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I just heard a term that is new to me, "Sophistry." Because I love learning new terms I looked it up via Merriam-Webster on line ( and learned this,

"Sophistry is reasoning that seems plausible on a superficial level but is actually unsound, or reasoning that is used to deceive."

So, in other words Sophistry is a lie that someone is telling you so that you will believe the lie as truth. It is only manipulation so they might get their way unchallenged. Plato identified those who use this type of philosophy as, "sham philosophers, out for money, and willing to say anything to win an argument." This is a reoccurring theme across America and in the American household.

If you create a problem, then offer a solution to the problem by blaming the other person for the problem, are you truly a victim?

Think about it this way by looking at this example:

1. A husband has an affair because he is addicted to porn and "hooks-up" with a girl he met on line. The affair is discovered by the wife and she questions his behaviors and tries to hold him accountable. He responds by telling her that she won't have sex with him and she "forced" him out of the house to get his needs met. By playing the victim his wife is left responsible for his choices, and having no power to effect change in him, she thinks she has only two options: Have MORE sex with him or let him have multiple affairs and live in denial of her pain.

In this case her husband created the problem, but by playing the victim, he gets rewarded for his bad behaviors. The cheating husband gets to continue cheating and his wife feels hopeless to change him. Eventually she goes to therapy because she is deeply depressed and feels trapped.

We now have an entire society feeling depressed and trapped because of the bad behaviors of others. We are being lied to, deceived, and outright guilted into believing those who are offering their sophistry are the victims and we are responsible for their unacceptable and in some cases illegal behaviors. Something's just not stacking up here and this has become the world we live in. What is right is now wrong, what is illegal is now justified, and what is bad is now being praised as good. The true victims are the ones being deceived, lied to, and manipulated and they feel hopeless to make change because they don't know what to do.

So, here are the answers to effecting change: Set Boundaries and Enforce Consequences.

In the case of the cheating husband, the wife can hold her husband accountable for his behaviors by rejecting his sophistry. It's not easy, but it is possible. Many women feel they are limited by finances, homelessness, and children and that stops them from setting boundaries and establishing consequences. Many are afraid of offering an ultimatum because they are not prepared if their husband's choose to leave. Their lack of information makes them feel hopeless and they become paralyzed by fear of the unknown. But if they were to understand how they have rights to community property, to bank accounts, to their husband's retirement account, child support, and possibly alimony, they might see that they have more leverage than they believe. There is a saying that has saved many a marriage, "It's cheeper to keep her." Leverage is what is use to set a boundary. Just getting the information you need to be able to set a boundary and enforce it with consequences might be enough to turn the situation around. Setting a boundary with consequences might look like this,

"I talked to a lawyer today and here is the financial status of our marriage. If I divorce you I would likely have these benefits and you would be responsible for those expenses. I am not happy with your having affairs and will not tolerate them anymore (boundary). If you continue to cheat-- this is what you can expect from me (consequences)." If you want to remain in this house and in this marriage then you will have to make these changes..."

I have helped many marriages get healthy by discussing choices, boundaries, and setting consequences. Not everyone wants to change and often the one with the poor behaviors will leave, but by leaving they have helped their spouse or partner move on. This is the reason boundaries work; they establish what is and what is not acceptable. They also provide consequences designed to effect change. If there is no change, the ultimate consequence is the relationship ends. This in turn allows the other to create a life free of abuse, manipulation, and dare I say, the other's sophistry will be revealed for the lie that it is.

When you stack it all up is it truth or only sophistry?


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