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Are you surprised at the connection between sharing chores equally and divorce?

Posted by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:49 AM
  • 7 Replies

Couples Who Do Housework Together May Not Stay Together

Posted by Adriana Velez on October 2, 2012 

houseworkThink dividing the household chores will save your marriage? Maybe not! A new study says that divorce rates are higher for "modern" couples who share housework equally. That's completely the opposite of what I would have thought.

Wouldn't you think that equality would lead to stronger marriages? That there would be less arguing and more respect among couples who don't expect the wife to do all the housework? I know that's what I always thought. So why is this happening? And is this going to bring on the "I told you so" cavemen who want to use this as an excuse for not doing the laundry?

The explanation the study's author, Thomas Hansen, gives actually makes a lot of sense. He says the results say less about household chores and more about modern couples in general. "Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage." Modern couples have a different attitude toward marriage than more traditional couples do. It's not the end of the world -- or a major spiritual failing -- if they divorce.

So flip the whole equation around: Modern couples tend to divide up the chores equally, but they also tend to have a more liberal attitude toward divorce. Women in modern couples are less financially and socially dependent on their husbands. They have more education and higher-paying jobs and don't feel as much social stigma for divorcing. Keep in mind -- this study was done in Norway, not the US. I'm not even sure we'd get the same results here. It might be interesting to find out, though.

Anyway, it's pretty clear that just because a researcher found that divorce rates are higher among couples who share chores equally doesn't mean sharing chores leads to divorce. Don't let anyone use this as an excuse to stop unloading the dishwasher!

Are you surprised at the connection between sharing chores equally and divorce?

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:49 AM
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Replies (1-7):
MamaJane
by Jane on Oct. 4, 2012 at 9:23 AM

 I'm sure this generalization isn't always true.  There's lots of things that go into how a relationship works.

Refurbished
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

The final straw in the collapse of my marriage was the fact that I had to go back to work and expected my ex to pick up the slack at home.  I asked him to do dishes each night and take out the trash once a week and that I would continue to do everything else.  He went ballistic over it and felt terribly put upon. 

TheRyan6
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:41 AM

 We used to try the method of dividing or taking turns, but we quickly realized it just wasn't for us. There are certain things that I'm "good at" and he's "good at." For example, he's very anal about vaccumming. When I vaccum, it's never good enough for him. So, he does it. I do the laundry because he will leave it laying in a basket for all eternity and I HATE nothing more than digging in a pile of clean laundry trying to find matching socks for the kids each morning. When it comes to dishes, it's usually just whoever gets to it first. Bathrooms are usually my job because I actually enjoy it.... I shut the door, turn on some music and just get it done. The kids are responsible for their own rooms, the hallway, and the living room.

lovemymarine18
by Sarah on Oct. 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I agree very much. I think its more of the general attitude, not just the chores, that's a small piece of the puzzle. But I also wonder if the expectations of 50-50 lead to resentment if it doesn't happen?
I dunno, to me, the house is my job, with the exception of a few things that I physically can't do. But my husband helps if I ask, and it works for us.


Quoting MamaJane:

 I'm sure this generalization isn't always true.  There's lots of things that go into how a relationship works.

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Moms_Angels1960
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I read that and find it very interesting that that can cause couples to divorce. I know for us my dh wants to help me in the house with whatever he can because he knows I work all day also and that he lives here. I am sure that for a lot of couples especially if the Mom was a SAHM and then back to work he probably was used to her doing most everything he doesn't think it's fair than to have to work at home.

Bmat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I am very much. For my husband and me,  we divide the chores equally, but it is from a sense of respect and caring about the other.

Bmat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I see what you are saying, and it makes sense to me. Well said. I think the writer's ideas are not valid.

Quoting Moms_Angels1960:

I read that and find it very interesting that that can cause couples to divorce. I know for us my dh wants to help me in the house with whatever he can because he knows I work all day also and that he lives here. I am sure that for a lot of couples especially if the Mom was a SAHM and then back to work he probably was used to her doing most everything he doesn't think it's fair than to have to work at home.


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