Technically not a lie

What are your thoughts on this? My brother’s a germophobe. He also believes that our kids are the only kids on the planet who get sick and that they’re the source of every communicable disease on the planet, or at least the source of any illness, cough or sniffle he and his family come down with anytime they get sick within a week (before or after) of being around our kids or anyone our kids have been around. Our daughters and I spent Monday evening with my dad. I was supposed to go out with my dad Tuesday morning but our two youngest woke up with an awful cold. I knew my dad was going to see my brother later that day. I backed out of our morning plans, giving the excuse that I hadn’t slept all night and was too tired to go out. This was absolutely true, although the real reason I didn’t go out with him was because our girls were sick. I didn’t want to mention that because I knew that if my brother found out and anyone in his family came down with anything over the course of the next week, he’d blame us and/or our daughters for it. Would you consider what I did to be a lie? Technically speaking, I was telling the truth.

It depends on how your assertion was worded. If you said nothing except true statements, but withheld (reserved) another truth, then it is mental reservation. Not all mental reservation is moral. One must have only good in the intention, and one must reasonably anticipate that the act will not do more harm than good.

There is no obligation to reveal truth to one who has no right to know it.

Probably not a lie.

What happens in your private dwelling is nobody’s business unless you choose to reveal the reason. Also you are free to go into as much or as little as explanation as you see fit.

I have to dealt with friends and families who have the same affliction as your brother. I have told them quite frankly to stay home and that I do not feel comfortable visiting their houses because I am made to feel like an invader.

If the person wants to quarantine themselves from others, let them.

My old mantra towards many people was “I’ll pray for you.” These days the new mantra is three words: SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP.

Rant over.

I wouldn’t worry about it, however, you run the risk of your brother finding out and getting mad at you anyway, if his kids get sick.

My 2 cents for what they are worth. I don’t see the problem with you telling your father you wouldn’t be over because the kids were sick. I always tell people if you are sick stay home. When my father-in-law was in this life my wife and I would not go to see him if we were sick(he was in his late 80’s-early 90’s). If we were watching on of his great nieces and she was sick we stayed away. Each time we were sick and stayed away we told him why(he probably appreciated our concern). I do the same for my mother who is only 78 at the moment.
As for your brother if you care too much about what he or anyone else thinks you are his/their slave. We have no control over what others think, say, or do so please don’t give yourself any anxiety attacks over his beliefs on germs.
to Coach: …seek professional help. Thank you-I may just adopt that-certainly gave me a chuckle. Be well and stay safe.


The problem with telling my dad that I couldn’t see him because our kids had runny noses would be that we had seen him on Monday so if my brother saw him on Tuesday and his son came down with a cold, terrible stomach bug, pneumonia or chicken pox within the next week, we’d get a call asking why we didn’t warn him, or he’d make a Facebook post about us not having the courtesy to tell others when our kids are sick. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s not an annoyance I cared to deal with this week. After the fact, my wife sarcastically said, “Ooooh, be careful he doesn’t find out you lied to your dad; then you’ll really be in trouble!” That led to a discussion about whether or not I’d actually lied.

On a related note, I feel obliged to point out that my brother never–and I mean absolutely, positively never–tells us when his kid is sick before we get together with them. If he’s visibly sick then they’ll tell us shortly after we get there/they get here, but if it’s not something readily observable they won’t tell us until after we’ve been with them all day–you know, after he’s been playing and wrestling with our girls, sharing snacks with them, etc. You can’t imagine how many times we’ve heard, as they’re walking out the door, “Oh, by the way, he has pink eye/diarrhea and a fever/was exposed to chicken pox/etc. We haven’t taken him to the doctor and he’s not taking anything for it, but we’re sure he’s not contagious.” We’re certainly not the only people they do this to, and if anyone even hints that it’s their fault when their own children come down with the exact same illness within a couple days of being around their kid, they’ll explode over the accusations and say there’s no way you can know that because just look at how sick your kids are all the time and their horrible hygiene! :rolleyes:

That was pretty much my take on it. It wasn’t my intent to harm or upset my brother, but I was instead trying to avoid conflict, much of which would have been directed at my dad for not telling them and canceling on Monday night, even though there’s no way he would have known our kids were sick on Monday because they weren’t, yet. Whereas we just get annoyed, he gets really stressed over these things, and he doesn’t need additional stress. As of yet, our girls have gotten better and nobody else has come down with a cold, so we should be in the clear.

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