Husband Refuses To Write Thank You Notes. Should The Wife Write Them for Him?

My husband will not write a thank-you note. He didn’t grow up writing them as I did.

He says thank-you note writing was not a thing that his family did. However, my family has a strong thank-you note-writing tradition, starting with both of my grandmas.

My husband feels that a verbal thank you is sufficient when he receives a gift.

Should I Write Thank You Notes for Him?

In general, I feel that I should not be writing thank-you notes for my husband. However, I have done it!

Our birthdays are sixteen days apart (we were born in different years). My parents give us gifts each year.

Sometimes I delay writing a thank-you note for my gifts (my birthday comes before his), and then write one thank-you note for the gifts and sign it with both of our names. I will also say thank you for both of us for the Christmas gifts from my parents.

We’ve been married for over twenty years, and he has consistently refused to do it. So while I’ve helped millions write thank-you note messages, he isn’t interested.

Should I be concerned with how it reflects on me when my husband doesn’t write thank-you notes?

What Can Happen When You Don’t Write A Thank-You Note

Some people will take you off their gift list if you do not write a thank-you note to them. My husband will be okay if this happens, as he doesn’t expect gifts.

The idea of no longer giving gifts because you didn’t get a thank you note raises the question of why the gift was given. If someone only gives presents to get recognition, perhaps they need to check their motivation.

However, for events like weddings, some people will remember if you don’t write a thank-you note for wedding gifts. The tradition of opening gifts at the wedding reception is no longer common. So, verbally thanking people as the gifts are opened doesn’t happen.

When the wedding is mentioned, they might comment, “They never sent a thank-you note,” What they remember most about the wedding is not being thanked. So they may feel that you are ungrateful and entitled.

I wrote all of the thank-you notes for our wedding gifts. Unfortunately, I messed up my list when recording who gave us each gift. I only found out after writing a thank-you note to my aunt for an item she didn’t give us. To this day, I don’t know who gave us the mini-crockpot.

Should You Write Thank You Notes on Behalf of Someone Else?

When a family member refuses to write thank-you notes, you will have to decide if you want to write them on their behalf.

It could depend on the situation. For example, for an event where gifts are given to the couple, such as their wedding, it’s common for one person to write the thank-you notes and sign both people’s names.

Also, when saying thank you for dinner, when the entire family or a couple is invited, one person can write a thank-you message on behalf of the family.

However, for a birthday gift or a random gift, it may be weird to write a thank you note for someone else. Therefore, you would need to consider the wording carefully.

Can They Say Thank You Another Way?

For those who will not write a handwritten thank-you note, you could suggest they send a thank-you text message. It’s fast and quick.

The older generations especially may be disappointed not to get a handwritten note, but a text is better than no acknowledgment.

I don’t recommend text messages for wedding gifts, but for a birthday gift, a text message will still stay convey their gratitude.

For those like my husband, who will only say a verbal thank you, it can feel frustrating when you’re accustomed to writing thank-you notes. However, the strife to convince him to write a handwritten thank-you note isn’t worth it to me.

Do you have a question regarding thank-you notes? You can submit it to Heidi here.

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Heidi Bender is a writer and author who founded Tons of Thanks. Her goal is to help people write thank you notes by providing  examples examples and tips. She is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes.