August 25th: Accepting “No.”

I have always had a hard time accepting the word, “No” as an answer.

As a child, I learned that if someone told you, “No,” if you pushed and pleaded long enough, you could usually get them to change their answer to a “Yes.”

There were no set boundaries or rules.

If you couldn’t get them to change their mind, then you went to the next person in the house, and begged and pleaded with them until they said “Yes.”

This was how my family operated.

You could always find someone to say “Yes” and get your way in the end, because no one took the time to openly communicate or agree upon anything.

So when my husband first said that he wanted a divorce, I didn’t take him seriously. Over the many years we had been together, we had both been able to turn an absolute “NO!” into a “Yes” If we just pushed each other long enough or hard enough.

I believed that if I could manipulate the situation just right… once again… I could get him to change his mind because, he had changed it so many times before.

I didn’t even stop to think if it was truly the right decision for me.

I just didn’t want to hear, “No.”

I didn’t want to accept his answer.

I spent months trying to change his mind until one day, we had a phone conversation that forever changed me.

I was trying to convince my husband to come back when he said, “I’m sorry but I just don’t have the ability to get over everything we’ve both been through. I’m so sorry but I can’t. My answer is no.”

It was the first time I truly heard a “No” in my life and accepted it.

There was something in the way he said it: a resolve in his voice, the way he had spoken it kindly.

I understood.

He was not available to me at this time.

He was not capable of giving me what I wanted or needed.

If a person says, “No” I need to respect their decision.

I have to remember that for whatever reason, it isn’t working for them and therefore, it isn’t going to work for me.

No matter how hard I push to get a different answer, that person will still feel the absolute “No” inside of them.

Do I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who feels “No” when I want them to feel “Yes?”

Is that the type of relationship I want to focus all of my time and energy on?

Next time, I will accept the “No” and realize that I may be standing in the way of my true “Yes.”

“Dear God, help me to accept things as they are. If someone doesn’t want to do something, guide me away from trying to force them into doing it.”

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9 thoughts on “August 25th: Accepting “No.”

  1. Wow this is eye opening….I so can relate to every word of this! I was also raised the same way and for the most part raised my first three children the same way. If they push hard enough they can get what they want. I have another opportunity with my last one to change all that kind of behavior….believe me it is hard work too! She tries and tries to manipulate all the time and I try very very hard to stick my ground, because I don’t want her to think that is the correct way to go around in life. I truly is the wrong way! I want her also to respect what other tell her….thank you.

  2. I agree “no” can be hard to accept and I’ve noticed during my divorce that hearing “I don’t know” or a “yes” that’s actually a “no” to appease me, has frustration, pain and rejection associated with it too!
    That was such a great comment you made about your your ex expressing his real “no”. It hurts but also helps.

  3. In the long run… it has made my life so much easier Patricia. Now… when someone tells me “No” I accept it, even if it is difficult to do, and direct my energy elsewhere. šŸ™‚ D.

  4. Interesting how this post still rings true since last year.
    But the other part of me I’ve had to work on is MY saying no too!
    It’s always been difficult and that’s probably part of the marriage eroding … I didn’t say no to things I should of that cost me financially and psychologically .

  5. Yes… No is an important word to learn! I learned in Al-Anon to wait 24 hours before giving an answer for non-life threatening situations… and boy did that change a lot of things for me… It helped me to take my ego out of things (wanted to be the savior for others) and my co-dependency needs to immediately “fix” a problem for someone else (waiting allowed them time to figure it out without me) Practicing no with my husband was always more difficult. šŸ™‚ D.

  6. Great advice and wisdom.
    Give the decision some time.

    I’ve been considering going to Al-Anon. Still recovering from a very damaging relationship and from that , still learning to not think I need to fix something (or someone) when called upon by family and friends, or whatever I perceive and react to.

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