House chores division is the subject of debate for the vast majority of married couples. Even if they try to hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist, for it’s not the most romantic subject to raise, every married couple will eventually have to talk about it.
Yet, it is such a necessity for you to speak the same language when it comes to maintaining the house chores obligations. You will have both, a cleaner home more frequently, and a reduced number of fights and misunderstandings occurring. Taking care of one another, your home, and your relationship by doing chores together is a simple yet significant way to express care.
Then how comes partners argue firstly about who should do the tasks? Have you ever thought that your upbringing could very well be the cause of your current issues? We often replicate what we saw growing up or what was required of us, thus when living with someone who grew up in a different way, different experiences will come out. Each one will believe that proper experience is the correct one, while the other’s is incorrect. This leads to fighting.
Luckily there is a technique to get around this extremely prevalent problem. Therefore, in order to get to the bottom of this issue, a few relationship experts were asked to provide a step-by-step guidance on how to make sure that you and your partner are speaking the same language when it comes to get to home tasks as quickly as possible.
- When both of you are serene, talk about bothering things.
In every dispute, keep in mind that you should never explain how you feel about the subject when your emotions are at an all-time high. This is the single most important piece of advice. Even though your thoughts and feelings are entirely legitimate, the way in which you express them may prevent your spouse from hearing what you have to say. Discussions about household chores sometimes devolve into disputes because one partner assumes the idea that their other half should ‘just know’ what chores need to be done. In reality, such a topic needs to be brought up and discussed about.
Partners should firstly think and then talk to each other about two things: the perceived feeling of tasks imbalance and what they would like to accomplish.
Then, they should make an effort to communicate by solely using “I statements.” For instance, you may say something like – I’ve been feeling frustrated lately because it feels like I’m taking on doing more of the cooking. I would like it if we could switch off doing cooking every other day so it feels fairer. How can we make this happen? If both you and your partner can remain open to one another, communicating what it is that you want the two of you to achieve, then everything should flow naturally between the two of you.
- Show compassion and empathy for one another’s past.
Let us bear in mind that each of us grew up in different contexts. Thus, it is typical for people to feel that the way things were done in their family is “the correct way”, when in fact there is no such thing as the “correct way” if we want to accomplish anything.
It is best to discuss both points of view, attempting to devise a plan that will work for the both. Let’s be mindful when they start butting heads around chores and ask ourselves if we’re fighting to do things as we’ve always done, thus being resistant to change. In fact, partners need to decide what works best for them in their current lives.
- Take responsibility for each and every errand that needs to be completed
When both finally made the decision to sit down and have a conversation about household chores, it is a good idea to begin by writing down on a piece of paper all of the chores that need to be completed in the home. This will allow to see at a glance everything that needs to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Otherwise, none will be able to cross these items off the proper to-do list.
Only after presenting a compiled a list of everything, you can debate who is responsible for which chore and what the respective expectations are. It is also a really fantastic moment to negotiate with your significant other regarding the chores that you would rather not do at this point. The likelihood of your spouse having unfavorable feelings regarding an activity increases, if you dislike the activity yourself. Let’s make an effort to approach the discussions with a sense of humor, and make it fun for yourself. There is no need to make this topic sound tedious.
- Dedicate certain week days to doing various tasks around the house.
An entirely different schedule face both of you with the inability to clean the house on the same day. Choose an understanding that is more flexible rather than trying to force the other person to do things your way. This will ensure that both of you benefit from the situation. Decide which days are best for getting things done, and work around each other’s schedules. Communicate clearly about when and why certain times are convenient for each of you.
- Do not criticize the way in which each chooses to complete ones’ responsibilities.
If both of you disagree on how something should be done, try doing it a different way. If you believe that you are capable of doing a better job paying the bills, take over that responsibility. Yet avoid telling the other how to complete the task, unless you are specifically asked for assistance. Let the other handle one’s job. Do not indicate the wrong shopping ways, if your partner agrees on going to the grocery store. If it means that much to you, you should go shopping on your own. Criticizing your partner’s manner to complete ones’ responsibilities around the house will only serve to add extra tension where it is not necessary.
However, if there is something bothering you, try to avoid using absolutes when you speak to your partner (for example, “I always, You never, I do everything, you do nothing,” etc.). This is especially important if you are trying to get to change a behavior. Even if it were accurate, human nature dictates that the person will almost certainly want to defend himself against the accusation. If you believe you can do more, then do yourself a favor and refrain from mentioning it in an absolute form because if you do so, you are not going to get what it is that you desired.
- Take into consideration combining some of your responsibilities.
If neither of you can complete everything on the list, opt for quick and easy solutions that will make things a lot less difficult for you, such as:
- purchase some products that get the job done for you (a vacuum cleaner), or
- maintain things so that they remain clean (each of you can wash your dishes or place them in the dishwasher right after dinner so that nothing accumulates up).
- Maintain a constant and open line of communication with your partner.
The never-ending list of errands that need to be completed is like a never-ending laundry list. A productive meeting regarding who is responsible for what around the house does not mean that you can consider this topic closed and resolved. Efforts should be made to maintain an open and ongoing conversation regarding chores. It is recommended to make it a practice to talk about how the two of you are feeling about the other person in order to prevent resentment from growing. After all, both of you are on the same team and as such you should be happy with each-other.
- Express your appreciation.
At the end of the day, it is essential to demonstrate gratitude to your partner, particularly in the early days of establishing this new habit together. Expressing gratitude can help create a more a last-longing, positive environment for both of you. For certain partners, showing gratitude can be challenging. In such cases, consider at least once a day merely praising or simply complimenting your spouse for anything that they did, even if it was an agreed-upon task (i.e. “I truly liked it that you cleaned up the room this morning”).
- Hire someone
Why not hire someone to help you with what you detest (for example, cleaning the house together). It may be helpful to have an open and honest conversation about the possibility of employing someone to assist with house cleaning, even though this is fully dependent on your financial incomes. This may make things simpler. By all means, use the time, that you would have otherwise spent performing chores, to hang out at the park or go to a movie.
It may take a little bit of effort and a lot of honest conversation to be on the same page about home tasks, but it is well worth the effort to have a deeper understanding of what brings joy in life for both of you. In addition, the less you worry over the completion of responsibilities, the more time you will have to concentrate on one another, which is always a positive development. Your partnership deserves it.