The secret to a lasting marriage? A husband with emotional intelligence
The question of questions: how do you ensure a lasting and, above all, happy marriage? Apparently, according to a new study, the key to happily ever after lies in the level of emotional intelligence of the partners, particularly the husband.
In a multi-year study of 130 married couples, Dr. John Gottman found that men who let their wives influence them have happier marriages and that couples are therefore less likely to divorce.
Of course, the scholars hasten to specify, all marriages can survive moments of anger, bickering or criticism, and even long periods of negativity-but only if the conflict is handled in a healthy and respectful way.
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In fact, couples begin to have problems when they both match negativity with negativity instead of trying to resolve the conflict.
And on that note, Dr. Gottman explains in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work that in a marital argument, 65 percent of men are more negative and grumpy than women.
As scholars state, the importance of emotional intelligence for a happy and lasting marriage is not limited only to heterosexual couples.
It is also essential in same-sex relationships, but research shows that gay and lesbian couples are significantly better than straight couples when it comes to listening and understanding the other person.
**Because to be good in a couple you must first be good alone**
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Why do men have less emotional intelligence than women?
It is often said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Although this is just a common saying, men and women often feel different from each other.
According to Dr. Gottman, this difference has its roots in childhood.
When children play, their goal is to win; they are taught not to care about their own emotions or those of others who play. For example, if one of the children gets hurt, he is ignored and removed from the game.
So here, for the expert, is where the difference in emotional intelligence lies between men and women.
Indeed, he explains in his book that Girls’ games offer much better preparation for marriage and family life because they generally focus on relationships. This is not necessarily about gender roles, but about learning emotional intelligence.
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What it is and how to develop emotional intelligence
The husband who lacks emotional intelligence rejects his partner’s influence usually because he fears a loss of power.
On the other hand, the emotionally intelligent husband is interested in his partner’s emotions because he honors and respects her.
Although the couple may not express emotions in the same way, an emotionally intelligent husband will learn to connect with his wife by listening and validating her perspective, understanding her needs, and expressing empathy.
According to Dr. Gottman, men who resist their wives’ influence often do so without realizing it. Accepting the opinion of others is both a matter of mindset and a cultivated skill of time; for example, paying attention to one’s spouse day after day.
Emotional intelligence, in fact, can be learned at any time.
When conflict occurs, for example, it is important to understand your partner’s point of view and be willing to compromise. This is a simple first step toward developing EQ.
Those who are more emotionally intelligent and allow themselves to be positively influenced by the other will consequently be more flexible, willing to listen, and to look for something that both members of the couple can agree on.
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