Children can learn emotional intelligence and so can couples. What is emotional intelligence (emotional quotient or EQ)? EQ is the ability to understand and process your emotions in a positive way to release stress, empathise with others, communicate effectively and work through conflicts.
Researchers have shown emotional intelligence to have five major categories: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills (Daniel Goleman, 1995). Each of these factors influences our overall EQ and in turn impacts our marital happiness.
The good news is that emotional intelligence CAN be learned. It is normal to have both positive and negative thoughts about one another in a relationship. In successful marriages, the couple manage to keep their positive thoughts about one another more frequent than their negative thoughts. When there is a request from the partner, the response is more likely to be ‘yes’ than ‘no’.
When there is a positive attitude towards one another, it is much easier to have fun, play and have a continuing love affair in your marriage.
References: Goleman, D. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. (1995).
Gottman, J. & Silver, N. (2015). The seven principles for making marriage work. Random House: New York, NY.