With the advent of so many dual career marriages, the division of domestic responsibilities has become a major source of marital conflict. Changes in our cultural values have contributed greatly to the problem, because there is now almost unanimous agreement that both a husband and wife should share these responsibilities, particularly child care. But change in behavior has not kept pace with the change in values. You must learn how to create a fair division of labor.
Traditionally, wives have assumed most household and child-care responsibilities, while husbands have taken the responsibility of providing income for the family.
While men are changing the diapers, wielding the mop, and tending the stove more often than ever before, it usually isn’t nearly enough. In dual-career marriages, men, on average do less than half as much child care and housework as their working wives.
As most women have figured out by now, men are not very motivated to do housekeeping. Many husbands think that any effort to help with household responsibilities represents a monumental sacrifice. But from the wife’s perspective, he is simply doing a small part of his fair share of the work. In many of these marriages, the husband demands that the wife do most of the work. But the wife demands that the husband do it. Neither feels it is their responsibility.
Domestic responsibilities are a time bomb in many marriages. Marriage usually begins with a willingness of both spouses to share them. Newlyweds commonly wash dishes together, make the bed together, and divide many household tasks. The groom welcomes the help he gets from his wife because, prior to marriage, he’d been doing it all alone as a bachelor. At this point in marriage, neither of them regard domestic responsibilities as an important marital issue. But the time bomb is ticking.
Greater Needs to Do More
When does it explode? It’s when children arrive! Children create huge needs, both a greater need for income and greater domestic responsibilities. The previous division of labor is not obsolete. Both spouses must take on new responsibilities. Which ones should they take? In most modern marriages, both spouses opt for income, leaving the domestic responsibilities to whoever will volunteer. It’s a recipe for disaster, at least for most working women, because they end up doing most of the housework and child care, resenting their husbands’ lack of support.
If household responsibilities are given to whoever is in the mood to do them, nothing much will be done. If one spouse demands help from the other, that will also have an unsatisfactory outcome. But if assignment of these tasks can be mutually agreed upon by willing spouses that accept the responsibility, everything will run smoothly. I would like to propose to you a solution to your conflict. My solution will not only resolve your conflict, but it will meet the need for domestic support.
This solution will require you to do something that is essential in solving most conflicts: get organized. It means you must think through your problem carefully and systematically. You will need to write down your objectives and create solutions that take each other’s feelings into account. While you may find all of this awkward and terribly “not you,” there is not other way. Besides, when you’re done, you may find it to be more comfortable than you anticipated.
Step 1: Identify Your Household Responsibilities
First, make a list of all of your household responsibilities including child care. This list should (1) name each responsibility, (2) briefly describe what must be done and when to accomplish it. Also, (3) name the spouse that wants it accomplished, and (4) rate how important it is to that spouse (use a scale from 0-5, with 0 indicating no importance and 5 indicating most important). Both spouses should work on this list. And it will take several days to cover the bases. You will add items each day as you find yourself accomplishing various tasks or wanting them accomplished.
Each time a task is added to the list and the work is described, the spouse wanting it done must be named along with their rating of the task’s importance. But the other spouse must also consider to what extent he or she would want it accomplished. So the names and importance ratings of both spouse should eventually accompany each item.
Examples of items on the list are as follows:
- Wash the breakfast dishes —clear off the breakfast table every morning. Also wash, dry and put away all the breakfast dishes and utensils that went into preparing breakfast. —Becky (4); John (2).
- Feed the cat —put cat food and water in the cat’s dishes at 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. —John (5); Becky (0).
When you’ve finished your list, both of you should be satisfied that it includes all of the housekeeping and child-care responsibilities that you share. You may have as many as a hundred items listed. Just this part of the exercise alone will help you understand what you’re up against with regard to the work that you feel must be done.
Step 2: Assume Responsibility for Items That You Would Enjoy Doing or Prefer To Do Yourself
Now make two new lists, one list titled “his responsibilities” and the other titled “her responsibilities.” Then select items that you are willing to take full responsibility for all by yourself. These are tasks that you would enjoy doing, don’t mind doing, or want to do yourself so they can be done a certain way. When you have added an item to one of the two new lists, cross it off the original list. If both you and your spouse want to take responsibility for the same items, you can either take turns doing them. Or you can arbitrarily divide them between the two of you.
But you must approve each other’s selections before they become your final responsibilities. If one of you doesn’t feel that the other will perform the task well enough, you might give each other a trial period to demonstrate competence. Once you have taken responsibility for any item, your spouse should be able to hold you accountable for doing it according to his or her expectations.
