There is no “E – none of the above”
I’m big on thinking outside of the box – in fact I have been accused of forgetting where the box is. However, there are times when we need to work with the choices offered, even if we don’t like any of the choices very much. This is often true in marriage, and many hurt feelings and long-term problems come from refusing to choose from the options given.
Trying to add a choice to what she has offered is a not so subtle form of rejecting her, or what she needs, or who she feels she is. It’s saying what she thinks she can do is not good enough, that you expect something more than she is willing or able to do. It may be saying her best is not good enough, or her limits are unacceptable.
Of course your intentions are not what I have said above. We want to add to the choices because we don’t like any of them. We don’t feel any of the choices give us what we want. The selfishness is not about not caring for her, but about caring for ourselves. Thing is, it’s rude to just add what you want to the list as if it not being there is an obvious oversight. Maybe she really can’t give you anything more than the choices she offered. Maybe she would be stretching to do one or more of the choices she has offered.
So, when she says she can do A, B, or C, show her the respect of picking one of those unless doing so is a violation of the law, your morality, or something deep inside that really matters. If you really can’t live with any of the choices, you better have a very good reason why, and it better be more than your own selfishness or habits.
Am I saying just live with it, don’t ever tell her you want more than what she has offered? No, that is not my point. What matters here is how you go about it. Let her know what you want, and that you hope it can be a choice in the future. This validates her, and tells her you care about who she is, her struggles, and her limits. At the same time, you have told her what you want, but in a way that is not demanding or threatening.