He detests green peas. He abhors green peas!

by - Wednesday, December 09, 2015

This is an excerpt from: Marriage and the Family by Frederick K. C. Price

Suppose I am a business man, and I call my wife one night to tell her associates from the East Coast have flown in unexpectedly. I tell her I may be about two and a half hours late, maybe even a little later. I tell her not to hold dinner up for me, but to go ahead and eat, and put the kids to bed. I will get a bite to eat on my way home. As soon as I hang up the phone, I head up for the bar with the boys for the beer.

Everybody knows what that is. That is deception, a lie designed to deceive. My wife is going to think I am at the office working, when in fact, I am going to be somewhere else doing something else. Now that is an obvious lie. That kind of lie is not the real trouble in most marriages.

The kind of lie I am talking about is the subtle kind of untruth that has a cumulative effect over ten, fifteen, or twenty years together. I am talking about insidious things where sometimes nothing is said, and saying nothing amounts to agreement in whatever happens. You hated every moment of something, but you did not want to hurt someone, or you did not know how to say it, or you did not want to rock the boat.
Here is a good illustration: a couple’s second anniversary is coming up, so the wife decides to take a personal business day off to make a special meal for her husband. She pulls out all the beautiful things they got for their wedding- lace tablecloth, silver, real china, the whole bit. So she works in the kitchen all day and has the table decorated with the candelabra out.

Her husband comes home, walks in the door, and realizes that it is sort of dark in the house. What happened to the lights? She meets him dressed in a beautiful gown. So he naturally asks what is the occasion.

‘Well dear”, she says, “it is our anniversary. And last year we went out for dinner, but I thought we would have a quiet evening this year.”

She flips on the music, and it is playing softly. He goes and washes up and comes back. She pulls his chair out and sits him down like a king on a throne. Then she starts serving the food. Finally, she gets to the vegetables. So she brings out this beautiful silver serving dish, takes the top off, and inside he sees the green peas.

Now, he hates green peas. He detests green peas. He abhors green peas!

In fact, he used to say as a boy, “If I ever get out from under my mother’s apron string I will never eat a green pea again as long as I live.”
But to make this a memorable meal, he does not want to discourage his wife. So he takes a few green peas, hating every mouthful. It is agony for him, but he does not want to rock the boat. He is not deliberately setting out to deceive his wife. He wants her to know he appreciated her efforts.

Afterwards, she asks him how he likes the meal, and then specifically asks how he liked the peas. He compliments the meal, so she thinks he really liked the peas. Now on every special occasion, what is she going to fix him? Right! Green peas.

It may seem funny, but whenever you are put upon, whenever you have to take something that you do not really like, it is going to eat away at your insides. You are going to get to the point where you feel someone is taking advantage of you. There has to be an outlet, an escape valve for all that emotion to go away.

It may sound simple, but I have seen people have tragic misunderstandings based on things like when plain honesty would have avoided all the trouble. Tell it like it is. Do not lie to one another. Be tactful and loving, but tell the truth.

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