Now you have the three lists: (1) the husband’s list of responsibilities, (2) the wife’s list of responsibilities, and (3) the list of household responsibilities that are not yet assigned.
Step 3: Assign the Remaining Responsibilities to the One Wanting Them Done the Most
Assuming that all tasks you wouldn’t mind doing have been eliminated, we’re left with those that would be unpleasant for either of you to perform. These are items that neither of you wants to do, but at least one of you thinks should be done. It’s at this point that you may choke on my recommendation. I suggest that these unpleasant responsibilities assigned to the person who wants them done the most. It’s a reasonable solution, since to do otherwise would force responsibility on the one who doesn’t care about them.
Consider for a moment why you want the other person to do these unpleasant tasks for you. Even though you are the one who wants them done, you want the other person to relieve you of the pain you suffer when you do them. In other words, you want to enjoy the benefit of having them done. But you are not willing to suffer for it yourself. You would rather see your spouse suffer. Plus, you want to gain the benefits of having these unpleasant tasks accomplished at your spouse’s expense.
You may argue that these tasks are not really what you want done, but rather what should be done. For example, you may say that they’re for the benefit of your children. But when you use that argument, you imply that your spouse is such a slob and so out of touch that he or she doesn’t even know or care what’s right or what’s best for the children.
While that may be precisely the way you feel, it’s incredibly disrespectful. You’re assuming that your view of the situation is superior to that of your spouse. You’re trying to straighten him or her out. But I guarantee you that your argument will not be well received. Whenever you try to impose your way of thinking on your spouse, you make your spouse feel bad. And you usually won’t win the argument! So why do it?
By following this procedure you may decide to change your attitude about some of the responsibilities on your list. When you know that the only way to do something is to do it yourself, you may decide that it doesn’t need to be done after all. In fact, you may find that what kept you convinced of its importance, was the notion that your spouse was supposed to do it.
So far, we have a fair division of labor, but we haven’t addressed the need for domestic support. So there is one more step in my plan that may not make you feel much better about my solution, but it will help you meet one of your spouse’s most important emotional needs.
Step 4: Meet the Needs of Domestic Support by Assuming Responsibilities.
Up to this point, the assignment of household responsibilities is fair. You’re dividing responsibilities according to willingness and according to who benefits most with their accomplishment. But marriage takes you one step further. In marriage, you do things for each other because you care about each other’s feelings, not just because you want them done yourself. You may not be willing to take responsibility for a certain task because, quite frankly, you don’t think it needs to be done. But if your spouse thinks it needs to be done, it may be an opportunity for you to meet his or her emotional need for domestic support.
Let me repeat a concept that is crucial to your marital happiness. If you and your spouse are in love with each other, you will have a happy marriage. If you aren’t in love you will feel cheated. So whatever it takes to trigger the feeling of being in love with each other is well worth the effort.
Triggering Feelings of Love
If cooking dinner or ironing shirts or picking up socks triggers the feeling of love in your spouse, why not do those things? In fact, if meeting any of the emotional needs that I’ve described in this book really does create the feeling of love, why would anyone resist doing it? It’s not only an act of care, but is an act of supreme wisdom. By doing for each other what you appreciate most, you will have what few marriages have, the feeling of love throughout your entire lives.
This article comes from the excellent book, His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, written by Dr Willard Harley (published by Fleming Revell). There’s so much more that Dr Willard Harley had to say on this subject and so much more. We can’t recommend this book high enough. It’s recommended by the experts as being one of the best books out on marriage possible and we agree. What makes this book so effective is that it gets right to the heart of what makes marriage work —the feeling of love.
As Dr Harley says:
“Communication and problem-solving skills are important in a happy marriage. But they are not absolutely essential. It’s the feeling of love that’s absolutely essential. In all my years as a marriage counselor, I’ve never counseled a couple in love who wanted a divorce. But I’ve counseled many divorcing couples with excellent communication and problem-solving skills. Don’t get me wrong —I’m very much in favor of improving communication and problem solving in marriage. But unless those skills help trigger the feeling of love, spouses feel cheated in their marriages and often want out. This book will teach you what’s most important in marriage —how to fall in love and stay in love with each other.”
— ALSO —
Even though this next article is addressed to newlyweds, it will benefit even those who have been married for many years. If you haven’t resolved this problem in your marriage, treat it as a new problem. Look for healthy ways to resolve it with the first step being to read this article.
