On “Keeping Score” in Matrimony

6 Aug

1024px-Peoples_Bank_Field_Scoreboard

One of the biggest things to avoid in marriage is keeping score. It’s also one of the things we seem to do the most. Nothing is “Fair” and marriage is NEVER 50/50.

Marriage is 100/100 – It’s an ALL IN proposition.

Take your scoreboard down. You are supposed to be on the same team, not in competition. Think about how you can help each other – and don’t worry about who helps who more. It’s not about YOU anymore after you enter the sacrament of matrimony – you are third in line or further down in your own priority list which starts with God, goes to Spouse, then Children (if any), and then YOU, after all that – everyone and everything else. (YES I DID! I put Spouse before Children in that list!)

Take a moment out of each morning to recommit yourself to loving and serving God and your Spouse (Yes Husbands are bound by the SAME RULES). Much of the time when I see scorekeeping happening it is because the husband or wife is not putting their spouse first and compounded by a spouse who is keeping score – for what constructive purpose I cannot fathom.

Communication plays a critical role. Even the best husbands can be both oblivious and dense at the same time (as can the best wives). Is your scorecard part of a plan to humiliate them to action? Is it to prove how much more virtuous you are carrying most of the load? Could it be that it’s just being saved up for the next disagreement, where it will be used as a club in an unrelated argument? — No… Stop… Don’t…

I think I like my wifes method best – she has refined it over the years mind you, and it works well when I use it too. It goes something like this “Dear, WE need to (Accomplish X), could you be a love and (Do X) for/with me. I don’t think I can get this done without you.”. What I love about this approach is that there is no snip or ugliness, there is instead:

  • a term of endearment sincerely expressed (often with a pat or kiss)
  • a reminder that we are both one flesh with the word WE
  • a specific goal is laid out
  • a request – not an order to do a specific task accompanied by another term of endearment
  • A very truthful declaration that the help from me is necessary

Now for the good part – it works on Wives and Husbands equally well. compare your own response to the above method vs. “Get off your fat lazy backside, clear the table and do the cursed dishes or we just won’t eat tonight lazybones”.  *I’d like to think I can rest my case on this one example – but it applies in all kinds of ways in your marriage.

However if you must keep score – start keeping track of the random acts of kindness you perform for your spouse every day. Every morning, look at yesterdays total – and try to better it.

Pax Christi,

Colin

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2 Responses to “On “Keeping Score” in Matrimony”

  1. lizziearias August 27, 2014 at 3:10 am #

    Yes well put, delivery is everything. Why would you treat the closest person to you and the one who is “on your side” badly? From my experience, vary rarely does any human respond well to harshness.

    Liked by 1 person

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