Married … With Household Chores

By Bill Arbuckle
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a woman folds clothes
Couples come clean about household chores and share what they're willing to trade to avoid cleaning house.

It’s Saturday morning, and you’d rather stay in bed than tackle all those household chores. First, there’s the pile of dirty jeans and smelly socks in front of the washing machine. And what about the bathroom? When was the last time the sink sparkled? What about the carpet? When did it grow hair?

Let’s be honest: Nobody likes chores. But how badly do married couples hate housecleaning? The referral site, Yelp.com, asked couples which household chores they hate most and what they’d be willing to give up if it meant they’d never have to clean house again. The answers might surprise you!

The worst household chores

Almost 80% of couples said they have disagreements about chores. The top three disagreements include: who does the chores, when to do them and how to complete them. These are the chores couples argue about most:

  • Washing dishes/Cleaning the kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Sweeping/Vacuuming
  • Grocery shopping/Meal prep

How badly do we hate doing household chores?

Not only did 67% of people surveyed say they hated doing household chores, but they also admitted to doing a poor job in hopes of getting out of future chores. But if you think that’s bad, then look at what people said they’d be willing to do if it meant avoiding housework forever:

  • Add an hour to their daily commute
  • Spend a week in jail
  • Give up their smartphone
  • Shave their head
  • Completely give up sex

an infographic showing how we feel about housework

Maybe there’s a better way?

Working together makes a difference. Sharing household chores can become a new way to connect as a couple. Whether it’s doing basic house cleaning duties like washing dishes or folding laundry, you can use the time to talk, catch up with each other or spend time in each other’s company. And, research confirms that couples who share chores report higher levels of marital and sexual satisfaction.

Sharing workloads and working side by side with your spouse tells them they are not alone. When you willingly step up and shoulder your responsibilities, you show your spouse you are committed to your marriage relationship and that your spouse matters.

Scripture … and socks?

While the Bible doesn’t give guidelines on household chores such as vacuuming the living room or folding T-shirts, it tells us we should serve each other in love (Galatians 5:13). While we often think of loving and serving as Hallmark moments or heroic exploits, the truth is that love is best expressed by showing up day after day and doing the little things that strengthen our marriage over time. And yes, those little things often include washing dishes, folding laundry, sweeping, vacuuming and making dinner.

Where should you start?

Don’t wait to be asked. Look around. What needs to be done? Can you put those dirty clothes in the washing machine? (Don’t mix colors and whites.) Or can you take five minutes and load the dishwasher? The little things may not be noticed right away, but they will add up. And they will make a difference. So, no more adding an hour to your commute time, spending a week in jail or giving up sex to avoid household chores. Jump in and start serving your spouse in love.

© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.com.

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About the Author

Bill Arbuckle

Bill Arbuckle is a content producer for the Marriage team at Focus on the Family.

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