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That’s one reason for divorce…

reason for divorce, women chores

Get your feet up, Marge

Worried about your relationship? Meh. You’re probably fine. Y’know, as long as you or your partner’s not one of those women spending five-and-a-half more hours per week doing chores than their fellas.

That’s right (and that’s average). According to BBC 4’s Woman’s Hour poll, that is, which suggests ladies are spending 11.5 hours on housework compared to men, who clock up a fairly meek six hours – despite the majority of women in the UK now working.

Divorce isn’t just about infidelity or compatibility.

Conflict over domestic duties is usually only seconded to conflict over money in a marriage, in terms of impact. Stephanie Coontz in the New York Times says “the degree to which housework is shared is now one of the two most important predictors of a woman’s marital satisfaction”.

The most unsettled tasks are laundry, ironing, meal prep and toilet cleaning; with, according to another poll by Woman’s Hour, the least popular being ironing and toilet cleaning. ?

reason for divorce, chores

Energy efficient

Funnily enough…

Three-quarters of men actually reckon chores are already shared out equally, according to an MSNBC survey. So are they indeed pulling their man-weight? Or is the decreased rate of 51% from women in the same survey a little more accurate [record scratch]…

The hubbies who do pick up their fair share of housework, however, might just reap the rewards… “Since studies show that women feel more sexually attracted to partners who pitch in”, says Coontz.

‘It’s the little things’

At least that’s the case for 27% of young couples who argue about chores several times a month. And in terms of daily happiness, this ‘petty’ topic has a greater frequency of impact on young marriages than ‘bigger issues’ like cheating or ideological differences.

There’s good news, though…

Couples who do the least arguing are those who’ve talked about housework beforehand and made choices on what they can handle together.

It’s proven with practice and communication, many couples have found a happy resolution. Maybe you could, too, with these tips on tackling that mountain of laundry head on…

1. Understand expectations

Set the record straight before it starts breaking worse than the time you scratched your Dad’s Beach Boys vinyl and tried hiding it under the garage shelf beneath some mouldy Tupperware.

Like it or not, everyone has different standards for their living environment; it doesn’t necessarily mean one of you is a clean freak, nor does it mean one of you is a slob (well – sometimes it does).

Simply gain an understanding of what you guys require from one another to coexist.

2. Appreciate needs

We’d like to thank VerilyMag for this wonderful analogy: you know that scene in The Break-Up when Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) says she wants Gary (Vince Vaughn) to *want* to do the dishes – to which he responds, “who really *wants* to do the dishes?!” – but what Brooke means is she just wants him to make her feel loved, valued and appreciated by pitching in. N’aww.

There’s no harm in leaving the dishes until later – but there is the harm in ignoring your partner’s needs.

reason for divorce, housework

3. Make a plan

Do you guys prefer home-cooked meals or ready/take-out meals? Hoovering or mopping? Are you particular about how the kitchen is cleaned? (If so, do it yourself!). Love it? Loathe it? Just communicate it.

Experts suggest both of you make a list of chores you detest. Then find out which of these chores your partner can tolerate; if necessary, which needs to be tackled as a team or taken in turns, and which you can afford to outsource.

And it’s worth regularly checking in with each other to see if your current plan’s working; realising whether it needs adjusting according to your lifestyles.

4. Outsource where possible

Two questions when deciding to invest in a service which takes the weight off your shoulders.

How much is your time worth? How much is this chore worth fighting over?

If your answer’s something along the lines of ‘a lot’ and ‘not at all’ respectively, then it might be time to outsource.

The emergence of on-demand services like Deliveroo, Handy and Laundrapp have collectively freed up dozens of hours per month, per household. Ultimately, research suggests outsourcing leaves couples happier and stress-free in both their personal lives and in particular, their relationships!

Last thing to keep in mind…

One-half of the relationship shouldn’t really feel the need to ask for help, this implies the chore belongs to them alone. (Unless this chore had already been agreed upon).

And it’s only when your significant other is refusing to pitch in, and you’re unhappy carrying the bulk of the load, that there’s a serious problem.

“Just like sweeping the dirt under the carpet, if you don’t tackle the small issues head on, pretty soon they become a big deal.”

A quick shout out to Verily, The Spruce, PsychCentral, Huffington Post, NY Times and Business Insider for their very informative articles on a pretty sensitive topic, all of which have been linked. ?

Written by Tom

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