Knowing why scorekeeping is unhealthy for relationships

Knowing why scorekeeping is unhealthy for relationships

Scorekeeping invariably enters a relationship, whether it is between siblings, friends, partners or co-workers. However, regularly doing so can create barriers and spoil the charm. The harm could be to an extent that irrevocable differences might crop up. Therefore, it is important to review the relationship dynamics from time-to-time. If two people are always trying to get even with each other, it is better to reach a consensus and make things cordial.

Scorekeeping can be toxic for a loving relationship. Listed below are some of the ways in which scorekeeping is harmful.

Destructive communication

Keeping a score changes the dynamics from “us” to “me”. Competition starts where one is always on the lookout for berating the other partner. This might lead to the use of toxic words, which can cause irreparable damage. For example, just because one of the partners did not make bed one day should not infuriate the other person to the extent that he or she resorts to using words like “you are so lazy and irresponsible”. One must understand the reason behind the action before reacting.

Overwhelming guilt

When one of the partners is actively involved in score keeping, he or she often asks questions, such as “when will you do the laundry? It is your turn today,” “when will you do the dishes? I was done by this time yesterday,” are you seriously going to drop the kids or should I do it?”, “are you going to prepare dinner or will I starve to death tonight?”

Irrespective of a partner’s tone and intention, these questions can make the other person feel guilty. This can give rise to resentment and indifference, widening the gap.


When two partners are busy getting even or keeping score with each other, it becomes more of a playground than a relationship. The entire focus shifts from trying to understand the circumstances which might have led to missing out on a chore to keeping a count of things he/she didn’t do, sending constant reminders and judging someone based on this criteria. Therefore, the scope of clearing the misunderstandings disappears in thin hair and the two people get distanced from each other.

Mental health issues

Lack of care and empathy, and unwillingness ot spend quality time together can build stress and lead to anxiety or depression. The one who is criticized begins to lose self-confidence and hope in life. In order to get relief from everyday fights, one may resort to substance abuse.

Fostering loving relationships boost mental health

Relationships are not playgrounds for two competitors to win a score against each other, at every single opportunity. It should be so strong that the focus remains on dealing with everything as a team and not as an individual member. It is important to sit together and divide chores, however, one should not be prosecuted for faltering occasionally. It is important to have a one-to-one talk before hurling accusations. It could be that a person cannot handle a task on his/her own, doesn’t find it interesting or needs additional help. Non-violent communication can help two people in settling their differences and finding solutions to problems together. If someone continues to suffer, it is better to seek professioanl counselling and bridge the difference.

If you or your partner is struggling with psychological challenges of the relationship,  contact the California Mental Health Helpline to get details about mental health centers in California that provide holistic treatment for mental illnesses. You can call our 24/7 helpline 855-559-3923 or chat online with one of our experts to know about state-of-the-art psychological rehabilitation centers in California.

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