5 Reasons Why Emotionally Intelligent Husbands Are Key To Happy Marriage

Updated: Mar 12, 2020


Luke Dickens Marriage Therapist Blog for Luke Dickens Marriage Therapy in Southlake Texas


Dr. John Gottman in a long-term study following 130 newlywed couples in their life in marriage over 15 year period, discovered a powerful secret to the key to a happy marriage.


That secret to happy marriage was husbands who demonstrated emotional intelligence. Meaning husbands who would their wives emotions and longings to influence their thoughts, feelings and actions.


The secret to a happy marriage was husbands who demonstrated emotional intelligence. Meaning these husbands would allow their wives emotions and longings to influence their thoughts, feelings and actions.

And the secret to a miserable marriage was the husbands who demonstrated a lack of emotional intelligence. Meaning husbands would dismiss, reject or ignore their wives emotions and longings thus not influencing their thoughts, feelings and actions.


In fact 81% of the marriages in which the husbands would reject, dismiss, or ignore their wives emotions and longings thus not allowing their wives to influence their thoughts, feelings or actions led to divorce in this study.

And the secret to a miserable marriage was the husbands who demonstrated a lack of emotional intelligence. Meaning husbands would dismiss, reject or ignore their wives emotions and longings thus not influencing their thoughts, feelings and actions.

And the remaining 19% of the marriages in which the husbands would reject, dismiss, or ignore their wives emotions or longings ended up staying in a miserable marriage.


Dr. Gottmans research shows that 65% of all husbands will increase negativity during a complaint from their wives. Meaning 65% of husbands dismiss, reject, and ignore their wife’s negative emotions and the longing behind that emotion.


This is not to insult or belittle husbands and usually, it’s not a personality fault or that husbands or men in general have some sore of mental disability.


Rather, it is to awaken and enlighten husbands to some patterns of interactions they might have in which they are unaware of.


81% of the marriages in which the husbands would reject, dismiss, or ignore their wives emotions and longings thus not allowing their wives to influence their thoughts, feelings or actions led to divorce in this study.

Please note that it takes two to make a marriage work and it is vital for all couples to make acceptance, honor and respect or each individuals emotions and longings central tenets of their relationships.


But Gottman’s research indicates that a majority of wives even in unhappy marriages already accept their partners influence.


This doesn’t mean women don’t get angry and even contemptuous of their husbands.


Nor does it mean that it is all their husbands fault for conflicts and fighting.


It just means that wives tend to let their husbands influence their decision making by taking their feelings, opinions and wants into account in their mind and in actions.


Unfortunately, Gottman’s research suggests that the majority of men often do not return the favor to their wives. Which ultimately leads to a life of misery, isolation, resentment and regret in the marriage.


According to the research and to what I see couples who are finally successful do at the end of marriage therapy, there are 5 reasons why emotionally intelligent husbands are key to happy marriage.



Reason #1: Responsiveness


Emotionally intelligent husbands are emotionally responsive. Meaning that your wife’s emotions are important to you. Her positive emotions are important to you. Her negative emotions are important to you.


Because your wife’s emotions are important to you, when you see her positive or negative emotions you are moved towards her in connecting with her in her positive or negative emotional experience.


Emotional responsiveness means that I am moved towards my wife's emotions and that her positive or negative emotions are important to me.

When your wife is excited an emotionally intelligent husband will not just dismiss the excitement but he will join in and share that excitement with her.


Or when your wife is experiencing a negative emotion such as frustration, sadness or fear an emotionally intelligent husband world stops in order to be there for her.


He does not dismiss her emotions as being immature, he does not keep working on his computer but his attention shifts quickly to his wife’s emotions in order to be there for her. when your wife is excited to do something with her friends her husband shares in that excitement.


Responsiveness means that when my wife is experiencing negative emotions, the world stops in order for me to be there for her.

Emotionally intelligent husband values all of his wife’s emotional experiences and is there for her emotionally for her. He values her emotional experiences because he values her and he wants her to know how important she is to him.




Reason #2: Curiosity


Emotionally intelligent husbands are curious about their wife’s emotional experience. If she is upset he wants to know what she is thinking, he wants to know what she is feeling and he wants to know how he can be there for her.


Emotional curiosity means that I want to know what my wife is thinking and feeling when she is happy, sad, or frustrated.

He does not want her to feel abandoned by him leaving her alone in her emotional experience. If she is upset with him he wants to know what he did to upset her and will have the courage to feel the affect he is having on his wife’s heart and emotions.


He knows there is a reason for her emotional distress and negative emotions and if it is something he has done to trigger something in her, he wants to know what she is feeling, thinking and wanting.


Again he does not want his wife to feel alone in her emotional experience and wants her to have the confidence that he will be there for her.




Reason #3: Courage


It takes courage to be an emotionally intelligent husband because it takes courage to feel. It takes courage to share your frustrations with your wife.


