Many modern couples seem to have a lot going against them. Everything from career demands to gender stereotypes to a higher-than-ever divorce rate seem to be factors that married couples are aware of and battling these days. Amidst all the negativity, some couples seem to make it work. Couples with successful relationships are probably doing a number of things right that others could learn from. According to a recent news article, one of those things contributing to their success could be something as simple as sharing the household chores.
A study performed by researchers at the University of Illinois that involved examining the beliefs, behaviors, and marital quality of 220 newly married couples, found that newlyweds who share the household chores are more likely to remain happily married. The study further found that the equal division of domestic tasks more critically contributed to the marital satisfactions of women than their male counterparts. The happiest couples were comprised of a husband and wife who both believed in equally sharing household chores.
Researchers said that newlywed bliss is unlikely to last long if one spouse is considered not to be doing their fair share. This is especially true after the couple begins having children. One researcher said that the way couples determine the division of household chores during their first two years of marriage was especially important, as a pattern is established then that is likely to continue over time. If an unsatisfactory pattern is established early on, it could lead to increased conflict and decreased happiness in the marriage in future years.
The study found that the most satisfied couples share similar experiences and follow through on them. Couples who divided household tasks in traditional ways did not seem to be impacted as much by similar beliefs and behavior when it came to marital satisfaction. In couples where there was a discrepancy in their respective attitudes about division of household labor, it was more likely that marital satisfaction would be affected. If the woman in a couple thinks that household chores should be divided equally, couples who are the most satisfied agree on that point and follow through on their similar expectations.
A man’s satisfaction with his relationship is much less likely to be tied to the division of household chores. Researchers think this is either because men do not perceive a discrepancy in the division of household chores, or think that household chores should mostly be done by women.
No matter what a couple or individual’s position is on the division of household chores, the most important thing a couple can do is begin their marriage with a clear understanding of each partner’s position on the issue. If they do so, the couple is more likely to understand the other’s expectations and avoid becoming disillusioned as the marriage progresses.
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