Singaporebrides | Relationships

June 2024

How to Keep Housework from Ruining Your Marriage as Newlyweds

Is your marriage suffering from constant fights over the unfair division of housework? Find out how you can divide household chores fairly, and have a happier relationship.

You’ve finally moved into the brand new nest you’ve lovingly designed together, and newlywed life couldn’t be happier. Except that you find yourselves fighting over the dirty socks strewn all over the floor, whose turn it is to take the trash out, and why there are unwashed dishes in the sink AGAIN. Or one person tackles all of the chores while the other seems oblivious to the amount of work it takes to keep a house clean and habitable. (Does your partner think laundry washes, dries, and folds itself!?)

Household chores and tasks can be a real point of conflict in an otherwise happy marriage. Who does the dishes might seem like a silly thing to fight about, but because household chores are a daily activity, how you handle them is crucial to your relationship. If one partner is shouldering the bulk of the work, it can lead to a lot resentment and feelings of being unappreciated, which affect the happiness of your marriage.

If you want to stop fighting over who does what in the house, and avoid brewing resentment over the unfairness of the workload, it might be time to sit down and divide the chores once and for all. Sharing and dividing the housework can make a marriage happier and less conflict-ridden, so here are some practical tips on how to discuss and plan the division effectively.

Xannelle and Daniel’s Whimsical White Wedding at S.E.A. Aquarium by Rylz Photography

The Benefits of Sharing Household Chores

We’re not living the in 1950s when women are expected to stay home and keep house anymore. Most modern couples are dual-income, and with both partners working, it’s only fair to share the responsibility of maintaining the home, and there are many benefits to splitting your household chores.

1. Reduced Stress and Overwhelm

When both partners share the load of household responsibilities, the burden is lighter for each person. This reduces stress and prevents one partner from feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to resentment and burnout.

2. Increased Appreciation and Respect

Sharing chores fosters a sense of teamwork and mutual respect. When both partners contribute to maintaining the home, it shows appreciation for each other’s efforts and reinforces the idea that they are in it together.

3. Improved Communication

Dividing chores requires clear communication. You can’t assume that your partner knows he or she should be washing the dishes since you cooked. By talking about it, you won’t have differing expectations on how often the sheets should be changed. Planning your chores together can enhance overall communication in the marriage, making it easier to discuss other important matters and resolve conflicts.

4. More Quality Time Together

You can plan to tackle the household chores together on the weekend, or wash the dishes together while catching up on your day. When chores are shared, they are completed more efficiently, freeing up time for you to spend together. This can strengthen your bond and provide more opportunities for enjoyment and relaxation.

5. Equality and Fairness

A fair division of labour promotes a sense of equality in the relationship. This helps prevent feelings of inequality and fosters a more balanced partnership.

Janice and Glenn’s Stunning Pre-Wedding Shoot in Cappadocia, Turkey by Kursat Acar and White Grandeur

How to Talk About Dividing Household Chores

1. Start the Conversation Early

It’s best to discuss household responsibilities early in the relationship or marriage. This sets expectations and helps avoid misunderstandings later on. Once you’ve fallen into more established routines and habits, the conversation can be a little trickier and will require more tact and positivity.

2. Be Honest and Open

Communicate openly about your preferences, strengths, and dislikes when it comes to household tasks. Maybe one person hates folding laundry or organising, but doesn’t mind doing cleaning tasks. Or perhaps one spouse prefers to do the grocery shopping after work instead of dedicating the precious weekend to the task. Talk about your preferences and explain why you feel that way. Honesty ensures that both partners feel heard and understood.

3. Acknowledge Each Other’s Efforts

Instead of just complaining or venting the frustration you’ve built up over the unfairness of the housework division, recognise and appreciate what each partner is already doing. This creates a positive foundation for discussing any changes or additional tasks.

4. Use “I” Statements

When discussing chores, use “I” statements to express your feelings and needs. For example, “I feel stressed when the laundry piles up” is more effective than “You never do the laundry.” Instead of getting your partner’s back up with an accusation, your partner is more likely to hear you and understand your needs.

5. Be Flexible and Willing to Compromise

Flexibility is key in any partnership. Everyone’s preferences are different, and when you’re living together, you’ll need to compromise. Perhaps you don’t agree on how often sheets need to be changed, or one person wants to wash the dishes at the end of the day instead of immediately after cooking, while the other can’t relax and watch TV without first clearing the chores. Be willing to compromise and adjust the division of chores as needed, keeping in mind each other’s schedules and commitments as well as personal preferences.

Nicole Chang Min and James’s Sky-High, Tropical Floral Wedding at 1-Atico by Androids in Boots

Tips for Planning the Division of Chores

Ready to put the housework fights behind you? Here are some tips on planning the division of chores as a team!

1. Make a List

First, list all household chores and responsibilities. This helps visualise the full scope of tasks and ensures nothing is overlooked.

2. Be Fair

Consider the time and effort involved in each chore to allocate them evenly, so that no one feels like they’re getting an unfair deal.

3. Assign Tasks Based on Strengths and Preferences

Divide chores based on each partner’s strengths, preferences, and availability. For example, if one partner enjoys cooking while the other prefers cleaning, volunteer for your preferred tasks accordingly. If there are chores you both hate, try flipping a coin or alternating duties weekly.

4. Create a Schedule

Develop a weekly or monthly schedule for completing chores. This adds structure and ensures that tasks are consistently managed, and gives each partner accountability. No one needs to nag the other partner about when they’re going to do their chores.

5. Be Patient and Supportive

Adjusting to a new division of labour can take time. Be patient with each other and offer support as you both adapt to the new arrangement. Be gracious if your partner forgets a chore. If your partner is extra busy at work one week, be supportive by taking on a bit more of the housework load that week. They’ll appreciate it and repay the favour when you’re the one overwhelmed!

Sharing and dividing household chores is not just about keeping a clean and organised homeā€”it’s one of the ways you can work on your relationship by building good communication habits, and working as a team to foster a happier, healthier marriage. Start the conversation today and take the first step towards a more joyful and conflict-free partnership.

Feature image from Charmaine and Ming’s Quirky and Fun Photoshoot at Old Holland Field and A Laundromat by Soju & Shots

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How to Keep Housework from Ruining Your Marriage as Newlyweds