Brace yourself, massive "info dump truck" is backing up here...
What you are describing is called a "conditional value list".
There's a lot of overlap between the first two links so you can read one and skim the other. The demo file gives you several examples of different conditional value lists so you can examine them to see how they are set up. If you are using FileMaker 12, you can open this demo file from your File menu to get a converted copy of the demo file that you can examine in FileMaker 12.
The last link discusses how to set up a chain of conditional value lists where the value selected in each conditional value list controls the values listed in the next value list.
Forum Tutorial: Custom Value List?
Knowledgebase article: http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5833/kw/conditional%20value%20list
Hierarchical Conditional Value lists: Conditional Value List Question
Feel free to post follow up questions here if those links aren't enough to get your value lists working correctly.
PS. and some time soon, I really ought to set up a tutorial/demo thread that uses ExecuteSQL for a conditional value list. There are options for that which do nice things that are difficult to pull off with the "traditional" methods...
Thank you that was very helpful.