Should Couples Share Domestic Work At Home?

Discussing gender roles and domestic responsibilities is important to do while dating. Here's why..


In the past men and women were thought to be from different planets.  Women did more domestic and parenting work and men conquered the outside world to bring home the bacon.  Today, most women work and young women are even making more money than their male peers.  So, should responsibility in the domestic realm be more equal?  And, if it does become more equal, will that improve relationships?  Most women would scream a resounding 'Yes!' here.

One study found that couples who share responsibility for paid and unpaid work are happier. 

Do most dating couples that end up living together equally share domestic tasks? 

A woman I interviewed told me that her cousin was dating a man that she really wanted to marry so she cooked, cleaned and tried to please him during their two year courtship.  (This is common).  Finally they got engaged.  Once they were married she realized that he did not even know how to run the dishwasher.  He was stuck in his ways and she couldn't entreat him to help.  Instead of auditioning for him as a domestic goddess, she wished she'd discussed how they would be partners in the house hold duties and elsewhere. 
Does this scenario sound familiar?  Have you seen this happen with yourself or your female friends in romantic relationships?

Whether you are living together or planning to get engaged and married, this would be a good topic to discuss.  How does your prospective mate feel about what's fair?  How does his family feel?  Are they traditional?  Can he honor your joint agreement around having a peer relationship?  How do you feel about bringing it up?  Are you afraid that he won't find you as attractive as a woman?  Please share any relevant comments and experiences with how you fall into these gender roles as a woman in order to be attractive.

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And to read more about shared domestic tasks and romantic relationships involving career women, order my upcoming book:  When Mars Women Date: How Career Women Love Themselves into the Relationship of Their Dreams by Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman.  It's on kindle on Amazon now and comes out in print December 2012.  See for more information.