Navigating Life's Crossroads: Understanding Two Choice Dilemmas

both/and couples therapy May 08, 2024

On this human journey of life, we often find ourselves standing at crossroads, faced with decisions that seem impossible to make. David Schnarch's concept of 'two choice dilemmas' really resonates with me. Sometimes life presents us with two paths, but we can only choose one. Whether it's navigating the complexities of relationships or personal growth, these dilemmas are part of the journey.

Embracing the Complexity

As an example, many of us can imagine the two-choice dilemma inherent in a spouse who is cheating, but also wishes to stay in their relationship. The spouse wants two things at once: to have an affair and to maintain a marriage (or avoid the pain inherent in ending it). As Schnarch highlights in The Passionate Marriage, the spouse is saying "I want this other person AND I want you".

Two choice dilemmas are not mere forks in the road; they are profound moments of introspection and self-discovery. It's the realization that sometimes, life presents us with conflicting desires, leaving us torn between two seemingly irreconcilable paths.

The Struggle is Real

Acknowledging the struggle inherent in choice dilemmas is the first step towards growth. It's normal to feel overwhelmed, conflicted, and unsure of which path to take. What's essential is recognizing that these dilemmas are not a sign of weakness but rather an invitation to delve deeper into our values, desires, and fears.

Finding Clarity Through Reflection

Navigating choice dilemmas requires introspection and honest reflection. Take the time to explore your thoughts, feelings, and motivations behind each option. What are your long-term goals and aspirations? What values are non-negotiable for you? By understanding your inner landscape, you can gain clarity on which path aligns best with your authentic self.

Seeking Support and Guidance

While choice dilemmas may feel isolating, remember that support is available. Whether through individual therapy sessions, couples counseling, or intensive workshops, seeking guidance can provide invaluable insight and perspective. A trained therapist can offer a safe space to explore your options, challenge limiting beliefs, and empower you to make informed decisions. Book a free 15 minute Consultation here:


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