Skip to main content

Marriage ScoreCard

Photo Credit: Steve Halama
You may have heard marriage described as a 50/50 proposition with each partner contributing 50% to equal the presumed goal of 100%.  While marriage is not a game, it is common to judge our effort like contestants in a competition.

I pick up the mail and take out the trash; you prepare the meals and I clean up the kitchen.  We each have skill sets and when we both view a task as unpleasant or see ourselves as not well suited for a task we rely on the other or negotiate.  I'll do this if you do that.

One danger of being in this contestant mode is I  may make myself referee and scorekeeper.  Somehow my point total is typically inflated and contrary to Mary Frances' appraisal.  I begin to think I deserve something in return for the winning score.  Although humorous and apparently a laughable male trait, it is self-defeating and leads to disappointment and perhaps even disillusionment.



When I judge Tom does not appreciate all the work I do both at home and in the office, I can find myself in a colossal self-imposed pity party.  I can even fall into the trap of "I always" and "you never" and we all know where that 'almost' always leads . . .   Competition can get ugly and that is not what we want for our marriage.  No one wants to sleep with a Loser.

So, How do we break out of this defeating downward spiral of keeping score?  On our Worldwide Marriage Encounter Experience Tom and I learned how to communicate by being vulnerable instead of competitive with each other.  This may sound radical, but it works for us.
Photo Credit:  Matteo Vistocco

We do this by simply calling a 'Time Out.'  Tom often makes the call, as he gently reminds me, "Hey we're on the same Team."  This allows me to almost immediately de-escalate.  It is a fundamental truth of our marriage and we both know it.

This simple reminder is almost mesmerizing; immediately melting my anger.  It enables me to let down my defenses and we both listen to the other as Teammates.  I can share my feelings of frustration, hurt and disappointment that were bottled inside.  Sharing these feelings helps us to recognize and let go of the self-defeating attitudes that fuel the competition game.  When we are not competing I have the freedom and the confidence to ask Tom for help.  When we have been vulnerable like this, we can go to bed as Lovers.  We are both winners (but we're not keeping score).




Comments

  1. I have a hard time with the saying that Marriage is a 50/50 relationship. If you give 50% into your relationship you will never have a great marriage, it takes a 100% effort from both to succeed and have a great Marriage. If you only give 50% at work you will not be employed long, so why only give half an effort with your relationship!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We agree wholeheartedly! Marriage requires 100%from each of us and it is even more likely to be successful if we are working as a team toward similar goals.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Other Popular Posts

Sex: Spontaneous or Planned . . . Let the Conversation Begin

  Happy New Year to all!  We are so grateful that 2020 is clearly in our rear-view mirror.  What a relief.  The start of a new year is traditionally set aside for reflection and resolutions.  For us, 2021 was no different. We often make couple as well as individual resolutions.  Stress and busyness, age and life in general had cooled our sexual relationship to a slow simmer.  Our 2021 goal is :  " Some is good.  More is better! "  Planned or spontaneous -- all is good! Let the conversation begin.

Tell Her She’s Pretty and Let Him Go Golfing

     Kids say the funniest things. But sometimes, the things they say can teach us a thing or two. Our friends Greg and Cecilia have five children between 1 and 11 years old. They asked their four oldest kids to answer some questions about marriage. Here's what they had to say: Why do people get Married? Because they love each other.  Because they kiss each other. How do you know Mom and Dad love each other?

Verbal Judo – Harmonizing Your Tone of Voice

Some time ago, we wrote about the importance of being aware of the Tone of Voice we use with our spouse. The gist of the post was that our Tone of Voice is the key culprit that begins most disagreements, hurts, and fights between spouses. We want to revisit this important topic and provide some additional helpful hints we’ve learned along the way.

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on... 

Great Sex!

Photo by  ijeab  /  Freepik     Sex between a married couple is not only good, it’s very good. If you read the research and surveys, you will find that married couples experience better and more frequent sex than non-married couples. Married couples are healthier, happier, and live longer. When we went on a WorldWide Marriage Encounter weekend, we were more than a little surprised when a priest told us that our love-making is good, is important for us, and is important to the world. He encouraged us to “make mad passionate love!”     So, why has married sex become something else? Society and media portray sex for married couples as dull and lifeless, a tool used to manipulate, something to joke about, and something that - beyond the newlywed phase- gradually drifts away. We’ve been sold this bill of goods, and we often buy into it! What we really crave in our sex life is to give and receive something powerful- to experience the depths of our passion and love for each other, t

Looking Forward with Hope and Promise to 2021

2020 will soon be in our rear-view mirror . . .  We look forward with hope and promise to 2021.     W e at The Couples Post   have shared in a practical way how we are so much stronger together as a couple.  May that strength help us navigate 2021 and beyond. 

The Super-Power of Affirmation

  JULIE: I’m not a superhero.   While I can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet, make myself invisible, or read people’s minds, I CAN harness the super-power of affirmation by   telling John the numerous reasons he is special to me or the many traits I admire in him.   Never underestimate the super-power of affirmation to build up your spouse and enhance your relationship.

10 Things Women Want

1)  Learn her “Love Language :"   And speak it often! (Learn more:  What Language Are You Speaking? ) Janine’s love language is “Acts of Service.” So, when I vacuum or do dishes or cook, it fills up her ‘love tank' - her mood brightens and there’s a whole different vibe between us.   I can tell I’ve found a direct path to her heart.  

I Married YOU, Not Your Family

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels Growing up and getting married means that we leave our family of origin and start a new family.  We’re not asked to forget about mom and dad, but we do need to remember that our spousal relationship is important to take care of because it becomes the solid ground where we plant our new roots.

Marriage is a VERB

Marriage is not a noun; it's a verb.  It isn't something you get.  It's something you do.  It's the way you love your partner every day."