The 5 Levels of Love and the 4 Mind Characters That Decide If Your Marriage Succeeds or Fails


I’ve been a wedding counselor for greater than fifty years. I consider it’s true that we educate what we need to study. My spouse, Carlin, and I’ve been married for 43 fantastic years now. However our relationship life hasn’t all the time been fantastic. That is the third marriage for each of us. Those that have visited my web site have seen my introductory video, “Confessions of a Twice-Divorced Marriage Counselor.”

            At present I had the nice pleasure of speaking with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard educated neuroanatomist and creator of the critically acclaimed bestseller My Stroke of Perception: A Mind Scientist’s Private Journey and her newest guide, Entire Mind Residing: The Anatomy of Alternative and the 4 Characters That Drive Our Life.

            I had learn her first guide and watched her, now well-known, TED speak, and had written an article about her work titled, “4 Play: How Your Core Mind Characters Drive Your Love Life.” Within the article I first described what she had discovered concerning the two hemispheres of the mind and the way completely different they had been. She mentioned,

“Underlying the purposeful variations between our two hemispheres are neurons that course of info in distinctive methods. The left hemisphere works linearly and methodically and is all concerning the previous and the longer term, whereas the best hemisphere features like a parallel processor bringing a number of streams of information that concurrently reveal a single advanced second of expertise.”

            In our interview, which I’ll report on in a future article, she mentioned that the left hemisphere of the mind tends to be related to conventional masculine qualities and the best mind with conventional female qualities. A number of of those contrasting variations I be aware under:

            She talked concerning the work of Dr. Iain McGilchrist, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, who wrote the guide, The Grasp and his Emissary: The Divided Mind and the Making of the Western World, the place he describes the evolutionary objective of our two mind hemispheres.  

“Normally phrases, the left hemisphere yields slender, targeted consideration, primarily for the aim of getting and feeding,”

says Dr. McGilchrist.

“The proper hemisphere yields a broad, vigilant consideration, the aim of which seems to be consciousness of indicators from the environment, particularly of different creatures, who’re potential predators or potential mates, foes, or associates.”

            Like Dr. McGilchrist, Dr. Taylor believes society has change into dominated by slender left-brain pondering, to the detriment of {our relationships} with ourselves, one another, and the group of life on planet Earth which we rely upon for our very existence. Neglecting our right-hemisphere knowledge may also undermine {our relationships}.            


The 5 Levels of Love and Why So Many Relationships Crash and Burn at Stage 3

            In my expertise as a wedding counselor and in addition in my private expertise I’ve discovered that there are 5 phases of affection, however too many relationships crash and burn at stage 3. In my on-line course, “Navigating the 5 Levels of Love,” I describe the next phases:

  • Stage 1: Falling In Love
  • Stage 2: Turning into a Couple
  • Stage 3: Disillusionment
  • Stage 4: Creating Actual Lasting Love
  • Stage 5: Utilizing the Energy of Two to Change the World.

Stage 3 is a vital stage, however few individuals perceive it. Nobody instructed us about Stage 3 in understanding love and marriage. Stage 3  is the place issues start to really feel dangerous in a relationship. It may possibly happen slowly or can really feel like a swap is flipped and the whole lot goes unsuitable. Little issues start to trouble us. We really feel much less beloved and cared for. We really feel trapped and need to escape.

Stage 3 is the place my first two marriages collapsed and for too many relationships that is the start of the tip. However Carlin and I didn’t quit, we stored going. There’s an outdated adage,

“Whenever you’re going by hell, don’t cease.”

This appears to be true of this stage of life.

For too many people, we had been raised on the idea that after we discovered the best companion, we might “stay fortunately ever after.” We’d have our ups and downs, however with the best companion, love would conquer all, issues would all the time work out, and our love lives would get higher and higher till “demise do us half.” So, after we hit the disillusionment stage we conclude that our companion has modified and we have to get out whereas we will.

What Carlin and I discovered was that Stage 3 was not solely a stage of affection, not an indicator that we had made the unsuitable alternative, however really the invitation to Stage 4, Actual Lasting Love. Stage 3, Dissillusionment, really had two functions. The primary is to let go of the illusions all of us carry to a wedding, all of the unrealistic projections we placed on our companion that in the end trigger us to really feel like we’ve failed as a result of we will by no means stay as much as the expectations. The second objective is to assist us acknowledge the adversarial childhood experiences all of us develop up with and the traumas which can be an inevitable a part of life.

