Here’s the secret of the happiest couples: emotional generosity. For long term relationships to work, you have to invest in the emotional landscape of your family. This requires creating a culture of empathy and generosity – while also maintaining enough autonomy to allow eroticism to thrive between you.
In this episode we cover the essential qualities of emotional generosity and how to put it into practice.
Researchers from the University of Virginia National Marriage Project conducted a study on emotional generosity, defined as “giving good things to one’s spouse freely and abundantly,” in nearly 3,000 marriages.
Acts of generosity included things like making them coffee in the morning or offering a little back rub — and researchers studied the relationship between how often spouses men and women behaved generously toward their partners with how happy the couples reported themselves to be.
Couples who are emotionally generous with each other are the happiest couples on the planet. In fact, the more generous they are with each other, the happier they become.
Emotional generosity is a virtuous cycle: one person lifts up the other with acts of emotional generosity, and that in turn inspires generosity in return.
“In marriage we are expected to do our fair share when it comes to housework, child care and being faithful, but generosity is going above and beyond the ordinary expectations with small acts of service and making an extra effort to be affectionate. Living that spirit of generosity in a marriage does foster a virtuous cycle that leads to both spouses on average being happier in the marriage.” ~ W. Bradford Wilcox, University of Virginia
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