I have a question for you about what you can expect from a friend and/or what you should accept from a friend.
I've known this person 22 years, through ups and downs, and some periods of much-needed separation. They personally don't like birthdays, due to family issues dealing with their own. I know this, understand, and even though it's hard for me I purposely don't acknowledge their birthday, because that is their wish. However, I am a person that loves my birthday. I believe it is the one day that a person can expect to be wished well, and darn it sometimes, they need to hear that.
However, when my birthday comes around (February 3, a day they knows by heart) there is no acknowledgement of mine.
Example: If you are familiar with Facebook, it automatically alerts you on a friends birthday. Therefore, you receive good wishes from people even if you haven't talked to them in years, which is still sweet. It is extremely easy to do. However, even though posting all day this person doesn't send you a message.
Later, on your birthday evening, they text you and joke about the Superbowl and still make no mention. (Every few years, the two dates coincide.) What am I supposed to think? Would you be upset by this?
Someone purposely doesn't wish you well on a day when they know that you would appreciate it. This is also a person who has yet to mention your college graduation even though they know just how long and circuitous a journey it was for you. In fact, soon after, when in the presence of someone else congratulating me, they sat silent. I can't help feeling it is a purposeful withholding of what they knew I wanted and would have appreciated. Who does that?
This is the nature of our strange relationship. This person has a way of making me feel unsure of myself and wonder if I have made a big deal out of nothing. In a series of texts sent last night at midnight I was told that I should understand (because of their personal feelings about their birthday) that I am being insensitive and small minded to expect them to acknowledge my birthday. These were sent because after treating me to dinner Friday they got mad when I thanked them for my "belated birthday" dinner. As soon as that came out of my mouth I regretted it because of the look on their face but was that insensitive? To even accidentally "insinuate" that they acknowledged my birthday? Please let me know what you think. Am I wrong in thinking that the average person wouldn't think and act that way?
Update: Thank you everyone for weighing in on this. I know this isn't a healthy relationship and this behavior (at least the graduation thing) isn't new for us. He has the ability to make me feel irrelevant with just a few words and I continue to let him do that. I know what I should do. What I've done many times before...sever the connection but it is extremely hard. But this isn't healthy and unfortunately, I don't think it ever will be. For anyone that thinks I am making a big thing out of nothing, there is much more to this story, twenty-two years more.