Yield to win (DW#546)

Today’s marriage hack is especially important for husbands (did you think that I would only focus on the wives?!).

A disclaimer: to be honest, this is not really a hack – in that it is not a simple and quirky thing that you can do – but it is really really important.

Dr. Gottman believes that one of the keys to a successful marriage is the emotional intelligence of husbands. How does this emotional intelligence show up in marriage? It is when men accept their wives’ influence in small and big matters.

In a long-term study of 130 newlywed couples, Dr. Gottman and his colleagues discovered that men who allow their wives to influence them have happier marriages and are less likely to divorce. Women, it seems, are better at accepting influence and yielding to advice than men and even in unhappy relationships, women are already doing this. In unhappy marriages, Gottman found that men tend to withdraw from conflict, stonewall their spouses and refuse to concede, stubbornly resisting their wives’ appeals for communication or compromise. 

So how can we use this research information to hack our marriage? 

1)   Listen non defensively to your spouse at times of conflict. (Staying in the conversation without exiting physically or emotionally is the most important first step)

2)   Try to understand their point of view and

3)   Do your best to find common ground and areas of compromise.

That is how you accept influence. It is about making a commitment to your relationship stronger than your commitment to winning for yourself and against them.

And when your relationship wins, you both win. 

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