We can consider emotional intelligence as the ability to live up to their own emotions and those of others. Peter Salovely, the US psychologist who first dealt with emotional intelligence, identifies 5 main areas.
1. Self-awareness, that is, recognition of their emotions at the very moment they arise.
2. The ability to handle them instead of succumbing to them.
3. Empathy, recognize the emotions that others feel.
4. Self-motivation that entails the ability to remain motivated in the pursuit of its goals, despite failures and frustrations that may arise during the journey, and is thus supported by an adequate dose of optimism and hope.
5. Social competence, that is, the ability to manage interpersonal relationships so to dominate others’ emotions.
Based on this premise we can understand how important it is in the couple relationship to have adequate emotional control, first of all their own emotions.
Sophisticated studies on couples’ ties and behaviors that destroy them have shown that the difficulties of couple originate in childhood, the differences between the emotional reality of girls and that of children. There is a different approach of parents towards male children and daughters. for example, parents tend to discuss more emotions with females than with males. When they play with their daughters, mothers express a wider range of emotions.
This would predispose girls, from adulthood, to getting to marriage with greater emotional competence than men.
A greater ability to understand emotions expressed in nonverbal language.
Greater propensity to express feelings and greater capacity to manage them.
The effects of this different approach are observed in interactions among children. As they grow up, in their games, males tend to look for competition, females instead play mostly in small groups that favor cooperation and intimacy.
This causes men and women to expect things other than a conversation:
Men talk about facts, women talk about emotions.
Men, as marriage or relationship consolidates, are increasingly less willing to talk because they consider intimacy to do something with their wives: go shopping or planning holidays. Women, however, consider communication as crucial.
A research by Ruben C.Gur of Pennsylvania University’s School of Medicine found that men minimize emotions and have more difficulty recognizing non-verbal emotional signals. Because a man can recognize the sadness of his wife this must be really depressed! Women focus more on the problems of their relationship, while men have a brighter vision of their marriage. Beyond the problems that may be in a couple, what matters for a marriage is the way the couple deals with the problems.