In fact, I don’t think asking even occurred to my mother.
During my first month of marriage, several years ago, I came home from work and sat down on the couch with the TV remote in hand, thinking my day was done.
It develops deep friendship, which in turn leads to “positive sentiment override.” Each spouse’s positive thoughts about the other supersede any negative feelings, and it takes a much more significant conflict to disrupt their happiness.As Gottman says, “Their positivity causes them to feel optimistic about each other and their marriage, to assume positive things about their lives together, and to give each other the benefit of the doubt.” When my wife and I focus on cultivating our friendship through emotional intelligence, we have much more tolerance and patience for each other’s imperfections and mistakes.But when I’m emotionally smart, I strive for a mutually-agreeable compromise rather than winning the argument.Gottman believes this may be the “fundamental difference” between emotionally intelligent and unintelligent husbands.I took time to appreciate all the things she did (and still does) as well as the qualities that made me fall in love with her in the first place.
And most importantly, I conveyed my admiration and fondness to her both directly and indirectly.No relationship can thrive if one partner always dominates.The other will inevitably resent, resist, or withdraw from the dominant partner’s control.Though we acknowledge this shift, we struggle to adapt to these new expectations since we lack role models for doing so.When I talk to other young married men about our dilemma, they always agree (tongue in cheek) that something went terribly wrong between our fathers’ generation and us – and we must discover a solution quickly if we want happy marriages. In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, marriage expert John Gottman claims that the “emotionally intelligent husband is the next step in social evolution.” He’s not necessarily sensitive and in touch with his feelings, but he knows “how to convey honor and respect” toward his spouse.I preferred to zone out after a long workday and felt little need to interact since we shared the same roof during all of our free time.