Doing What You are Supposed to do, Doesn't Make You a Hero.

You have the day off, and your partner is at work all day. Because you're a great man, you clean the kitchen, do the laundry, and shovel the snow off the driveway. You finish replacing that broken light switch just in time to go pick up the kids. You help them with their homework, and you even cook dinner.

Despite all of the 'altruistic' good you've done for the family, your partner doesn't seem to care. She never shows any appreciation or gratitude for everything you do for the family, not in the way you'd like anyway.

Sound familiar?

Gents, I'm going to lay a heavy truth on you here, so lift with your knees:

Despite what you might think, you don't deserve praise, affection, or sex for doing chores, fixing things, or taking care of your kids. I hate laundry, and dishes, and shoveling snow, and shopping, and on and on, but that shit has to get done. Also, caring for your children is not 'babysitting'; it's fathering.

Attitude Adjustment

You are a man, and you do what you're supposed to do because it needs to be done, period.

When something is broken, you fix that shit. When a bill needs to be paid, you pay that shit. When you come upon a mess, you clean that shit up, and you move on to the next thing that needs handling. If you don't have the skills or the tools to handle something, you hire someone to take care of that shit for you, and you make sure it gets done right. You don't seek validation, praise, or affection as payment. You do what needs to be done because it needs to be done, and you don't really give a shit what anyone else thinks about it.

Try these three things for a week and let me know via comments or an email how it goes for you:

Do what you know you're supposed to do.

If you're not sure what this is, start with the things about which she's been nagging you. The way I see it, if my partner has to ask me more than twice to do something for her, I deserve to be nagged at. If she needed my help in six months, or whenever I get around to it, she wouldn't be asking for it now. I'm not pussy-whipped, I'm her partner, and it's what I'm supposed to do. I also don't keep score, because we're on the same team.

Try to do these things without being noticed.

But Matt, how will she know how hard I've been working?

How many women do you know? Ever known a woman NOT to notice something? She may not say anything, but she'll notice. Especially, if she's been nagging you about it. Trust me on this.

Shut the fuck up about it.

First of all, do you think you're the only asshole on the planet that can load a dishwasher? Unless you cured cancer while she was at work, get over yourself. Second, she knows YOU fixed the light switch. Who else would it be? It sure-as-shit wasn't the dog; he doesn't have opposable thumbs. Lastly, do you know what your partner hears when you seek her praise for everyday shit? An insecure eight-year-old boy who wants his mommy to put his stupid-ass drawing on the refrigerator.

She is not your mommy. Do you want more of her attention? Be her man, not her little boy.

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