It’s almost inevitable that every couple will at one point face a crisis situation that makes them stare at the face of uncertainty. This covid-19 pandemic season could either strengthen or expose threatening gaps in your relationship. Your ability to communicate healthily with your spouse is an indicator of how emotionally intelligent you are.
Developing emotional intelligence is a great asset which can keep your marriage a float and salvage a crisis situation that would otherwise risk becoming explosive.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is marked by a person’s awareness of their emotions and their ability to express them empathetically. Be intentional about using communication that builds your spouse rather than tears them down. How well you do this, is an indicator of how emotionally intelligent you are. The more you are able to healthily communicate and socialise with your spouse, the higher your emotional intelligence is.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a highly developed EQ which is influenced by personalities and upbringing. This causes an inability to healthily express oneself leading to deep rooted conflict within a marriage that play out in the aggressor vs passive aggressive dance. The aggressor in this case is the communicative spouse who finds it easier to express themselves but gets frustrated by their ‘non-communicative’ spouse. However, the communicative spouse often unknowingly dumps a lot of negative emotions on their non-communicative partner pushing them to retreat. This dance, unless stopped, will lead to the following problems:
- Lack of Intimacy: The non-communicative spouse fears letting their partner into their business and will refrain from opening up to
- Inability to pursue common goals: When a couple have no plans together, they will experience COVID-19 and other crises as severe threats. This leads to fear which prevents them from coming up with solutions to manage the crises.
Developing Emotional Intelligence
If you are struggling with emotional intelligence, it is not too late to develop a positive EQ. Here are some tips to improve your EQ.
- Agree to a ceasefire Once you have dispensed the urgent issues within your marriage, agree with your spouse to ceasefire on all the other problems and instead focus on rebuilding your foundations during this
- Create time for reflection Find time for reflection and introspection. Here are some questions you may start with:
- How was conflict handled in your parents’ home?
- How did you experience it?
- How does that influence how you are currently managing conflict with your spouse?
- How is your current conflict style affecting your spouse?
- Invite Jesus into your pain Invite God to heal you. When the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will begin to reflect His personality and become kinder, more loving and more patient.
- Confess your wrongs Ask your spouse for forgiveness. Should they not respond in
kind, don’t take it personally. You have done your part and should patiently wait on the Lord. Seeking forgiveness from your spouse gives God permission to come into your marriage and begin the healing process.
- Words that Heal When speaking to your spouse, be intentional about using words that build the other person up. Develop conversations with your spouse that leave you both refreshed and eager for more interaction and this will give your relationship an opportunity for it to thrive.