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The family Easter dinner is off. Not because I followed some advice here like "Man up and tell her NO", or telling my wife "They're not getting in the door". That's not how our relationship functions and probably why it has lasted this long. Instead of making this a battle of wills I contacted my son and mildly suggested I didn't think it was a good idea. He was wavering already and decided not to come. Then I told my wife I'd support her decision if she wanted to continue with my daughter & her family but I did have some reservations. After a day she agreed. I've learned a few things after 50 years of marriage.
I told you to man up pwm. How you choose to do that is entirely up to you. It's an expression that goes straight to the point and is not ambiguous as to the intent. The point was that there should be no dinner and I'm glad to hear it is off.

Bear in mind, you posted that you WERE going to go along with it and THAT is what I reacted to. There should never have been any thought about going along with it to begin with. You might have chosen to bide your time, sow some seeds and then come to agreement it was a bad idea. But you should NEVER had been thinking about going along with it at all and that is what you posted that you were in fact doing.

To me was no different than if someone had posted I intend to drink and drive. My reaction would be the same, 'NO, don't do that, it is a wrong thing to do.'

My wife and I have been married for 20 years. Not as long as you have been married certainly but what you have learned over 50 years is how to get along with your wife. You have a relationship that works for you. In my relationship with my wife, we work differently. If one or the other says 'no' to something, it does not have to be justified to the other and both of us really dislike any attempt to 'manipulate' us. What someone might think is being 'subtle' in getting their point across is often something we both see as attempting to manipulate someone. From my perspective, you had to 'manipulate' your wife to get her to change her mind. Different strokes as they say.

If my wife had said, 'I think we should have the family over for dinner', my immediate reaction would have been, 'you've got to be joking. That's not happening'. There would have been no argument, no anger. We both agree or it doesn't happen. If I said, 'I think we should buy a new car while this virus is getting the manufacturers to offer good deals', I can imagine the same response coming from my wife and that would be the end of that idea.

We may all have our different ways of doing things but none of us should ever be even thinking about 'going along to get along' with what we know to be a bad idea. That is not how good relationships are built.
 

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The family Easter dinner is off. Not because I followed some advice here like "Man up and tell her NO", or telling my wife "They're not getting in the door". That's not how our relationship functions and probably why it has lasted this long. Instead of making this a battle of wills I contacted my son and mildly suggested I didn't think it was a good idea. He was wavering already and decided not to come. Then I told my wife I'd support her decision if she wanted to continue with my daughter & her family but I did have some reservations. After a day she agreed. I've learned a few things after 50 years of marriage.
Glad to hear it worked out. Ultimatums, threats, and aggressiveness may work in the short term, but it's strong communication, reason and understanding that make things work in the long term. I know the times I have been on the fence on something and someone lecturing me or being condescending has usually resulted in me digging in. You should advice for some here that think being right is enough.
 

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Glad to hear it worked out. Ultimatums, threats, and aggressiveness may work in the short term, but it's strong communication, reason and understanding that make things work in the long term. I know the times I have been on the fence on something and someone lecturing me or being condescending has usually resulted in me digging in. You should advice for some here that think being right is enough.
There is a time and place for ultimatums.

If someone was insisting on a course of action that violated the law and put my family, let alone my extended families life at risk. I would first clarify their intent, and respond with the appropriate level of aggressiveness.

If it has to get to the point of ultimatums, threats and aggressiveness to do the right thing, you either see the situation differently, or have different values.
If it is different perceptions that's one thing, if it's different values, that's a whole other issue, and quite honestly I don't think many relationships can (or necessarily should) withstand that.
 

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There is a time and place for ultimatums.

If someone was insisting on a course of action that violated the law and put my family, let alone my extended families life at risk. I would first clarify their intent, and respond with the appropriate level of aggressiveness.

If it has to get to the point of ultimatums, threats and aggressiveness to do the right thing, you either see the situation differently, or have different values.
If it is different perceptions that's one thing, if it's different values, that's a whole other issue, and quite honestly I don't think many relationships can (or necessarily should) withstand that.
If you see things differently then ultimatums, threats and aggressiveness are not the right tool to get your way. Like PWM, communication, reason, and figuring out together how to meet both needs is the way. If you have different core values, then you probably shouldn't be together. Ultimatums and threats have never ended well long term for the person that attempted on me. I cannot think of any scenario where threatening someone has lended positive results. Immediate results.
 

