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Emotional Intelligence In Marriage – A Counselor’s Tips

Intelligence” generally has us thinking of cognitive abilities and intellectual functioning.

True, but when it comes to relationships, especially marital relationships, “emotional intelligence” is the most important and effective kind of smart way to nurture healthy relationships.

Emotional intelligence is paramount to communication in a strong and healthy marriage.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others.

According to American psychologist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence consists of five elements:

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1- Self-awareness

2- Self-regulation

3- Motivation

4- Empathy

5- Social skills

How is Emotional Intelligence Important In a Marriage?

Using emotional intelligence allows you to focus on both yours and your spouse’s emotions, responding to each other appropriately and effectively.

Emotional Intelligence In Marriage - A Counselor's Tips - About Islam

Without it, a couple may experience communication breakdowns, misunderstandings, and unnecessary complications.

When people are experiencing negative emotions, they commonly vent to those closest to them, assuming that this is the safest and best place to get those feelings out.

For married couples, the recipient of these emotional outbursts is often the spouse, which can then lead to further unregulated emotional moments, including arguments.

An emotionally intelligent person is able to regulate their emotions and deal with them appropriately at the right time and in the right place (e.g., not in front of the children or in a rush before work) rather than pushing them aside or taking them out on their spouse.

Recognising you and your spouse’s emotions helps you control them more.

For example, understand that when you or your spouse are feeling frustrated, it is not a good time to talk to your spouse about paying bills or any other topic that frequently causes heightened arousal.

Empathy Is the Key

When spouses are sensitive to each other’s emotions, they can be more compassionate towards the struggles they each face in their roles.

How many times have you had an irrational angry outburst because your spouse came home late or because the house was a mess when you returned home from work, only to feel terrible afterwards?

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Actually, he was tired and exhausted after a long, hard day, and you pounced on him instead of considering how he was feeling.

Or maybe she was so busy tending to the children all day that she didn’t have the time or energy to tidy up.

Spouses who empathise with their spouses’ emotions will refrain from passing any negative comments, in the knowledge that this is inappropriate and would only add to the mental exhaustion.

When this appreciation is present, spouses are less likely to pick fights with one another or respond irrationally to certain scenarios.

How Emotional Intelligence Improves Your Marriage

There are many ways, which include:

1- You can anticipate your spouse’s needs and respond to them without them even having to ask.

2- They will more likely appropriately turn to you for emotional support rather than taking it to someone else or venting it inappropriately.

3- Physical perks: everyone needs to feel cared about.

Having a spouse to rely upon to share their emotions and get support boosts personal well-being as well as marital relations.

4- Taking care of your own emotions and being sensitive to your spouse’s has overall consequences. It helps you feel like and be a better version of yourself, leading to greater satisfaction with life, including in your marriage.

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