Warning! Are You or Your Partner Playing ‘Tit For Tat’ In Your Relationship? - Teresha Young - The Confidence Restyler™
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Warning! Are You or Your Partner Playing ‘Tit For Tat’ In Your Relationship?

Warning! Are You or Your Partner Playing ‘Tit For Tat’ In Your Relationship?

Would you agree that a healthy relationship is a partnership?

A relationship where partners cooperate, they support one another and they confidently rely on one another?

A safe environment where they do not compete…

Aha – yes that word: Competition!

There’s a lot to be said about a healthy dose of competition in a relationship in order to keep it from becoming stale and boring. The type of competition which is fun, where there is healthy banter, playfulness, no conflict and it feels harmless.

But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the real, ugly competition between partners which is constant and can quickly turn a relationship into one where you are focused on one-upping or outdoing each other and where you feel the need to “prove yourself” in order to boost your confidence, self-esteem, identity and your self-worth.

And this type of competition is a dangerous thing, which can cause added stress, jealousy and conflict.

Couples may compete on many levels. One form of competitiveness is “Tit For Tat”. Also known as “scorekeeping”. Have you ever said or felt yourself wanting to say:

“I’ll do for you, if you’ll do for me”
or
“You owe me”
or
“If it wasn’t for me, you/we wouldn’t xxx”

Well this type of ‘tit for tat’ attitude is in danger of turning what should be a jointly cooperative and supportive relationship into a struggle for power, control and the upper hand.

To keep the upper hand, you put your partner down to inflate your ego, prove them wrong and constantly try to elevate all that you do and lower those of your partner.

However, true intimacy and caring is not a game. It is not about winning or losing! Your partner is not your enemy. How can you possibly be a winner if it is at the expense of making the person you supposedly love a loser?

Every time you tally up your contributions, you are not focusing on what you can give.

Are you are a giver or a taker?

 

If you’re a taker, you’re likely to be keeping score to justify the taking.

I’ve sometimes heard women say “I’m giving up spending my Saturday night with my man, so he can go out with his friends. But he owes me big time!”

Or I bet you’ve heard this at some point “I bought my wife flowers. Building up brownie points so I’m in her good books and can remind her of this when I need something.”

Ouchie… These are not the acts of true unconditional giving. These are “take, take, take” statements, where quite clearly each person is trying to get the upper hand in order to control their partner. If you are doing this, you are pulling your relationship further apart.

And if your partner can read between the lines and figures out that you are keeping score, it’s likely they will become dubious about accepting a “gift” or act of kindness from you for fear of the trade-off at some point and the strings attached.

When couples fall into the habit of tit for tat, it never occurs to either person that if they’re in a good, loving relationship where both are genuinely caring and giving without conditions or expectations, the offerings and actions will balance out and their partner would probably volunteer more than could ever be demanded of them.

So what’s the one easy remedy for the habit of tit for tat?

Be a giver! Give for the pleasure of giving. Give because it makes your relationship run more easily and smoothly. Give because you see that a task needs doing and you know you’re capable of doing it without conditions and expectations. Give because you truly support and care about your partner.

Remember… you and your partner are a team.

TEAM = TOGETHER. EVERYONE. ACHIEVES. MORE

As you begin to feel more secure with yourself and within your relationship, the urge to compete will decrease. When you learn to give, you’ll naturally stop keeping score and you’ll realise the benefits of a truly loving relationship.

The nature of competitiveness, however, assures that there is a negativity that can zap the true intimacy and cooperation that should exist in a solid relationship. Don’t allow this to infiltrate your relationship! Start giving unconditionally today!

If you are unsure if this kind of ‘tit for tat’ attitude has started to take over your relationship, simply click the button below and get the FREE ‘7 Tell-tale Warning Signs That ‘Tit For Tat’ is Dominating Your Relationship’.

I truly hope you found this to be helpful and valuable. If so, please click ‘like’ and if you feel moved, I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Also, a huge thanks if you do decide to share this post with others.

If this is an area you’d like more guidance and support with, I’d love to work with you privately to help you unravel any tit for tat concerns you have about your relationship. We can also look at ways in which you can confidently develop a healthy dose of competition within your relationship to keep it exciting and alive. Simply CLICK HERE.

