Masthead header

Marriage Manners Monday | Making A List … Thinking It Twice!

Let’s face it. Nobody likes to deal with chores. Who would rather slap on some gloves and give the oven a good scrub when there’s a great book to read, or a fun movie to watch on TV? Add the fact that two people make a bigger mess than one, and sooner or later, you have to have The Conversation. You know, the one that decides who’s going to do which chores.

BUT … that chat doesn’t have to be a terrible one. Especially if you can think of it this way – Chores make relationships stronger.

Yup. You read that right. In Essential Manners for Couples, Post likens it to “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. …Sharing the load together, with each person taking part of the burden … doing things together is a significant part of why (two separate individuals) become a couple.”

Helping out with chores isn’t just about spending quality collaborative time with your partner. It can also be a way to show your consideration for how he or she is feeling, or recognising that he/she is pressed for time, and could use a helpful hand.

Photo : Miss Vivi Gold

I love it when I’m cleaning the kitchen after a meal together, and without a word, my husband would get start doing a wipedown of the counter top, and then putting the dirty dishes away into the dishwasher. What makes my heart fill with so much warmth and love is that I don’t have to say a word. He would just do it, without my asking.

Of course, our world isn’t always so rosy and happy. Sometimes I get frustrated when I feel like I have been doing the last twenty loads of laundry, or that I’m the only one who cares that the shoes are neatly lined up under our bench, and not scattered everywhere on the floor.

The division of chores is not always going to be a perfect 50-50. It’s hard to quantify the time and effort that each task takes. Does making sure that the bills are all paid take up the same amount of time as cleaning the windows? …there isn’t really a “right” way to split up household chores. Instead, the key is to communicate clearly and effective, so that your own system works for the both of you, and not just one.

It could be something as simple as “she does the inside, he does the outside” … “she hates doing the dishes; he’ll do them if she cleans the bathroom”. It’s all about communication and compromise that makes the happy marriage.

And in the end, when all has been said and done, it’s important to stop and appreciate what the other does. Here’s where the lists come in. Instead of always thinking about all the things you do in the house and yard, take a moment to catalog in your mind all the things that your partner does. Then take some time to reflect on and truly appreciate all of his/her contributions. You’ll be surprised at what shows up on your lists! (;