In my relationship, I'm the Remember-er. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, parties, dentist appointments....everything. I remember it all. As a result I do most of the planning for these things - the gift buying, the card writing, the trip planning, the phone calling. For the most part it works.
Except when he forgets to pass on incredibly important information. Sometimes he just forgets and that's fine - it's usually something like letting me know that it's so-and-so's birthday party tonight and we need a gift rightthissecond. Annoying, but not a huge deal. But this morning, he told me that a very close friend of his mother passed away - someone who had been very kind to me when Mr. Buttcheeks and I started dating and I was terrified of screwing up in front of his family, and who continued to be very nice to me throughout our 8 year relationship. I wasn't even aware that her friend was sick, but apparently Mr. Buttcheeks' mom had been giving him weekly updates on his liver cancer diagnosis.
Last night he spoke to his mom on the phone while sitting next to me (I was engrossed in Nashville), and after they hung up I asked how his mom was.
Him: "Fine. We don't need to get her that thing for Christmas, she already bought it."
Me: "Oh, ok. I'll think of something else to get her for Christmas. Anything else?"
Him: "No. She said thanks for the invitation to your parent's place for Christmas dinner."
Me: "Ok cool."
So this morning when he texted me that the friend had passed away, I called him back in tears. He sounded surprised that I was upset. Um, I didn't even know he was sick. His response? "Oh, mom told me last night that she'd visited him and he looked really bad. They didn't think he was going to last much longer."
THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A RELEVANT THING TO TELL ME WHEN I ASKED HOW HIS MOM WAS LAST NIGHT. In fact, a whole lot more important than telling me to get a different present for Christmas! I think he may have been trying to protect me from the information because he knew I'd be sad, but now I'm shocked (because I didn't even know the friend was sick), sad (because someone I liked a lot died), and mad (because I could have called, sent flowers, something to let the friend know I was thinking of him). Had I known it was coming, I might have been better prepared for the news and not ended up crying at my desk at work.
I keep telling myself that he just doesn't handle conflict or big emotions very well (which is very true) and that that's why he didn't tell me, but it's not helping. It's one thing to not pass on trivial information, but DUDE. This was IMPORTANT.