10 Deposits You Can Make To Your Emotional Bank Account


"Catch your partner doing something right." The Gottman Institute

I'm sure you are familiar with a savings account. You start a savings account by making a deposit. If you continue to make deposits, then your savings account grows. If you only make one deposit, then your savings account doesn't grow. Apply that concept to your relationship. This doesn't mean keep score, this means work towards building a positive perspective in your relationship. The Gottman Institute research suggests this is a great way to build a reasonably happy relationship. Here are ten helpful tips to help build your emotional bank account in your relationship:

  1. Sliding glass door moments. These are just a couple of minutes in a relationship and this is where trust is built and how it is kept. For example, you come home after a long day at work and your partner wants to talk to you about the children. You can simply say I am tired and walk away or you can stay and listen to your partner. This may not make a huge difference at the time but in the long run it will.
  2. Contribute regularly to your emotional bank account. The small things can make a big difference. Your partner will notice. And, contribute with a smile. Remember, it's not what you say it's how you say it.
  3. Complain don't blame. This…

Read more: 10 Deposits You Can Make To Your Emotional Bank Account

We Just Moved In Together, But I Feel Further Apart Than Ever.


You've just made the huge step of moving in together or getting married. Congratulations! Now, what's next? The dream of hot sex whenever you want it. Splitting the finances 50/50. The possibilities are endless.

Then, reality sets in. You had no idea that your partner was a neat freak. You have no time for friends, and you feel like you don't know one another anymore. As far a sex, maybe you have it once a month, and that's if there's nothing better on T.V. When you are angry at your partner, there is nowhere to hide. You will actually have to talk about your problems. For some this is scary and for others it is not, depending on your style.
You realize that the only people who have the perfect relationship are in the movies. Hopefully, you realize you don't have to have the perfect relationship and start to strive for the good enough relationship. Here are 10 helpful tips to help keep you sane in your relationship:

  1. Make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. For a lot of couples, moving in together just happens. They don't usually weigh out the pros and cons or make plans in advance. Maybe, it just felt right or it was convenient. No more arguing of where you will stay or having to bring an overnight bag.…

Read more: We Just Moved In Together, But I Feel Further Apart Than Ever.

9 Ways To Absolutely Know You Are In The Right Relationship


I hear this all the time, 'is he/she the right one for me?' In a time where there are more single people than there have ever been, and there is more betrayal than ever. People have a hard time trusting that they will pick the right partner for themselves. The first step is loving and respecting yourself. Here are nine tips that will help you know you're in the right relationship:


You Don't...
  1. Fear it. You aren't afraid to commit and you put yourself in a situation with someone that, also, doesn't fear it. If you are afraid of commitment, it's best to work that out before starting a relationship.
  2. Snoop. If you trust your partner, why are you looking? Going through your partner's email, phone, Facebook account or journal, strongly indicate you don't trust your partner. You're also violating your partner's trust in you.
  3. Think you're superior. If your feel your partner is inferior in any way you know that matters to you in a mate - morally, intellectually, financially, socially or professionally - then you're never going to respect your partner the way you hoped to be respected. 
  4. Let any substance abuse or behavior come before the relationship. Anyone abusing a substance or behavior is cheating on you with his or her drug of choice. You deserve more.
  5. Depend on each…

Read more: 9 Ways To Absolutely Know You Are In The Right Relationship

10 Tips To Help Overcome Negativity In Your Relationship


After you've been in a relationship for a while, it's easy to focus on the negative. At The Gottman Institute we call this the negative sentiment override (NSO). Couples that are in the NSO will not notice the positive their partner does 50% of the time. What does this mean? Start adding thank you's and appreciations to your relationship, like it was in the beginning. I know this sounds small, but it will make a big difference. Here are 10 helpful tips to overcome the NSO in your relationship:

  1. Brew up a cup of coffee for your partner. Have a cup of coffee together in the morning and talk about at least one important thing that will be happening in your day. Make this a ritual every morning.
  2. Laugh together. Bring up a funny moment from your past that makes you both laugh. Couples that laugh together are more likely to stay together. Maybe the last time you were out to dinner together the server said or did something funny. Bring it up with your partner. You can also watch a funny comedy together.
  3. Work up a sweat together. You can do this inside or outside of the bedroom. Working up a sweat will boost your endorphins and is good for your heart. Make sure to get your heart rate up. Take a hike, go…

Read more: 10 Tips To Help Overcome Negativity In Your Relationship

How Is The Intimacy, Really, In Your Relationship?


When we think of intimacy, we think of passion and romance. It all seems so natural and easy. I mean, just watch the movies, all you have to do is wear a nice outfit and smell nice, and instantly you'll have romance. It all appears, so, easy. We have learned a lot about relationship stability from Dr's. John and Julie Gottman. We have found that relationships are built on trust and commitment. When you have trust and commitment you have a strong friendship. Friendship builds intimacy. We have also found, that in relationships there can be resentments and grudges. These can be damaging to the relationship. When you learn to mange them well, this can lead to increased intimacy. We can think of them as falling into three different categories:

  1. "Maybe this really isn't that important, on second thought and I can let this go."
  2. "This really is irritating to me, I'm feeling resentful here, this really is important to me, (but not particularly meaningful)."
  3. "This is painful and serious, this really has meaning to me related to an important belief, value, or strong feeling.
When there is meaning given to the incident or behavior this can drive the resentment to a level of great distress. The resentment is experienced as painful and can be seen as a fundamental flaw in your partner.…

Read more: How Is The Intimacy, Really, In Your Relationship?

Contact Information

Office Location 
Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

Phone Number
(650) 892-0357

Map & Directions


Contact Us  Get Directions