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Glad to hear it worked out. Ultimatums, threats, and aggressiveness may work in the short term, but it's strong communication, reason and understanding that make things work in the long term. I know the times I have been on the fence on something and someone lecturing me or being condescending has usually resulted in me digging in. You should advice for some here that think being right is enough.
Being RIGHT is enough Plugging Along if both understand that RIGHT is right ONLY when BOTH agree it is right. For example, a dress my wife might think is lovely still has to be a dress I will be happy to be seen with her wearing. If it isn't then it is WRONG for one of us and that is enough. I'm not reluctant at all to say, 'no, I don't like it' and when I do, I do not get an argument from my wife about it.

There are no 'ultimatums, threats or aggressiveness' required to being honest in your relationship. Right requires BOTH to agree it is right. WRONG only requires one to say it is wrong.
 

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Being RIGHT is enough Plugging Along if both understand that RIGHT is right ONLY when BOTH agree it is right. For example, a dress my wife might think is lovely still has to be a dress I will be happy to be seen with her wearing. If it isn't then it is WRONG for one of us and that is enough. I'm not reluctant at all to say, 'no, I don't like it' and when I do, I do not get an argument from my wife about it.

There are no 'ultimatums, threats or aggressiveness' required to being honest in your relationship. Right requires BOTH to agree it is right. WRONG only requires one to say it is wrong.
If my wife had said, 'I think we should have the family over for dinner', my immediate reaction would have been, 'you've got to be joking. That's not happening'. There would have been no argument, no anger. We both agree or it doesn't happen. If I said, 'I think we should buy a new car while this virus is getting the manufacturers to offer good deals', I can imagine the same response coming from my wife and that would be the end of that idea.

We may all have our different ways of doing things but none of us should ever be even thinking about 'going along to get along' with what we know to be a bad idea. That is not how good relationships are built.
LTA, I think no two relationships are the same and some work very well no doubt in ways others would find difficult to understand. No doubt your relationship with your wife and the dynamics of that relationship work well for you as a couple.

I have been married for getting close to 20 years and I know we would not have lasted long under your relationship style. The wife's dress example. You will accept only what you "will be happy to be seen with her wearing". That suggests when she shops for clothes, when she picks out what she will wear on a given day, she must be thinking of your tastes equally with her own. Even more so, keeping in mind your veto power. In our case, if my wife thinks it's lovely and will feel good wearing it, I'll be happy to see her wearing it. I simply cannot imagine seeing my wife walk into my presence wearing just about anything, me saying "I don't like it" and her turning on her heel to forthwith to sally forth and make another choice, hoping this time to strike the right chord with the master.

As for going along with a bad idea, in our relationship, I would say both of us do that now and again. But not in the matter of anything of significance. Again, take the dress idea. I might think my wife's choice of dress for a particular occasion, or simply not being to my taste, is a "bad idea". But so what? It's such a small thing, why even mention it? She can adorn herself how she likes. And, even though she is more than a quarter century my junior, I am not her parent or person in authority.

And as for my wife saying 'I think we should have the family over for dinner', if my immediate reaction were, 'you've got to be joking. That's not happening', then I would have to expect to sleep in the woodshed that night. I would never consider speaking to her in that manner. If I thought it wrong, I would say so, and say why. I would hear her view. She might come back to me with something like: "Well, the family members to be invited live in similar circumstances to us. On a remote island. They have not been to town or mixed with others for more then 3 weeks. I think the risk that any of us is carrying the covid-19 virus is minuscule. I perceive the risk to be at an acceptable level." I might well find myself persuaded by that line of reasoning even while my initial reaction was no, any social mixing is a bad idea. The tv just told me so.
 

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Lol...what a great idea...I don't like your dress...go change into something I approve of. Sprayed some coffee...thanks!
Are we to take it then that you are afraid to say you don't like something Eder?
LTA, I think no two relationships are the same and some work very well no doubt in ways others would find difficult to understand. No doubt your relationship with your wife and the dynamics of that relationship work well for you as a couple.

I have been married for getting close to 20 years and I know we would not have lasted long under your relationship style. The wife's dress example. You will accept only what you "will be happy to be seen with her wearing". That suggests when she shops for clothes, when she picks out what she will wear on a given day, she must be thinking of your tastes equally with her own. Even more so, keeping in mind your veto power. In our case, if my wife thinks it's lovely and will feel good wearing it, I'll be happy to see her wearing it. I simply cannot imagine seeing my wife walk into my presence wearing just about anything, me saying "I don't like it" and her turning on her heel to forthwith to sally forth and make another choice, hoping this time to strike the right chord with the master.

