"What a good boy you are!"

The score card


Keeping score

Why do some men keep a score card when it comes to helping out around the house and whats up with them needing to be rewarded for these random acts?

Keep in mind I said “some men,” my father once again is exempt from this category as are a few others I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I’m sure there are plenty of husbands and boyfriends out there who are selfless and enjoy helping out their spouses without the preverbal pat on the head and promises of a sweet reward, however there are so many more of them keeping score.

In my experience, particularly with my ex-husband, he kept score like he was running a “fantasy house keeping” score card. Whenever I became overwhelmed with the daily routines of running our house hold and asked him to pitch in more he would respond with, “ Two weeks ago I washed the floor,” or “ I put the dishes away for you last week! “ “Well aren’t you a good boy! “

Over the course of our marriage his defensive behavior and score keeping became extremely annoying, so I became extremely creative. I explained to him in simple words, my score card would beat his. Men just love competition and placing bets, so we decided to create a score card and hang it on the fridge for one week. Of course there was a reward for the winner, a man won’t participate if there is nothing in it for them. I had so much fun beating him. I kept to my usual routine not adding a single extra chore to increase my score, I did it fair and square. He on the other hand was so busy trying to win that he ran around the house looking for things to do to boost his score. Meanwhile, I was secretly chuckling as to how I got him to chip in more by turning it into a competition without him realizing it.

I know I’m not alone in the art of getting a man to chip in with a promise of a reward, we have all done it. It usually means you have to stay up later than usual and includes wearing something pink and lacy, and men say woman play games? They are the masters, or so they think., I think because most men haven’t grown up at all and have an insatiable need to keep a score card that they can’t do anything without a reward. God forbid you don’t throw yourself at their feet should they pick up their dirty socks without you asking or If you didn’t notice or acknowledge immediately that they took the trash out, they will surely remind you of these random acts the next time you say, “ Honey, I could use some help around here.”

In most households the woman do the brunt of the house work and chores inside and the men do the outdoor things, the lawn, the cars, etc. Us woman don’t run outside and pat them on the head for creating the perfect vertical lines in the grass, nor do men thank us for the perfect creases we ironed onto their pants. However, do we remind them that we weeded the garden and hung pretty wreaths on the front door and seek a reward for it? NO! It’s just a small part of the big picture. We clean the house because we need to, they cut the grass because they need to make sure we know they’re filling a score card, and when they are done, you will reward them by letting them go play a game or watch a game! What good boys they are!

My advice to the woman out there who have a man keeping score, learn how to play the game. Throw them that treat once in a while and create your own score card, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get them to chip in more without having to nag and without them ever knowing that you girlfriend, are the master! It’s called “Positive reinforcement,” ladies and it works well with both husbands and children, or that grown child that lives with you, wink, wink.

Comments 22 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm glad you said some men. Bev and I share all chores. It's the only way to go in a relationship. She works part time; I write full time. On weekends we split up the work and get it done twice as fast so we can play together. :)

No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 3 years ago

I rise to my feet and applaud, wildly! Well put! and indubitably true!!!

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Your are truly one of the 'Good boy's," I wish most men realized woman would feel like playing more often if men just helped out a little more!!

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Ah, like children, men often fall for the reverse psychology. Isn’t it funny to toy with them and sit and watch the entertainment unfold before our eyes? You just might be onto something with that scorecard idea, but in my house I might get the defensive man response; "I don't need to fill out a damn card to prove how much I do around here!" Ha, don't do it for you, do it for me, I'm the one that wants to know!

Too Cute!

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Make a bet with him, tell him to prove it!!! Make sure you write everything down on your card, from running to the market to wiping under the toilet seat lid, that by the way he drips on, not you! LOL With nothing extra I'm sure you will kick butt!!!

suravajhala profile image

suravajhala 3 years ago

Nice articulation. But it is not the same case everywhere.

