Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hey, Guys and Gals. . . What About Housework? Are You Sharing?

Filed under: Chores,Housework,Relationships — Larry James @ 9:00 am

It’s time to end the chore wars! One of the most common complaints about marriage, from both stay-at-home and working moms, is that their husbands are AWOL on household chores. Most guys just don’t notice the mess. He is naturally oblivious to those dust-bunnies on the floor. Men seem to be allergic to household chores. Doing chores is a dull, repetitive experience for most people and they must be done.

Sharing household chores now ranks third on the list of elements tied to successful marriages – ahead of income, common interests and shared religious beliefs, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center. Only faithfulness and sexual satisfaction ranked higher. Yet many couples still struggle to reach an equitable division of chores.

cleaningtoiletVery few men are raised to be fully responsible for housework, and many men consciously or unconsciously look on housework as “women’s work”. While that is not true, most men will take on a few additional chores around the house if respectfully requested and not second-guessed or criticized for what they do.

You might be shocked to learn that your husband was never taught “how” to do laundry or clean the toilet. I wasn’t. So. . .

Guys! This one is for you. Nowhere is it written that your sweetheart should be responsible for all the housework.

No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes, taking out the trash or running the vacuum sweeper! Women notice dust and fingerprints. Men notice crabgrass and yellow spots. It’s just one of those weird genetic differences between the sexes.

Men, you’re not going to like this, but, if you want your wife’s respect you’re going to have to do more housework! If you are NOT doing some of the household chores, you should be. Your wife has to come first. Be respectful. Pay attention. Notice what needs to be done. Listen for clues. Pitch in. . . without being asked. Your wife will respect you for it. DON’T say, “What can I do to help you with the housework?” That assumes to her that you think that housework is HER job. It isn’t. It “must” be a shared responsibility.

A recent survey revealed 15 per cent of women get turned on watching their partner doing housework. Experts think women view men who help around the house as more committed to their relationship, which leads to a more relaxed and adventurous time between the sheets.

The result of an investigation in Australia shows that men will be more healthy if they can spend their spare time on doing housework. A number of studies have shown “that women have more sex with men who do more work around the house than with those who don’t do their share,” as reported in this article on CBSNews.com.

Mintel, a global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence did a survey that says that 55 percent of men who do household cleaning say cleaning the house give them a sense of accomplishment.

Give her a massage. Tell her how much you appreciate what she does, give her a hug and surprise her by telling her that you will wash and dry the dishes for the next two weeks. Or choose something that you know will show her you care.

MenClean“As a husband you need to understand that your wife has a life other than you. She has her Parents, friends and colleagues who too are part of her life. She also may have some hobbies or passions she is involved in. Don’t expect her undivided attention. Don’t stop her if he wants to go out and hang out with her friends sometimes or engage in a hobby or want to spend some time with her parents.” ~ Anamika S

In other words, she needs some “free” time the same as you do. Think about it!

Gals! This one is for you.

Not all men are slackers. Don’t nag. The more you nag, the less he will do. Men need to feel like they are in control. Don’t insist that a task be done on your schedule. This may sound counter intuitive, but it works.

Make a list. I know. You’re thinking, “I shouldn’t have to do that!” You’re right, and what if it works?

Make a request. Make a clear, specific request about exactly what you want or need.

• “Honey, if you will help me by vacuuming the living room I’ll have time to fix that favorite casserole your mother used to make.”
• “Honey, it would mean a lot to me if you would clean up the dishes on the nights I cook. Would you be willing to take that on?”
• “Will you be able to trim the hedges before our party next week?”
• “Hon, it’s been a couple weeks since you said would clean the gutters, if you are too busy, I’ll call the gutter service. Would you like me to do that?”

Most men truly desire to make their wives happy. By requesting in a loving respectful way, it is likely that your husband will happily comply.

Let him “overhear” you boasting about something he did around the house and how happy that made you to one of our girlfriends. In other words, boost his ego. 😉

coupleFocus on finding chores he enjoys. And. . . remember to say, “Thank you.”

Ask your guy to do “man chores.” These include things that are dangerous – climbing a ladder to clean out the gutters – require tools – pruning the bushes with a chain saw – or have obvious results – putting up shelves.

If a man thinks that you believe he cannot do something, he will go out of his way to prove you wrong. It’s a guy thing. They don’t like to feel that anyone sees their weaknesses. Tease them in a “fun” way, and make it a challenge between you.

You might think it is impossible to get your husband to pitch in around the house, but there are some steps you can try to save your sanity, your health, and perhaps even your marriage. Don’t ask your spouse for help around the house. Asking for help gives the impression that the household chores are only your job and responsibility. Instead, ask your spouse to do his share.

And finally: When a couple can divide chores in a way that both spouses feel satisfied with the outcome, they are showing mutual respect for one another.

BONUS Articles: Husbands and Housework: Getting Him to Help
How to Train a Man to do Housework
How to Divide the Household Chores

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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6 Comments »

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