As part of his book, The Guinea Pig Diaries, author A.J. Jacobs did everything his wife told him to. "She will be boss. I will be her devoted servant. It will be a month of foot massages and talking about feelings and scrubbing dishes and watching Kate Hudson movies (well, if Julie actually liked Kate Hudson movies). It could be revelatory. It'll let me explore the tricky power dynamics of the modern American marriage. It'll allow me to study the Mars/Venus, Everybody Loves Raymond clichés about gender battles and figure out which are true and which are hogwash."
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 highlights.
Many a busy woman with a jam-packed schedule has daydreamed about having a nice, cozy man-wife, with bulging biceps, at home. After all, who wouldn't want to come home to a home-cooked meal hot off the over, a neatly made bed and a stack of freshly scented laundry....that's already been pristinely ironed and folded. In Annie Sanders' new book, Busy Woman Seeks Wife, one woman gets just this.
New relationships shouldn't be plagued by monetary challenges, but they certainly can be when cohabitation is thrown into the mix-especially when your boyfriend's private equity salary is three times higher than your publishing paycheck. It's hard to feel like an equal partner when you depend on your man for money- even if you have come to terms with your pathetic income- and you don't want him to see you as needy. Moving truck and start unpacking, you need to have a plan. There isn't a "right" strategy to manage your financial arrangement, but a successful live-in relationship is more likely with an agreement. Whether it's in an Excel spreadsheet or not is up to you, but make sure it's written down. If you know a notary or have a lawyer friend its even better if they can make it official.
The results of a 40-year-long study on housework were recently released from the University of Michigan. Can you guess who does more? No big surprise here: Women do, in fact, know the broom, mop, and feather duster more intimately than their husbands, but the clincher is post-nuptials.
For the best advice on sex, love, dating and relationships we ask two experts with personal experience. Cathi Hanauer is the author, most recently, of Sweet Ruin, a novel about love, marriage, and adultery. Daniel Jones is the editor of both the "Modern Love" column for The New York Times, and Modern Love, an anthology derived from the column. They've been married for 15 years, and together they provide a his and hers take on relationship questions. This round: men and multitasking. Question: My husband and I both juggle full-time jobs with caring for our toddler, but lately I’ve been frustrated by his inability to multitask. In the morning, I often do laundry and prepare our meals—but by the time I’m ready for work, he’s still in his pajamas! How can I get him to pick up the pace? –Laura, 36