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

No it is not , my dad was the master, and he loved it. My mother never carried a laundry basket into the basement their entire marriage! Holiday meals he cooked she did the dishes and set the table. He truly is exempt from keeping a score card! Thank you for stopping by.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

This was very interesting and thank you for sharing.


profile image

DJ Anderson 3 years ago


Wildove, you are so right! We have had our dog in training. It is amazing what can be accomplished with positive reinforcements. For dogs, you have to find that perfect treat.

For men, well, you have to find that perfect treat. (wink)


wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Yes DJ, I agree, the similarities between men and pups cannot be ignored. They are both usually in need of training and the perfect treat makes it easier! Thanks for stopping by!

kj force profile image

kj force 3 years ago from Florida

wildove5....whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks ? when I was young I adopted an older dog from the shelter, it was the easiest thing I have ever had the pleasure of training...reward did not have to be elaborate , simple kind word was all it took and in weeks we were on the same page ..oops , I'm sorry I thought you were talking about training a dog...I realize now you were speaking of man....what a challenge you took on...totally impossible..unless you have a very long leash...hahaha loved it..

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Well most of them are one in the same,,( Men I'm just kidding!) Glad you enjoyed it KJ. Hope all is well with you!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Well I have been keeping a 'secret' score card on you my dear friend and it leads to a brand new all improved Epi top ten list:


10. You talk the talk .......

9 .... and walk the walk.

8. You have an excellent BS detector.

7. As a writer you have honesty

6. and integrity on your side

5. You have a wry and truthful sense of humor

4. with much wisdom and charm

3. I always learn something from you

2. while being enlightened

1. and entertained too.

Just woke up from night shift sleep a hour or so ago with coffee and bagels and Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and about to go out now for a walk along the lake but it's still winter here and feeling more like (yikes) January - sending to you my warmest wishes at lake erie time ontario canada 4:39pm

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Talk about charm, you really know how to make a girl blush! Honestly though, you have no idea how much you brighten my day with your warm comments! You truly are one of the reasons I write here on the hub. I own a barber shop and wait tables at night and the first thing I do when I get home from my 14 hour days is check my account, read my comments and go to your profile to see what you've been up to today and you never disappoint!!! Thanks for being here! Warmest wishes from and almost 50yo overworked, tired woman whose has a cheesy grin on her face after coming home to your beautiful note!

gaplumber profile image

gaplumber 3 years ago

My, you need to meet some different men. I was taught or taught myself all of these things so I would not be dependent on a woman. Agreed, it should be done because it needs to be done, regardless of who does it. I do all the cooking at my house mainly because I love it and love my own cooking. I do know how a vacuum works, and an iron, and don't want to see trash lying around, etc. I'm beginning to think what a catch I am. Haha

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Nahhh,,, Ga, too much work, lol, the one I have is ten years younger than me so I figure he's still in the training period! LOL He vacuums, works on the cars, occasionally cooks a meal and he takes the trash out!!! I guess you can't have it all!!! LOL

gaplumber profile image

gaplumber 3 years ago

Good for you, he'll get there.

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Ga, I got my fingers crossed! LOL

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

You are right about the score card. My husband keeps one too, but that's actually a good thing in this case. Just last night I was talking to a friend and when I named off all the things my husband does I was almost embarrassed by the fact that the list is a little bit skewed (in his favor). He does all the outside work and I do all the inside work except for cooking and repairs (he does that too). I know what you mean about keeping a score card. But, my husband will never get rid of his, so in my case, I just need to start keeping up by kicking in a few more points on my side. :)

wildove5 profile image

wildove5 3 years ago from Cumberland, R.I. Author

Your very lucky he helps out so much, especially the cooking. I would love a man who could heat up the kitchen! lol, thanks for stopping by!

PHILLYDREAMER profile image

PHILLYDREAMER 3 years ago from Lodi, New Jersey

If my wife tries to do this, I am going to know exactly where she learned it from. I feel like I've secretly tapped into the women's hotline and now I get to learn all the dirty secrets.

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