Many believe that false hope is a Hope for something that is unlikely or unrealistic. Yet who defines likelihood or realism? If there is any possibility for the desired outcome, Hope cannot be false. Though it implies chance, Hope is not a gamble. Many hope to win a lottery and though the probability of any individual winning may be low, it is possible for those who participate. Such a Hope would be false for a person who refuses to participate in the lottery and it would be folly for anyone to use their Hope to gamble on winning.
Examples of False Hope
Examples of Hope often considered false
I will never again tell her I love her or she will think she has some hope.
Standers clinging to Hope analyze every interaction for crumbs of Hope and often twist neutral interactions to fit their needy desires. Such behavior is frustrating to the MLCer; it seems his wife will not get the message! To combat this concern, many MLCers feel they must therefore destroy their spouse's hope and the only way to do that is by being mean.
It is common for an MLCer to attempt a premature return--some make multiple attempts. The Biblical story of the Prodigal Son is about Forgiveness and reconciliation. How many failed returns did the Prodigal Son make? The story implies there was a single return and that it did not fail. As a message of forgiveness, it is relevant, but to reveal such joy at the return of your Midlife Prodigal is to risk either frightening or enabling him with your level of revealed Hope. He may be uncertain whether he wants to return, whether he will be successful or is not yet at a place where he trusts even himself. He fears your enthusiasm because it reveals an additional burden of success.