Please click onto this Marriage Missions web site link below to read:
• WORK AROUND THE HOUSE: Who Does What?
“Working together as a team” —we know we’ve talked a lot about this on different levels in past marriage messages. But SURPRISE, we aren’t done! And we never will be. That is because we so deeply believe that married couples are supposed to work together as a team. This is part of “Cleaving” together in marriage (biblically-speaking).
To learn more, please click onto the Marriage Missions web site link to read:
• Marriage Message #266 – Working Together as a Team
“Don’t shower me with love and kisses. Just whisper softly, ‘I’ll do the dishes’.” This is where real life happens in a marriage. When couples accomplish the tasks of life TOGETHER, they free up time to pursue personal and marital goals. This enriches their enjoyment of their relationship and each other.
To read more, please click onto the Marriage Missions web site link below:
• Marriage Message #151 – Accomplishing Tasks Together
THE MARRIAGE DILEMMA: What do you do if one of you has the “natural inclination” to be a “messie” and this drives the other spouse absolutely crazy because they like things neat and tidy?
To learn more, please click onto the Marriage Missions link to read:
• Marriage Message #98 – Resolving a Messy Issue
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Assorted Marriage Issues
14 responses to “How to Create a Fair Division of Labor”
(USA) This is interesting but lacking. You’re assuming that both parties are mature enough to “want” to get things done. I don’t “want” to mow the yard. Neither does my spouse. Based on your method, there’s no way I’d put it on the list because that would mean I “wanted” to get it done most and I would end up having to do it. Keeping our yard mowed is a civil and homeowner’s association responsibility. We can get fined and a lien placed on our home if we don’t do it. We can’t afford a service.
Your article is based on what each spouse “wants” to get done. Where is the mention of what you’re required by law to get done? Pay bills, mow the yard, make sure children have clean clothes and shoes, that they’re not living in filth, these are civil responsibilities, not “wants”. In your plan I would again end up doing everything because I “want” to live a civil life. My spouse could care less.
Not many of us “want” to work or “get things done.” But sometimes, as you say, we NEED to do it because of responsibilities, thus, sometimes the need presses in on you to the point where you “want” to get it done and out of the way. NOT getting it done presses in on you more than getting up the gumption to do it. It’s just another way of saying the same thing, or getting the same thing done and over with.
Whatever it is… do what you can to “create a fair division of labor.” If that’s not possible, then do the best you can. That’s all. Don’t spend more energy on stressing over it than you have to. Get er done!
(UNITED STATES) My wife and I both work. For as long as I can remember, I have been the primary housekeeper in our home, in addition to working full-time. I have asked for more help from her and the kids numerous times and either I get it for a few days to a week, or I get blown off altogether with everyone acting like it’s not that big of a deal. Some say I should just leave a lot of the chores or only do the dishes I use, or my own laundry, etc -but these things then become an even bigger inconvenience to me as they pile up more, are left in inconvenient places around the house, etc. It’s really easier to just do them, and at least for that time, to have them out of the way. I can say, without bragging, just being honest, that by 8 am 7 days a week, I do more than my entire family has in the last day, or week. I can’t exactly discipline the kids in this area if she’s not “on the same page” with me, and won’t set an example herself. We will be sending our oldest off to College next month about two hours away and I love and will miss him, and in some ways, feel more emotionally unprepared for that then I would have ever imagined. But I can honestly say I will enjoy having one less messy person to clean up after.
And not only that, but I have read countless Marriage/Marriage Intimacy books -all Christian authored, and they all depict men as lazy, inattentive, unromantic types. Our Associate Pastor even just started a series called “Man Up” and the first thing he did was to teasingly say that they were going to start offering classes for men on about a dozen different areas. I can honestly say not a one applied to me, as my wife and I are totally switched in every area that nearly all couples deal with. I do take her on dates, buy her gifts, open doors, (I could literally go on all day). I felt that although I know a lot of men do fall into those categories, I was so tired of hearing what didn’t apply. I felt it was just stereo-typing and man-bashing. I had to stop reading the books, as they all seem tailored in this fashion. They keep leaving me asking “if I’m so much different in all these areas that are supposed to make the wives happy, and make them feel loved and secure, and cared about and should help our sex life, etc -then what am I doing wrong?” We started several years ago, to read a Marriage book together, “A Marriage Without Regrets”-by Kay Arthur, but as soon as the focus switched from “Husbands Love Your Wives”, to “Wives, Submit To Your Husbands”, she was done. We never finished it together, although I did finish it alone, in addition to the various others I have read.
