Monday, May 30, 2011
Renew Your Relationship Through A Better Division of Labor
Do you remember the beginning, when you were oh, so much in love and the world was rosy? You wanted to do everything and anything for each other. Does that time feel like a long time ago, and things are looking a little more grey? Assuming no great hardships have befallen your relationship, it may be that one (or both) of you is harboring a silent (or not so silent) resentment.
One of the most serious, but underappreciated threats to romance in a relationship is the unfair division of the household chores. Here is were selfishness, indifference and out-dated thinking about “men’s work” and “women’s work” can cause serious problems.
Research shows that a sense of equity – with both partners contributing equally (in their own way) to the relationship – is a strong predictor of relationship satisfaction.
When you’re feeling unfairly put upon, resentment grows. Eventually, you start to see the other person as lazy and uncaring. You feel your own contributions are going unnoticed and are not respected. This clouds the lens through which we see each other. Romance suffers, and your sex life has only one direction to go. And it’s not the good one.
So, if this is where you find yourself and your partner these days, take action – because you can change it. Have a friendly meeting, and bring a list. It’s essential that you leave all thoughts of attack and victimization behind – the point is not to make your partner feel guilty, but to make a fresh and positive new start.
Come clean and simply say, “I need more help, how do you feel about that?” If you get a cooperative response, bring out the list of the things you do and how much time they usually take. If there are chores your partner does regularly, acknowledge them.
Together make a new list of all the chores, and divide them fairly by the time factor. (Splitting chores by difficulty is too subjective, and may lead to disagreement.) When you’re done, make a solemn promise to each other to stick to the agreement without prompting and hang your new list on the refrigerator.
Celebrate your new beginning and the positive way you have dealt with a real relationship challenge. Once the resentment is out of the way, you’ll be able to respect and enjoy each other more. Maybe things will start looking a little more rosy once again.
Good luck with your goal!