With Love & Support Always
Teresha, The Confidence Restyler™ Xx

8 Comments
  • Avatar
    Gomez
    Posted at 05:21h, 29 May Reply

    Hi! My partner and I have been through a lot for the last couple of years. It’s been one of those really rough relationships affected by lack of communication that often left us either talking to other people, or wanting to.
    We’ve broken up several times only to get back together again, but each time, the mistrust gets worse. I hate to point fingers, but mostly it’s mistrust from her that I want the best for her. She just can’t bring herself to believe in any good coming from me and I usually choke it up to her bringing all the baggage from before, so I don’t blame her. I say to myself, “Give her time, she’ll heal”

    Lately though, she’s started accusing me of being competitive. That I’ve always been overly competitive and tit for tat is my game. I admit, sometimes I expect to receive a certain level of consideration when I do or ask for something or behave in a manner that I have always freely made available or understood in her. In my heart, I know for sure that it doesn’t come from a place of tit for tat, but she points it out as such and I’m left wondering if we’ll ever meet halfway.
    The other matter is her claim that I’m always competing with her. This is a lady who has shown zero interest in the things I’m doing, and the things I’m interested in and when I push, she says it’s because she feels bad she can’t contribute, or more often than not, that I talk too much about myself. So I started making the effort to understand her world and to show more support, but that has not been taken kindly either. Now I’m told I’m competing with her, just for sending her a link to a video of something she’ll enjoy. Any mention from me of anything in her line of interest is immediately met with “I told you I experienced this yesterday, and today you’ve come with your own. Why are you always trying to one-up me?” Tears would follow and I’d be at a loss because I’m only trying to bring us to common ground of some kind. I’m starting to believe it might not work, if all she sees of me is negativity when I’m doing nothing but loving her with all my heart. It breaks my heart.

    • Teresha Young
      Teresha Young
      Posted at 15:28h, 31 May Reply

      Hi Gomez. Thank you for reading this blog and for sharing your experience. I am sorry to hear you have been having a difficult time with your partner and how it is breaking your heart. It sounds like there are some misunderstandings between you both, which is not uncommon in relationships. We all have our personal differences and perceptions and this can often lead to challenges and conflict within our relationships. Whilst, it seems you have spoken to her about matters, I would strongly encourage you to give the ‘voice your concern’ technique I have detailed in my blog: ‘Can These ‘Four Agreements’ Strengthen Your Relationship?’ a go. ‘Agreement #1: Be Impeccable with Your Word’ part of this blog might be effective. Also, check out my YouTube video on ‘How to HAVE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS’: https://youtu.be/eq1-Nm1TMMo, as this will also help you.
      It could also be a matter of understanding each other’s needs better. Often our disagreements are a result of unmet or unfulfilled needs. There is a useful tool called the ‘5 Love Languages’ where you both can take a quiz separately to discover your personal needs. You will then be able to review each other’s needs and see, where possible, if they can be fulfilled. Here’s the link: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
      It is so important that we strive to have happy, healthy relationships, where there is connection, empathy and understanding. I think it is fair to say that a repeat pattern of breakup, union, breakup, union is not healthy for you both. If you feel there is no change in your partner’s actions, despite you expressing your thoughts and feelings to her, as difficult as it might be, it could be time to honestly reflect upon whether your relationship is best serving the happiness you truly deserve and is indeed right for you and for your partner. Please do let me know how it goes and all the best with any conversation you decide to have with your partner. With Love, Teresha Xx

  • Avatar
    Sharon Ross
    Posted at 14:31h, 13 February Reply

    My partner left me last week….We have been together a couple of years and he lied to me so many times, that I lost full trust for him. We agreed to try and turn things around but the damage had been done and although I knew this and kept telling him this, he did not want the relationship to end and neither did I. I ended up having a breakdown as things were too much for me to deal with, I now suffer with Anxiety. As the relationship continued I found myself more and more not believing him and accused him of lying and doing drugs as he has done this off and on for years. We ended up going to counselling to which he informed me that he was not going anymore as he was not going to have the finger pointed at him. I continued going for a while. Along the way I lost a lot of friends as one they had fell out with him and they all told me to leave him, as he was bad for me but I did not listen and continued to stay. My partner did turn things around a little bit but when I asked for actions/evidence of things on a basis on me trying to build my trust again, he would rarely deliver. In the end I told him that his words did not mean anything due to the amount of lies and that actions is what was needed. It got in the end that I did not know what was the truth and what wasn’t, I honestly felt like I was going mad. My partner ended the relationship last week as he advised that he was fed up of all the accusations etc and has totally blamed me for this. I have been distort as I put myself through so much and made myself so ill but to hear that I am to blame is very upsetting. I had many of conversations during our relationship to try different ways to make it work but in the end I ran out of ideas. He made everything about him and he turned everything around on me. I admitted to him in our relationship that I was scared of him when he lost his temper as he would get so angry that he would smash things, break things, go off for a number of hours without any contact. He has now accused me of seeing someone else, I feel like I am to blame but I know the truth is I am not, the relationship became toxic to which I informed him of this to which he informed me that if I think he is a bad person then he was going to show me what a real bad person he can be.

