Unless you’ve built some rare type of lifestyle, you probably have to deal with the same kinds of chores and “stuff maintenance” that people the world over trudge through…
Laundry, dishes, sweeping, cleaning sinks and bathrooms – all the way through to mowing the lawn, putting up storm windows, clearing out drains, dusting shelves…
All of that monotonous stuff that we want done, but never really want to do.
It’s bad enough that this stuff has to get done. It’s even worse when you’re sharing your living space with someone else – and feel like you can’t get any help. It’s easy to understand how this can cause trouble in a marriage, especially if it goes on for a long time without being addressed. The person doing all the housework will build up a grudge, and every time they feel like they’re doing an undue portion of the work, they’ll stew on it (and every other time it has happened), slowly building resentment that drives them further away from their spouse.
This problem happens for a few reasons. The first, and most common, is simple miscommunication. Expectations are not expressed, and one party just doesn’t know that their spouse feels burdened by all the housework. It’s possible that they are just oblivious (or doing it on purpose) – but in most cases, they may not know how much resentment they are causing.
In other scenarios, it may be an old school view of gender roles, with a husband seeing housework as “the wife’s job” and being a breadwinner and handyman as his own. If this works for your marriage, great – but it’s important to understand that this view is pretty outdated… And even if you think this way, your spouse may not.
Lastly, it happens from a different kind of miscommunication: the person stressing about doing all the housework doesn’t have a clear pictures of their spouse’s contributions to the household, and therefore feels like things are out of balance.
For all of those reasons, though, the solution is pretty clear: talk about it!
Have a conversation about the “division of labor” in your home, and hash out an arrangement that works for YOUR marriage. There is no magic formula here. You just have to figure out a system that works for your family.
For some couples, it’s deciding which chores are the responsibility of which person – and sticking to that method whenever the task needs completing. Other couples share the load, taking turns by week or day. Still others figure out a system that allows them to take care of the things they do well, and avoid the chores they hate…
Some people don’t mind doing laundry, but can’t stand doing dishes… Others are happy to take out the trash, but refuse to mow the lawn…
The point here is to take the time to figure it out – instead of just going along with the habits you’ve fallen into, letting resentment build and a rift in your marriage grow. Whatever division of labor that works for your unique marriage is exactly the method you should use – and you may have to try a few to find the right one!
If your spouse comes to you with this kind of complaint, be receptive to their experience. Even if you feel like you’re doing your fair share… If they don’t, it’s still an issue worth resolving. If you feel overwhelmed by your share of the chores, don’t hesitate to say something. The only way to resolve this problem is to hash it out and find a “division of labor” that you can both live with – and accomplishes everything you both deem important.
When in doubt, just talk about it!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!