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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to talk about The division of house chores again. I recently read that the top 4 things spouses argue over are:
1. The division of chores.
2. What “clean” is.
3. Sex.
4 money.

Since two out of the four have to do with expectations and the division of household chores I would like to talk about.

In an ideal world things should be 50-50. In an ideal world we should appreciate what our spouses do. But in the real world we get tired and cranky, and we think things should of been done that wasn’t done, or we don’t feel appreciated, One person thinks they need more help while the other person thinks they already do so much and it’s not appreciated.

So here are my questions... does who makes more money matter in the division of chores? Or does the number of hours worked matter? Or does the type of hours matter? Or are chores defined before and regardless or job/hours.
 

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I don't know if making more money sets the standard. But what l will say is who contributes more to the family circle. Weather it be hrs worked, and even the type of hrs worked applies. But just money isn't a good idea.

If one can think of something this way, if you made the mess You! Clean it up, and if this is done it relieves the burden of role playing. Then a planned time is set for both to do general cleaning where both can do things together. Then after it's done go out and treat yourselves as a couple further bonding the relationship.
 

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I think that if you see something that needs doing, you should do it. Quit thinking about who ‘should’ do it. And if you’re in a relationship where the other person feels the need to keep track of stuff and tally up points and get mad that you haven’t done something they think you should have, why are you with them? People have different expectations of what ‘clean’ is, and if my husband thinks the floor needs to be swept every day but I couldn’t care whether it is or not, why should he get mad if I don’t do it?? He should just do it.

I work half as many hours at the office as he does, but I have a home business and look after grandkids a lot. I probably end up doing more than him because I am home more, and I tend to see something and just do it then, not plan chores out. But he does stuff that recurs like garbage every Tuesday night - if I feel like it I help him, if I don’t I don’t. I can’t recall EVER fighting about chores.

Of course if you have kids at home the whole scenario changes dramatically and what I’ve said doesn’t apply - kids need to be assigned chores and taught how to do them.
 

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And to what clean is it will hardly be the same so if your partner is doing there best accept that as good enough. Or you are pushing them in a way, as not to participate or do because it's never good enough.

Sex, should be mutual and because of the lack of communication, sleep, or anxiety removes the sensualistic part of the love or feelings one holds for the other. And not be withheld, this only creates conflict and resentment.
 

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Which of those four things is not about chores?
1. The division of chores is about division. relationships are about coming together, if you want to come together you need to stop dividing and start multiplying. The happiest couple I know has a simple family rule about chores, that rule has eliminated chores and division in their lives. The rule is if you see something that needs to be done, just do it.
2. What clean is, usually can be translated into "who has the power here" we had a woman on this board a few years back who promoted female led relationships. She, refreshingly, put the power struggle first, but her total definition of who is in charge in the relationship came down to who washes the dishes. Again the happiest couple I personally know washes up after meals together. They don't worry about who is in charge, because they are partners.
3. Sex. I can put a post on any social media platform and come up with 10 women in the first hour who will declare that sex is just another chore. And one man. If you do it wrong, absolutely anything can be made into a chore.
4. Money. if getting money isn't a chore then spending it would be.

My very serious advice to anyone who is willing to listen is to not allow the destroying influence of "chores" into your life.
And to the rest of you, I will deny upfront that I have ever, and am not by the previous statement, suggesting that anyone live in a pigsty.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Of course I think if you make a mess you should clean it up. But what about cooking every day, doing the dishes after cooking, dusting and cleaning the bathroom and toilets. Grocery shopping.

I think that cooking is a big one. It’s time consuming, and it takes planning.

I mean nobody likes to come home from work and have to cook a meal and clean after. But somebody has to do it.
 

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I don't see the important issue being money, but instead its total time spent on work+chores. If one person happens to earn a lot more per hour, I don't see that as reducing the chores they do - they are in it together and to me that means splitting effort.

My wife and I both work similar hour jobs, so we split chores reasonably evenly. Its always difficult to be completely fair, but I think we both feel the division is as close to fair as it can be. We have similar standards on how clean the house should be and we have maid service to do the majority of the cleaning.
 

