Do you keep score? You know, keep track of all the awesome things your do in your relationship and all the things your spouse doesn’t do.

It’s okay. I am not judging. No one wants to admit it, but keeping score is pretty common. The best of us do it. When you feel like you are the one always doing something, like feeding the dog or cooking dinner, you can start keeping score without even intending to.

Then one day, your spouse pisses you off and you realize how annoyed you are about all the things you always do that he or she doesn’t. You start to feel like things are unfair in some way and you are ready to make the score known. You want your spouse to realize that you’ve had enough because things have been out of balance for months.

The problem with keeping score is that it’s never done fairly. You judge yourself based on your intentions, but you judge your partner based on his or her actions. You look at all the things you do (that maybe you don’t like doing), not realizing that your spouse may be having a similar experience about some other daily task. And the whole point is to one day make your spouse realize that you have a higher score.

But do you?

Maybe your spouse is keeping score, too. Maybe, as far as your mate’s concerned, you’re the one who is losing the game—big time. Whose score keeping is accurate? Who’s right?

Keeping score is never healthy, and no mater how high you think you’ve scored, you will always lose. Always. You both will.

Here are 3 reasons why you need to stop keeping score.

It places focus on the little things.

Keeping score shows that you are spending a great deal of time focusing on all the little things and trying to turn them into something big. Don’t get me wrong; the little things you do matter. But wouldn’t it be a lot more effective if you communicated with your spouse like an adult instead of keeping score of everything you do? Maybe your perspective is out of whack and now you care more about how high your score is instead of focusing on what needs to happen to strengthen your marriage.

Marriage is not a competition.

I’m not sure what your marriage vows were, but mine didn’t day anything about competing with my husband. Keeping score implies that you are trying to win something (and brag about it). Is that really why you got married? Wouldn’t things be a lot sweeter if you both won? After all, marriage is about forming a team—being a united front. It isn’t about making your spouse feeling small because you do so much more than they do. Stop competing and start communicating

The damage is lasting.

Not only is keeping score a waste of energy, but it’s also damaging and the damage will last. No one wants to feel like the person they married is waiting for that moment to point out who scored what. You are both in this thing together and no matter how much you do something, or even what you’ve given up in the name of marriage, keeping score about it all is unhealthy and will cause lots of resentment in your relationship. Do you want someone else keeping score of all they’ve done, while highlighting your mistakes and shortcomings? I didn’t think so. We all make mistakes. We all come up short. If love and respect is at the center of your relationship, forgiveness and understanding should, without question, take the place of keeping score.