As for going along with a bad idea, in our relationship, I would say both of us do that now and again. But not in the matter of anything of significance. Again, take the dress idea. I might think my wife's choice of dress for a particular occasion, or simply not being to my taste, is a "bad idea". But so what? It's such a small thing, why even mention it? She can adorn herself how she likes. And, even though she is more than a quarter century my junior, I am not her parent or person in authority.

And as for my wife saying 'I think we should have the family over for dinner', if my immediate reaction were, 'you've got to be joking. That's not happening', then I would have to expect to sleep in the woodshed that night. I would never consider speaking to her in that manner. If I thought it wrong, I would say so, and say why. I would hear her view. She might come back to me with something like: "Well, the family members to be invited live in similar circumstances to us. On a remote island. They have not been to town or mixed with others for more then 3 weeks. I think the risk that any of us is carrying the covid-19 virus is minuscule. I perceive the risk to be at an acceptable level." I might well find myself persuaded by that line of reasoning even while my initial reaction was no, any social mixing is a bad idea. The tv just told me so.
As you say, we all differ and what works for one couple may not for another. I can't imagine wearing say a suit my wife hating seeing me in. We are just honest in telling each other what we like or don't like. To me that's as simple as it gets. There's never a question of sleeping in the woodshed for having said so.

You used the word 'master' whether intentionally or not. There is no part of 'master' in our relationship whatsoever. We are a true partnership and while it might seem corny, there is no I, there is only US. Either we are both happy with something or we are both not happy. I don't know how else to express it.

Eder comments about 'go change into something I approve of'. That 'approve of' implies a 'master' or 'boss' with the other person being somehow subservient. We don't see it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #69
The family Easter dinner is off. Not because I followed some advice here like "Man up and tell her NO", or telling my wife "They're not getting in the door". That's not how our relationship functions and probably why it has lasted this long. Instead of making this a battle of wills I contacted my son and mildly suggested I didn't think it was a good idea. He was wavering already and decided not to come. Then I told my wife I'd support her decision if she wanted to continue with my daughter & her family but I did have some reservations. After a day she agreed. I've learned a few things after 50 years of marriage.

Nicely done pwm... I could learn a lot from you. This is a better way to deal with people.

Well done sir, keeping your family safe while preserving good relationships.

Have a nice holiday weekend and cheers, from a neighbour in Manitoba
 

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Being RIGHT is enough Plugging Along if both understand that RIGHT is right ONLY when BOTH agree it is right. For example, a dress my wife might think is lovely still has to be a dress I will be happy to be seen with her wearing. If it isn't then it is WRONG for one of us and that is enough. I'm not reluctant at all to say, 'no, I don't like it' and when I do, I do not get an argument from my wife about it.

There are no 'ultimatums, threats or aggressiveness' required to being honest in your relationship. Right requires BOTH to agree it is right. WRONG only requires one to say it is wrong.
Being right has very little to people both agreeing. A couple could both agree on the same thing, and they would just both be wrong. The definitions of 'Right' are: 1 true or correct as a fact.; OR 2 morally good, justified, or acceptable OR 3. in a satisfactory, sound, or normal state or condition.

Out of those three possible definitions, the only one that is black and white is the first where it can be backed up by facts that are not disputed. The other two definitions on what acceptable is based on values, circumstances, etc or agreeing to a baseline normal condition. Both are up for discussion.

In none of the definitions does a group agreeing on something make anything right. Is just means that there will be less arguments. On the same thought, wrong doesn't mean someone disagree. Disagreeing just means they have a differing opinion. One can only be wrong if they are factually wrong, or in our morally wrong. To teach our kids on what is wrong we always used the guideline if it's illegal, or hurtful to yourself or others, then it's wrong. Everything else is just a difference in opinion.

In your dress or attire example, in our house it would be fine to give an opinion and reasoning on why we didn't want the other person to not wear something, but the other person would make their own decision on how they conduct themselves. There would be no way I, my spouse, or kids would not do something just because someone didn't like something. It would be up to each person to weigh out the difference in opinions. The final decision isn't wrong or right, but one could have be better outcome.

It good that you have found a partner that is fine with how you interact. That would be not be acceptable with me and I hope my kids would not find that acceptable My spouse/partner for over 25 years, that would not have worked. Again, neither of our ways are right or wrong. Just different.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
And now, my dad (who's over 70) wants to fly across Canada to visit me. And it's not like he never sees me ... I was with him just a couple weeks ago!

