This day and age, couples recognize that both partners typically work a full-time job in addition to doing the house chores. So If you are not sharing the household chores right now, your relationship is suffering in more ways than one. A Pew Poll showed that 62% of adults believe that sharing chores is important for marital success. Sharing chores has been linked to several benefits including more sex/better sex, marital happiness, and diminished resentment.
More Sex and Better Sex
A recent study found that men in relationships who were making a fair contribution to the house chores had more frequent sexual encounters. These men also reported a higher level of sexual satisfaction. There is a new trend with chores which is seen in this study, and some are calling it “choreplay.” Choreplay happens when couples feel that the work is divided fairly between them. It makes couples feel closer to their partner and they are more open to having sex. When looking at your own relationship, does that overflowing trash get you in the mood? Probably not. Have some choreplay and take out that thing!
It’s true that fights about chores are often not about the chores, but something deeper. Sometimes one person may feel like they are contributing way more than the other in different areas of the relationship. Aaron Anderson has a great article detailing how to talk about chores when there is actually a more important issue. When you’ve found a way to talk about chores and split them fairly, you increase your marital happiness. Marital happiness raises when you both recognize that the current arrangement is not fair while coming to an agreement about what IS fair.
Have you ever been working your butt off around the house (cooking, cleaning, doing laundry..) while your spouse is sitting and watching television? If so, likely you’ve felt resentful towards them. Having an agreement about a fair split of household chores and your mutual expectations diminishes that resentment. Find a time to sit and talk about chores. List off everything around the house that needs to be done. Then split chores by preference and effort. After, make a commitment to follow through. Feel free to come back to revise the arrangement if you don’t think it is working as well as you thought (nothing is set in stone).
Remember that these benefits are associated with a FAIR agreement of chores. This is the agreement that you and your spouse make together. This does not necessarily mean that you split the chores 50/50. After all, the chores may require a different amount of effort, more time, an inconvenient time of day, or the chore is just something that you both hate. Start splitting the chores fairly in order to have more sex, better sex, marital happiness, and diminished resentment!
About the Author
Chris Cummins is a couples specialist with The Marriage and Family Clinic. He focuses on working with substance abuse and couples in high conflict. Chris enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.