Husbands & Housework

by Shrare.azad

by Shrare.azad


Wedded Bliss Wednesdays is a forum in which I discuss the joys and the heartaches of marriage, sometimes in jest.  I look forward to your discussion, as I will gain a lot from your input.

Breaking News!  “Women more likely to be intimate with husbands who help with housework.” That’s what this CNN article declared last year. 

Such a simple aphrodisiac, no?  Except this only works for women that are actually prepared to withhold sex.  My husband knows that a few missed chores around the house won’t temper his wife’s ravenous submission.  So what’s a girl to do to get more help around the house?

Communicate Your Needs

Speak very openly and evenly with your significant other about what you expect and what you need.  Also try to solicit his or her wants and needs.  But, it is likely that you and your significant other will not always be on the same page with respect to housework.  Both individuals come from different upbringings and bring forward different ideas about the appropriate division of labor between husband and wife or between domestic partners.  With persistent, consistent, fair and sensitive communication, over time, both partners should work toward a division that is fair and equitable.  Some compromise on the part of both partners may be necessary.  But, the goal for the two of you is support and harmony between you. 

Why Are Some Men Less Happy In Their Marriages When Sharing Housework?

The CNN article also mentioned that while women are significantly happier when her partner shares the housework, there are a number of men that are less happy with the same.  I guess some men feel they are getting the short end of the stick.  After all, maybe their fathers and grandfathers did not have to do housework.  Maybe it is the example that was set for them growing up.  Intellectually, they may know that an equitable division of labor is what is fair when both partners work and earn livelihoods for the household.  But, physically they may detest the task. 

I know how they feel.  I detest it too.

I also detest the thought of micromanaging the things around the house that my husband has done.  First, I owe my husband a lot of credit and a big ‘thank you honey!’  While in school full time last year, he renovated our entire house.  He completed the wood and tile flooring, recessed lighting, painting and much of the decorating and finishing.   Our house is a dream now because of him.   I hope he knows how much I appreciate his hard work and masterful attention to details.   

He must also have thought I was crazy because I still had the audacity to ask him for more help with things like the trash and the dishes.  We shared many of those things as well, and also the cooking.  But, I wasn’t crazy.  I asked for those things because I wanted to know that once the dust settled in our home, he would be willing to share the things to be done around the house that will always need to be done – no matter what.  There will always be trash and dirty dishes, and eventually toys and children’s clothing to attend to.  I hope he understands this too. 

That CNN article also pointed out that many women tend to micromanage the things their husbands are doing around the house.  This only goes to compound the unhappiness felt by the husbands performing those tasks.  It is a delicate balance for a lot of us women.  You want help, but you want it in a very particular way.  None of us are immune, but it is imperative that we are able to back off.  Ultimately, we need to learn to accept the help we are given, or do it ourselves.  It’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but remember our goal is always support and harmony. 

What are other ways of keeping the peace at home while sharing the housework?  Share your comments in the comments section.  I’d like to hear from your men as well.  What’s your take on this issue?  

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Filed under Marriage and Military, Marriage and Relationships, relationships, Wedded Bliss Wednesdays

4 responses to “Husbands & Housework

  1. Interesting article however, I imagine it can be harder to change someone if it is a second marriage or an older couple marrying. Since each person has had more time to become set in their ways.

    Especially a man who has never had to do much house work or any for that matter from childhood through a first marriage. So here they come to a second marriage ready to carryout the life style they have become accustom to.

    This is not an impossible situation but it might be somewhat harder to change and you might need some different techniques.

    • suprieta

      @ Teresa – I can definitely see how it might be more difficult to change a person that is very set in his ways and that has been doing things the same way for many years. I am still a proponent of persistent and consistent fair communication. But you can only go so far to try to change the ways of anyone. You can just hope they are willing to meet you half way. Thanks for your comment!

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