The Married Chick The Knot the married chick

New Study Suggests Chores May Put Your Marriage at Risk

Find out why splitting housework could lead to divorce.

By The Married Chick Oct 5, 2012 10:06PM

Plan on tying those apron strings a little tighter, since a recent study shows that divorce rates are higher among couples who split household chores. Now, I know what you’re thinking: But my husband looks so good with a mop in his hand! Trust me, so does mine.

The study raises the question of "whether or not an egalitarian division of housework promotes marital stability." According to the research, a "traditional" division of labor is such that a woman carries the bulk of the household chores. Findings showed no association between this traditional take on housework and a lower risk of divorce; However, the risk of a split is higher when the man does as much or more of the chores compared with his wife.

Essentially, the study is hinting that untraditional couples run a greater risk of the dreaded “D”-word. Researchers attribute differences in values and attitudes as a likely cause of separation. So-called traditional couples "may hold a high value of marriage and a more traditional attitude toward divorce," the study claims.

"Untraditional couples, where he does most of the housework, may hold a less traditional or more modern view about marriage, where marital dissatisfaction more easily leads to divorce."

Call me old-fashioned, but somehow I don’t believe that sharing laundry duty could put your marriage in such a delicate state. As if a few extra dirty dishes could push a relationship into dangerous territory.

Read on to find out how readers over at TheNest.com divvy up their housework:

"He helps, and I would say it's divided 50/50. We don't have 'assigned' or 'designated' chores for each of us; we just do what needs to be done." -- SPK926

"We've worked it out in our house so that it's balanced. One cooks; the other cleans up. One does the laundry; the other folds it. We both have certain areas that are our individual responsibilities. We also compromised on what an acceptable level of cleanliness is for the house." -- scherzo

"Housework is just something that doesn't occur to my husband to do. He'll gladly help out when asked. He's picked out a few 'chores' he does on his own. But oftentimes when he helps, I'd just as soon he didn't, because he does it half-assed or gets in my way." -- nsfw

"The idea that cleaning would be my husband 'helping' me around the house seems very sexist to me. It implies that it is my job or responsibility. It is no more my job than his to keep our home clean and running." -- sarajoy12345

"Instead of contributing financially, I clean the house, grocery shop and make dinner." -- MsBecs29

What do you think of the results of the study? Do you and your partner split the chores, or does the weight fall more on one person?

Plus more from The Nest:

Healthy Meals For Two
Tips to Insure Your Future
How to Mix Wine and Junk Food

Photo: Veer

Nov 1, 2012 5:09PM

A co worker of mine and  her husband strictly divided household chores, childcare and expenses. Each paid half of each bill from their own checking accounts, everything from the gas bill to children's clothing. She knew exactly what weekend and evening she was responsible for childcare, and she planned accordingly. By toeing the line on a constant 50 percent commitment to eachother and their child, the marriage was doomed to fail. Now that they are divorced, nothing has changed. Still dividing things up trying to make things "fair." They were too busy standing toe to toe on making sure things were fair. Should have spent more time side by side looking in the same direction; that's what makes a marriage great!

Oct 30, 2012 1:25AM
If a marriage solely based on sharing household chores, it wasn't workiing anyway. My husband and I share household duties.
Oct 24, 2012 3:30AM
As a couple we live with honesty and trust..  We have lived long enough with each other to know the other as an individual.   If we know we have done our best to contribute to the whole and allow time for needed rest, that's what counts.   This can take any form that can work including delegating out for help.
Oct 23, 2012 10:10PM

18 years later being married to the same man and being a horrible housekeeper at times, most of the time- I find the idea that people get divorced over housework to be silly- Marriage is about toleration and the desire to be with someone- to raise a family or share common goals. Housework is not really housework- its taking care of your stuff- and when you have four people living in the same space reguardless of whom makes the money everyone has to contibute to the team.

I call myself a housewife somedays, a student others, an artist other days and still other days I call myself another human attempting to understand whats so hard about being kind-

I am not married to my house..I manage the amount of work-ie there is always going to be something to do when you live in a space- I have one do one thing, another do another and yes even the Man of the house does certain things inside the home-

For a couple to get divoriced over housework means they have other issues going on-

For a Man to say it is the Womans JOB to keep house is funny.. who kept the house for the Man before the Woman was there?

For a Woman to say its the Mans JOB to keep the house is funny.. repeat the above question-

We all live together and some of us are lucky enough to share a space with others- We each have a responisbility to take care of our "stuff"-

It is neither a mans job or a womans job to clean the house.. its ROSIES JOB.. now when are you geeks and freaks going to quit playing with phones and pcs and start actually making things that will benifit the human condition?

Rosie Jetson cleaned the house back in the sixties and here I am still waiting for you smart edumacated people to make something other than a new walkie talkie ...

And really, if you cant make your marriage work then you should not be together- life is too short to dwell on housework.. or on the divorce rate among people who should not have gotten married in the first place-

happy monday sfol



Oct 23, 2012 6:56PM







the split has always been 90-10 over the past 50 years.,  The one who needs the help gets it and the question has never been, "is it fair? Am I doing more than my share?".  A partnership is about sharing the good times, the posted away from home times, and the times Mom is not feeling well and Dad steps in to make a dinner the children still complain about, and cherish the floors Dad kept so well because Granddad told a young husband that floor cleaning was too hard for any woman.  Bless that dear man, my husbands grandfather!

Oct 23, 2012 6:35PM
we both have 2 jobs and I (husband) do most of the housework, along with yardwork and maintenance. -  she works more hours at the office than I - we eat alot of crappy food as we are always on the run - I say this story is dead on as we are headed for divorce.
Oct 11, 2012 8:42PM
I think it is more about making sure both people feel and stay connected to one another. As far as negotiating chores goes, two-way communication that is assertive, and not passive-aggressive is what will be the deciding factor on whether or not who does what chore will lead a marriage toward divorce. If either person feels resentful, then who does what needs to be re-addressed.

Not many of us have just one career now. So, there are times when one person may be stay-at-home with kids, unemployed/job seeking, going back to school, deployed/away on business trips, etc., so every time there is a big life event, readdress who does what around the house. I've seen our own family negotiate chores, and, it works.

Oct 10, 2012 2:01AM

Well, now that's a new one.  I get the theory behind it ...and it's funny too because I lived it to the extreme.  I had my own business and he became Mr.  Mom.  At the time I thought we just made a good team.  We seemed to balance each other out on everything like that...almost seamlessly in a way.  Fast forward oh...4-5 years and our wedding anniversary would have been Sunday ....if he hadn't gotten remarried the Saturday before that.  I'm a little puzzled by the selection of date but.....she's nice to my children and that's really all I ask.  But, yeah, we would be a supporting statistic for this although I wouldn't have put the two together...

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