A new survey found that about 72% of cohabiting couples disagree on how to share housework fairly.
On average, respondents indicated that they spend 2.6 hours more than their partner on household chores each month.
And women were 45% more likely than men to be dissatisfied with their partner’s household contributions.
The study also found that couples reported spending an average of 75 minutes per month to argue about cleaning chores.
The survey was based on responses from 2,000 US adults who live with their spouse or partner. It was commissioned by the home robotics company Roborock.
The aim was to investigate how dividing up housework affects a couple’s relationship health.
Doing more housework when it’s all work and school from home
Many couples are struggling with splitting up cleaning chores due to the seemingly endless waves of lockdowns and quarantines, making it even harder to balance work with their domestic responsibilities to reconcile.
For example, the survey found that about 40% of couples say they have argued more about chore schedules than they did before working from home and Homeschooling became the norm.
More family members at home means more work: well-known examples are more dishes, towels and clothes that need to be cleaned; more garbage to go; more mess and spills that require mopping and mopping, etc.
And nearly half of the couples surveyed said that “a more balanced division” of household chores would reduce the frequency of these arguments.
Getting stuck on the most uncomfortable cleaning jobs
The survey also found that around 20% of respondents said they felt they were “always stuck on the dirty jobs”.
Another common complaint was that a partner felt they always had to complete their assigned tasks along with their own.
In fact, only 9% said they felt their partner always did their part of the cleaning chores.
Approximately 51% of the women surveyed said their main responsibilities involved household chores (like cooking, cleaning, and laundry), and 62% of men said their main chores were outside the home (like mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool ).
“Strategic incompetence” is a popular trick
Interestingly, 34% of respondents (37% of men vs. 31% of women) said they felt that her significant other sometimes “does tasks poorly on purpose so as not to do them in the future.”
Men are more likely than women to suspect their significant other of “strategic incompetence”.
And 43% of men (vs. 32% of women) believe their significant other intentionally chooses the more desirable and/or less time-consuming tasks.
Things get better with time
The survey also found a correlation between the length of the relationship and the number of arguments about chores.
Perhaps surprisingly, these disagreements decrease significantly over time.
Of couples who have been together for less than 6 months, only about 56% said they were satisfied with their partner’s efforts with housework.
But that number is rising, reaching 76% for couples who have been together for 10 years or more.
Relationship rescue in the form of a weekly to-do list
These survey results support the notion that couples who actively seek to share household chores are likely to see the benefits of a stronger and healthier relationship.
Something as simple as making a list of chores to do around the house, along with budgets everyone sticks to, can make a world of difference.
Do it So put in the effort: creating the ultimate homework list isn’t an overwhelming task and it doesn’t have to take a long time.
You can break it down into daily tasks, or a weekly task list, or monthly tasks, or even seasonal lists: whatever works for your situation.
Probably a seasonal-based approach works best psychologically : “Spring cleaning” sounds much more energizing than a “weekly thorough cleaning of stove, bathroom and refrigerator”.
And it’s never too early to get your kids involved. Teaching a child the wonders of dusting furniture or keeping the floor clean is a valuable life skill.
But talking about these things in advance—and creating a master list that everyone agrees on—can do wonders for Your household, your family and most importantly your relationship.
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