If you’re playing a game, it’s important to have a scorekeeper. It’s the only way to judge someone’s performance and determine a winner.
But in marriage, scorekeepers are destructive. When a relationship is defined by “winners” and “losers,” it’s only a matter of time before things fall apart.
Scorekeepers are easy to spot in a conflict. Their goal is to win. They don’t compromise, respect their spouse’s point of view, or resolve issues in a way that benefits the relationship. Their objective is to find happiness by making certain everything goes their way.
To do that, scorekeepers constantly measure the relationship. They keep a running scorecard of how well their spouse is doing. And if scorekeepers don’t feel happy, they blame their spouse, criticize their every move, or demand their spouse change to accommodate their wishes.
Instead of a nurturing relationship that benefits both spouses, scorekeeping turns marriage into a competition. It sets the couple against each other. It’s impossible for a marriage to thrive when it becomes a battle ground where somebody wins and somebody loses.
At its heart, marriage is about compromise. Don’t think you can build a thriving marriage by manipulating your spouse to get your way. Tear up the scorecard and focus on loving and serving one another. Resolve issues in a way that benefits both of you.