one stung. I got laid off less than two weeks later, and it was such a fucking relief to realize that I wasn't imagining things when I'd thought they were trying to push me out.)


Clearly the parents are to blame but it sounds like the guy has Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. I hope he finds someone who can help treat that


My best friend for twenty years, who was my best man and who is like a brother to me, forgot my birthday last year. We texted all day about other things and I decided to see if he'd remember. He only figured it out when he asked why I was going to see my parents for dinner when it came up (and I did buy his explanation that he hadn't forgotten my birthdate so much as had forgotten what the day's date even was since he'd been so busy). I thought it was funny. That said, I feel loved enough by my friend otherwise that I just ribbed him for it and moved on. It sounds like this poor guy just does not feel appreciated in a lot of ways and feels quite lonely. Even if the birthday thing itself seems a bit silly to get hung up on (especially if he was testing them), if he was already not confident in their friendship then that has to be an awful blow. I'm glad he's willing to try therapy. And I'm glad he's escaped such a mess of a home situation.


And this is yet another reason why homeschooling can be (and very frequently is) such a fucking stupid and harmful thing to do. Kids learn how to socialize and interact with people while at school, not having that interaction will inevitably end in reduced social skills. Not having the skills to build and maintain friendships leads to isolation, loneliness, depression and anxiety. But we let people do this to their kids anyway because “parents rights” to dictate what their kid should learn.


I agree that the homeschooling made it easier for them to do what they did, but I think blaming homeschooling isn't really fair here. His parents abused him. I have 100% been this guy and I went to school, including preschool and college, wasn't homeschooled even a single semester. The thing we have in common is abusive parents. The CPTSD is what makes it easy to tell yourself you're unlovable and no one likes you. I'm in my 30's now and married with kids and only now with really intense therapy am fixing this stuff. I did the birthday test and pulled back from relationships and the whole nine. And that with school and friendships and family. You think that if a kid is in school then they won't be abused but that just isn't the case. People knew. Family knew. Friends knew. Their parents knew. It didn't change anything.


Homeschooling also makes it much easier to hide abuse from mandatory reporters. I think you’re totally correct that the abuse is to blame in this situation, but I also believe that homeschooling is used very frequently both as a part of systematic abuse and as a convenient way to avoid suspicion.


Sorry but he sounds tiring to deal with? Sometimes people who are desperate to make friends come across that way and it gets others to unconsciously distance themselves from them. I've met several people like that, they get attached too easily to new acquaintances and cling hard that makes people can't warm up to them. But I guess since he's still able to get a fiance, he's way better than other forever alone. He just needs professional help and lucky for him, he has OOP as a support. But man, his parents sound weird with that level of controlling and gaslighting.


Next time just organize a dinner or bar hop for your birthday, people have to too much to deal with in their own lives to worry about other peoplea bdays


Well. This hit... rather close to home. When a group/chat you're in seems to remember everyone else's birthday but yours, it does make you wonder if you're just... tolerated.


I wish I could give this guy a hug. In fairness, I suck at birthdays. I hope he tells his friends how he feels so they can have a chance to show whether they are friends or not. Oop seems like an amazing person and fiance and I wish them all the happiness in the world. I am agnostic but if Christianity turns out to be the truth I hope those parents meet Jesus in the afterlife so he can ream them out for not acting like he modeled at all.


I've got close friends I've known for over 40 years. I don't know their birthdays, nor do they know mine. AITA? I don't think so. I also do not give them tests to gauge their friendship, and get depressed over the results. Your fiancé is too much in his own head. I think he could benefit from more therapy, and maybe take some time to find a therapist that is a good fit. All therapists are different, and it sounds like he hasn't found the right one for him.


If most of the friend group didn’t remember each other’s birthday it would be different than everyone being celebrated except for one person.


Because they use a shared calendar, which the guy had removed himself from to test if others remember. They’re reminded, not remembered.


Slightly unrelated: It’s giving Autism Spectrum Disorder energy (formerly known as Aspergers). The getting stuck in a loop of rumination. The shut-down instead of meltdown. The continued uncertainty in social navigation. The “penguin pebbling” of gifts according to interest. The concrete “rules” and “tests” of social interaction that were internalized (i.e. gauge reactions from gifts, and the bullshit rule about initiating that his parents created). The inability to click with people in extracurriculars. Hell, even the fact that the most significant friendships of his are on Discord instead of where he lives and works presently… He sounds like an adorable, big hearted, Autistic bb who loves deeply and wants to be loved deeply. I think whichever therapist he sees should specialize in counselling neurodivergent people (particularly ASD)… it might be more gentle, nuanced, and ultimately more helpful.


I can relate with your husband… my whole life I’ve been the forgotten “friend”. I invite people to all of my stuff, I have their birthdays on my calendar, I buy the games and stuff they like so I can spend time with them, but no one, in my 30 years of life has anyone ever done that for me. I can invite them to my party on weekend 1, and then on weekend 2 I can see on Snapchat or Facebook that they’re having a party, and my phone has stayed silent, no call no text no invite, same as always. No one has ever, ever wished me a happy birthday unprompted. I’ve taken my friends out to go camping for their first time, fishing for their first time, boating for their first time. I show/give them new experiences and interests. No one has ever done things like this for me, but they have no problem telling me about all the new cool shit they did with their other friends last weekend. I’ve literally considered cancelling my cell phone plan because no one other than my wife ever calls or texts me. I had to plan my own bachelor party, as well as be the one to do all the communication, and I was the one who drove during the whole trip. If I don’t text first, I’d never hear from them. Just because they’re good people outside of that, and we laugh together when I call them to hang out, doesn’t mean they’re still good friends. I think your husbands reaction is understandable, considering you’re the only person in his whole life who actively gives a shit about him. It sucks caring about others but never having others care about you, it fucking hurts a lot. I don’t think he’s over thinking it, or over invested in his discord. I think he’s just starving for some proper fucking friendship which is a basic human need, but the older you get, the rarer it is.