When the time comes to ask your spouse for more involvement in the household chores, there are some important things to consider.
It’s helpful to gain clarity yourself so that you will be able to speak with “I” statements. Ask yourself how you perceive the current situation: is it a lack of equity, or lack of acknowledgement of everything that falls on your plate? Ask yourself how you feel about the situation. Are you frustrated, angry, or tired? Do you feel unappreciated? Then think about what you would like to see happen.
It’s important to choose a time when both of you are calm to express your frustrations and feelings. “…never discuss how you feel about a situation when your emotions are at an all-time high. While your feelings are completely valid, your tone and volume might distract your partner from hearing what you’re saying” (The Everygirl, 2019).
Then, use “I” statements. It’s very common for couples to bring up what the other one isn’t doing as part of the discussion, but it’s much more effective to avoid blaming and history. Speak in terms of how you feel and what you would like to see happen.
According to Stritof (2020), “Marriage is a partnership that includes the practical business of running the household. That means keeping financial records, home maintenance, shopping, planning, cleaning, cooking, childcare, transportation, etc.” Not treating these things as a joint effort erodes the partnership of marriage.
“The biggest mistake you can make in your quest to have your partner do more chores around the house is to ask for help. Asking for help implies that the responsibility for the chores belongs to just you. In actuality, chores are shared responsibilities, and doing a good job dividing up the housework is essential to ensure a happy marriage … Set your priorities as a couple. What is truly important to each of you? Many couples find they look at the division of chores differently.”
Bear in mind that having grown up in different households, you may have completely different ideas of the “right” way to divvy up the chores, and it’s important to understand each other and find a way forward that will work for both of you. It’s also important to account for everything that needs to be done. Then it will be possible to find out priorities (what you each care about the most/least), as well as each other’s likes and dislikes of specific tasks.
In the next post, we’ll discuss different ideas and strategies for dividing up household chores!
Stritof, S. (2020, February 4). How to Keep Housework From Hurting Your Marriage. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/chores-conflict-in-marriage-2300980
The Relationship-Saving Way to Split Chores With Your Partner. (2019, July 30). The Everygirl. https://theeverygirl.com/split-chores-with-your-partner/