Do you keep score when it comes to offenses?
It’s not at all unusual for couples to quietly and secretly keep score of the little irritations of life. Your spouse forgot to pay a bill (1 point), left the kitchen in a mess (1.5 points) or heaven forbid, didn’t take out the trash (3 points).
Thing is, these little annoyances tend to add up over time and if stewed upon, the score card ends up inflated way beyond what it should be. I mean, is forgetting to take out the trash really worth 3 whole points?
I’m a recovering ‘score keeper’. My natural inclination is to make a mental tick list of offenses and then, when they’ve added up to a level I can no longer ignore, I begin to lash out.
Note: I said I’m, ‘recovering.’
I doubt there’s a person reading this who fails to see how unhealthy keeping score is in a marriage. You WILL be irritated with your spouse from time to time. Your spouse will drop the occasional ball, he’ll fail in numerous ways and sure as the trashcan overflows, he’ll mess something up … probably today! But here’s the kicker: so will YOU.
Sometimes, your best defense is no defense at all. Sometimes, what works better than anything when your spouse has irritated you is to make the conscious decision to just “call it even.”
When you “call it even” you’re essentially acknowledging the painful fact that YOU have also racked up a few points on your scorecard. Points that you wish would just go away.
You really can’t escape it … you’re probably annoying your spouse in a lot of little ways at exactly the same rate that he is annoying you. Sad, isn’t it? But if you’ll make the decision within yourself to “call it even” the next time you’re tempted to whip out a pencil and mark down his failure, you’ll both feel freer and more satisfied in your marriage.
This strategy takes deliberate action on your part. Make the choice to ditch the scorecard and call it even!