Somewhere in the first few months of marriage, most couples experience major revelations about chores. The first is that your house doesn’t clean itself … and second, your spouse doesn’t clean the same way you do!
This might not seem too bad … until the inevitable happens … and you begin the “chore battles!”
My wife and I have dealt with the whole gamut … from the frequency of floor cleaning … to the trash being taken out … even the correct and incorrect ways to load the dishwasher!
Unfortunately, as you progress in your marriage and kids come along, these battles only get more frustrating … more often … and more heated!
While you might think you’re fighting about chores, the reality is you’re actually fighting about something deeper … let’s look at a few underlying reasons.
Are you attacking the person … or the problem? Stay away from missile words like “you always” or “you never.” Attacking the person is going to make them get defensive, feel belittled and hurt.
Are you treating your spouse with respect? What positive things can you share with your spouse to build him or her up prior to addressing the issue with the chores?
Have you picked the best time and place to have this discussion? Too often the chore battle takes place when we’re already stressed out … or haven’t had the proper time to process our discussion. I’ve learned that as soon as I walk in the door from work … is not the right time for me or my wife to start this process. We do much better at night, after the kids are in bed … and we can have an adult conversation without little ears floating around.
So how can we address the “chore battles?”
Work together on a blueprint, or plan, for how you can tackle the day to day routines of keeping up with the house as a couple. What does the intended outcome look like? Put the details together … then agree to revisit the plan after a few weeks and see how you’re progressing. If changes are needed, make them … and don’t forget to reward yourselves for working together as a couple!