Q&A: Arguing about little chores

Question:

My wife and I generally get along great, but I’m surprised how much we argue about little chores around the house. Is this normal?

Answer: When couples are asked about stress points in marriage, things like children and finances usually come up first. But studies show that household chores rank third on that list!

It’s easy to understand how something as simple as housework can fuel conflict in a marriage. Life gets busy for couples. Before long, they’re each focused on the tasks they care about, while forgetting the burdens their spouse is carrying. The next thing you know they’re locked in power struggles over who does more and who works harder.

We’d encourage you to try to change your mindset, and remind yourselves you’re on the same team. The household chores should benefit your relationship, not tear it down. In fact, instead of arguing over who does more, what would happen if you each tried to “out serve” one another?

There are also practical ways to avoid conflict. Say a particular chore is your spouse’s responsibility. Don’t dictate how and when they do it just because that’s when you think it ought to be done. And don’t forget to leave some room for individual preferences. Even though you’d prefer the bed be made each morning, is that really an issue important enough to come between you?

As with any other area of your marriage, sorting out the housework is all about connection and communication. We encourage you to prioritise honouring one another and finding some common ground.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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