Yesterday I asked if false choices might be hurting your marriage. I said false choices came from either our own thinking, or from someone else.
Often false choices are a matter of never thinking beyond what we have always accepted. We have always thought the choice was being harsh or being walked all over, and have never seen the option of being kind but refusing to let people take advantage of us. Sometimes the choices were valid in the past but are not now – for example, being celibate or sinning is a valid choice when we are single, but not when we are married.
In marriage, spouses can push false choices on each other. Sometimes this is innocent – passing on false choices we believe to be valid choices. Other times, we intentionally offer false choices to manipulate and get our way. Most sentences starting with “If you loved me you would …” or “If you cared about how I feel …” are false choices.
As you start to see false choices for what they are, you will need to find ways to reject them lovingly. You might say, “I do love you, but I am exhausted and _______ will have to wait another day.” You could say, “I see what you are saying, but I think there other options we can explore.” False choices are lies, and there is nothing loving about accepting a lie. Be as gentle as possible, but do not accept lies when you see them for what they are.
There are four posts in this series (current post in bold):
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