Different experts have defined emotional intelligence in their own ways. In the following paragraph, I will share some definitions with you.
According to Mayer and Salovery (1997), emotional intelligence is the capacity to reason about emotions and increase the thinking level. Bar-on (1997) on the other side, gives a simple definition by saying that emotional intelligence is to effectively understand each other, relate to them and adapt the immediate surroundings. Another definition was given by Marques in 2007 states that emotional intelligence is an "an ability to recognize the meanings of emotion & their relationships and to reason and problem solve on the basis of them."
All these definitions have one thing common; which is to understand and know each other's emotions by enhancing and broadening the thinking level. Both of you need to be emotionally intelligent if you want to make a successful lifetime relationship, especially you Jeff. You should be more active on this side as marriage expert Jeff Gottman (1999) writes in his book the Seven Principles for Making Marriages Work that "emotionally intelligent husband is the next step in social evolution."
Therefore, you should increase your thinking and feeling scope and try your best to understand and feel Stephanie's feelings; listen to her problems and share her happiness. You might not be very sensitive but you have to give her honor, respect and love. She might share things that you do not enjoy to listen, but try to take interest and show her your positive attitude. Stephanie you must also give respect & honor to Jeff, and allow him to take decisions as your caretaker. In simple words, you both need to manage this relationship as Gottman (1999) also says that couples must enhance their love map. They must know everything about each other and remember each other' wishes, hopes and dreams.
5. Appropriate Level of Self-disclosure in relationships
Now the last but not the least advice that I want to give you is about self-disclosure. Self-disclosure was defined by Cozby (1973) as any information about the person that he verbally communicates to another person. Cozby (1973) not only used this term to refer to a personality construct but also considered it as a process of interaction between the two persons. Therefore, we can say that self-disclosure is a tendency at a personal level as well as an act in which people intentionally and attentively engage.
Remember, if you want to make your relationship successful than you have to trust each other and share your feelings, dreams, wishes, happiness and problems with each other. It is found in studies that women disclose more compared to husbands who usually do not express themselves. This is maybe because of our culture in which woman is encouraged to show her feelings and men are required to hide their feelings and weaknesses (Pleck and Sawyer, 1974). As Kate (1975) also writes in her magazine, the shame is over, "Women express, men repress."
However, the conclusions made by experts in this regard might very correct because their studies were limited to very few couples of 1950 and 1960s. Therefore, both of you should not think about these traditional thoughts and must look forward at how you can manage your relationship by practicing self-disclosure. You must not ignore the fact that self-disclosure is very important for an effective communication. Please do not think that sharing your feelings and problems is your weakness; no its not. It will actually bring you closer to each other and you will be able to live a happy and supporting life.
Looking at all of the above important concepts, their details and examples, we can reach to conclusion that Effective Interpersonal Communication is an important tool for building a strong and never-ending married life relationship.
Relationship of husband and wife badly suffer if they do not communicate properly, keep quiet, hide feelings & do not trust each other. In fact, they suffer from misunderstandings, confusions and terrible conflicts, which take them to the extent of thinking about divorce. I suggest both of you to follow my advice and try to live a happy life by doing effective interpersonal communication.
Please tell me if you need any further explanation on this issue or you can always come to me if you face any problems. It will be my pleasure to help and guide you in future as well. Enjoy a happy life!
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Kate, M. (1975). The Shame is Over. Ms. Magazine (January): 26-29.
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Marques, J. (2007). Leadership: Emotional intelligence, passion, and what else? Journal of Management
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