Newswise — Every marriage has an invisible emotional bank account. We make deposits into the account through acts of kindness, words of admiration, gestures of support, and more. We make withdrawals from the account by moments of unkindness, harsh or unfair criticism, words or actions that trigger hurt feelings, and more.
We featured this concept eight years ago (July/August 2010) and believe it’s important enough to link you to a recently released animated short on the topic from The Gottman Institute, the nation’s premier couples research laboratory.
Ever wonder why some couples make it and others don’t? We’ve found it has a lot to do with the “Emotional Bank Account,” which represents the balance of positivity and negativity in your relationship. As relationship researcher Logan Ury explains, you make "deposits" through positive interactions and you make "withdrawals" through negative ones. In healthy relationships, the ratio of positive behavior (showing interest, asking questions, being kind) to negative behavior (criticism, anger, hurt feelings) is 5:1. Keep your balance high by doing nice things every day for your partner and recognizing when they do nice things for you.