Your Marriage Counselor

Emotional Intelligence Part 3

Let’s discuss the other side of the relationship, with our partner; being able to recognize the full range of emotions of our partner that are generating their response(s) and to see their point of view. For example under anger there can be many feelings: hurt, fear, sadness, jealousy to name a few.

It is a good first step to developing empathy for your partner to focus on the underlying messages. Learning this skill is best done in a safe protected environment.  In my office, when a person

feels less threatened they are far more likely to be less defensive and look more deeply into things.

6. Empathy – Is the most difficult level skill in EI..

Empathy is understanding our partners’ feelings, their logic, their point of view, and their reasons for responding and behaving the way they do.

As we’re able to do that, we are able to move toward being compassionate. that is  understanding as valid your partner’s point of view.

The idea is that though you do not agree with your partner but you still are respectful. This is a hard skill to develop but to understand the power of this attitude, just imagine how it would feel if your partner treats you the same way. Empathy is taking the high road and being our best self.

To see beyond your partner’s response, and realize the struggle they are having. No one wants to be upset or nasty.

The emotional intelligence process regarding our partner starts with  We also make the distinction between compassion and compliance.

Recognition of a partner’s underlying emotions as well as being empathic can go a long way to developing conflict management skills as well as  negotiation strategies. *


The common factor in all 6 of these skills are that they are all about our emotions.

Emotional intelligence is important because it gets  past walls that have been built between us and our partner and helps us

to understand each another. It is the difference between a productive discussion with different opinions and an argument that causes distance and resentment in a relationship.

Our feelings impact on how we: approach, hear, respond, trigger feelings in the other person content gets lost in intense feelings, especially if we have a lot negative history with our partner.


  • If you’d like more information about negotiation I would invite you to read my book “Negotiation Handbook for Couples: from conflict to connection”