the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
According to this article, empathy is one of the characteristics of the happiest marriages. This ability to understand your spouse's feelings, to get outside your own perspective and feel what your partner is feeling, is key to the longevity and happiness of marriage.
It takes a certain level of maturity to empathize with another person, to truly understand someone else's feelings when they are different from your own. It takes self-control to stop yourself when you want to react, and instead to listen behind a person's words to hear the real message, the feelings driving the words.
the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
A link within that article takes you to yet another article, in which the author describes ten things that happy couples do well. One action that caught my attention: kindness. Happy couples, the article says, treat each other like best friends, even when they disagree.
Empathy. Simple kindness.
Isn't that what we all really need from each other?
If we each could master those two skills–or at least intentionally work on developing them–how much happier our marriages would be!
If you're married, or might be someday, I encourage you to click on the links above (or below) and read these two short articles.
What do you think? How often do you purposely try to understand your spouse's feelings about an issue or situation in which you disagree? Does it help?
I Was Just Thinking . . .
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