Scorekeeping is one of those guilty pleasures you may sometimes take in a relationship. It’s not beneficial in any way to t but it feels good to rack up points.

It may be something you’ve done that makes you feel like you’ve “pulled ahead” or some infraction made by your partner that leaves you feeling they deserve a demerit.

Unfortunately, it is a dynamic some couples find themselves engaged in all too often. It is a match no one ever wins. There is only the temporary illusion of winning if you are particularly competitive.  

Here are some ways to step away from the arena and avoid unnecessary scorekeeping.

1. Strive for fairness

Make sure you are not asking for more than you’re willing to give. In addition, find ways to give back, in equal measure, all the positive things you get from the relationship.

You may find that you both eventually lean into a sense of fairness and a strong desire to keep things equitable. One way to do this is to actively listen, hear, and acknowledge another’s needs. This will, in turn, help you steer clear of any temptation for keeping score.

2. Be a rock of support

There are few feelings better than knowing your partner has your back. They naturally feel the same way about you. 

If you support each other consistently, the odds of feeling any desire for scorekeeping will be drastically reduced.

This is a marathon, not a sprint and there is no real ‘winning” unless you both help each other cross the line together.

Try to remember how good it felt in the very beginning, when you were an inspiration and source of comfort for your partner. This can still be cultivated and sustained by listening, encouraging and resisting any urge to keep score or antagonize.  

3. Compromise and communication are key

You will never go wrong by communicating your needs and setting realistic expectations.

Communication breakdowns and relationship pathologies often take years to recognize or admit. Fixing the root causes and subsequent course correction can take time. Be patient with your partner and with yourself in any efforts at addressing the mistakes and making the necessary repairs.

Pay attention to the little things. They can often make all the difference. For instance, bring home the flowers she likes now, not the ones she’s repeatedly mentioned she finds depressing.  Don’t just robotically mail in your gestures. Be present and make them meaningful by actually tuning in.

Some final considerations

Scorekeeping eventually erodes and undermines potential.

It also tears away at the fabric of any progress or repair in a relationship and eventually goes for the relationship itself.

If you ever find yourself tempted to keep score, think of it like a slow acting poison that you are pouring into a well that many people draw upon. Because, when you shake someone’s confidence or sense of self, you may be hobbling not only them, but all those in their emotional circle

Lisa Ryan, LPC
Lisa Ryan, LPC
Relationship Expert - Infidelity Specialist - Guest Speaker ~ Loves the big blue sea, homely dogs, the unvarnished truth, and making people feel better. As an Infidelity Specialist in CT since 2002, Lisa continues to retain fairness, an enormous empathy for all clients and a desire to forge a positive outcome, with a commitment that matches that of the clients themselves. She helps couples rebuild their relationships after the discovery of an extramarital affair, a secret relationship or a technology addiction that breaches trust. She guides her clients through a 5-pronged solution-driven plan, designed by her, which has a success rate near 95%. Clients attribute their achievement to Lisa’s non-judgmental approach and genuine understanding of the unique anguish experienced by both parties when trust has been broken.

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