Reasearch shows that most people's heart shut down to give and receive love by the time they are five years old. Most addictions start by the age of four! This is all fascinating research and helps us better understand why couples relate the way they do. Whenever spouses go into "the dark place" with each other, you can bet they have fallen back into their childhood age where they "got stuck."
Men and women who cry when they are frustrated are probably five years old or younger. Look at toddlers and preschoolers...what do they do when they are overwhelmed by a task or by life?? They cry.
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If you or your mate tends to react to difficulties in life in anger they are probably around 12 years old emotionally ...or that is the place they slip back into when they run up against a situation that seems impossible.
Do they rebel or walk off? They're probably a teenager emotionally then. How many teenagers jump in and solve an emotional problem? Mostly none. Usually, they just avoid and fume and steam inside. Or do the passive-aggressive rebelling thing.
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The next time your spouse reacts in a way that you don't understand, realize this is a good opportunity to get to know their heart. Try to determine...are they acting four, twelve or sixteen? Whatever it looks like to you will indicate a place in their past where a lot of pain is coming from.
When things settle down this could be good fodder for intimate conversation. Explore their past childhood pain and be a safe place to listen. You might be surprised and this might give you "new eyes to see" your partner and thus hopefully---renewed love for them.