Our grownup unhappiness and conflicts are home windows into our previous. In some sense we actually do marry our mother and father, or to be extra correct, we join with companions who carry out related points to ones we by no means resolved in childhood.

Stage 3 will not be meant to be nice and straightforward. We may have knowledgeable assist and help to navigate the complicated waters (Carlin and I went to therapist who helped us tremendously). However Stage 3 will not be the start of the tip, however the starting of one thing higher. It’s a method to heal the previous so we will transfer on to the deeper love we will have with a companion who surfaces our previous ache in order that we will lastly, and ceaselessly, heal.

Trauma and 4 Characters That Drive Our Lives

            In her fantastic guide, Entire Mind Residing: The Anatomy of Alternative and the 4 Characters That Drive Our Life, Dr. Taylor says,

“There may be now convincing neuroanatomical proof of the existence of 4 mind characters. Surgically separating our two mind hemispheres has scientifically proven us that they aren’t merely two anatomically separate halves of an entire. As a substitute, the 2 halves of our mind home utterly completely different character profiles that every exhibit distinctive desires, goals, pursuits, and wishes.”

            Dr. Taylor discovered that in every mind hemisphere there’s a “pondering character” and an “emotional character.” Listed here are the 4 characters together with some their attribute qualities:

Left Pondering, Character 1

  • Verbal
  • Thinks in language
  • Thinks linearly
  • Previous and future based mostly
  • Analytical
  • Seeks variations
  • Judgmental
  • Particular person

Proper Mind Pondering, Character 4

  • Nonverbal
  • Thinks in footage
  • Thinks experientially
  • Current moment-based
  • Kinesthetic/physique
  • Seeks similarities
  • Compassionate
  • Collective

Left Emotional Character 2

  • Inflexible
  • Cautious
  • Worry based mostly
  • Doubts
  • Righteous
  • Manipulates
  • Egocentric
  • Crucial

    Proper Emotional Character 3

  • Open
  • Danger taking
  • Fearless
  • Trusts
  • Grateful
  • Goes with the circulate
  • Sharing
  • Sort

It’s our Left-Mind Emotional Character 2 that’s all the time evaluating our previous trauma and ache to what we’d expertise sooner or later. It’s this mind character that’s so lively in Stage 3, Disillusionment.

“It’s Character 2″, says Dr. Taylor, “who screams, wails, and rages in opposition to all these injustices that it has perceived as hurtful, harmful, or unfair.”

No surprise Stage 3 appears like we live with a loopy particular person. No surprise we need to run away. However the reward, if we will obtain it, is to go deeper. We’ve got the chance to study the deeper classes of affection.

It’s this character who initiatives the injuries from the previous–usually from our moms, fathers, brothers, or sisters–on to our grownup companions. It’s Character 2, if uncared for, could cause {our relationships} to go below at Stage 3. But when we perceive and talk with our Character 2, we will efficiently navigate the turbulent waters of Stage 3.

“Over time, it has been the job of this tender and weak Character 2 to carry our previous ache in reminiscence for our future safety,” says Dr. Taylor. “If we need to evolve into our greatest selves and stay our greatest lives, we should create a wholesome relationship with our left-brain Character 2. We develop and thrive after we are courageous sufficient to face within the middle of our personal ache and take heed to what it’s making an attempt to speak.”

Really listening to Character 2 may also help us get by Stage 3, disillusionment, to Stage 4, Actual Lasting Love. That is the nice reward of our lives. Carlin and I proceed to deepen our journey of affection as we study extra concerning the 4 characters in our mind that information our lives. We wrote about our personal journey in our guide, The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Levels of Relationship and Why the Finest is Nonetheless to Come.

You possibly can study extra about Entire Mind Residing by visiting Dr. Taylor’s web site. In case you’d wish to take a deeper dive into Entire Mind Residing with Dr. Taylor, she can be providing “Entire Mind Coaching for People” starting June 6, 2023. You possibly can register right here.

In case you loved this text and wish to learn extra, please be a part of our free group and obtain my weekly e-newsletter.


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