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Birthday conflict etiquette

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Me and my wifes anniversary is on the same day as one of my neice/nephews birthday. I already have plans for our anniversary.. nothing huge but we have not had any time to do anything ourselves and wanted to use this day for just us. 

What is the etiquette on something like this. I feel bad if I tell them we cant make it as its our anniversary.

I would like to go to the birthday and try to do our anniversary on another day but my wife got pretty upset when I mentioned that. I am kinda wondering what is the etiquette on this as I cant make everyone happy.


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I feel your Anniversary should be priority. Your niece/nephew will have mom & dad there as well as (other siblings/friends, maybe?). You guys not attending for your own personal reasons will not cause a big stir, I'm sure.

As mentioned, drop by with something for them & a visit another time.



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7 hours ago, Canada said:

I feel bad if I tell them we cant make it as its our anniversary.


Who is “them”? Your side of the family or an overbearing sibling? This just means setting some healthy boundaries and being gracious about it. Tell the parents you’d like to see your niece or nephew the day before to pass a card and gift. Spend some time with the family another day or time when they’re free. 

Spend time with your wife on the day of your anniversary. 

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9 hours ago, Canada said:

Me and my wifes anniversary is on the same day as one of my neice/nephews birthday. I already have plans for our anniversary.. 

How long have you been married? How old is the nephew?

Doesn't this happen every year?

If you already have plans, send a gift/greetings and visit your siblings kids another day.


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Personally, so long as we're talking an actual family celebration or something, I'd opt for the birthday.  But my wife and I are also on the same page where at a social and logistical level, we agree it makes more sense to opt for a gathering when we can much more easily rearrange a special night for just us two.  

That said, conventional wisdom will probably almost always be that your anniversary celebration has to be that special day for the sake of the ~*magic*~.  Assuming we hadn't communicated about things like this prior to tying the knot, it's not something I'd die on a hill over.  If your wife would be legit upset, I'd just stick with the plan and make it a point to visit your niece another time soon with a gift.  Hopefully she's not holding a grudge for you having simply floated the idea in good faith.  

Edited by j.man
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Send a birthday card with an enclosed generous gift card.  You can do this online, too.  Write a nice note and say that you're sorry that you are unable to attend.  However, send your 'Happy Birthday' wishes to your niece / nephew.  Tell the truth.  The truth is both you and your wife had already made plans to celebrate your wedding anniversary. 

Or, you can send a postal birthday card with enclosed gift card.  I put both the birthday greeting card with enclosed gift card in a cushioned box, tape it up well, insure the box and have it delivered by signature confirmation only.  If no one is home, it will not be left on their doorstep.  No one wants porch piracy.  In order to prevent theft, if no one is home to sign for it, they'll pick it up for signature confirmation at their local post office. 

I agree, you can't make everyone happy.  I've since learned that it's fine to decline and learn how to say "NO."  There is a way to do this respectfully and with utmost kindness and generosity.  I've since had a lot of practice. 

I'm a wife.  If I were you, I'd adhere to your original plans and celebrate your wedding anniversary.  Happy wife equals happy life.  🥰

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The OP hasn’t been back to answer any of the questions, (ie. is it a milestone birthday or what the family traditions are).

Anyways, I see the best option here is to try to do both if it is feasible ….. or if you can’t then you’ll have to explain to the family member that you had already made plans. 

That said, as a wife (well once upon a time), if my husband (and I) had been invited to “our” nieces or nephews birthday party and I knew he wanted to go, I would have happily chosen another day to celebrate our anniversary on. Assuming that the niece/nephew is on the husband’s side, I wouldn’t begrudge him wanting to attend a family gathering. Life’s too short! Enjoy two celebrations instead of one! 

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