Empathy : the “secret” ingredient for a happy couple

Are you empathetic? Is it your partner? Empathy may be the secret to a functional relationship. According to a recent study by Harvard University, being able to accurately read the emotions of the couple and believe that your spouse is trying to understand their emotions also relates to a healthy relationship.

How I can improve my relationship?

This study reveals some gender differences that echo the dynamics I’ve seen in my practice and in my years of marriage.

The study suggests that women were more satisfied in your relationship if your partner identified by precise emotions and empathized with them. Most of the men surveyed said they felt more satisfied when they could read their partner’s positive emotions accurately. I infer, then, that the ability of women and men to read the negative emotions of your spouse is related positively to a successful relationship for both.

Some things that make a happy couple:

The study also suggests that for male respondents, being able to understand and being empathetic with the negative emotions of your partner may feel as threatening to the relationship. By contrast, the women surveyed did not seem to find negative emotions as threatening. The results suggest that not only the precision but also the effort to do it what could positively impact relationships.

If your relationship is distressing or just want to make a good relationship even better, here are some ways to work on their empathic abilities.

  • Listen to emotional messages. The emotional message is not the same as the words that your partner is saying. Your partner may be criticizing you for not spending enough time together, but the message can be really emotional, “I miss you and I’m afraid I’m not important to you.”
  • Press the pause button on your own emotions. When your partner is expressing something critical, it is easy to respond defensively. Before reacting, take a deep breath and try to analyze their own emotional response, in this way you will get to listen the emotion behind the critics.
  • Reflect and clarify the emotional plea from his partner. Rather than respond defensively as ” What are you talking about?” Or “We just went for a walk yesterday, and we went to dinner last week”, it would be better to take it back and answer to your partner’s emotional plea by saying something like “I really feel strange and want to spend more time together. Thanks for letting me know. I love you.”

Keep searching, as there is much more you can do with your partner and be happy!

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