Loading...
Simply Chic Simply Chic Blog Home

Study: How Household Chores Cause Relationship Stress

For women, gender inequality makes housework worse.

By Kristin Wong Jun 18, 2012 4:35PM

Photo: John Lund/Marc Romanelli/Getty ImagesEven the happiest of couples are bound to occasionally argue over whose turn it is to do the dishes. But for some women, the topic of housework might be a little more unsettling. A recent study from Sweden's Umea University revealed that, for some, the issue actually causes psychological distress.

Researchers studied 723 subjects—men and women—and asked them about their relationship issues. At age 21, they found that both men and women had approximately the same level of psychological distress. By age 42, men's stress levels stayed the same, but women reported higher levels of distress. The key contributor? An uneven distribution of chores.

But of course, the issue runs a bit deeper than doing the laundry. The women who tackled most of the housework only experienced "distress" if they also described their relationship as "not gender-equal." The women who felt they were in an equal relationship didn't seem bothered by the fact that they did more housework than their partners.

"The results of this study indicate that it is not only a matter of whether the responsibility for domestic work is equal or not, but also the relational context in which the responsibilities are divided within the couple relationship," the authors wrote.

How did men fare in the study? Researchers found that one of the biggest causes of psychological distress for guys was earning less than their partners.

Psychologist Jill Weber tells WebMD that the findings are unsurprising:

"In general, men who earn less than their wives or who are out of work don't feel respected, and respect is a hot-button issue for men," Weber says.

As for the ladies, Weber says it's not really about the chores.

"It's the feeling that the woman is not getting support from her partner. Inequality often translates as a lack of emotional support."

So basically, a woman isn't as bothered by doing most of the scrubbing, vacuuming, dusting, etc.—if she has an emotionally supportive man by her side.

But I'm guessing it doesn't hurt if he can scrub a toilet, too.

Photo: John Lund/Marc Romanelli/Getty Images

More on love & sex from MSN Living:

How to Reconnect with Your Spouse

10 Fun, Frisky Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship

The Dos and Donts of Sex in 2012

136Comments
Jun 19, 2012 4:12PM
avatar

.........wow some people. So you can work, clean the house, take care of the kids needs, help with homework, cook dinner, clean up after dinner, bathe kids, do the laundry and then take care of the biggest kid of all, the "man", or husband after he sat on his butt after work cause he had a long day.....And there is just nothin to it. A woman should be able to do that right, I mean she is a woman.......

I am glad my husband knows I work my **** off for this family.Some of you just suck...

 

Jun 19, 2012 4:12PM
avatar
It seems women don't like being discriminated against on the basis of gender.  File this under stuff I already knew.
Jun 19, 2012 4:12PM
avatar
I'm fine with all the cleaning and actually prefer it, but my issues is picking up after my husband that pisses me off.  Picking up his clothes, dishes, pop bottles, etc.  I'm fine with picking up after my 2 and 3 year old, but not my 29 year old!
Jun 19, 2012 4:10PM
avatar

My husband can't even lower the toilet seat.  I sure as heck don't want him cleaning our house.

 

If this causes such strife and stress, hire a maid.  If a maid is not in your budget, forego a few restaurant meals.

 

Bottom line is this is a silly issue to fight about, and if this is the biggest problem a couple has in their marriage, they should consider themselves lucky.

Jun 19, 2012 4:02PM
avatar
I TOLD MY WIFE: if i see 8 hrs worth of work done in this house on a daily basis...then i will share the work load...she has yet to prove to me that  even 4 hrs is being done...
Jun 19, 2012 4:00PM
avatar
WRONG!!!!! if women had half the responsibilities working men have they would pass out from the workload...PERIOD
Jun 19, 2012 3:55PM
avatar

Here is what's really at the heart of this issue.  If a man provides financially for his wife then she should absolutely do the cleaning and cooking otherwise she is just dead weight.  If the woman works and carries herself in the relationship and enjoys being independent then the couple should share in the chores as equally as possible.  The problem today is that too many women want to be supported and don’t want to cook or clean etc...  This essentially renders them as dead weight to their partners and causes major cold feet... 

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

beauty tips and style advice

  • Nike Free, courtesy of Amazon

    Comfortable (and stylish) walking shoes for travel

    Finding stylish and comfortable shoes for your trip abroad is easier said than done. Check out these 5 shoes that will save your feet during your next trip.

