Why Keeping Score In Relationships Doesn’t Work

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It’s a common relationship trap: to tally up all the ways that you give and your partner doesn’t. I’m always the one who takes out the trash, you think as you take the trash out for the fourth time that month. Why am I always the one getting up with the baby in the middle of the night? you wonder as you sit, exhausted, rocking your little one at 3am. “I’m always the one who initiates sex,” you tell a friend over tea.

It’s natural to notice when you’re doing more of a certain task or action in the relationship, but if you stop there, your feelings will quickly fester into a stew of resentment.

Keeping score is a “me-centered” way of operating, by which you’re elevating your role in the relationship to a place of superiority. And if you’re “up,” then your partner has only one place to land: down. Down in the swampy, stagnant pond of “not enough”: he doesn’t love me enough, she doesn’t care enough, I don’t love him enough, etc.

The “not enough” mindset will quickly spiral into your seeing your relationship through the glass half-empty lens, which will then negatively impact how you feel about your partner.

There is one simple antidote for the habit of keeping score: Give for the joy of giving. Give because it makes your relationship run more smoothly. Give because you see that a task needs to get done and you know you’re capable of doing it. Giving is the love-juice that lubricates the rough spots and takes the squeak out of the wheels.

When you focus too much on how much you’re giving and your partner isn’t, thereby keeping score, the giving actually morphs into an act of taking. It’s no longer unconditional giving; it’s giving with strings attached as you covertly and possibly subconsciously attempt to earn points in the relationship. True giving asks nothing in return. The joy is in the giving itself.

If you’re in a loving relationship, chances are very high that your partner gives in other ways, so for everything that you do you could easily take your thought process to the next level and notice everything your partner does to keep the relationship sailing smoothly. And when you give for the sake of giving, you will likely naturally notice the ways that your partner gives.

If you’re prone to keeping score or negative thinking, it’s helpful to develop a mental habit whereby every time you notice something that you generally do, you consciously focus on a way in which your partner shows up. It can be little things like: I’m always the one who feeds the cat. Oh, and my partner is always the one to put all of our shoes back in the closet.

And it can be more meaningful areas like: I’m the one who usually initiates sex. And, yes, my partner is the one who typically plans our dates. Not only does this counteract the habit of keeping score, but it’s also a way to cultivate appreciation. And appreciation, as most people know, is like a magic elixir that bolsters our feelings of love and attraction.

It may be helpful to think of your relationship like a pool. When you tend to the third body of the relationship — not just me oryou but the third body of us — through acts of giving, you fill the pool with clear, warm water. When the pool is full, it feels good for both of you. And the more you give naturally and without conditions or expectations, the more you will inspire your partner to give as well. And then the pool stays full most of the time, and it’s a place where you both like to swim.

If you’re in a good, loving relationship where you both genuinely care about the others’ well-being, over the course of a lifetime, the offerings and actions will even out in the wash. Will it come out completely evenly? That’s not likely. But that’s not the point. When you learn to give for the higher good of yourself and the relationship, you’ll naturally stop keeping score and you’ll reap the benefits of a truly loving relationship.

By: Sheryl Paul
Source: www.mindbodygreen.com

2014-04-28T11:45:24+00:00

Related Questions

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    Greetings, Beloved! You are upset because you expect something and expectation is your problem. You are expecting something beyond your control, expecting something coming from another person you can't control. Just do you and let karma take care of this dude. You just can't up and not love someone anymore. He's either saying that so as to bounce from the scene (leave) and his responsibilities or he never loved you in the first place and perhaps used you for his own purposes of sexual gratification and you ended up getting pregnant. At either rate, just do you and focus on you - what you desire for you and your child. Think positive! Let go of the situation involving this dude. Start on it TODAY! The dude is selfish and creating karma! Release him! You can't make a person do something that is not in them to do.

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    Q: I know you are an herbalist and I have read your articles on relationships, but I really need to discuss an issue with a conscious person like yourself. I have a friend who is a conscious brother, he made it known that he doesn't want to be in a relationship, claims he's to busy, but he is into having a spiritual sexual relationship(releasing energy he says on a spiritual level). My thought is that in order to connect with someone totally on a sexual level they should be a unit to experience this sacred sexual experience he refers to, otherwise to me it seems a very clever why to have sex without the commitment of being in a relationship. I would really appreciate your thoughts.

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    Q: Hello, I enjoyed reading the information on your website. I have many questions, but my concern is that I am 43 year old African- American female, who would be classified as obese. Last year I had a miscarriage, which was devastating to me though we were not trying to get pregnant. I have a 16 year old healthy son. The doctor wanted me to have a hysterectomy because of my age and reported that I had non-cancerous fibroids. I chose not to as if I have the opportunity to get pregnant again, I would like to carry my baby to full term and deliver another healthy baby. My question is: which would you suggest I do first (as we know, time is a factor)? Should I do the full body detox and then the weight cleanse? I don't want to do the fertility program, but I'm not sure exactly why I lost my baby. I know stress played a major factor (I quit that high-stress job I was on) and after reading your website, realized that weight played a much larger role than I wanted to realize. I'm not trying to actively get pregnant, but because it remains a possibility, I would like to be as healthy as possible. My partner and I broke up shortly after the miscarriage, but have recently recommitted to a relationship again after almost a year apart. I am sorry for this long email, but your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely

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    All a child needs is to take ECHINACEA-GOLDENSEAL-ASTRAGALUS, and CHILDREN'S ELIXIR and eat a healthy diet and the child will be fine.

    Product Link:
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    Q: I noticed the CARDIO-VASCULAR FORMULA contains garlic. My partner would like to participate in the detox program with me, but she has allergies to garlic that make her very sick. Her allergist told her that dried herbs have less of an effect because of the processing. Do you think it would be safe to take, considering this is the only compound in the program that contains garlic? I assume it is a small amount and may not have a negative impact.

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    THE FORMULA IS BALANCED WITH OTHER HERBS AND IS NOT EXCLUSIVELY GARLIC, WHICH SEEMS TO BE THE PROBLEM. SHE'LL BE FINE!

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    Always a beautiful thing to see young people interested in health and healing! Kudos to you, young sister!

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    Please call 866-434-3727 and schedule your consultation and make payment. During the consultation please give the zodiac signs of you and the other person, birthdates, and if you know the time of birth for each person, I would like that too! Thank you for the interest in Dherbs.com.

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    Article:
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    Q: My mom is currently in the hospital due to her kidneys being in a state of "not working to well" most of this is due to the many meds that she takes and because of this she is now suffering from high Potassium partly because they are intravenous giving her fluid to hydrate her and at the same time giving her a diuretic to release the potassium out of her body too "WHAT" she's dehydrated and hydrated at the same time. What can I do to help this matter, what kinds of foods, drinks ... please advise and btw, my mom is also on meds for her mental imbalance, schizophrenia.

    A:

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    We have an article on "the dangers of childhood vaccines" on our site under "articles" you may find interesting!

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    A:

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