Healthy Relationships by Dr. Ee’a Jones ~ November 2020
I read an article in the October 2020 issue of the Psychology Today magazine. The article is entitled Love and is written by Dr. Amie Gordon (Gordon, 2020). She gave some pointers on how to achieve a healthy relationship in the midst of the chaotic world we live in right now. She listed the following: being open and honest, be there for your partner, and “forgive the small grievances” (p. 27). She mentions the emotional savings account, which I use quite a bit in counseling when discussing relationships. Basically, it is analogous to a bank account, which we withdraw money from or deposit money into it. If we do not deposit money, we will not be able to withdraw money. The premise with an emotional savings account is that receive from others what we pour into them; this can be negative or positive. So make it a point to deposit positively into the person closest to you. When it’s time for you to make a withdrawal (need to vent about a bad day at work), you are more likely to receive a positive withdrawal if that’s what you’ve been
Gordon (2020) also mentioned how partners put out bids for attention. It is very important to respond to a bid (respond back to a text, simple touch on the shoulder, etc.). She also discussed how living in our current environment makes it all the more important to respond positively to our partners because, otherwise, we will likely struggle with our relationships. Gordon also mentioned making rules for the relationship to avoid bickering over small things.
The article was timely given couples have been forced to be in the same space since the pandemic started almost six months ago. That’s a long time to be in the same space when most couples had become used to working a lot, coming home to take care of kids, etc. The good thing, according to Gordon (2020) is we can adjust fairly easily to new situations (p. 41) and couples have come up with new ways to interact with each other. She ends with a few questions for you as a couple. She asks, “Did I pay attention today? Did I talk to my partner and say what I was thinking? Did I listen when my partner was talking?” (p. 41).
These tidbits about relationships are good to help you continue to build a healthy relationship with your partner. I have always felt like communication is key in any relationship. If you cannot communicate with each other, how in the world does the relationship move forward? Also, the emotional savings account is a tidbit I agree with; make sure you make it your business to deposit positive acts into your partner’s emotional savings account. You’ll likely be able to withdraw some positive acts from your partner when needed. Be mindful of how you treat your partner. Before saying or doing anything to your partner, ask yourself how you’d respond if your partner treated you the way you are about to treat him or her. If you would respond negatively or be offended, it’s probably a good idea to rethink your response before you say or do anything.
Gordon, A. (2020, October). Love. Psychology Today.