  • Unforgettable celeb dresses

    Forget me nots: The most talked-about dresses of the past 20 years

    Stylish dresses made unforgettable by the famous.

  • Transition summer fashions into fall

    13 ways to transition summer fashions into fall

    Don't pack in your warm-weather favorites just yet!

  • Altuzarra

    What Kate Middleton should wear for her second pregnancy: 6 looks from the spring 2015 runways

    This week’s surprise announcement about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy has already sparked speculation on what the Duchess will be wearing with her soon-to-be spare heir. What’s more, the spring 2015 collections in New York are providing Middleton with plenty of maternity-friendly ideas for day and night. Here, we pinpoint six looks that should carry the Duchess through her third trimester.

  • Power couples

    Get the street style look of 7 Fashion Week tribes for under $100

    Style inspiration doesn’t just come from the runway. Every Fashion Week, we look far beyond the shows themselves—from the designers and the traveling troupes of editors to the models, photographers, and showgoers, all sorts of style tribes are out hitting the pavement. To refresh our fall closet, we look to eight chic cliques, from the front-row power couples to street-style bloggers. Even better? Getting the look of your favorite tribe has never been easier—everything we’ve pulled is $100 or less.

  • Lucky

    5 fall fashion must-haves

    Autumn is upon us, and we’ve got sweaters, coats and booties on our minds! Below are the first things we’ll be buying (or have already bought!) to kick off next season.

  • Fall boot guide

    The ultimate fall boot guide

    As autumn approaches and the opportunity for days spent lying by the beach begins to wind down, there comes a time to trade the sand-strewn sandals of summer in for the bright, shiny new footwear of fall. And what’s the best way to kick off your closet in preparation for a brisk temperature drop? The boot. From animal print to glittery, hiking to fringed, our fall boots include everything you need to start the season off on the right foot.

  • Great jeans for adults

    The best back-to-school denim for grown-ups

    No matter what the era, denim is always a staple. From blue to black, acid-washed, studded, and shredded, there’s a denim to fit any mood (or body type). For this fall (and back-to-school month), we’ve rounded up our favorite picks of this all-American classic: Whether we are inspired by a nineties Kate Moss, Rihanna’s affinity for fringe, or model off-duty looks, our elevated denim guide is guaranteed to refresh your wardrobe just in time for the new season.

  • s1

    Upgrade your hair game with these get-gorgeous tips

    Beachy waves, soft strands—you can have the dream locks you've always wanted.

  • Z Zegna fall\winter 2014\Umberto Fratini\Indigital Images; MP Massimo Piombo spring\summer 2015; Antonio Marras spring\summer 2015\Yannis Vlamos\Indigital Images.

    11 style rules to break right now

    You already know wearing white after Labor Day is cool. But menswear is reinventing itself rapidly, leaving some long-held mandates by the wayside, not to mention a bunch of men with a lot of questions. Sure, some style laws are truly inviolable. Showing a quarter-inch of cuff will always be crucial, but with designers and dandies flaunting so many former taboos it's hard to tell what's in play these days. So we thought we'd take this opportunity to let you know which rules no longer apply.

  • Update your outfit with embellishments

    The ultimate under $100 guide to fall trends

    With every changing season, our shopping lists seem to grow and grow and grow . . . and yet our bank accounts somehow stay exactly the same! But don’t fret, you can capture all the best fall trends straight from the runway without breaking the bank. Whether you’re yearning for cozy knits, statement necklaces, or bold graphic pieces, our Fall Fashion Guide gives you the best looks—all for less than $100.

  • A.P.C. and Vanessa Seward

    Fashion Week A to Z: Vogue’s guide to spring 2015 shows

    Allow us to be frank: Fashion Week is a bit of a misnomer. What with the global sprawl of shows—from New York to London to Milan to Paris—it really should be Fashion Month. (Or Fashion Forever.) Either way, what better way to kick off the marathon of shows, after-parties, flights, and appointments than with our comprehensive A-to-Z guide to all things Fashion Week? Here, find out what to do, eat, see, wear, and keep your eye on this season.

follow us
follow us follow us on facebook follow us on pinterest follow us on twitter
buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
about our blog contributors
Loading...
style videos
editor's picks
Loading...