Published on August 19th, 2019
Divorce happens for a number of reasons. Infidelity? Sure. Financial issues? Makes sense. But household chores?
While dirty dishes alone certainly won’t cause a relationship breakdown, unequal division of housework may be an indicator of a difference in values or lack of respect in the relationship according to research.
But we can help you resolve your cleaning conflicts! Here are our four easy ways to wave the white flag on your home’s chore war.
How to Stop Fighting over Housework
01 Be Clear About Who Does What
Define your roles and identify what chores are important to each of you. Have the chat at a time that suits you both, not in the middle of an argument.
Are you okay with a load or two of unfolded washing in the lounge room for a couple of days but dishes left on the sink do your head in? Prioritise ‘immediate’ chores and decide how often chores need to be done. Be open to compromise; in the busyness of life, your home won’t always look like the pages of a designer magazine!
Play to your strengths. My husband takes a lot of pride in our timber floors, so cleaning them is on his to-do list while I’m happy to have him far from the cooking responsibilities. Chore charts can be downloaded online if you want to get really organised!
02 Be Open to Re-Negotiation
Life changes so you need to be prepared to adapt your approach to household chores – together. With kids and career changes, chores may increase, or someone may need to take on more of the household load than before.
If your life circumstances have changed, have another chat about dividing the load or draw up a new chart. It’ll prevent arguments in the future!
03 Outsource it
The problem with staying on top of household chores is finding the time. Who wants to be spending those precious weekend hours scrubbing the bathroom, when you could be enjoying your time together?
One great idea is to outsource the cleaning, if you can afford it of course. Websites like Airtasker help you hire people to do a range of tasks for a fee. We spend our cash on material items; why not use it to ‘buy’ ourselves more leisure time? If you decide to hire a house cleaner, ask these important questions first.
For couples with children old enough, doing chores for pocket money is a tried and true way of lightening the housework load. It will certainly make life easier for you but will also instil a great work ethic, give your kids important life skills and teach them about having pride in their belongings!
04 Respect the Relationship
For married couples, you promised each other ‘till death do us part’ not ‘till you stop helping with the housework’ so speak up if you need help with the workload. Don’t resort to nit-picking your partner’s work, either. If you must bring up the shoddy workmanship, be kind in your critiquing.
Don’t dismiss their preferences about what housework they think should be prioritised. Just because you don’t agree, it doesn’t mean their opinion isn’t valid.
Remembering to play fair and doing your share will go a long way in restoring a happier – and cleaner – household!
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