Motivational Monday – Divide and conquer for a happy marriage

Last week,  I heard the findings of a study that made me raise an eyebrow and go, “What?!” The study that I’m talking about? – “Couples who share housework more likely to divorce: Study“.

Of course, the first thing that I shot back at was that this researcher must be a guy and a MCP pig at that. Seriously, what times are we living in for him to make such a conclusion? Or perhaps it was all a conspiracy theory for the men in the house to be let off the hook from their share of the housework. Nice try.

Granted that they have acknowledged that this trend is most common among middle class professionals where divorce rates are already high and couples are so hung up on being organised with their schedules that perhaps dates even have to be penned down. So I guessing that for these couple, sharing the housework is all about keeping scores.

As a working mom, I have to admit that I struggle with the housework. I’m no domestic goddess and on bad days, I can have a week’s laundry not washed, maybe 3 weeks of unironed clothes, unkempt rooms which explains why my allergy acts up on weekends.

We did consider getting part-time help, but we can never get pass the idea of staying home a few hours on a weekend just for a spic and span home. So what has worked for us over the years is to divide and conquer the housework together as a team. Oh and yes, managing our expectations of what is a clean house.

Our arrangement has been working out so far, except that our weekends are way more tiring than weekdays because of the endless chores, which really is a chore! Between the cleaning, we have our share of bickering. But what we try never to do is to keep scores. That just hurts the relationship as it means that what we’re doing is not prompted by love, a sacrificial love I might add. How else would you call it when you have to drop what you want to do, like sleeping in, just so that the family can have a healthy environment to live in?

We have so many stress factors everyday to deal with. Don’t let the chores be another one on the list. By all means, get help if you need. In fact, we’re planning to get our moms to come round on the weekdays to supervise the part-time helper so that we can have a cleaner home and enjoy the weekends. I’ve been told it can help improve our marriage when we sweat less about the housework.

I couldn’t help but add some humor before I end this post.
So do you agree with statement above and outsource the cleaning for a better marriage? Or what has been the housework arrangements in your home? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
<a href="" ><img alt="A Juggling Mom Motiviational Monday" src=""></a>

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  1. Serenely October 8, 2012 at 9:56 am Reply

    Yes I saw that article too! My eyes nearly popped out when I first read that headline. It was definitely a controversial attention-grabbing statement that got everyone talking. Though I do think the issue and the other elements from the study are more complex than that one single statement.

    In our family I do most of the housework, but only because I chose to scale back my hours to work part time. So I my non-office days to catch up on housework, so our weekends can be free to spend time together as a family. Sometimes we do encounter conflicts on where the line is drawn on how much of the burden is mine versus what is his share even though he is working full time. It’s a very gray line because it’s difficult to determine an equal share of combined responsibility of income+housework+parenting.

    I agree with you is the key is not keeping score. After all “love does not keep record of wrongs”.

    But for families where both spouses work full time, I can imagine that the situation will be tougher. But it’s great to hear your honest side of your situation and your sharing of ideas on how to get the support and help you need to alleviate the situation.

    • Susan October 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm Reply

      Love keeps no records of wrong.
      Yes, when we stop keeping scores and have a positive attitude towards it, the responsibilities around the house becomes a shared one.

      Honestly I was pretty moody when I was doing the housework over the past weekend. But thankfully, hubby is appreciative of what I’ve done and chips in to help so it helps counter those mood swings.

  2. lisacng @ October 27, 2012 at 3:54 am Reply

    I never put any weight into such study findings b/c, being a scientist/engineer, I’d want to know the study size and how the demographics of such participants ;). Plus, did they follow the couples over time? Were these couples already heading for divorce anyways? Enough of the geek talk. I love that graphic b/c I really wish I had a cleaning service. But then again, if I had one, what would I do on weekends? All I know is to clean the house and do laundry, LOL. My hubby and I share responsibilities and it works for us. We also help each other out, so it’s not just black and white. I can see how divorce occurs in those who “split” the housework b/c someone doesn’t do their “job”. I’m sure me and my husband don’t always see eye to eye on the quality of each other’s housework, but we let it go b/c we love each other and know we need each other to make this work. Couples who don’t want to make it work, won’t make it work, no matter how perfect the situation.

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