Dear Coach Greg: My partner and I have lived together for almost 2 years. We both work full time and contribute toward household expenses proportionate with our respective salaries. Life was easy the first year since co-habitation was new and exciting for both of us. I assumed that we would both contribute equally to household chores, but lately I feel more like a maid than an equal partner. Can you help us before we end an otherwise wonderful relationship?
NOT The Maid
Dear NOT: Congratulations for making it almost 2 years before the unequal feeling of household chore distribution set in. Unfortunately, most new couples conveniently avoid the difficult yet essential conversations that would help them make the vital agreements needed for a happy, loving, and stable relationship. If you haven’t already discussed the general topic of household tasks I would suggest using the PREP Speaker~Listener Problem Discussion Technique. If you would like to discuss a specific household task I would suggest using the S.M.A.R.T. Card, developed by the Active Relationships Center. You can learn these effective communication skills at many local relationship workshops. Things to consider when distributing household chores are: a general consensus on how each chore should be completed and level of cleanliness, individual preference, and time availability to complete each chore.
I commend you both for contributing toward household expenses proportionately with your salary, rather than splitting all expenses 50-50 just because it’s easier to do the math. Especially since females make approximately 76-82 cents for every dollar made by males in the same profession.
For additional relationship resources for couples:
1. visit: www.RelationshipCoach.us, then click on Upcoming Workshops – Is Anyone Listening to Me? Solving Communication Problems in Relationships, choose a date, then register with Colorado Free University;
2. read the following relationship book: Fighting for Your Marriage by Markman, Stanley, and Blumberg;
3. for monthly relationship support and interaction with like minded couples visit: www.RelationshipCoach.us, then click on Services Offered – Starting a Couples’ Support Group.