Through sickness and dust: Couples who do housework together are happier

Most of us are familiar with a household set-up wherein women are more often in charge of house duties than men. However, a new study suggests that equal distribution of household chores between couples may be a key to a happier, more harmonious relationship.

Among the tasks needed to be done at home, doing the dishes is the most dreaded one, as per the study published in SAGE Journals. Women are generally happier when their partners share the burden of cleaning dirty dishes. Moreover, there tends to be less conflict, more satisfaction and better sex for those ladies whose partners take part in washing the dishes.

In truth, there’s nothing wrong with the chore itself. However, washing dishes or any other house task have become triggers for women since they have always been expected to do house work without the help of anyone. Moreover, they are responsible for these tasks while also managing their full-time jobs. Up to this date when social pressure is greater for women to be both good homemakers and successful career women, dealing with house chores alone often causes them to feel upset and undervalued.

When this issue occurs, chances are couples become distant and argue more often. What’s worse is it seriously affects the sexual relationship between couples since stress takes a huge toll on a person’s libido. (Related: The up-side of chores: Daily physical activity, such as house-keeping, found to prolong life for older women.)

The good news is, a 2015 Pew study  shows 59 percent of 1,807 American parents share household duties despite having full-time jobs. Moreover, other “mommy tasks” like disciplining the children and playing or doing activities with children are equally shared with figures at 61 and 64 percent, respectively.

Essentially, couples are happier with this kind of set-up and experience better relationships. Sexual relationships are also better in such cases since women are more likely to be turned on “if they feel relaxed and emotionally cared for,” according to sex therapist Emily deAyala.

Tackling the dirty dish issue

Doing the dishes, or any household task for that matter, doesn’t have to feel like a chore for you and your partner. Below are some tips to make house chores easier to deal with and may even make them enjoyable.

  1. Assign tasks accordingly – Couples are encouraged to sit down and discuss chore assignments. This way, you get to divide the job based on the strengths and weaknesses of each other. Furthermore, you can discuss possible deal breakers for both parties. And by doing this, it’s almost like you’re making the assignments official.
  2. Appreciate the effort – When doing tasks, we all have our own ways on how we want things done. Despite differences, try not to give side comments or nitpick on your partner’s work. He is more likely to religiously do the task if you show that you appreciate his effort.
  3. Make it your bonding time – Sometimes it’s more fun doing housework together. You can play around while sharing the tasks, especially since men tend to find house chores boring if they do it alone. Cleaning together can be fun if you make it creative and sometimes, even a little flirty.
  4. Hire cleaners – If you can afford it, hire professional cleaners to do the nitty-gritty part of playing house. It saves you both time and energy, and also saves you from arguing over the shared housework issue.

Cleaning the house together is an inevitable part of living under one roof. Learn more about how a person may respond to certain tasks at

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