Advice on how to divide housework. First tip? Get him to do man chores!
According to Simon Oaks, author of Will Marry for Food, Sex and Laundry, men aren't wired for certain chores. He cites the (made-up) proverb: "Give a man a clean kitchen and he'll make a mess of the place after one meal. Teach a man to clean a kitchen and you'll probably have to clean up after him anyway."
So how do you handle housework when one of you is a repeat pleaning offender? Oaks devotes a whole chapter of his book to this; here are a few of our favorite highlights.
1. Ask him do "man chores." These include things that are dangerous (climbing a ladder to clean the gutters), require tools (pruning the bushes with a chain saw) or have obvious results (putting up shelves. Bonus here, since he can use a power drill.) If he does some heavy lifting (literally and metaphorically) you might feel better about doing the more detail-oriented tasks.
2. Trick him into helping out. You've split the tasks and still find yourself doing more? Turn regular old housework into a man chore. Let him choose a replacement for your new vacuum — one that has three speeds and five suction levels. Or ask him to clean the bathroom using dangerous chemicals.
3. If you feel he doesn't value your housework, show him what you've done. Oaks says men don't lack appreciation but they often don't notice your hard work. "Just point it out in a passing manner," says Oaks. "That way he'll start to see how things are improving."
4. If he still doesn't appreciate your hard work, strike! "It might take time, but he'll notice when his shoes get stuck to the kitchen floor and he's run out of underwear," says Oaks. (This step is only recommended for those who can stomach stacks of dishes and piles of laundry.)
5. Do some chores together. Oaks suggests yard work. "It's low stress and there are enough tasks that you can split it up, but still be doing something together."