Marriage Bank Accounts

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A number of marriage therapists suggest couples pay attention to their marriage like a bank account. Don’t make a withdrawal if you have not made enough deposits.
The intention is good. The score-keeping seems all wrong.
And so does the idea of withdrawals.
Is watching football when your wife wants to go furniture shopping together a withdrawal? Or is it just a conflict of interest better solved with a Third Alternative than by kissing her the morning before the game?
Is giving your husband an errand to run a withdrawal? If he fails to run it, does the withdrawal still count? I would expect the husband who fails to run it is more put out by the demand than one who gladly heads off to take care of it. Why not find a Third Alternative for getting the errand taken care of without either of you feeling you are treated unfairly?
And what about the research, repeated by several researchers, that shows it takes 5 times as many positive interactions as negative ones to keep a relationship strong? No bank account works that way.
I don’t buy the bank account method. Work at making yourself happy in your marriage, happy enough to want to be kind, warm, generous, forgiving, and grateful toward the love of your life. And forget the score-keeping.

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Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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  • I agree. I’d also like to add that a person should seek happiness within themselves to better serve (for lack of a better word) their partner or others, for that matter. Happy is as Happy does 🙂

By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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