Don’t Keep Score!
If you want your partnership to last a lifetime, than you will have to stop keeping score. Ruminating on past problems keeps you stuck. If you continually bring up every injustice in your relationship, you never give your relationship room to grow. If you stay stuck in what is wrong, you will be blind to what is going right.
Do not tolerate abuse, but give your partner grace. Everyone messes up from time to time. Confront the issue, do what you can to find resolution, and then let it go.
Be mindful of the positive. Your partner needs to hear at least five “good” things that he or she is doing, for every “bad.” The positive things that we say to people tend to go in one ear and out the other. The negative things tend to stick like glue.
If you have been trying to get your partner to stop doing something, and he or she does it again, ask yourself, “Has there been any improvement? Has there been any progress? Is it happening less than it use to happen?” Appreciate the progress. (I am talking about relatively small things here. If the repeated offense involves abuse or an affair, please get professional help immediately.)
Partners that have been together forty or fifty years, probably don’t spend a lot of time bringing up forty or fifty years of grievances. Can you imagine? Remember, your partner is human and will let you down from time to time. Don’t allow what is going wrong to overpower what is going right. Look for progress, not perfection. Don’t sweat the little things if you want your relationship to thrive.