Who SHOULD Do The Chores In Your Relationship?

Love, Heartbreak

How to avoid household chores becoming a constant source of friction in your relationship.

"He treats me like a maid!"

This is one of the most common complaints in a marriage. It may not sound like a real problem since it concerns housework and household chores, but these are the kinds of aggravations that can build up until they turn into major arguments for couples. Household chores require day-to-day diligence. The chores always need to be done, and that means plenty of opportunities exist for misunderstandings to arise that some simple marriage advice can help.

A home can quickly become unbearable when things are not done the way you like them to be done. For example, piles of junky stuff and papers left in various rooms can make the house look messy and difficult to live in. It can be extremely aggravating to find yourself the only one in the house who seems to care! But you may be looking at your home as a haven that needs to be neat in order to be comfortable, while your spouse may see the home as a place where he can do what he wants without criticism.

Every couple has had an argument about doing chores. You can keep picking up piles of stuff, trying to be a good housekeeper, and end up making your spouse feel like an unwanted guest in his home, or you can ask your husband to take care of the dishes in the morning and find out that he feels as if it should not be his responsibility because he has to leave for work earlier in the morning than you. Small tiffs can turn into major arguments, and the marriage will suffer as a result.

All About Compromise

Dividing up household chores is important. Some people recommend that the work be split down the middle as much as possible, but the reality is that it seldom works out that way. You can try, but don't be upset when you discover you still have a tad more to do than your spouse. It's all about compromise! Chances are your list is longer because you do a better job, have higher cleaning standards or your spouse has less time at home for doing chores.

When you compromise on housework, the goal is to divide the chores as much as possible into task lists. To make the list, you need to sit down with your spouse and identify all the chores to be done a regular basis. You want to try and place the tasks on each list that best suit the person. For example, if your spouse simply doesn't take enough time to load the dishwasher the right way, then you might want that chore on your list.

Naturally there will be household chores that a man must do, which means the woman should spot those that she is able to handle alone. Though stereotypes are rapidly disappearing, there are still plenty of them around to deal with. Every marriage is different and tolerance levels for stereotyping varies. That is a personal issue that households must compromise on to their own satisfaction and not worry about what society thinks or believes. You may be quite content as a woman to always do the dishes, while your husband may be happy to always mow the lawn. 

Keeping Housework In Its Place

The last thing you want is for housework chores to become a constant source of friction in your marriage.  Though it may sound odd at first, it's true that couples have divorced over such issues. They divorce because they turn their differences about housework into a mini war inside the home. It becomes a contest of wills to see who will give first when it comes to doing the chores. In addition, it is also easy to get in the habit of nagging about incomplete chores that can cause a lot of resentment.

Whatever agreement you come up with should be mutually agreed upon. That way you and your spouse understand the expectations when it comes to taking care of the house. Whatever the agreement is that you reach, it is important to stick with it, too. You will only upset your spouse if you decide you don't want to do those chores that you agreed to do.  It forces your partner to say something to you that can turn into an argument.


Explore YourTango