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‘Keeping Score’ Can Cause Relationship Strain

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News
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An official prepares score updates at the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club April 10, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia. (credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

An official prepares score updates at the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club April 10, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia. (credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - You’re probably guilty of it.

You did the dishes, so he should give the kids a bath. That back-and-forth when it comes to chores, kids, money – it can go on and on for weeks. Sometimes, it is just hard to avoid ‘keeping score’ in a relationship.

That is the certainly case at the Suasnovar home in Fort Worth. “I try not to, but I do,” said Leah. She and her husband, Desi, have been married for eight years and have two small children. “Who does more for the kids? Who does laundry? Who washes the dishes?”

It can be really hard to stop keeping tabs on what the other person is doing. “I keep count of how many times I do the laundry, as opposed to my wife,” Desi said. “There is a reason. It’s because I don’t want to be in trouble.”

But experts say that these constant reminders – the score — can be overbearing. “It’s our way of keeping track of things when things are out of balance,” said licensed professional counselor Dr. Carol Doss. “There is some level of ‘I’m aware that I’m doing more.’”

Doss said that this can be a sign that a relationship is on shaky ground, and it may be time to talk and listen. “Almost always, when this is happening,” she said, “people are unhappy with what’s going on in their relationship.”

Doss offers some advice. Avoid keeping score! Those who do often wind up holding onto unhealthy anger and resentment.

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