I’m trying to understand why you searched for this. Is your wife constantly pissed off at you? Is your husband unable to appreciate what you do for him, everyday despite him turning from a loving husband to a huge prick no matter what you do? Did you give a gift and they were unable to appreciate it, unable to articulate their thanks?
My MIL called on a day I was woefully unprepared to be on the phone, and I stuttered and blathered and sat quietly through the conversation, unable to pick up on or even find the cues she meant for me to find. I stared wildly at my computer, at my child, my husband. I passed the phone off to my child a few times, and she handed it back far too quickly. The MIL couldn’t get the hint, and I started to panic.
I’m not ungrateful. I wouldn’t have a new orbital sander if it wasn’t for them. I just don’t always know what to say, especially if “thank you” doesn’t quite suffice. I am at a loss for words quite frequently, and maybe your person is as well. Sometimes, you’ve already said thanks, and you don’t quite understand why you need to say it again.
We’re not ungrateful. We just don’t get it.
When I was about 18, I used to get into actual arguments with my writing teacher about why I hated being asked/asking people ‘how are you?”. He argued it was an accepted insincere statement meant as part of a greeting ritual-I viewed it as something mindless and unneccessary-why should I greet someone I have no interest in, soliciting information I don’t even pay attention to? I hate it when people do it to me, and I end up forced to lie and say ‘fine”..
No one wants to hear “Well, I had the runs last night and I’m still feeling a bit incontinent, but other than that, Great!”.
Maybe they’re ungrateful because they just don’t get it. Much as I don’t understand the “How are you-Fine” exchange, they might not understand how to suitably demonstrate gratitude. I have to force myself to show it sometimes, even when I do love something. I’m so used to trying to hold a cynical front, that it’s become difficult to really be me. And perhaps your person has that trouble too.
Be comforted in the knowledge that they likely know they’re being asshats. They just don’t know what to do about it.