TODAY   |  September 11, 2013

Deposits in ‘love bank’ can strengthen your marriage

Marriage therapists Rachel Sussman and Ian Kerner explain the concept of a “love bank,” where couples can strengthen their relationship by making positive deposits into each other’s lives, such as listening to each other. They also explain a few of the “withdrawals” to avoid, like arguments and being defensive.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> have ever wondered what the secret to holding a relationship together some say it is the love bank.

>> if you are making more withdrawals than deposits trouble can be come your way.

>> here to help us balance the account. so good to see you both.

>> you are calling it a love bank.

>> absolutely.

>> that's the term we are using. what is the general concept here?

>> i think you have your relationship. you have a ratio between positive and negative interactions in your relationship. every day you want to depositt positive interactions and do not want to withdraw through negative interactions. you are sitting with your partner, listening, talking, smiling. that is a positive interaction.

>> and even something like teasing is negative.

>> teasing can be positive if you are making it fun. the point is more deposits than withdrawals. all couples fight.

>> is this going to get you through tough times?

>> i think what this encourages people to do is think about their relationships the way they think about money. think about how often we sit down with our partners and decide are we going to buy something, can we afford this? can we go on that dinner or that date? if you took that time to think about your relationship you would have a much stronger one.

>> have you ever sat with a couple at dinner going at each other and they don't realize they are doing it? it becomes part of the conversation. that kind of negativity can take care of your life.

>> that is a withdrawal from the love bank. you have to be mindful. if you tend to be critical or you and your spouse spar with each other you have to turn it back and say how can i be pleasant?

>> and just think before you say something. we are so spontaneous that we say something without thinking.

>> do you think some things are such big withdrawals it is hard to ever turn back? like infidelity?

>> anthony weiner made a big withdrawal. that bankrupted the bank.

>> and not seeing her through it and it makes you wonder if it is over.

>> couples that are stuck in sex ruts and haven't been intimate in three weeks.

>> two months, a year. that is also a withdrawal. that is a great deposit you can make.

>> it is true there is all kinds of intimacy. some people can't have sex anymore and yet they are very intimate in their relationship. billy graham once said to me so we continue our romance with our eyes. and i thought there is something to be learned from that, as well.

>> it is beautiful. i was reading about this. just as you have like a joint account with your partner i think you have your own individual account with yourself that you need to deposit into. you need to have your friends, interests and hobbies.

>> what do you do about a friend? just always, always takes.

>> i think that can be very exhausting. when you have a friend who is a real taker. sometimes you have to have a talk with them. you have to have a balanced relationship. relationships that aren't balanced --

>> you think they don't realize it?

>> i think they don't realize it.

>> some relationships work because one is the giver and one is the taker.

>> it has to be everyone is happy and everything is okay with it. back to friendships, in relationships the friendships are so important and you are not always going to have sex. when you have the strong relationship and friendship i think you can withstand some of the hard times .

>> thank you for all of