A recent article posted in the Telegraph reports that couples spend about ten days a year arguing about household chores. The article addresses common tiffs such as: leaving clothes around the house, not emptying the dishwasher, putting off home improvements, not taking out the trash, not making the bed, or leaving the toilet seat up.
The article outlines what we argue about and how much we argue, but what about solutions to these disputes?
First, you must know that you are not alone in domestic chore arguments. Second, let’s discuss some alternatives to dealing with the issue, so you can spend less time on edge about you and your partners disagreements.
1. Work a cleaning person into the budget. The arguments stem from everyday upkeep chores. I am not talking about a maid, but a cleaning person; once a week or once every two weeks. The scrubbing and “deep cleaning” will be done by the hired help, but keeping up with the little things, such as taking out the trash or not leaving clothes lying around will take place routinely by the family members. The deep cleaning that takes place inspires family members to keep up with the everyday chores.
2. Change the way you ask your partner to help. Sometimes without being aware of it, we bark orders to our significant other rather than asking them if they could please help. Use “I” statements such as; I could really use your help. Or be encouraging; You are really great at making the bed. Or be thankful; Honey, thank you so much for putting the dishes away.
3. Change the way you react. Honestly, when you move in with your partner, you might have to get used to habits you aren’t happy with; try to find a medium. You should discuss these things prior to cohabiting. (Hint: A good indication of how they will be in a shared habitat is how well they take care of their own apartment, home or even car.)
Overall, these arguments can be reduced. Helping around the house is a learnt behavior just like arguing is also learned. Sometimes all we need to do is be teachable in our relationships to make them work.
The Cynical Therapist came to be when two therapists became friends. SoulMates or Kindered Spirit Animals… Call us what you will…. We are two bad*** chics Licensed to teach you how to grow into your full potential and add some humor along the way.
Laurie Wilson and Elle Anzalone are both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Huntington Beach, CA.