    • Teresha Young
      Teresha Young
      Posted at 16:05h, 23 February Reply

      I am sorry to hear about your experience Sharon and thank you for being so open and vulnerable sharing this. Through sharing your experience, you will encourage others to speak up and feel they are safe to talk. Only through talking can we help each other. When our relationships come to an end, it can be natural to feel a sense of grief for the loss and we can often question ourselves, although we truly know we did our best. Guilt, blame, shame and regret are strong emotions that can also come into play. It sounds like your ex-partner didn’t want to take responsibility for the part he played in the difficult dynamics and unless someone is willing to do so, it can be challenging for things to get better without the other party conceding. This can be a toxic position to be in, especially if the relationship becomes even more unsafe and volatile with threats and aggressive behaviour. Your safety is paramount and you deserve to be in a happy and healthy relationship.

      To help you through this time, I would encourage you to write down your thoughts and feeling by journaling – daily if possible. This can be a helpful release for getting your thoughts out of your head and into tangible form. You can then witness your thoughts and do your best to exchange any “negative” ones for new healthy empowering ones. It’s important to heal from this situation and “healing is feeling”, so please do not deny your feelings. If you need to cry, do it. You will start to feel stronger and better over time and you may now even feel your anxiety lessen.

      Also, connecting with those who care about you, or reaching out to people to which you feel a strong bond with, people who value you, appreciate you and accept you, can ease emotional pain after a breakup. It can help to boost your happiness and motivation to keep going.

      I think you’ll find a number of my YouTube videos helpful to watch, to support you. Here’s the link to my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/tereshayoung

      You’re a beautiful person and precious like a diamond. Please remember this always!

      I’m sending you so much love and strength.
      Teresha Xx

  • Avatar
    Samuel
    Posted at 00:47h, 05 May Reply

    What if your partner never responds to the giving and the same time never shows you any other form of love that you desire? Do you continue giving seeing that there is no encouragement in terms of any action towards you?

    • Teresha Young
      Teresha Young
      Posted at 15:24h, 08 May Reply

      Hi Samuel. Thank you for reaching out and these are very valid questions. Firstly, we all have needs and it’s important to allow ourselves to feel that this is natural and okay. However, when these needs are not met at a high level, we tend to feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied. It’s essential to share our needs in a confident and assertive way with our partners, explicitly telling them what we need and the specific things that can be done to meet those needs. If you’ve not had this heart to heart conversation with your partner, I would encourage you to have this. My free eBook ‘7 Tell-tale Warning Signs That Tit For Tat is Dominating Your Relationship’ that can be found on this blog will help you with steps to handle this situation. Also take a read of my ‘Watch Your Language’ blog published on 1st December 2018, as it will provide you with structured guidance on how to voice your concerns by having an open and honest conversation with your partner.

      If you feel there is no change in your partner’s actions, despite you expressing your thoughts and feelings, as difficult as it might be, it could be time to honestly reflect upon whether your relationship is best serving the happiness you truly deserve and your highest good. A healthy relationship will have a blend of give and take and if it doesn’t, then you have a decision to make by following your intuition on whether the relationship is indeed right for you and for your partner.

      Please do let me know how it goes and all the best with any conversation you decide to have with your partner.

      With Love, Teresha Xx

  • Avatar
    Juanita
    Posted at 18:17h, 12 April Reply

    I’m in a relationship were I’ve truly been 💯 about loving because to me it’s a waste of time to not be wanting the person you adore to be extremely happy in every sense.I try to understand him and tell him it’s okay to trust me and reassure him but he’s always tit for tatting me and that’s not my way of doing things I think it’s a cop out for owning responsibility in a relationship.Please help it’s almost as easy as saying I just need to walk away because he doesn’t care for me the way he says or the way a healthy relationship consits of.

    • Teresha Young
      Teresha Young
      Posted at 14:21h, 01 May Reply

      Hi Juanita. Sorry for only responding to your comment now. I didn’t get a notification that you had commented. I completely hear what you are saying and can imagine how unsettling this situation must be for you. Have you spoken to your partner about your feelings that there is tit for tat in your relationship?

      If you’ve not already done so, I would encourage you to download the free eBook ‘7 Tell-tale Warning Signs That Tit For Tat is Dominating Your Relationship’ that can be found on this blog, as it will help you with steps to tackle this situation. Also take a read of my ‘Watch Your Language’ blog published on 1st December 2018, as it will provide you with structured guidance on how to voice your concerns by having an open and honest conversation with your partner.

      Please do let me know how it goes and all the best with any conversation you decide to have with your partner.

      With Love, Teresha Xx

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