Cary Farrell

CHORES may be the difference between a happy marriage and a miserable one

by Cary Farrell
July 22, 2019

I found a great article that I am so excited to share!  One of the most challenging and rewarding parts of being human is having good relationships with our spouses!  The complete article is in the link at the end but the paragraphs that leapt out at me were these:


"It's hardly front-page news that housework can be the source of enormous conflict between couples. And it's amazing how quickly leaving the toilet seat up or not washing the dishes can lead to the most almighty of rows. A 2007 Pew Research Poll found that division of domestic chores was among the top three issues associated with a happy marriage, second only to faithfulness and a good sex life."


What's interesting here is that research has shown it's not who does the housework per se, but the lack of a good system that really kicks things off. Between 2001 and 2004, a team of UCLA researchers tracked the lives of 32 dual-earning middle-class families living in Los Angeles. The couples who lacked clarity on what, when, and how household tasks and responsibilities would be carried out ended up feeling the most dissatisfied with one another.


They reported feeling drained and rushed, and had difficulty communicating their dissatisfaction in their lives. This compared to those couples who had a clear  understanding of one another's roles and tasks, who did not spend as much time negotiating responsibilities, with daily lives that seemed to flow more smoothly.


"Conflict was more prevalent when couples had not worked out a clear division of labour in the home and had to renegotiate responsibilities from one day to the next," the researchers conclude. "Ambiguous models appeared to provide ample opportunity for partners to express displeasure toward one another."


I see this in a lot of the homes I work in and I am always excited when I find a couple willing to work on this aspect of their home and relationship!  I am super proud of one couple in particular who have grabbed on to this concept and have found working with a daily plan has reduced their stress level, not only between them but with their kids as well.  There are less arguments and less time for the kids to get into trouble because the family is working and playing together in the evening!


Here is what Pete and Sherry had to say:

We are so appreciative of all of the help that Cary has given us. We are newly married, with combined households, lives and kids. We owe so much to Cary for helping us get our marriage and new home off to an organized start. Our work with Cary started with organizing and decluttering our new house. During an organization session, we mentioned that we experience frequent stress due to chores, meals, and grocery shopping. We knew that we needed a better system, but we didn't know how to approach it. Cary knew how to tackle these problems, and helped us develop a system to address all of these areas. We are thrilled with how far we have come. It is such a relief to have a plan in place for shared responsibility with chores. We are meeting with Cary once a quarter to help us maintain and tweak this system and house organization. To us, the decreased stress is invaluable. We highly recommend Cary for organization help AND for putting a household system in place.

Sherry and Pete


A plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming, just a guide so there is less confusion and frustration about who is doing what and when. Make a simple list of what needs to be done each day, divide the responsibilities, post the list where everyone can see it.  Work together toward a fun event at the end of a successful week!  Include the whole family so the kids feel important and needed, giving them the opportunity to learn how to manage a home.


Here is the link to the rest of the article:  To a Long and Healthy Relationship!