“The minute you start keeping score, you’re destroying the relationship.” Tony Robbins
She became controlling, but he shut down and became distant.
She stopped wanting to be physical, but he cheated.
He felt unappreciated, but she felt unloved.
Sometimes in relationships we keep a mental scorecard of all the ways our partner has hurt us. We tuck those instances into a virtual file in our minds that we use to justify our own choices and behaviors. We use those pieces of evidence to remind ourselves to guard our hearts, to not fully give ourselves to our partners because after all, we could get hurt again.
But keeping score only keeps alive the thoughts and fears that caused the hurt within the relationship to begin with; plus, it creates new problems that have to be overcome……
- Now, we have to figure out how to overcome the distance that’s been created.
- Now, we have to dissolve the resentment being carried just beneath the surface, simmering, but never really discussed.
- Now, we have to unwind the arguments we’ve had and the hurtful things we’ve said to one another.
Keeping a scorecard on one another doesn’t foster a healthy, loving relationship.
Refusing to actually address the problems as they arise doesn’t help us understand each other more.
And wanting to be right will be the very thing that will keep you from being happy.
Besides, what’s the point of keeping score?
The first person to 500 loses? Loses what?….. Their marriage?
Or the first to track their partners’ flaws to 500 wins? Wins what?….. Wins a lifetime of unhappiness and discontent?
There is no winner in this game.
When there are problems in our relationships…
- It’s mature and healthy (and maybe also a little scary) to address those issues before they fester and create a whole new set of issues.
- It’s immature and destructive to ignore the issues, to hope they will magically disappear or to keep a running mental scorecard.
We can do better than that, can’t we?