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When you say:
Can’t you do that for once?
you might actually mean:
– I am tired of your irresponsibility
– I resent telling you things
– I don’t like myself for having to remind you.

When you say:
You don’t really care that much, do you?
you might actually mean:
– it hurts that you care so little
– please care more!
– it hurts me that we communicate like strangers
– I am waiting for you to woo me again
   to love me,
   for me to be special to you.

Whey you say:
I am so tired of life!
you might actually mean:
– our life has lost its real intensity
– please do something!
– we have become what we did not want to become
– I don’t want to try to convince you any more
   that our life centres too much around working,
   eating and TV.

When you say:
I can’t stand you when you’re like that!
you might actually mean:
– I feel threatened by you
– can’t you see that I lack all self-respect
   and all sense of self-worth
– I just don’t know how to answer you
– I don’t like myself when you bring the worst
   out in me
– please don’t play that role
   because I can see right through it.

When you say:
You always/never do that!
you might actually mean:
– I am frustrated that neither of us
   can really listen to the other
– your coolness bothers me
– please react
   I am as aggressive as I can be
– I feel ignored and want to communicate with you.

I know that we use words to hide, to hit, to run away:
words are smoke-screens and security-builders;
words are bait to be swallowed
   by the unsuspecting;
words are arm-twisters and weakening agents;
words are shots, barbs and hooks;
words are mirrors of the soul;
words are cries for help;
words are words and so much more.

Because I want to know you,
and to communicate with you,
I will be open to what lies beyond your words.

– lifted from the book A Growing Love (Meditations
on Marriage and Commitment) by Ulrich Schaffer

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