One of the key areas that cause stress and tension in a marriage is the division of chores, or lack of. Communicating needs and dividing chores is one way to decrease marital tension. The division of household chores should be a joint responsibility and not a favor that your spouse is doing for you. What are some ways to decrease marriage tension by dividing household chores?
Household chores should be viewed as a shared responsibility between you and your partner. If you beg, nag or ask for your house to help you out with the chores, you are giving the idea that the chores are solely your responsibility instead of a joint responsibility.
Discuss Priorities with Each Other
What works in some households might not work in other homes. It is important to sit down with your partner and talk about the importance of the different responsibilities for running the home. For example, what areas of the home being messed up bother you or your spouse? Who is better at managing money and can handle the bill paying?
Look at the responsibilities that are required to run your home. Prioritize which ones are most important to least important. This will give you and your spouse a sense of what needs to be done around the home to keep it running smoothly.
Make List of Chores You Hate
Each of you should make a list of the chores that you cannot stand to do. Hopefully, there are a few on the list that you can balance one another. For the chores left that both of you hate, the best solution is to alternate weeks doing them or do the tasks together as a couple to get it over with faster.
Plan for the Upcoming Week
Put together a list of responsibilities for the upcoming week. Will you need to go to the bank? Does grocery shopping need doing? Does the oil need changing in the car? Are there social engagements? Make the list and post it on the refrigerator. Mark off the list as the tasks are accomplished. If possible, agree on who will do which of the major things for the upcoming week. You can put your initial by the chore. This will help to organize and share the chore load. The second worst thing you can do with chores is to nag your partner. Let your partner do specific chores in their own method. You might not like how your partner folds the clothes or how they put the dishes away, but be thankful you're sharing the responsibility instead of carrying the burden alone.
Focus on the things that your partner shared with you as a partner. Don't nag about uncompleted chores or tasks that were not done that the partner agreed to do. You cannot change someone else and nagging will only cause more reluctance to share chore responsibilities. Unless it is something that cannot wait, simply give your partner more time to complete the chore. Don't pick up the slack and do it yourself. The dishes can wait one more night or the yard can be mowed the following weekend.
Discuss Your Frustration in a Calm Mood
If your partner consistently does not do the chores, discuss it with your partner in calm mood. Don't bring it up in an argument or a heated discussion. Instead of blaming, ask your partner what happened. Work together for a solution that will be good for both of you to share the chore responsibilities.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA