How persons respond to each other is really the difference the makes for a successful marriage and a failed one. Emotional intelligence is such an important factor to a successful relationship, this is an essential part of marriage and relationships yet is not easily found in books or necessarily taught at home.
In a long-term study by Dr John Gottman discover that men who allow their wives to influence them have happier marriages and are less likely to divorce.
Let me introduce you to John and Mary:
John: “The guys and I are going fishing this weekend. We are leaving later tonight.”
Mary: “But my girlfriends are staying with us on Friday, and I need help cleaning the house tonight. We talked about this. How could you forget? Can you leave tomorrow morning?”
John: “How did you forget I have my guys trip? I can’t change our departure schedule. We are leaving in a few hours, we do this religiously.”
Mary’s anger boils. She calls him a “selfish brute” and storms out of the kitchen.
Feeling overwhelmed, John pours himself a glass of whiskey and turns on the football game.
When Mary walks back into the room to talk, he stonewall her. She starts to cry. He announces he needs to work on his truck and leaves the room.
Arguments like these are full of accusations, making it difficult to determine the underlying cause. What is clear is John’s unwillingness to accept Mary’s influence.
It’s not that marriage can’t survive moments of anger, complaints, or criticism. They can. Couples get in trouble when they match negativity with negativity instead of making repairs to de-escalate conflict. Dr. Gottman explains in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work that 65% of men increase negativity during an argument.
John’s response doesn’t show that he hears Mary’s complaint. Instead, he responds with defensiveness and sends a complaint right back: Why didn’t she remember his plans?
The Four things to take into consideration – criticism, defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling – are signs that a man is resisting his wife’s influence.
It would be easy for us to point the finger at the husband and that is not what we are here to do, we are saying It just means that they let their husband’s influence their decision-making by taking their opinions and feelings into account. Data suggests that men do not return the favour. It could be bible base, it could be the way we were brought up, however that is the general result.
Statistically speaking, Dr. Gottman’s research shows there is an 81% chance that a marriage will self-implode when a man is unwilling to share power.
Learn this guys
There are books that say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. While this isn’t literally true, men and women often do feel alien to each other.
This starts in childhood. When boys play games, their focus is on winning, not their emotions or the others playing. If one of the boys get hurt, he gets ignored. After all, “the game must go on.” Ever see boys playing a game of football and the boy who owns the ball decides that the game is not going the way he wants it to go? He takes his ball and leaves.
With girls, feelings are often the first priority. When a tearful girl says, “we’re not friends anymore,” the game stops and only starts again if the girls make up. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. Gottman explains, “the truth is that ‘girlish’ games offer far better preparation for marriage and family life because they focus on relationships.”
There are plenty of women who are unaware of these social nuisances and men who are deeply sensitive to others. In Dr. Gottman’s research, however, only 35% of the men were emotionally intelligent.
… are you guys with me so far?
The husband who lacks emotional intelligence rejects his wife’s influence because he fears a loss of power. And because he is unwilling to accept influence, he will not be influential.
The emotionally intelligent husband is interested in his wife’s emotions because he honors and respects her. While this man may not express his emotions in the same way his wife does, he will learn how to better connect with her.
When she needs to talk, he’ll turn off the football game and listen. He will pick “we” over “me.” He will understand his wife’s inner world, continue to admire her, and communicate this respect by turning towards her. His relationship, sex life, and overall joy will be far greater than the man who lacks emotional intelligence.
The emotionally intelligent husband will also be a better father because he is not afraid of feelings. He will teach his children to respect their emotions and themselves. Dr. Gottman calls this Emotion Coaching.
Because this man is deeply connected to his wife, she will go to him when she is stressed, upset, and overjoyed. She’ll even go to him when she is aroused.
Dr. Gottman suspects’ men who resist their wife’s influence do so without realizing it. Accepting influence is both a mindset and a skill cultivated by paying attention to your spouse every day. This means building your Love Maps, expressing your fondness and admiration, and accepting bids for connection, emotional intelligence is paying attention.
And when conflict happens, the key is to understand your partner’s point of view and be willing to compromise. Do this by identifying your inflexible areas and searching for something both of you can agree to.
Instead of getting upset about Mary’s accusation of him being an ass, maybe instead of stonewalling her John could have said, well I have a couple of hours and suggest starting out by helping out with something that shows he is interested in the relationship. His reaction is showing that he is more concerned about his trip with his buddies.
Accepting your partner’s influence is a great strategy for gaining more respect, power, and influence. Want to have a happy and stable marriage? Make your commitment to your partner stronger than your commitment to winning. If you do that, your marriage wins.
If want to build a deeply meaningful relationship full of trust and intimacy, continue exploring and reading. Single ladies, you should share too with your man, start today.