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I would like to talk about The division of house chores again. I recently read that the top 4 things spouses argue over are:
1. The division of chores.
2. What “clean” is.
3. Sex.
4 money.
Did they say that list was in order of what people argue about? I would think it would be things like sex, money, and kids at the top. The chores and level of cleanliness seems like issues that would come up early in the relationship and be resolved or cause a breakup. If chores are continually a major point of contention in a relationship, that's a sign of a fundamental difference in viewpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don’t know why but this is a really big thing for me, and a constant struggle. And I am just wondering if I am the only person that feels this way.

So right now, it’s just me in an apartment, so I obviously do everything and work a full time job with overtime. But it’s a constant struggle to have a balanced life... work, maintain home, eat healthy, exercise, have a social life.

In my marriage it was a struggle. I had to do everything because my exH worked 100hrs a week essentially. So I knew he couldn’t help out. I worked full time, and I felt like I was constantly doing chores and could never catch up. When I had a day off, I wouldn’t get dressed, because I would be cleaning all day, then working out etc. and my problem was I felt like a maid, instead of a young successful sexy wife/women. I remember having a discussion about this with my ex and he was like you turn yourself into a maid, it’s not that he treats me like a maid. He obviously wanted his sexy wife to be a sexy attractive wife. But instead he got a tired, over worked, girl dressed in pajamas with her hair not done or wet from the shower when he came home at night.

I don’t know if I am the only one, but I have always struggled with balancing life, and at the same time being a happy peppy attractive women to come home to.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did they say that list was in order of what people argue about? I would think it would be things like sex, money, and kids at the top. The chores and level of cleanliness seems like issues that would come up early in the relationship and be resolved or cause a breakup. If chores are continually a major point of contention in a relationship, that's a sign of a fundamental difference in viewpoint.


I think this was an article that was meant for people without kids. And I’m not sure if it’s ordered correctly or not. And also, it’s what we argue about most not what causes divorce the most.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It’s interesting because the newer articles talk about technology and our phones and screen time being a point of contention. I 100% see this being a new issue, especially with the younger generation.
 

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Regarding chores, I feel like if you see it needs to be done, then just do it. (ex- when you throw something away that makes the trash full, take it out) Also if you make a mess, clean it up. As far as dividing up those chores that are ongoing, my suggestion is to divide it up based on who hates what more, lol.. If I HATE doing dishes and for you, it not a thing, then you do the dishes. If you hate vacuuming and dusting and I think its a non-issue, then I am designated vacuumer-duster. That kind of thing. If there is something we BOTH hate, then take turns. Decide who does the cooking based on who gets home first on what days, then the other person is on cleanup. Teamwork!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Regarding chores, I feel like if you see it needs to be done, then just do it. (ex- when you throw something away that makes the trash full, take it out) Also if you make a mess, clean it up. As far as dividing up those chores that are ongoing, my suggestion is to divide it up based on who hates what more, lol.. If I HATE doing dishes and for you, it not a thing, then you do the dishes. If you hate vacuuming and dusting and I think its a non-issue, then I am designated vacuumer-duster. That kind of thing. If there is something we BOTH hate, then take turns. Decide who does the cooking based on who gets home first on what days, then the other person is on cleanup. Teamwork!


I’m just crabby because my hours are awesome and I always get home first. So even though I work the same amount of hours and get paid way more, it sucks because it seems I will have to do more chores just due to the fact I get home hours before.
 

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“If you see something needs done do it” sound great in theory. Here is how that play out in my house.

I am the primary earner. 65/35.

D2 handles laundry

I cook
Dishes
Sweep, mop, pick up
Vacuum
Clean toilets/baths/showers
Yard work, snow removal
After school and weekend child activities
Groceries

Why? Because I see it needs done and she won’t do it or help when I do.

The kids follow her example more than mine. So it is either fight them all or just do it myself.

GP, your list hit my big 4 argue topics right on the nose.
 

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I’m just crabby because my hours are awesome and I always get home first. So even though I work the same amount of hours and get paid way more, it sucks because it seems I will have to do more chores just due to the fact I get home hours before.
I get the sense that you have a higher standard for cleanliness and would keep the house neater no matter what. Even if he was home 100% of the time, I'm not sure he would keep the house as neat as you would want. Are the chores you're doing after work daily chores like putting the dishes away? Or are they chores to keep the house as you like, such as vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, etc?
 

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You could view commute time as also counting as work / chore time.

