To work on emotional growth means you are developing a second emotional system.
The FIRST System- (Survival Program)
By the time you reach adulthood you have successfully developed one emotional system. That first system is your survival system. Also, called your boy program. Growing up you became a pleaser, fixer or caretaker. (To earn love) Or, you became angry and detached. (You gave up trying to earn love.)
The SECOND System- (Adult Program)
This system begins the moment you realize you must change. Usually through a crisis, a threat or unhappiness. Your survival program is a boy designed roadmap for living. In adulthood, you realize surviving does not include the good stuff. Surviving in a marriage does not mean bonding, attaching, closeness or oneness.
EMOTIONAL GROWTH means you see your weaknesses. Say your weaknesses. And, work on your weaknesses. That’s what’s involved in developing a second system.
In great marriages both spouses are doing SECOND system work.
Note- Second system work goes best when it happens in parallel with your SPIRITUAL program. That is to say, growth happens while you are being transformed into the image of Jesus. And, Jesus living is all about SECOND system living.