You don’t have to listen to country music to know that relationships ain’t easy. Having success in them can almost seem like a game of chance. After all, experts will tell you that any one marriage has but a 50-50 chance of success. That’s a scary way of looking at things–and completely wrong. There are ways you can keep your relationships strong no matter what comes at you. One surefire way is to make sure that your relationship “bank account” is always in the black. It’s not too hard to imagine your relationship with your spouse–or anybody else in your life–as a relationship bank account. What are you “investing” in this bank account? Your emotions, your attentions, your affections, your kindness.
Sometimes you could have relationships that are in the red, in arrears even! But if your relationship account is in the black, that means
you could have a “debit” and still remain in the clear–still in the black.
Not sure still what the black and the red mean?
You probably have already felt what I mean with these relationship bank accounts with the various people you have relationships with. When you are in the black, you feel comfortable around them, can feel their warmth when they see you, and have no tension between you. But when you are in the red, you might not feel trust or trusted, or you might feel like the other person is misreading your words, or perhaps you are looking too much into theirs.
Let’s use that example of a marriage again for another illustration of a relationship bank account. When you are in the black in a marriage, you have an overflowing emotional, sexual, and spiritual connection to your partner. You feel loved and respected, and you are making sure your partner feels the same way. If this is the case, you two will be able to weather a crisis without your relationship being torn asunder. We’re talking a major crisis, like a death in the family, a financial blowup, or a serious sickness, but a “crisis” could also be those everyday varieties that pop up, like missing your partner’s birthday because of a business trip. Or how about if you’ve been spending more time lately with your friends than your spouse? In a healthy relationship–one in the black–these situations might prompt a conversation, but things will be worked out and that relationship bank account will still have a nice balance in it at the end of the day. But in an unhealthy relationship in the red, even the little incidents can trigger what seems like the end. You and your spouse will argue, stop talking, feel frustrated in each other’s presence. The couch might become one of your beds.
Feelings of being taken for granted, of being disrespected, can lead to broken hearts and lost love. And I’m not even talking about a real crisis, like a death or illness.
So, how’s your relationship bank account?
Feeling a little low? Nervous to check your balance? Don’t be. One simple way to turn your relationship bank account in good order is to start first with your own account. Are you personally running on empty, feeling emotionally in the red? Build yourself back to emotional health, and your personal bank account will overflow into your relationship bank accounts. After all, if you feel like you don’t have time for yourself and your own happiness, how will you tend to your spouse’s happiness? Give yourself a little love, and you’ll have more than enough to spare for others.