A while back our Small Group was engaged in a Tommy Nelson Series on Song Of Solomon. When asked what we were doing to apply it, I shared what I was doing and when asked if she liked that, she said No, because she didn’t understand it. (And this was not an “I don’t understand, so please help me begin to understand”, this was an “I don’t care!”) It was then mentioned that we were about to do a series based on the movie “Fireproof” called “Fireproofing Your Marriage” and she was asked if she liked the fact that I had already been for some time engaged in doing “The Love Dare” and she stated that no, most of it just made her mad. Sad thing is, no one confronted her on why she feels this way. I have asked those folks why since then and they simply said “We can’t change her.” I reminded them that they spare no effort in constantly trying to correct and change me, so why not her? I felt wounded and they wouldn’t even offer me any aid.
I ended up doing The Love Dare about 4 and 1/2 times, after we saw Fireproof in November, 2008 and she mentioned hearing that they actually came out with The Love Dare. I didn’t know if she was just making conversation or somehow insinuating that I should go get it and do it (even though we were both already Christians and I was already like the post-salvation Caleb than the before salvation Caleb (spiritually and in my daily lifestyle) and had been forever, but decided maybe God wanted to teach me that even I can use improvement. I added some new ideas and twists each time, and none of it seemed to matter to her. We even own the movie now, and can get it on Netflix as well and I watch it again now and then, just as a reminder. Even seen and now own Courageous, as well.
We have a ton of issues that I almost left over 5 years ago (and have considered leaving many times since -held back mostly by the kids and our finances) and that I have tried getting us into counseling for, but she refuses to go. Even went a few times myself, but of course they said that if she would not come, there was only so much we could accomplish. I go to a Men’s group that has various studies for about 10 weeks at a time, 2-3 times a year, at the same church that I went to counseling at, always trying to learn and improve. She never even asks what we are studying, or cares.
I try every day to figure out what will finally make our marriage work in the various different areas but have been trying to figure it out for over 22 years now.
Hi John, I can well understand your confusion and frustration because of all you are doing to show love to your wife and yet she just doesn’t “get it” and seems to reject it and/or takes it for granted. Please know that what you are doing is Christ-like. It’s being “courageous” –demonstrating the love as Christ, that goes beyond that, which appears to be reasonable. Those who do not live for Christ, would not understand that kind of love, because it seems “unreasonable” –and truly, by the world’s standards, it is. But not by God’s standards. Christ –the bridegroom of the church has demonstrated that kind of love for us –and beyond.
I’m reminded of something Richard Blackaby wrote, “Jesus commanded those who wanted to be his disciples to follow HIS standard for loving people rather than the world’s standard. Jesus directs us to love others in exactly the same way he loves us. When Jesus saw us hopelessly enslaved to sin, he didn’t say, ‘I don’t feel like dying on a cross for them. I think I’ll wait until the feeling comes.’ He didn’t say, ‘I’ve tried and tried to love them but they always reject me. I give up!’ Jesus saw that without Him we would perish, and He acted lovingly toward us despite our rejecting Him. His love didn’t depend on what we did to deserve it, or even on whether we accepted it. Jesus freely and unconditionally gave us his love.
“This is how God wants us to love our spouses. Not with strings attached, as the world loves. Not just love as long as they’re lovable. Not just love as long as they appreciate it. God wants us to give our love freely and unconditionally. Only God can help us to love people in this way.”
Referring to the world’s type of love he also wrote, “The Bible offers a different kind of love. This love says I’m committed to act lovingly toward this person regardless of how I feel. You’ll be able to recognize biblical love: It’s patient, unselfish, and loyal. It doesn’t keep score; it assumes the best motives. It gives without seeking in return; it always seeks to honor God, and it endures through thick, and thin, and in-between. Feelings change. Feelings don’t last, but Biblical Love is eternal.”
Please realize John, that you are most Christ-like, when you show love unconditionally. There’s no doubt that unconditional love –that which is done, without expectation being returned, is the most difficult to give. But it is most Christ-like.
