by Julie Hanks, LCSW, for Sharecare
Are you empathetic? Is your partner? It might be the secret to a happier marriage. According to a recent study from Harvard University, being able to accurately read a partner's emotions--and believing that your partner is trying to understand your emotions--is related to couple relationship satisfaction.
Expert Q&A: How can I improve my relationship?
This study highlights certain gender differences that echo dynamics I've seen in my clinical practice and in my 23-year marriage:
1. Women are more satisfied in their relationship if their partner accurately empathized with negative emotions.
2. Men were more satisfied when they could read their partner's positive emotions accurately.
3. Women's ability to read their partner's negative emotions was positively linked to both men's and women's relationship satisfaction.
10 Things Happy Couples Do
The authors suggested that for men, being able to understand and be empathetic to their partner's negative emotions may feel threatening to the relationship, but women don't seem to find negative emotions threatening. Findings suggest that effort, not just accuracy, positively impacts relationships. Read the rest at:http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/empathy-secret-sauce-happy-marriage-044200327.html