It seems like an easy task – one of you empties the dishwasher, the other vacuums the living room. Or is it? Handling household chores can be a source of disagreement for many couples – but there’s hope! Dr. Greg Smalley has some ideas on how to divide the labor without dividing the couple.
Greg says it always starts with us. He tried to fix his wife Erin in the early years of her marriage, but it only led to her distancing herself and putting up a massive wall.
“I tried every conceivable way to get through the wall and under the wall – I married a very strong woman who can be a little stubborn, and that was a good thing. Her heart was hardened and I had to learn to stop being so selfish.”
Greg offers these tips:
1. Don’t keep score.
“If you’re keeping score, that’s a guaranteed loss for your marriage. You can’t have a conversation about ending the chore wars unless you’re committed to out-serving each other.”
2. Talk when both of you are calm and relaxed about how to divvy up the chores.
3. Decide how you’re going to approach the chores.
Choose one or two that your spouse doesn’t like to do — and do them with a heart of service.
4. Remember that you’re a team instead of opponents.
5. Utilize your strengths.
If you’re organized, tackle the bookshelves and closets. If you like to clean, focus on the most-used areas of the house and commit to cleaning or scrubbing them on a regular basis.
6. Don’t let the chores get in the way of your intimacy.
Martha let household chores distract her from being with Jesus and Mary – don’t let a cluttered kitchen take priority over a good conversation with your spouse.