Do you and your partner ever engage in cost analysis when it comes to your relationship? Oh and by cost analysis I mean, "I cleaned the entire house, took the dog out, paid the bills, and all you did was watch football all day?!" Sound familiar?
I read an article recently that used the term cost analysis, which refers to the business strategy of keeping tabs on business related costs and determining whether they are effective/necessary for your business. The article I read compared the "keeping score" effect that often occurs in relationships to cost analysis. Basically, when you are constantly keeping track of what you do/have done and what your partner didn't do/has not done, it's like cost analysis of the relationship. You are "keeping score/track," and while this strategy may be beneficial to a business it is not beneficial to a relationship.
I can shamefully tell you that I engage in this purposeless behavior more often than I'd like to admit. The second that I feel that my husband isn't pulling his weight (especially around the house), I begin to mentally go through all of the things I do around the house, and all of the things he doesn't do! Before you begin to judge my husband, let me just tell you that he actually does a lot around the house, much more than many other men that I know of. In fact, just yesterday I came home to a clean house, with dinner already made and on the stove. Boy, writing this sure makes me feel guilty about my "keeping score" mentality. I guess if I were keeping score yesterday it would be: Derek- 1, Kendall- 0.
The article I read really opened my eyes to the harmful effects that can be caused by cost analyzing your relationship. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, relationships are give-and-take, meaning that sometimes you will give more and sometimes you will take more. This is would be considered the normal flow in any healthy relationship. Sometimes I give more, sometimes Derek gives more (last night), and it's important for me to acknowledge that, and not de-value all that he does bring to our relationship. Telling your partner how much you do and how much they don't do will only push them away, and leave them feeling de-valued. This is not the way to motivate your partner, even though it is easy to think so.
This is my solemn promise that I will stop engaging in cost analysis when it comes to my relationship (especially used as ammunition in an argument..hehe), and I will value my partner for all that he brings to our relationship- wet towel on the bed and all. :)