I don’t blame you for being tired and wanting relief from all you do, when it doesn’t seem to be appreciated. But I’m also reminded of something Paul Tripp (from his great book “What Did You Expect”) wrote, that relates to this. He wrote, “There are moments in our marriages when we’re crying out for grace, not recognizing that we’re getting it. We’re not getting the grace of relief or release, because that isn’t the grace we really need. No, what we’re getting is something we desperately need, the uncomfortable grace of personal growth and change… When you are tired and uncomfortable because you are living with someone who is not like you, what you tell yourself about what you are going through is very important. It is in this moment that you must preach to yourself the theology of uncomfortable grace (See Romans 5; James 1; and 1 Peter 1), because when you do, you begin to be less resistant and more appreciative.”
“We’re told in the scriptures, ‘I’ve been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live. Christ lives in me. And the life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me’ -Galatians 2:20. …I would ask husbands and wives who are discouraged in marriages right now, how are you measuring your work and your worth? Has Christ been part of that measurement? It’s when I say Christ is my model, I step forward with courage and hope.”
I pray that you don’t lose the courage to love as Christ does –to know that whatever you do for your wife and family is done also “as unto Christ.” Please grab that vision and “run the race” with Christ, in how you express love. Yes, your wife should appreciate what you do, but that is something she will answer to God for –you are responsible for your actions. You made a vow; you made a promise –to your wife and to God. I pray that you “will not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time” you “will reap a harvest” if you “do not give up. As we’re told in Galatians 5, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” I believe that would ESPECIALLY be true as you show love to your wife in various forms.
“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body but he fees and cares for it, just as Christ does the church –for we are members of his body.” (Ephesians 5:28-30) I hope John, that you realize that I am not trying to write to you a “rah-rah” speech, but rather to speak Truth into you. Examine your motives, your actions, and line them up with what you believe Christ would have you do, and then do exactly that. May God richly bless you in this mission.
I would respectfully offer that it might be worthwhile to look into whether your wife has Asperger’s syndrome. Although this is no longer a “valid” diagnosis in the psychology community having been subsumed by the label of autism, most folks are more open to the idea Asperger’s. And, yes, it is possible to have this syndrome and be vivacious, talkative, and appear socially appropriate – while still struggling to understand what drives others to be empathetic. I live with two individuals who are slightly on the spectrum. It is a relief simply to know that I am not crazy and neither are they – nor are they as lazy as I thought although they do and will always be baffled by many, many of my requests for assistance.
(UNITED STATES) Thanks for all your input and encouragement, Cindy. I will press on. I do what I do because it’s always been who I am and what I do, it’s my nature. Even at work, I go the extra mile and though it is acknowledged verbally from time to time, there seems to be no real reward -other than one day in eternity and sometimes they come to expect too much, and like at home, I get tired, frustrated, and think “People… I’m not a machine, I’m not Superman, I cannot do it all!”
I even almost lost my job last year because of accidental mistakes while nearly everyone else I work with does things every day on purpose, that are very costly but they never get disciplined for it. Some have even said I had grounds for a discrimination suit. I know it’s not true because we have the hope of Eternity but sometimes I think “It’s true what they say -Nice Guys Finish Last!” but I know that is simply Satan trying to get at me.
I know from doing The Love Dare that it’s not about how the other person responds, it’s a choice to become a better person myself, and love them even when they may not deserve it. But it seems to get harder every day. Yet, by the Grace Of God Go I!
Hi John, Just make sure that you aren’t giving and giving to such an extent that you save no time for yourself, if it’s possible. Otherwise, you may spend yourself to such an extent that you have nothing in reserve to give and you can start resenting it. Even Jesus took time to get away and refresh Himself. Keep plugging into the source of your strength –God Himself. But make sure that you don’t do for others, what they should do –by enabling poor behavior. It’s one thing to give, but it’s another to do so much that you are helping them to become weaker in points of life that they need to be.
I’m also a giver, so I know how weary a person can become from giving so much. If it weren’t for the Lord and His restorative power and His giving me the strength and inspiration and example to keep living as I know I am called to do, I would have been depleted a long time ago. When you feel weakest, ask God for His help, His refreshing, and His guidance as to whether you need to do as much, or pull back for some reason. God is a very present help in a time of need (sometimes we think we need more than we do, but when we really do need it, He’s there for us). May God help you with all you are doing, which glorifies God and reveals His heart.
(SA) I can imagine how tiring it is John ,and especially if you have been doing it for 22 years; rather press on and endure, bearing with your wife in love as the Word says. Your reward is in heaven!
You are a good man and there is a reward in heaven for you for keeping God’s word and loving your wife. There aren’t many man like you outside there.
