A little backstory: u/the__painter painted something for her boyfriend as a birthday gift. She comes from a “lower income” household, whereas he comes from an “affluent family.” Now, she painted him a scene from Bioshock, which she says is his favorite game. According to her, she researched this for months and took a long time to paint it. Now, read on, folks, and see if she deserved what she got.
My boyfriend John is extremely difficult to buy presents for. He came from an affluent family and has a great job, and buys everything he wants whenever he wants it. I am lower income. I lost my job a few months ago and had to take on other one, which pays less, and I am struggling to pay my part of the rent and pay off my student loans. It is difficult for him to understand this most of the time.
I love to paint. My boyfriend has said my paintings are very good and that he likes them a lot. Since my income is so low, I decided to paint my boyfriend a painting for his birthday (Saturday). I researched this for months beforehand. I decided to paint a scene from his favorite game, Bioshock, with him as a Big Daddy character. I know it sounds cheesy but I honestly thought he would like it because he always said I was talented and he loves this game. I poured a ton of work into it. A week before his birthday, he had been hinting heavily at wanting a new iPhone.
When I presented him with the painting, he asked me if this was his present and if I got him something else. I told him this was his present and that I’d worked on it for months special for him. He got upset and told me a bunch of awful things, saying that it’s a “cheap and lazy gift” and that I was cheap in general. I was trying to diffuse the situation and I told him that I was sorry he didn’t like it but I wasn’t able to get him iPhone he wanted. He took the painting and he didn’t tear it, but he sort of bent and crinkled it, completely ruining the paint. He told me that I obviously didn’t care about what he wanted and that I was bad at budgeting and all of this ranting.
It came out that he resented paying for groceries and utilities even though he’d agreed to this before. I told him that if he wanted to discuss that we could but this wasn’t a good reaction. He told me that I was just after him for money and that he didn’t want a “shitty painting” when he could apparently be in a committed relationship with another girl at his workplace who makes more money. Then he told me “but I love you” as though it was an excuse for what he said. Then he said that this girl had brought him a red velvet cake for his birthday which is his favorite cake, which I didn’t care about. I told him that I baked him a chocolate cake earlier in the week with cream cheese frosting and that is basically red velvet cake. He switched and said that she had gotten it from his favorite bakery, and some random girl knows which bakery he likes over me. I just went to bed. This morning he’s gone and so is the painting. He sent me a text saying he went out to an Easter/birthday brunch with his parents and he’ll be back soon.
I’m not sure if I want to end the relationship, which has a ton of commitment involved. He has never acted like this before about money, and I don’t know what’s up, because he’s not telling me. I think he might be interested in this other girl or at least jealous of how much money she makes compared to me. How am I even supposed to approach this? I am already feeling very hurt about the painting and I’m not sure that’s a good place to start another argument.
Wow, like what the fuck is that guy’s deal? What should she do?