Depending on the age difference, kids test out their emotions on their siblings. Kids yell, hit, scream, cry, manipulate, shut down, lie, cheat, steal, and pout. They are working out how to be in relationships with themselves and the people they live with.
These tests are pretty safe to run, because kids don’t get a choice to leave or stay. So there is a lot of latitude they have with how they treat one another.
A lot of times these “tests” don’t go all that well. But it’s ok, because kids don’t really know what they are doing. That is not the case as adults. We will run off the people who are close to us if we keep testing them.
At some level, we all keep running these tests with those closest to us, especially in our marriage. Yes, we’re adults, but we’re still trying to figure out ourselves, and life.
If we continue these behaviors in our marriages, it will lead to us treating our spouse more like a sibling than a lover.
What tests are you running in your marriage? What questions about yourself are you trying to answer by testing your relationships?