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A Key to building a Strong Foundation for Marriage: Emotional Intelligence

Marriage is obviously on my mind a lot at the moment having been recently married last month. I hope you don't mind me sharing this lovely photo of Jaime and I at the nearby lake on our special day. We are so grateful for the beautiful day that God gave us.

As I was saying marriage is very much the forefront of my life right now and for the rest of my days, so I wanted to share what I am learning with you amazing people as I go! Marriage is a definitely a beautiful journey of highs and lows that brings together two individuals, each with their own unique emotions, experiences, and perspectives. While love, commitment, connection and for many faith, are the cornerstones of a successful marriage, another essential factor that often goes unnoticed but plays a pivotal role is emotional intelligence. I want to explore how emotional intelligence can strengthen and sustain a marriage further.

If you make it to the bottom of this blog, you will find a QUIZ I created for you to help you and your spouse understand better where you are at in your Emotional Intelligence.

Understanding Emotional Intelligence in the Context of Marriage

Emotional intelligence within a marriage involves the ability to recognize, understand, and effectively manage both your own emotions and your partner's emotions. Yes, that sounds like a massive ask! But hang in there, it is worth it! Emotional Intelligence is about fostering empathy, open communication, and mutual support. Here's how emotional intelligence can make a difference in your marital relationship:

1. Improved Communication:

Effective communication is a bedrock of any healthy marriage. I know when my new husband and I do not communicate well with each other, things often can escalate, and misunderstanding occurs. Emotional intelligence enables you and your partner to express yourselves clearly and empathetically. You're more attuned to each other's verbal and non-verbal cues, which helps in resolving conflicts and misunderstandings with grace.

2. Empathy and Understanding:

Emotional intelligence allows you to step into your partner's shoes, to see the world from their perspective. I find that there is always so much more going on than at face value for our spouses. We need to get curious, not offended or hurt, and become Private Investigators to get the root of the conflict or issue. This empathetic understanding creates a deeper emotional connection and strengthens the bond between you.

3. Conflict Resolution:

In every marriage, conflicts are inevitable. If there is no conflict either you are ignoring it and letting it build up inside or maybe, you feel unsafe to express yourself. Either way it isn't healthy. However, emotional intelligence equips you with the tools to approach conflicts in a constructive and respectful manner. You're better able to manage your emotions during disagreements and work together to find solutions.

4. Building Trust:

Trust is the foundation of a strong marriage. Emotional intelligence helps in building and maintaining trust because both partners feel heard, respected, and understood. Without trust, everything feels unsafe and fragile. I will talk more about this in a future blog.

5. Emotional Support:

Being emotionally intelligent means, you can provide emotional support when your partner is going through challenging times. It's about being there, offering a shoulder to lean on, and providing a safe space for your partner to express their feelings. This is not about fixing things or thinking you need to make the issue go away. It is about being present, open hearted and safe.

Developing Emotional Intelligence in Your Marriage

  1. Self-awareness: Start by understanding your own emotions and reactions. Recognize how your emotions influence your behavior and your interactions with your spouse. Meditate, reflect, journal, pray, ask for your spouse's respectful thoughts about you.

  2. Active listening: Pay close attention when your partner talks. Listen not just to their words but also to their tone, body language, and the emotions underlying their words. Refrain from thinking up and creating your response while they are still talking. Don't interrupt and catch yourself when you do by apologizing and allowing them to continue. Let them talk, then take a moment to gather your thoughts and response. Get okay with some awkward in-between silence.

  3. Empathy: Try to understand your partner's perspective, even if you don't necessarily agree. If you can see that our spouses' intentions are for good and not usually to hurt us, we can keep moving forward rather than getting caught up in the offence or the pain. Empathy builds bridges and fosters trust.

  4. Open communication: Create an environment where you both feel safe to express yourselves openly. Encourage each other to share feelings, thoughts, and concerns. Let love override everything and anything.

  5. Conflict management: When conflicts arise, focus on resolving the issue, not on winning the argument. Avoid blaming and shaming, and instead, seek compromises that benefit both of you. Aim for a win/win outcome!

  6. Quality time: Spend quality time together to strengthen your emotional connection. This could be through shared activities, date nights, or simply deep conversations and prayer.

In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a priceless asset in a marriage. It lays the foundation for effective communication, empathy, trust, and conflict resolution, ultimately contributing to a harmonious and enduring partnership. By developing your emotional intelligence and working together with your spouse, you can cultivate a marriage that is not just enduring but also fulfilling and deeply satisfying.

I don't like to leave you empty handed so I have attached a quiz that I created to help you get an idea of where you are in your EI in your marriage or relationship. Use this lightly as a guide to support you to move forward powerfully with your spouse. Let me know how you get on!

May your marriage be strong, your love be deep and your grace last forever!

Emotional Intelligence Quiz for Marriage
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