My husband does household chores only if he likes. I’m pregnant and I’m 4 weeks away from my due date but after a long day of work (please note that I have to, so that we have enough to take care of our household needs) I have to come back, wash the dishes, clean the kitchen and cook while my husband changes sofa positions and dstv channels. If i ask him about it, he says I’m complaining. He’ll say what I’ve done is just not much. I find that so very cruel because when I see him I expect he’ll give me a back and foot massage, talk to me and give me some attention and emotional support but no, he won’t.
So what then shall we say unto these things? shall we opt for separation beause our spouses are not equally, open minded? It takes wisdom to realise when to help another person. It says more about your character as person. I’ve also learnt looking at other marriages that often willing people will marry unwilling people. It’s not normally a tie. I guess there is a reason for that. I’ll continue bearing with my husband in love; GOD will see to me. I pray he grants me strength to.
(USA) What about in single income / career families, regardless of gender who should do what?
(USA) What about in single income/career families, regardless of gender. Who should do what?
Greg, The dynamics of every marriage partnership is different, so there isn’t really a “set” list of who does what. It’s a matter of talking and figuring out together what would be the best way for both of you to divide the work so one “partner” isn’t so over-loaded that she or he isn’t able to enjoy some of their time without having to work in one way or another. Obviously, if one spouse is home more than the other, then he or she may have more time to devote to working around the home (if taking care of children doesn’t eat up the majority of time).
But whatever division of household responsibilities you BOTH decide upon, don’t make it so legalistic, though, that you can’t be flexible. If there is a sick child, or a sick spouse, or an extra work load outside of the home that comes up, then work together to make things run as smoothly as possible –with one spouse taking on a bit more here and there during that time. Give grace to each other and consider each other’s needs. It’s not about gender so much, but who is better at what, and about what works in your household and your marriage so you’re both reasonably satisfied.
Please be considerate of the true needs, which each spouse has, given the dynamics of what needs to be done and who is able to do what. I hope you are both able to work this through. You may have to change responsibilities from one season to the next because of the flow of life, but figure out together, a working system at this point and then go from there. Above all, love, love, love and serve each other and the rest will work out somehow as you consider each other’s needs above your own.
(USA) Good comments. You have to start with the list of all tasks. Not just the typical domestic inside chores, but any yardwork, car maintenance and such that are part of running a home.
Once you have a list, you can each pick ones you are willing to do or have some sort of expertise. I.E. I end up with yardwork, car repairs, home repairs, shopping, bill paying, etc. She picks too. Then you have items that you may not be experts in, but are willing to do. I work with my stepson to take care of trash duty around the home place.
Finally, you may find a list of tasks you don’t want to do. If no one wants them, then can you hire them out? We have a cleaning service come twice a month because neither of us wants to do much more than straightening up and running the vacuum before company comes of if needed due to circumstances. Hiring out a task is a legitimate means of dealing with tasks.
Of course we have the kids change the litterbox because it teaches them responsibility.
It’s an interesting article on an old problem. However, reading this doesn’t help me at all. The very phrase “fair division” seems to indicate that simply putting pen to paper will help divide the household responsibilities. In my home nothing could be further from the truth. My husband’s work schedule is such that he works 6-7 straight days during which time I do ALL the household chores including taking care of kids, pets, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc all while maintaining my own full time job.
Then he has 7 straight days off of work during which time he may possibly consider mowing the lawn and if I’m very lucky washing one sink full of dishes. The rest of those days I come home from work only to find him firmly ensconced in his favorite easy chair either watching a movie or playing a video game. The house is almost always exactly the way it was left after a morning rush of getting ready and getting the kids out the door on my way to work. The dog dishes are usually empty and the dogs themselves prancing to be let outside since he most often doesn’t even bother to get up to do that. And to add just a bit more insult he will usually glance up from his leisurely past time and inquire what I might be cooking for dinner (after I just put in a 9 hour day at the office).
I’d love to know how exactly I can get anything to change is this scenario because I promise you that neither talking, love or several years of patience have done anything at all to change the status quo.
I feel for everyone trapped in an unbalanced team, or not in a team at all; but, what frustrates me is when the practical solution does not work, we are left with the spiritual encouragement of eternal reward. I get it, because I am also a believer; however, the Bible also says two cannot walk together unless they agree, and if I have any understanding, the practical solutions offered in this article do not work without agreement. No wonder Paul’s advice is to stay unmarried!
Sadly, what we most often miss, married or not, is the fact we are a fallen creation, and there are no real solutions except enduring in Christ until the end. God bless!