Marriage is great, wonderful, and adventurous all at the same time…but sometimes it’s not. When couples are married and both work, things can become contentious very quickly. Things around the home can begin to get neglected and unless there is good communication about who will accomplish which task, you might start to feel like your marriage is headed toward emotional bankruptcy.
In order to create balance and fairness, treat this aspect of your marriage like a business. You need to come equipped with lists and projections. Sit down, come up with a plan, and stick to it. Here are a few suggestions:
- Start with things you hate doing. Communicate about the chores and tasks you hate doing so you can tackle those first. Who knows, your spouse might like doing something you just do not want to do. And if you both loathe something equally, you can always get creative and find money to pay for that service.
- Make lists that consist of “Yours”, “Mine”, “Ours” (and my personal favorite “I can’t wait until the kids get old enough to do this so I never have to do this again!”)
- Diversify the responsibilities and switch them up every so often so someone does not feel stuck doing something.
- Communicate as much as possible about meetings, errands, and special occasions. Write down who does what and post it. In my family, we have our digital calendars synced so everyone gets lists and calendar notifications at the same time.
- Recap when things get done correctly or do not get done correctly. Praise accomplishments and strategize why things did not get done or work out this week or this month, and deal with problems and conflicts as they come up.
- Politely remind or encourage to not forget how important it is “insert responsibility here” must be done. If your spouse just flatly refuses to do something, you have some decisions to make. You might have to hire help (for most men when they hear this they change their minds), or just stop doing some tasks that aren’t as important right now. The world will not stop spinning if the house isn’t spotless every day.
Next, I would like to discuss football and how the spread formation is revolutionizing the game… okay, fellas, she stopped reading for a bit, but she will be back so we should make this quick. Here is a secret tip. The degree to which housework is shared is now one of the two most important predictors of a woman’s marital satisfaction, according to Stephanie Coontz in the New York Times. If you ask wives the top source of their stress she will probably say it is because their husband does not want to do his fair share of household duties. If you share responsibilities studies show that women feel more sexually attracted to partners who help. But just don’t do it to get sex. She is the love of your life, take some stress off her shoulders if you can. It may take a couple times for her to realize you are helping, so don’t give up, just get in the groove. Ok, I think she is coming back to the article so I will leave it at that. Just trust me.
Tinker with your lists and charts, or whatever you use. Work smart, not hard, and enjoy your marriage. There are so many ways to be successful at shared responsibilities. Keep at it, don’t give up and do not let it destroy your marriage.