Constantly looking for the negative in a relationship is bound to drown out any positives. A huge trap the counsellors at Happiness Matters constantly see is couples “Keeping Score” on their relationship.
From as minor as housework and responsibilities relating to children and pets, to bigger things such as life sacrifices which occurred 5 years previously. Having the mindset that your partner “owes” is poisonous to your relationship, and really can start to disconnect the partnership and lead to constant battles of power.
If you are aware of the score keeping within your relationship, ask yourself why? Why does it bother you? When you did whatever you did to get the one up on your partner, why did you do it in the first place, were you wanting to receive anything for doing it? It’s often that the tally starts to be declared when you are trying to negotiate something for yourself, or there is potentially other deeper issues, such as poor communication with your partner, is it that you feel like you are not being listened to or there is lack of consideration of your own needs.
Instead of using the past as a bargaining tool, try offering something nice from the future in return – “If I can have a night out with the girls on Saturday, I will give you Sunday to yourself”.
Start talking to each respectfully, and if you are starting to feel that the roles within your relationship are not on an even playing field, talk to each other about it, or go back to the basics and create a roster of tasks that need to be done and when they are expected to be completed and assign tasks to each other, then arrange light-hearted penalties in advance if the tasks are not achieved – “If I end up doing the dishes for you, you will need to bring home my favorite treat!”.
Relationship Counselling can help couples build on their communication skills with each other, so often this very simple skill gets lost when couples start to assume they know what each other want and start forgetting to talk about basic needs. A happy relationship requires 2 happy individuals.