By Drs Les and Leslie Parrott
You and your spouse have sunken into the grind of everyday life, and now you’re up to your eyeballs in chores and bills. You could always try an energy comparison website to make sure you are getting the best deal on your utility bills to start. On top of all that, you’re fighting over who should handle what! Maybe your spouse has skipped out on housework, leaving you in the lurch.
You feel like everything is on your plate–but literally every plate in your house is filthy! What do you do?
Today, we’re sharing suggestions for how to break a stalemate when it comes to doing the chores and paying the bills. Who should do what, anyway? And how do you figure it out together when you’re already at odds?
DIVIDE & CONQUER
Have an honest conversation about all the things that need to get done around the house, and where you stand on each item. Each of you have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to taking care of business at home. Focus on your strengths, and where you may be able to compliment one another.
For example, maybe your wife hates washing the dishes, but you don’t mind. That’s great! You can step in and take over dishwashing duty, while she takes out the trash (something you’re not fond of doing).
Where will you be most effective? What about your spouse? Honing in on these attributes will simplify division of labor in your home.
GIVE A LITTLE, TAKE A LITTLE
You two are a team, right? Dividing chores between the two of you won’t necessarily be the most enjoyable task…mainly because you’ll each have to claim jobs that you really don’t want.
Remember to put your spouse first. Maybe neither of you want to scrub the toilets, and you’re locked in a stalemate. Don’t be afraid to step up and take that unpleasant job, without complaining or arguing with your spouse.
Being willing to compromise for one another means that your chances of getting into a fight over chores or bills will plummet. And once you step up and take on a task you don’t really want, your spouse will be more likely to do the same for you on the next round.
DON’T MAKE DEMANDS
By the same token, if you refuse to take the high road by compromising first–and, even worse, make demands of your spouse–you could be sailing into very hot water.
It might be tempting to lay out your list of demands when you powwow with your spouse about who does the chores…but be prepared for them to dig their heels in. If you’re going to act stubborn, they’ll feel justified in doing the same.
CIRCLE BACK LATER
Set a future date with your spouse to revisit the agreement you’ve made, and don’t be afraid to make any tweaks or adjustments necessary. Maybe you’re tired of the chore rotation you’re on, and would like a little variety. You and your spouse can switch some tasks to break the monotony.
With a little patience and cooperation, the two of you can establish a better system that will leave both of you feeling happier and much more peaceful!