The biggest indicator of emotional immaturity in a relationship is when your partner is incapable of healthy conflict resolution.

Emotionally Immature PartnersWhen you bring up your feelings in a vulnerable way, and your partner counter complaints or they tell you you’re being too sensitive, there is no reason to continue the conversation. You might feel the need to keep talking or might think that maybe they didn’t hear me correctly. Perhaps you consider that maybe I just need to convince them a little more that this is a big deal for me. Yet the reality is that they either won’t or can’t do the work of validating your experience or perspective.

In fact, it’s hard to hold that space and let someone speak from their heart about something you did or didn’t do and be able to reply with statements resembling “Your feelings matter to me”, “Tell me more”, or “I want to be a safe place where you can share”. It’s far easier to let our defaults take over and get defensive, or blame shift, or invalidate, but when we let ourselves repeatedly get into conflict with our partners in that manner, what gets accomplished? Absolutely nothing.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Something does get accomplished, which is that you feel even more hurt, more unheard, more distant, and more disconnected than when you started. So, we need to be on alert, we need to know the warning signs in ourselves and in them. Our automatic response systems are most often rooted in unresolved pain and trauma, and once we can heal from those, we are able to show up in our relationships in a healthier way.

It’s not your job to convince someone else to care about your feelings. It’s not your responsibility to come up with the right words to say in order to prevent your partner from disrespecting or invalidating you. Instead, it is most likely time to recognize and accept that this is a person who is incapable of healthy and emotionally mature conflict resolution. They aren’t interested in curiosity or empathy. If you continue to attempt to argue your points and utilize various perspectives in order to attempt to gain understanding, you will further perpetuate not feeling seen, heard or accepted and deepen the feelings of disconnection.

Instead, stop arguing with people who are committed to misunderstanding you. If you want this relationship to work, then seek professional therapeutic help together, your partner will most likely need to work in therapy to heal from their own traumas, break this negative cycle and learn new skills in vulnerability, authenticity and compassion.

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