House Chores – The Hidden Challenge Faced by Every Relationship
It’s not easy to build and maintain the home of your dreams, but with the right person by your side, everything seems possible. There is just one problem… You may discover that you don’t fully understand how to blend house chores and relationship.
Keeping the house clean and tidy is an exhausting job and a hidden challenge in every relationship, that could put a strain on even the strongest relationship.
Mutual effort plus compromise, though, should equal a happy life together. As it turns out, it is not as easy to achieve happiness and balance.
Domestic work is still on top of the fighting list
Apparently, tackling the housework can still be qualified as one of the most common fights couples encounter.
What’s worrying is that this is an issue that could affect any couple, regardless of the stage of the relationship.
An amalgamation of house chores and relationship might seem as a trivial problem but turns very real when it’s not paid enough attention to.
Lack of communication is most likely responsible for the rising tension and further complication of the matter. However, the problem could be rooted deeper in things like a different upbringing or an inability to compromise.
The most common housework arguments and how to handle them
1. Imbalance in dividing the house duties
It’s safe to say that today’s life is incredibly dynamic. Responsibilities and expectations can drain you both physically and emotionally.
So, it is only normal to see your partner as someone you can share that burden with. When that’s not happening the way you expect, feelings of exhaustion and disappointment start building up before you know it.
As far as the house maintenance is concerned, the idea of a 50/50 division seems the only fair solution. Though, this is not necessarily the most efficient one.
The problem lies in the chores’ specifics. Throwing out the garbage doesn’t really measure up to cooking, does it? Not to mention that you can easily lose a day arguing over which task is more important and tough to take upon.
The better thing to do, is to actually be honest about your personal preferences and things you feel confident tackling.
We all have specific chores we loathe doing, but that doesn’t mean that our partner sees them the same way. So, why not discuss openly what’s manageable and acceptable for your household?
If your partner prefers your least favourite chores, then do not hesitate to exchange for those he/she finds unbearable.
This way both of you will feel better about the idea of housework, and can even increase your level of productivity.
To keep track of the success of the new strategy, you can make a house cleaning checklist or a family chore chart and keep track of your efficiency. Review the results after a month or two.
2. Unappreciation of efforts
Appreciation may come in many forms, but one thing is for certain, we all want it and need it in a relationship.
Not feeling it is a serious issue, which should not be underestimated, as it could cause more than a one-time argument. It could actually lead to reconsidering your commitment and even ending it at a certain point.
However, this can be easily avoided by addressing the problem as early as possible and staying open to alternative solutions.
Research reveals that you can enjoy an improved and healthier relationship by simply entrusting the house chores to someone else.
This doesn’t mean that you are slacking off, it means that you value your free time and you want to spend it with those who matter most.
Finding an experienced and reliable housekeeper will not just take the pressure of the domestic work off you. It will actually provide you with a well-deserved time off to reconnect with your loved onе and catch up on pleasant family activities.
The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t be afraid to express your frustration instead of bottling it up only to explode later.
Remember that your partner is not the enemy here, but someone who is unaware of your signals and inner thoughts on the matter.
3. Different definitions of “clean”
How much easier would it be if we all see things the same way? Unfortunately, this is rarely the case when it comes to cleaning.
A common situation is for one partner to handle the bigger part of the house cleaning for the sole confidence of doing a better job. This shouldn’t be an excuse, though, for the other to skip on the work altogether.
Truth be told, neither being a clean freak nor a messy person is good. But when both of these people are living under the same roof, a certain level of compromise is a must.
For starters, get the other to understand that you are not expecting miracles to happen. Not everything about a person’s character can be changed, but the effort of trying is what counts.
If scattered clothes on the floor or dirty dishes around the house are upsetting your loved one, isolating all of it in one room only is an improvement.
You can agree on having your own personal space where you can be yourself and the other can’t get upset about it.
As for the cleaning and organising lovers, criticising is not the best approach. It is barely effective, especially when done while emotions run high and rational thinking is off.
Better strive for a simple explanation of why this is significant for you, combined with an open mind for other points of view and an equally satisfying solution.
4. Not taking cleaning responsibilities seriously
Having the same fight over and over again is nerve-wracking. Marriage responsibilities should not be taken lightly and keeping the house clean and tidy is definitely one of them. So why is it that only one of the people involved commits to them?
The main reason could be the security that there is someone to do them no matter what. Every couple has its own rules on how things should be, sometimes they get set naturally without you even realising it.
If you give your partner the impression that you can step in and handle it all regardless of the situation, then you create a precedent.
It is possible to give the impression that you do not need or want any help when, in fact, it’s the opposite.
Changing old habits is always difficult and that’s exactly why it is best to discuss all house matters with your special one early, just to be on the clear. Don’t be afraid to share your real expectations.
5. Opposite visions of gender roles
We all have a personal understanding of how a household should be handled and this is something we are eager to hold on to.
Growing up, our family’s inner order serves as an example, which influences our own vision of how things in a relationship should be.
Anything different may seem unacceptable and before we know it, we could be caught in a heated argument with our loved one over right and wrong.
Usually, this is something learned at the beginning of a relationship, but it is still possible to reveal it later.
While it may look like just a difference of opinion, it can actually prove more serious. Which is why words may not be sufficient to solve the dilemma.
If the opposite side is not even willing to consider your view and ideas, then perhaps a live example can make a change.
Seeing first hand how things work in your family and why, can bring a fresh perspective. Of course, it would be only fair that you reciprocate, but this will help smooth your differences, as well as understand your partner better.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.