Here’s a truth we can’t get away from: Couples fight. Whether it ‘s a knock-down screaming match or passive-aggressive slamming doors, none of us are immune. We’re in love and yet inevitably, we get stuck in those places we just can’t agree. So what are the biggest conflict land mines at this time of year, when we spend so much time indoors?
In our house, the most heated fights – by far – are over who cleans up messes. And the problem is, you don’t realize how ridiculous you are until you’re arguing over who vacuums up lint and dog hair best. So put down the boxing gloves, and divide up the chores before they divide you. You can divvy up the dirty work strictly by gender roles – he’s got muscles, so the garbage is his – or just split them right down the middle and take what you get. But however you do it, keep these Chore War tips in mind.
How to Beat the Chore Wars
If you feel you are doing the lion’s share of housework, then say so. I don’t mean blowing up or nagging when you find the toilet roll empty. When things are calm (that means you), take a breath, set out what you see as the issue, and serve up a solution you think would work. (Warning: Watch your tone. Hint: “I think the chore divisions need to be revisited. I am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Let’s make a list and divvy up more equally.”)
Take What You Want
There are chores I loathe – like mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. I’ll do them if I have to – but expect them late. And yet, strange as it sounds, I’m OK with laundry and cleaning toilets. So given my chore tastes, the The Guy is generally in charge of outside work and I get the inside. We alternate dishes and dusting (and yep, no one remembers the toilet roll).
Write It Down
It sounds simple, but keep a list of chores, when they need to be done (daily, weekly, monthly), and who is responsible for them. That way, if one of you feels you are doing too much, you’ve got proof – a contract to point to. In the end, seeing is believing, and it’s amazing how seeing things in black and white can diffuse a battle waiting to explode.
Chores are part of life, so have fun with them. Throw on your favourite dancing music and get to it! Work together as a team or make it a race to the end. Promise yourselves a treat when the clean routine is done. Motivators like a glass of wine, a TV snuggle and a hot bath work wonders. Remember: Doing chores doesn’t have to be one.