If you both work, depending on your money situation, maid service is not crazy. We started doing that because we realized that more than half of our "free" time was going to cleaning. At some point the extra time is worth more than the money. Of course completely depends on your financial situation. I have found that in general its sometimes worth spending money to get more time.


I’m just crabby because my hours are awesome and I always get home first. So even though I work the same amount of hours and get paid way more, it sucks because it seems I will have to do more chores just due to the fact I get home hours before.
 

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I don’t think anything will ever be 50/50 at any single moment in time. Interestingly, the only LTR I’ve been in where she demanded it be 50/50 all the time, it actually ended up being 100 me and 0% her, because of perceived inequality in the past, my continued inability to live up to her expectations with the quality of cleaning or cooking, or “the patriarchy.”

So I don’t like that model.

The model I do like, is where it feels fair overall. That’s going to be different for different people, how much they work outside the home, how much they get to do things they like vs things they don’t like. That kind of thing.

The last time my wife and I argued about chores was when she asked me to vacuum upstairs. While I was chugging away doing it, she came upstairs and criticized my job - by saying I wasn’t getting the lines in the carpet right. I looked down, and for the first time in my life, noticed that vacuuming leaves lines in the carpet much like mowing leaves lines in the grass. I looked at her, looked down at the carpet, and said I don’t care about the lines. She got very critical, so I just dropped the vacuum on the floor, shrugged, and walked away.

Of course after the nuclear war that caused ended in a peace treaty, we agreed to “pink” jobs and “blue” jobs. We each got to pick stuff we either liked doing, or didn’t mind doing. And we got to put stuff we hated doing onto the other person’s list.

I now do everything that happens outside the house - yard work, exterior maintenance, vehicles, BBQing, etc. I actually like doing that stuff, and she hates it. We have a fairly large lot with lots of trees, and it’s heavy, messy work. I also pay all the bills, manage our finances, keep our shared family calendar up to date, do all the IT work in the house (we have many macs, laptops, ipads, iphones, etc). House maintenance stuff as well.

She does 90+% of the cooking (she loves to cook and to feed people) and the dishes (she hates the way I do it). Grocery shopping. Gets the kids to school. Sorts out kid’s school stuff and schedules. She’s a SAHM and student and loves that stuff. Most of the light cleaning and keeping the house picked up. Laundry.

We also have our kids doing a lot - from mowing the lawn and shoveling the walk to taking out the garbage, making dinners once a week, cleaning and tidying, helping with the dishes.

For the stuff we both hate doing - the heavy cleaning like bathrooms, vacuuming, etc, we have our friend’s live-in nanny come once a week to spend the day getting caught up on all that stuff while getting the backlog of laundry done. She even cooks us dinner that day! It’s awesome.

We also agreed to keep our own stuff sorted, and for the most part we do. We can point out if something hasn’t been done in a while or got missed, but we can’t criticize the way it gets done. We can ask for help with our stuff, but you can’t criticize how the person does it.

We’re both type A folks, which means that someone has to be in charge and we both naturally want to lead the work. We don’t share chores much as a consequence.

Haven’t fought in years about it.
 

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In our home we try to have a "do what's next" approach.

When the floor is dirty, we sweep (or wash) it as soon as noticed.

When we use dishes for a meal, we wash them straight away after we've finished.

When the dust is noticed in an area, we dust that area.

There is no real ownership in my eyes although AC often see's me as taking on more than she would like but fair division is more being happy by helping another than chores themselves, it is a way to not let things build up to dissatisfaction in all things.

If the mundane is replaced with a smile and understanding, then leading by example is contagious.

"Wash your bowl" is a great koan...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I get the sense that you have a higher standard for cleanliness and would keep the house neater no matter what. Even if he was home 100% of the time, I'm not sure he would keep the house as neat as you would want. Are the chores you're doing after work daily chores like putting the dishes away? Or are they chores to keep the house as you like, such as vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, etc?


When I come home from work I usually cook, do dishes after. Tidy up. Prepare for what I’m cooking the next day. It’s not that bad.
But I also try to fit in working out a few times a week. Those days I workout I have to shower and do my hair (I have a ton of thick hair), and that takes at least an hour. And a few days a week I run the vacuum, sort Mail, pay bills, take out trash etc. on weekends I do laundry and deeper cleaning... whatever needs to be done. There is always something lol.
 
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