I know a surefire way to bring conflict into a marriage…one person NOT doing something that is expected of them. This statement could apply in lots of ways, but today I’m specifically referring to household responsibilities. I’m not going to tell you which of us does this in our marriage, but I’ll give you a hint…it’s both of us!
For example, I’m responsible for taking out the trash. Every once in a while I forget to do it though. When that happens, the trash starts to pile up, and the can in the garage starts to stink. Also, I’m responsible for cleaning the tubs and showers in the house. For some reason, I have a habit of letting this go for weeks…scratch that…for months…before cleaning them. Julia doesn’t complain though. She’s very understanding and forgiving. But, when I do this repeatedly, and my negligence results in her having to put up with smelly trash and dirty showers, so naturally she is a little upset.
There are two problems I run into concerning chores. One is that I sometimes forget what things I’m responsible for. And, the other is that sometimes my tolerance for what is “acceptable” doesn’t match hers. This isn’t to say that her expectations are unreasonable by any means. I’m just not putting the necessary amount of effort and attention into doing something that I agreed would be my responsibility.
Just recently we sat down and redefined our chore list. It was a great chance to do a couple things:
- Now that Julia is working part-time, she has much less free time. This gave us a chance to re-balance the amount of work each of us was responsible for.
- It helped remind of us which chores were on our list
- It gave each of us the chance to discuss if there was an area the other person wasn’t meeting what we felt was a reasonable expectation for that chore.
As a result of this conversation, we BOTH have done a better job with our responsibilities. This has helped us to feel more loved by each other, and resulted in less frustration…woohoo!
My challenge to you:
Sit down and talk with your wife about household chores.
- Make a list and divide up who is going to be responsible for what areas.
- Make sure things are divided up to where you are both sharing in the load.
- Make sure you are able to RESPECTFULLY discuss if someone isn’t currently taking care of an area to the extent you would like.
- Set a calendar reminder to touch base again in 6 months or a year to see how it’s going.