I'm not a fan of this idea. He says he would stay in a hotel, but I still think travel (planes & airports) puts his life in danger. It also puts me in danger because of what he might pick up along the way.

But I'm also concerned that if I discourage his visit this summer, that he eventually won't be able to control himself and visit during a much more dangerous time, like Nov/Dec. Maybe it's better to get this out of the way in summer?
 

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Spending time with a person because you will miss them when they are dead is illogical. You miss a person more who you see more frequently then you miss when you almost never saw them at all.

The above is not a reason not to see your father but more a way of putting logic over emotion. Your father travelling to see you is just a dumb idea. That is the sum of all the plus's and minus's of it.
 

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And now, my dad (who's over 70) wants to fly across Canada to visit me. And it's not like he never sees me ... I was with him just a couple weeks ago!

I'm not a fan of this idea. He says he would stay in a hotel, but I still think travel (planes & airports) puts his life in danger. It also puts me in danger because of what he might pick up along the way.

But I'm also concerned that if I discourage his visit this summer, that he eventually won't be able to control himself and visit during a much more dangerous time, like Nov/Dec. Maybe it's better to get this out of the way in summer?
Now you are self-justifying a bad decision. He should not fly, end of story. Tell him if he does, you will not see him. A visit requires two people participating, refuse to participate.
 

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@james4beach You can only control your part with your father. If you think its a bad idea (I do but that is irrelevant), then you tell him so and that you will not visit with him if he comes in the summer or in Nov/Dec. You can tell him kindly and with care, but you can refuse.

I have changed my whole family schedule in order to be able to safely visit and help my father at his house. As things have opened up, he told me he wanted to go to the legion with his senior friends (all 80+) to visit and play cards, because 'they legally can'. He kept telling me how our province allows it and they would not be fined and they would take precautions. He really wanted to and wanted to try since it was legal. I had to remind him the sacrifices my family was making to help him, the risks that he brought to me, and the impacts if he does get sick. I also had to ask him about all the people that his was meeting and their bubbles. If he could not trace back their bubbles he was at risk. I suggested that if ever person planning to attend and their live in family would get a test earlier that week, and quarantine until they meet, then it would be safe. I also had to ask him what was the impact of him not going, the answer was he would be bored.

In the end he hit the realization that in order to go safely, it wasn't going to happen, and just because others were going didn't mean he should. I also told him I wouldn't go through what we are doing to help him if he couldn't stay home. Sometimes as kids we just have to put our foot down.
 

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I always used to let my Dad do as he wished. We would have a discussion and then he would decide what he wanted to,do. Your only practical choice is to offer to visit him again. Refusing to see him is childish.
 

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I think this reopening thing has a lot of people confused. Seniors, and those inflicted with low IQs seem to think that it means that it is safe. From the evidence that I have seen the virus seems to be just as deadly and is still with us. I agree that for some reason it seems to be a little less contagious these days, here in Canada anyway, but no one seems to want to investigate if that is a permanent thing or something that will likely change. It could just be that less infection creates less infection and all we need to change it is more infection. I am sure we will find out and there seems to be a lot of people willing to be the test subjects here.

Anyway, I am still planning to avoid it. Not sure why others have decided not worry about it or what it can still do to them and the people they love the most. I suspect it is probably a "weakest link" issue. In other words, you only need one person in a family or bubble to feel the risks are acceptable and that seems to create enough peer pressure for the rest to put aside their common sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #80
Anyway, I am still planning to avoid it. Not sure why others have decided not worry about it or what it can still do to them and the people they love the most. I suspect it is probably a "weakest link" issue. In other words, you only need one person in a family or bubble to feel the risks are acceptable and that seems to create enough peer pressure for the rest to put aside their common sense.
I agree, the risk is still out there, and significant. Peer pressure can result in people agreeing to do things that contradict common sense.

I ended up telling my mom & dad that they can visit me if they really want, but I reminded them (1) I think flying is pretty dangerous right now and I'm not flying anywhere and (2) I will minimize contact with anyone who has been flying. So if they visit me, I can talk to them outdoors and go for walks, but I won't be spending any significant time indoors with them because I think the risk is too high. That means I won't eat at a restaurant with them, won't sit together for dinners.

I think they interpret all of this as an unfriendly response. I just think flying and spending time in airports is dangerous.
 
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