Having a husband adds an average of 7 hours of housework a week for women, according to a University of Michigan study.
Men on the other hand save 1 hour a week of housework by having a wife!
The study found the average married women does about 17 hours a housework a week. While married men average just 13.
And it only gets worse when you have kids. If you’re married and have more than three kids you’re likely doing 28 hours (or more) of housework a week. Your husband, by comparison, actually does less housework than before you had kids… logging just 10 hours a week.
The detailed study on housework trends looked at time diaries of a nationally representative sample of families. This is considered the most accurate way to assess how people spend their time. And while they found the difference between men and women is shrinking — in 1976 men only did 6 hours while women did a whopping 26 — there is still a large gap in how housework is distributed.
It’s no secret conflict over domestic duties is second only to money when it comes to marriage satisfaction. If either you or your partner are unhappy with how the household duties are being allocated it’s a recipe for increased stress and resentment.
Here are three simple tips for a happy marriage:
- Sit down and talk to each other about how the housework is being split. You might be surprised at how your partner views the situation! Discuss which tasks each of your are happy doing and which ones you hate, then try to come to a healthy compromise. Set your expectations so you are both clear on what is to be done.
- Be considerate of each others schedules, body clocks, and preferences. Some people prefer to get things done early in the morning while they are fresh, while others would rather end the day doing mindless chores. Respect each other and don’t nag or blame, wait til the end of the week to review how things went and bring any issues up then.
- If there is money in the budget, consider hiring a professional house cleaner to take some of the work off your plate so you can both spend more time doing the things you love. Outsourcing some of the tasks neither of your particularly likes doing is a small price to pay for a happier marriage.