Hawaiian Libertarian had a great post today on general acts of service men often perform for women and how they’re viewed. He calls it Gaming the Curse of Eve. As one who is pretty generous and in the past used these acts of service as covert contracts for appreciation or as foreplay, I understand exactly where his writing is coming from:
The “red-pill” woman takes frequent moments to step back and observe all that her husband does for her and their family, and she appreciates it and expresses it to him with her words and her actions. But even the best of them will admit that doing so is a constant struggle to avoid taking their husbands for granted.
This is one of the reasons why unaware, “blue-pill” husbands are utterly destroyed when their wives give them the Eat-Pray-Love frivorce experience. From his blithely unaware perspective, he has a catalog of things he’s done over the course of years stored up in his own mental ledger. An accounting of all that he has done, built and sacrificed for their her benefit.
He assumes she knows the score, even if she doesn’t often express gratitude and appreciation for it. These are the men who are emotionally and mentally devastated to find out she gives all of that previous provisioning, support and stability absolutely zero consideration, while she’s explaining to him that she’s not haaaaappppy.
Like author Keoni, I too have changed the perspective and philosophy of why I do these things… why I clean the house, do the dishes, keep the laundry in check. It’s in general for the good of the house, because I don’t hate these tasks and I want a clean house. I hate clutter (parents are hoarders) and it causes me stress so my threshold is pretty low before I need to get things in order. I used to keep a mental ledger and scorecard and want to be petted like a dog and told what a good dog I was for doing these things. It was the source of much conflict in an earlier part of my marriage since in my mind the scorecard was imbalanced and I felt the appreciation factor was not that great.
I’m not a “words of affirmation” language, and as a result often feel uncomfortable with compliments. While I wrote about what men want from their wives (appreciation and frequent enough enthusiastic sex), appreciation can be shown in many ways. Holly is a “words of affirmation” language and therefore she receives more verbal praise for things that she does…it does feel nice to be appreciated.
What does piss me off though is when I perform an act of service for her, or the kids, and then they complain about the act of service. I shut that shit down hard and call them out on that. It is well known to the kids they don’t complain if they don’t like the food we make. They don’t have to like it, and may not eat much of it, but since we spent time to make a healthy meal for the family to eat they are not allowed to whine or complain that it’s not their favorite meal.
My car took a shit recently, and Holly is doing the SAHM thing temporarily (two kids in school though) so I got the car she normally drives while mine was in the shop. She didn’t have any pressing transportation needs over a couple day period except to go to the gym which is about three or four miles away. Knowing that, I got her road bike out and made sure it was in working condition. I needed to swap pedals out from another bike and she went off a little on the approach I was taking. At that point I essentially told her she needed to back off and appreciate the fact that I was getting this ready for her. I didn’t care if she wants to ride a cruiser with no shifting up a steep ass hill to go to the gym vs. a nice road bike, and I didn’t mind doing this (actually sort of like getting the bikes ready for the summer) but I wasn’t going to be doing this for an entitled brat. She apologized nearly immediately, thanked me for getting it ready for her and I accepted her apology. No harm, no foul.
So again, men and women reading this out there: do your best not to take each other for granted and to appreciate the little things every day. You don’t need to be a lap dog about the appreciation, but affirmation of what they do for you and the family in some way (my preferred way is between the sheets 🙂 ) goes a long way toward keeping the vibe and energy positive. Tell them they’re a good husband/mother/father/wife…or that you appreciate the way their ass looks in those pants. Easy way to keep things running smoothly.