Marriage Communication: What does "If you must" mean to you?

Steve

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Very curious. I am guessing that it means something different to men and women, but I'd like to know for sure.

Let's say I have been looking at a new grill. It's normally around $1200, but I find one that's really well built... not the brand name, but functionally the same as the $1200 and they're only asking $600. Then it goes down to $400. I can no longer in good conscious pass it up.

Me: "Honey. It's a lot of money, but I'd really like this grill. Any problem taking the money out of savings?"
Her: "If you must."

Believe it or not, this didn't actually happen to me, but it could have. It happened to a good friend and we laughed because we interpreted "if you must" exactly the same way, which it turns out is NOT how his wife meant it. :)

So, what say you? What would you have done in this situation?
 

Blindside

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Buy the grill knowing that she won't be happy about it, if she meant "no" she should have said "no."
 
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Steve

Steve

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Thanks guys. I'd love to hear more from both the guys and the girls.

FWIW, my interpretation would be, "Fine. I think it's dumb, but go ahead." Her actual, in real life interpretation was, "No, but I'm giving you the chance to figure that out yourself."
 

crushing

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To properly respond one must know what 'if you must' really means in this context. As you likely found is that "If you must" = "Hell no! I've got other plans for that money that are so ridiculous I don't want to open a discussion as to what they are because we would end up choosing your idea. So hopefully my terse response will get you to second guess the real meaning behind it and you will decide that it may not be a good idea to make the purchase so I can go ahead and make the purchase I want anyway."

The key to the response is to effectively not let on that you know the real meaning and to respond to her reply quickly and innocently as possible to thank her for her agreement with the purchase and she won't be sorry with the delicious foodstuffs that are to be prepared on said grill. Might as well be grilling while one of you is stewing.
 

Ken Morgan

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What it means to me is these people need to stop playing games and really learn to communicate, or else when something truly serious comes along there will be major anger and resentment issues. No means no, yes means yes, any code that may "mean" yes or no, is bull ****.
 
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Steve

Steve

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Exactly.

The point to notice, the clue, is that she DIDN'T say 'yes'....
:D What's funny is that before talking to my buddy, i would swear that she had, in fact, said "yes." You're right that she didn't say "yes." But she also didn't say "no."
 
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Steve

Steve

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What it means to me is these people need to stop playing games and really learn to communicate, or else when something truly serious comes along there will be major anger and resentment issues. No means no, yes means yes, any code that may "mean" yes or no, is bull ****.
Great point, Ken. Tests and traps can be a great way to destroy a marriage. I'm not sure that this was meant to be either of those in the actual situation, but the lack of clarity can damage the marriage either way.
 

arnisador

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Very curious. I am guessing that it means something different to men and women, but I'd like to know for sure.

Let's say I have been looking at a new grill. It's normally around $1200, but I find one that's really well built... not the brand name, but functionally the same as the $1200 and they're only asking $600. Then it goes down to $400. I can no longer in good conscious pass it up.

Me: "Honey. It's a lot of money, but I'd really like this grill. Any problem taking the money out of savings?"
Her: "If you must."

Believe it or not, this didn't actually happen to me, but it could have. It happened to a good friend and we laughed because we interpreted "if you must" exactly the same way, which it turns out is NOT how his wife meant it. :)

So, what say you? What would you have done in this situation?

In that situation? I'd buy two of those grills in case the first one broke.
 

Scott T

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She just gave me plausible deniability. I'd be buying that sucker!
 
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Steve

Steve

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In that situation? I'd buy two of those grills in case the first one broke.
Hahaha... wait... you're divorced. Right? ;)

Quick aside, while the story itself didn't actually happen to me, the grill part did. I've been eyeing the ceramic "kamado" style grills for a long time and when Costco's grill went on sale for $400, I actually took a couple hours off work to go down and buy one. :D You can easily spend $1000 - $1200 on one, and at $400, this is an absolute steal. I've heard that in some parts of the country (I presume where the weather isn't all that conducive to bbq), they are going for $300, but not around here.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I wouldn't have bought that grill if that was her response. I have been happily married for over twenty years and I guess I understand certain things. ;)
 
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Steve

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I wouldn't have bought that grill if that was her response. I have been happily married for over twenty years and I guess I understand certain things. ;)
LOL. Thanks for the response, Brian. I've been at it for 20 years myself, and I definitely would have bought the grill. I'll add, though, that communication is a two way street. I think my wife and I communicate very well, and if she said "If you must" to me, I'm confident we'd both be on the same page (whatever page that might be) :D
 

granfire

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Thanks guys. I'd love to hear more from both the guys and the girls.

FWIW, my interpretation would be, "Fine. I think it's dumb, but go ahead." Her actual, in real life interpretation was, "No, but I'm giving you the chance to figure that out yourself."

Oh, the 'I am not telling you how I feel, but you better guess right' shpiel....

Can't stand people who do that...
Then again, I rolled the eyes last time DH wanted to go to the pawn shop (buying, not selling).
I conveyed how I felt...and he got mad. Go figure.

But getting an expensive item - you hopefully use a lot - for 1/3 of the original price....
It is easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission!
 

jks9199

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It's a GRILL!! Why was there a question? Cooking with fire! Win.

Seriously... You have to understand when there's a "I don't really agree" and when it's "I don't care." And if one half of the conversation isn't making their opinion clear -- then it's on them as much as the recipient.
 

jks9199

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Exactly.

The point to notice, the clue, is that she DIDN'T say 'yes'....

Nor did she say "No."

Communication has two sides. If you don't send the message you intend to send, you can't blame the recipient for hearing the message they wanted to hear. Don't play games, say what you mean.
 

ballen0351

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My wife learned along time ago if she tries that code crap I'm going to do what in fact I may do what I don't want just to piss her off. She better give me a real answer. Come tothink of it iI'm not sure why she stays
 

Tgace

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A $1200 grill for $400???

WHO CARES WHAT IT MEANS? BUY IT!!!!!!


:)

When my wife gives me attitude after similar situations I point out that I gave her the chance to air her objections...and that I gave her the courtesy of consulting instead of just buying. I haven't had the same consideration in the past. But I get over it. :)
 

granfire

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My wife learned along time ago if she tries that code crap I'm going to do what in fact I may do what I don't want just to piss her off. She better give me a real answer. Come tothink of it iI'm not sure why she stays

LOL!
She must have a good reason... :angel:
 
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