Our pre-marital counselor said that household chores are the number 2 thing couples argue about, after money. Each person has a different outlook on chores depending on how their parents did things and how they were raised. Even social norms can influence this decision (ex: "laundry is women's work, or "the man is supposed to take the trash out!")
|how we handle chores: frying pan battle!|
Those things that you don't match up on are called Chore Peeves. You know, those things that if they aren't done and completed correctly, will set you off like a driver who just got cut off at an intersection? I'll be honest, we clashed on a few chores. For Mr. Adventure, it was the bed. My husband likes his bed made a certain way, and if it's not made that way he can not sleep in it. Really. Many times early in our marriage I was hustled out of bed while he pulled all the covers off and remade it, because "I made it wrong" and "it didn't lay right". He had to teach me how to make it the way he liked it, and I had to get over the fact that I hate making the bed and to "just do it" with love. (people who just pile the blankets on themselves, represent! I was one of you...)
|thought provoking chore meditation|
When we finally sat down to actually divide the chores, the first thing that we both realized is that B works a lot. And by a lot, I mean more then 50 hours a week. Sometimes more then 60. I, however, feel like death if I work 40 hours a week, and refuse to do that to myself. Even before we were married I only worked 30--and after we said "I do" I cut back to 20, since I am no longer the main provider in our family unit and I wanted more time to work on my small business.
Now, I must mention two points. One, this schedule will change when B and I have kids. We don't know how it will change, but we do know adding a very codependent life to our mayhem will require adjustment. Two, B does help out when I am sick. Last week I had the flu and I was miserable. He made me lunch (first time he's cooked since we got married, actually) and he even went to the store by himself the next day and acquired food items for me. And he's brought me countless glasses of hot peppermint tea, and been super polite with my poor whiny sick person attitude. (I'm such a big baby -_-)
- What are you good at? What is he/she good at?
- What things can you not stand? Make sure the other person knows.
- What are you willing to compromise on?
- Have a plan before you move in to avoid disputes.
- If you need help, try not to complain or make the other person feel bad. A simple "will you help with this?" or "when were you planning on getting X done?" will suffice.
- Discuss what household chores your parents were responsible for and your thoughts on their roles.
- Don't sacrifice your intimacy or communication over some dirty dishes or socks :)