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How to Increase Your Marriage IQ
by Mort Fertel

Let me begin with an email I received from a woman in my marriage help program. See if you can relate.

Dear Mort,

We are in week 2 of the silent treatment! It all started over something little and ridiculous! We are both adults, old enough to know better than this! He is a judge, I am a social worker! He wonapostrophet budge! I need help!


The dreaded silent treatment. The big stand-off. Horrible, isnapostrophet it?

The most intense prayers in a household come during these silent treatments: "Oh God, I hope thatapostrophes not him/her pulling into the driveway."

Or, "Oh God, when will he/she go upstairs already?"

Sometimes you feel like you could explode, right?

Most silent treatments start like Jodieapostrophes started; with something "little and ridiculous." Most couples canapostrophet remember what the impetus was. And if they could, theyapostrophed be too embarrassed to admit that something so small blew-up into something so big.

So, what are these silent treatments or stand-offs REALLY about? And how can you avoid them or end them soon after they begin?

Itapostrophes interesting that Jodie made a point in her email to say that she and her husband "know better." In other words, theyapostrophere intelligent, educated, and accomplished people. Jodieapostrophes husband is even a judge, an expert in distinguishing between right and wrong. They know that treating each other this way doesnapostrophet make sense. They know IT is wrong. But they also know that THEY are right.

And thatapostrophes exactly the problem!

Silent treatments ensue when both people feel theyapostrophere RIGHT. And the more intense each spouseapostrophes conviction to their perspective, the longer the silence lasts. And, ironically, the more intelligent and the articulate the couple, the MORE LIKELY they are to endure silence between them. Because intelligent and articulate people have confidence in their position and justification for holding their ground.

Although Jodie is surprised that her and her husband, intelligent people, could be so petty; the fact is that one reason theyapostrophere holding their silence for so long is BECAUSE theyapostrophere intelligent. In other words, intellectual capacity and marital satisfaction can be INVERSELY related. Let me say it another way: When it comes to your marriage, you can be right or you can be happy. But sometimes you canapostrophet be both.

In a courtroom, a hospital, or an office, right and wrong determine success or failure. The decision to prescribe the right medicine, for example, could be the difference between life and death. The relationship between the doctor and the patient is secondary. Being RIGHT is what matters and what is rewarded.

But in marriage, being right has no value. All that matters is the relationship.

Sometimes you have to choose. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happily married?

Just because youapostrophere “right/wrongapostrophe paradigm works at the office doesnapostrophet mean that you should bring it home. "He who is a hammer thinks everything is a nail." Some things work perfectly in one area of life and fail terribly in another. In marriage, you have to be like a carpenter and know which tool to use. The right/wrong mode is the WRONG tool to use in your marriage.

The more you insist on being RIGHT, the more you will be miserable in your marriage. Donapostrophet go for RIGHT; go for LOVE.

Jodie expects that because she and her husband are "intelligent," they shouldnapostrophet find themselves in these petty stalemates. But just because Jodie and her husband have a high IQ, doesnapostrophet mean they have a high EQ.

IQ is a measure of your INTELLECTUAL intelligence. The higher your IQ, the better your ability to process information and determine whatapostrophes "right."

EQ is a measure of your EMOTIONAL intelligence. The higher your EQ, the better your ability to connect with people and succeed in relationships.

Just as some athletes are strong but not fast, so too many people have a high IQ but a low EQ.

Bottom line: Intelligence, in the way Jodie means it, has little bearing on her and her husbandapostrophes ability to succeed in their marriage. In fact, a high IQ coupled with a low EQ can be a disastrous combination for a marriage.

The good news, however, is that EQ can be developed. Anyone can increase their EQ and learn to make their marriage RIGHT.

About the author:

Mort Fertel is a world authority on the psychology of relationships and has an international reputation for saving marriages. He’s been a featured expert on NBC, the Fox News Network, and in Family Circle. Click here for Mort’s FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.apostrophe