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Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor…

–Ephesians 4:25

I’m still reading Rescue Your Love Life. Likely, I’ll be reading it the rest of my life. Seems I continually find more dumb attitudes that bog me down and drag down our relationship. Some things have been coming to light lately and I’m seeing that maybe, just maybe, I brought more baggage into this relationship than I had initially thought. I kid you not.

The section I read today that really spoke to me dealt with our initial reactions to statements spoken by our partners. Why is it that when James doesn’t like something I’m wearing I immediately respond so fiercely? Well, it could be partially his fault but still a statement of his opinion doesn’t warrant my over-the-top reaction…It’s up to me to dip deeper and find out what the real problem is. What lies at the heart of this issue? What am I truly covering up with my anger? The answers to those questions are my own little secret but Drs. Cloud and Townsend remind us of some excellent advice found in Ephesians. We must all speak truthfully to our neighbors…

What does that have to do with emotions in a relationship? Simply, if I’m covering up something, a big wall is between me and my partner, impeding the communication so desperately needed in a healthy relationship. Let me quote from the book:

The hurt is not owned by the person feeling it; instead, it is expressed in hidden overreactions.

Falsehood means deception, and we humans create deceptions so well. We cover our feelings with smiles or independence or withdrawal. We cover our vulnerability with anger, our fear with pride and control. We cover our shame with performance and seeking admiration. We cover our inferiority with looking for approval from others. And we cover our pain by acting like we are okay when we are not.

Does that speak to anyone else where you are today? If so, take it and let it teach you something. If not, file it away for future use or toss it.

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