Stop Keeping Score


Keeping score sets you up to fail. Why? Because ultimately you’re looking for a reason to withhold. You’re looking for a measurement. A comparison. You’re weighing up whether your spouse has loved enough in order for you to love. And eventually, every spouse is going to fail that test.

In some ways, by doing this we’re actually looking for an out. Do I really have to love like this? Shouldn’t THEY be doing more?

And instead of talking about how we’re feeling and what’s important to us, we end up just withholding our love. Maybe in small ways at first. But this can snowball if we’re not careful.

Love doesn’t continually count and compare. Love isn’t fair or even or balanced or appropriate. It is generous and abundant, over the top and extravagant. It doesn’t withhold because there hasn’t been enough given back. It keeps giving. It keeps being generous.

Remember what your love looked like in the earlier years? There was no comparison or score-keeping. When there was a problem you’d talk about it. In the meantime you’d keep loving, buying gifts, flowers, being affectionate and prioritising intimacy. Forgiveness came quick and your love was flowing.

This doesn’t need to stop.

What does need to stop is keeping score. It’s just not how love works. Love at its core is generous and unreasonable! It is unconditional. Crazy love. Extravagant love. Over the top! Forgiving love. Always moving towards them. What does it look like for that kind of love to resurface in you? Don’t think of them right now. What about just you?

And what happens when we choose to love no matter what? We begin a new wave of reciprocal love and we embark on a new level of intimacy, friendship and closeness in our marriage.

I believe the purpose of something tough is to bring growth. The purpose of a dry season is to bring new depth. Like the roots of a tree going deeper to find water and nourishment in a drought. Let your love do that and you’ll be stronger for the next tough season.

The flip side of this concept is the love tank idea. Yes, it’s hard to love with an empty tank. It’s hard to keep giving when the tank is running on dust.

What do you do when your love tank feels dry?

  • Have an open conversation about it. This is important therefore it warrants time and attention and some real focus in your marriage. Here’s how to have a difficult talk.
  • Identify anything you need to forgive. Forgiveness is releasing the person from a debt they owe you. Then you can begin to continue loving without this blockage.
  • Remember your spouse isn’t the only friend you have. Spend time with other people who love you and appreciate you.
  • Choose to keep loving. Love isn’t just an emotion. It’s an action too. Continue being kind, warm, affectionate and generous. This normally sparks a fresh wave of new closeness, connection and love.

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