NEVER, that's when. This thought process began with this post of BusyMom's. I think my entire family does it. I really do. The only difference is in how we deal with it; by that I mean what form of manipulation we choose.
The idea is this: "I will let you make all the decisions you want, as long as the results are the same as if I had decided." In other words, "I would like to create the illusion, for your sake, because I love you and value your feelings, that you have some control over this metaphorical car we're in together, but I am the one operating the actual controls. Your steering wheel and pedals aren't really hooked up to anything."
Alex and I BOTH have this personality, and I would say it accounts for 95% of the strife between us. I don't know what his excuse is, but I grew up with it, watching two very strong people, who did respect and adore each other greatly, jockey for control. What was great about them was that they both had it, or both thought they did, and so were mostly happy.
One of the memorable exceptions from my childhood was the Sunday after-church restaurant choosing ceremony, which we went through every week, for most of my life, and even after I was grown, and it was our two families going out together. It went something like this:
Dad: " Where would you like to go for lunch, my lovelies?"
Mom: "How about Franke's? I'd like some vegetables."
Dad: "Oh, no. They were terrible last time I went there, and it would be too crowded."
Dad: "Nah, too greasy."
Dad: "I had that yesterday."
All the "lovelies" together: "Anything but Cody's! or Ramada!"
Dad pulls up to the Ramada, where none of us wanted to go.
Mom: "Zane, can I ask you a question?"
Dad: "Why, of course, Dumplin'." (pronounced, for some reason, "dump-a-lin")
Mom: "WHY do you do this every week?"
Dad: "Do what?"
Mom: "If you already know where you're GOING to go, why do you bother to ask where I want to go?"
Dad: "Because, Sweetness, you might guess right! And then you'd be so happy!"
Also, inevitably, whenever by some fluke he was swayed by the wishes of one or more of us (usually we three had to be unanimous to influence him), at some point during the meal he would say, "NOW I remember why I said I would never come here again."
The man I married does the exact. Same. Thing. And will even say to me, "Hey, you mighta guessed right."
And I married the single most opinionated, hard-headed, unmovable block of granite on the planet, Janet. And tied with him is the man that my sister married. You know that immovable object/unopposable force thing? Yeah, that's us. Maybe if we have the gift of another few decades together without self-destructing, we'll figure out how to work it without stomping all over each other's feelings, like my parents and grandparents did. (Awkward sentence, that last one. What I meant was that they, my parents and grandparents, figured it out. Not that they stomped.)
Oh, and the other thing my sister and I both managed to do? We reproduced it, so that our homes would be forever saturated with stubbornness. Yeah. Good times ahead.
Also? Rest of my family and people you married/are about to marry/will marry? You know it's you, too. Quit laughing.