A relationship, especially those where one or both partners has ADHD, works much like a bank account. Both partners share equally in an emotional joint account.
Into that account goes every act of kindness, generosity, kept promises, commitments honored, as well as many other loving and things we do that let our partner know that we care, respect and adore them. Each loving act gets deposited one at a time and that creates a positive balance in your emotional bank account.
Just like a bank account, there are plenty of opportunities to make withdrawals or subtract emotional funds from your account. These are called “emotional withdrawals.” Every act of criticism, breaking promises, failed commitments, and any other unkind, and unloving thing we do, subtract and take away from out of our emotional joint account.
In fact, sometimes, there can be so many broken commitments, so many times a promise was made and not kept, or just so many times that you break your word or behaved unkindly that what happens is that what you end up with is an emotionally overdrawn account!
Just like at a bank when your account is overdrawn, every additional withdrawal comes at an extraordinary cost. Sometimes for less than a 20 dollar accounting error, you can get a $300 bucks in overdraft fees. You know the drill! You forget to enter one check for $20 bucks, and you write one small check only to discover later that your one check for 20 dollars threw your account into the red. Then the bank slaps you with a 67 dollar returned check fee, which in turn causes the next check to bounce and again you’re charged an outrageous fee. This cycle can easily rack up $300 in fees in no time flat.
Well, the same is true in your relationship. The goal is to have an account where you have more positive emotional deposits than you do negative withdrawals. By keeping your emotional bank account in the black, you’re creating a form of emotional overdraft protection. That means that you have a cushion in your account, and emotional “rainy day” fund to cover you when you find yourself in an emotional emergency situation.
The economics of a loving and successful relationship are pretty straightforward. Our emotional bank accounts are made up of our words, our actions as well as everything that what we don’t do or don’t say. Every transaction matters!
In the end the goal is to have more deposits than withdrawals and be very aware of not getting emotionally overdrawn. The cost of getting emotionally overdrawn comes at a seriously high emotional price, one that can close down your marriage without any notice
Pay serious attention how you interact with each other and remember to express appreciation for positive things your partner says or does, no matter how small.