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Don’t break the (relationship) bank

March 4, 2013

Here’s a life-changing idea…                                                                                                                          

Leading relationship researcher, John Gottman says,

“In marriage people periodically make what I call ‘bids’ for their partner’s attention, affection, humor, or support.  People either turn toward one another or they turn away.  Turning toward is the basis of emotional connection, romance, passion, and a good sex life.  So when disagreements arise—as they do in all relationships—[good humored] bidders have a full supply of goodwill and affection handy.”

In other words…

Each time we make a positive emotional connection with our partner through playfulness, humor, affection or support, it is as if we are making a goodwill deposit into our relationship “savings account.”  If we continually contribute to this account by turning toward our partner when he or she makes a bid for connection, then when conflict or hard times arise, we will not “break the bank.”  We will find that not only do we have enough goodwill to see us through times of conflict, but we will have a happy, healthy relationship.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…                                                          

Pay attention to your partner this week. When he or she makes a bid for connection, take notice. Be supportive of his or her needs. Be affectionate. Be playful and use good humor. As you connect with your partner, your relationship savings account will grow, and you will feel closer to your partner.

To find out more…

check out The Marriage Garden program at, like us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You might also enjoy reading The Relationship Cure by John M. Gottman.

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