It takes courage to share your dreams, longings and needs in your marriage. It takes courage because it is counter cultural for a man to live from his heart.


It takes courage for a man to feel his emotions and feel his wife's emotions.

Culturally men are labeled and taught to not feel because it is weakness. But an emotionally intelligent husband knows that if he dismisses his internal/emotional world and numbs himself out he will have destroyed his heart.


And for a man to feel, to value his emotional world, his thoughts and longings as well as his wife's emotional world takes tremendous courage because he is going against what many say is not manly and weak.


He honors and accepts his emotions, thoughts and longings. He may not like his emotions especially sadness, fear, and shame especially but he does not deny these tough emotions. He has learned to be comfortable with the uncomfortable emotions which takes the utmost of courage.


It takes courage to feel negative emotions such as sadness, shame, fear. Especially when these emotions are coming from your wife.

Emotionally intelligent husbands also have the courage to hear their wife's sadness, fear, hurts and frustrations. He knows he will not be perfect and will hurt his wife unintentionally but even if he did not mean to hurt his wife’s feelings, he will have the courage to feel her in what she is feeling. And it sucks.


It sucks to hear how you have hurt your wife’s heart because you did not mean too. It sucks to feel your guilt, the shame and the sadness for causing your wife to be afraid, hurt or is sad.


But an emotionally intelligent husband is courageous enough to feel the hurt, the sadness, the shame and the fear.


Because he wants his wife to know that she is important to him and that he knows that his actions or lack of action is very important to his wife because he knows how important he is to her.




Reason #4: Adaptable


Emotionally intelligent husbands are adaptable meaning they are willing to change their actions.


They know that words are one thing in telling their wife that they will change change and their actions will demonstrate to their wife how important she really is to him.


Adaptability is to change my actions in order to prioritize the connection in my relationship.

He is willing to give up his pride in order to prioritize the relationship and what his wife needs from him.


He knows how important it is for her to make time at night for them to talk about their day instead of watching TV every night.


He knows how important it is for her to get dressed up and go out to a nice restaurant on the town rather than sitting on the couch eating pizza.


He knows how important it is for her that prays with the kids at night before bed rather than her always doing the praying before bed.


He turns his phone off at night instead of being on Facebook all night looking at memes because she wants him to be more present with her and their kids.


The point is that he is willing to change his actions for the sake of the relationship because he believes that nothing is more important in his life than his connection with his wife.

Emotionally intelligent husbands are willing to change any action for the sake of the relationship because nothing is more important than the connection with his wife.

Emotionally intelligent husbands are very aware of how their actions affect their wife and they know how important their actions are towards their wife to show their wife how much they care and how important they are.




Reason #5: Repair


A emotionally intelligent husband will make mistakes. He will make major mistakes.

  • He will at times not be empathetic.

  • He will lose his temper.

  • He will be emotionally distant and withdrawn.

  • He will dismiss, reject and even ignore his wife’s emotions, thoughts, and longings.

  • He will feel emotionally numb.

  • He will have a pity party.

  • He will get defensive and critical towards his wife.


The BOTTOM LINE IS THIS...... He will FAIL!

This is normal and accepted by an emotionally intelligent husband. But he will be man enough to own his mistakes, own his actions and own his part in a fight.


He knows he messed up, failed and did the wrong thing but he is still man enough to recover and repair the damage that was done.


An emotionally intelligent husband is not perfect, he will make mistakes, but he always repairs the disconnection in his relationship.

He does not want to repeat the same mistakes or have the same fight over and over again thus he will have the courage to be able to repair and own his wrong doings and even more importantly feel his wife’s heart and the affect his actions had on her.


He knows that in failing he will learn a lot about himself and more importantly a lot about his wife’s emotional world. It will give him a chance at having greater empathy and compassion for his wife and himself for the future.





CONCLUSION


I know this emotionally intelligent husband almost sounds too good to be true but it is true. But men are capable of being emotionally compassionate, strong, courageous, adaptable, and emotionally responsive.


Men are created in the image of a relational God. A God who is not afraid to feel and show his heart towards his creation.


If men are created in the image of a relational God and they are not operating out of that image of God, then men are not operating out of the identity and DNA that God has designed for them to live in.


In my sessions with couples, I see men who you look selfish, arrogant, narcissistic, cold, rigid, unemotional, angry and shrewd. These same men are transformed into men of compassion, empathy, courage, resilient and loving.


If you would like for you and your husband to find help towards greater connection I would love to help. I want you to schedule a free consultation by either calling us or you can fill out CONTACT FORM.


Dedicated to your marriage and families success,


Luke Dickens MFT





Luke Dickens Marriage Therapist at Wired For Connection Marriage Therapy











Luke Dickens

Luke Dickens is the Founder of Dickens Marriage Therapy in Southlake Texas. He has a scientifically validated therapy that heals marriages that suffer from affairs to communication issues and more. Using EFT couples therapy, there is over 89% success rate with couples going through the therapy process.



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