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What Makes a Marriage or Intimate Partnership Work?

The importance of "emotional intelligence"

According to one researcher, John Gottman, the primary reason a marriage works is the emotional intelligence of both people. Emotional intelligence is defined as a couple’s “ability to understand, honor, and respect each other and their marriage.”

Fortunately, emotional intelligence is considered a skill set that can be learned, thus creating the possibility that anyone can have a successful relationship.

Simply stated, successful and happy marriages are based on a foundation of friendship. Think about any great friendship you’ve had, now or in the past. Common characteristics typically included:

  • mutual respect

  • having fun together

  • knowledge of each other’s likes and dislikes

  • acceptance of the other despite any differences you may have in terms of personality, background or values

Friends “have each other’s back” and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Would your marriage or partnership improve if these characteristics were present?

Click here to learn more information about working with an experienced couples therapist.


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