Who did or didn’t empty the dishwasher, who last took out the bins, and who has to pick up the kids from school may seem like minor negotiations in a marriage, but they can have an outsize effect on the quality of your relationship. A working paper from the Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia found that 25 per cent of people who were divorced named “disagreements about housework” as the top reason for separating. And, the paper found, those who spent more money on time-saving services, like cleaners, were more satisfied with their relationships, due in part because they were able to spend more quality time with their partners. Even if outsourcing the chores is not an option, here are some ideas that might help to keep the peace:
» Split the chore list. Being clear about which chores you’re taking on, as well as how often you’re doing them, can make a difference.
» Go on a date. If you’ve been bogged down with housework, it can be a good time to step away from domestic duties and reconnect with your partner.
» Hire a cleaner, as and when you can. If life has been especially busy sometimes it’s better to pay for some help, rather than add to the pressure of an already long to-do list. ■