Couples Who Do Housework Together May Not Stay Together

Say What!? 4

houseworkThink dividing the household chores will save your marriage? Maybe not! A new study says that divorce rates are higher for "modern" couples who share housework equally. That's completely the opposite of what I would have thought.

Wouldn't you think that equality would lead to stronger marriages? That there would be less arguing and more respect among couples who don't expect the wife to do all the housework? I know that's what I always thought. So why is this happening? And is this going to bring on the "I told you so" cavemen who want to use this as an excuse for not doing the laundry?

The explanation the study's author, Thomas Hansen, gives actually makes a lot of sense. He says the results say less about household chores and more about modern couples in general. "Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage." Modern couples have a different attitude toward marriage than more traditional couples do. It's not the end of the world -- or a major spiritual failing -- if they divorce.

So flip the whole equation around: Modern couples tend to divide up the chores equally, but they also tend to have a more liberal attitude toward divorce. Women in modern couples are less financially and socially dependent on their husbands. They have more education and higher-paying jobs and don't feel as much social stigma for divorcing. Keep in mind -- this study was done in Norway, not the US. I'm not even sure we'd get the same results here. It might be interesting to find out, though.

Anyway, it's pretty clear that just because a researcher found that divorce rates are higher among couples who share chores equally doesn't mean sharing chores leads to divorce. Don't let anyone use this as an excuse to stop unloading the dishwasher!

Are you surprised at the connection between sharing chores equally and divorce?


Image via mootown/Flickr

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dirti... dirtiekittie

i'm not surprised that someone tried to find something to correlate to divorce rates. it seems to me that with divorce rates being so high, you never fail to see articles and studies like this about "this behavior is what long lasting couples do!" or "this is what people in doomed marriages do!"

honestly, the thing to me is that all these 'studies' and 'articles' are looking for somplace to lie blame besides on the two people who are married. sure, you love each other mary and john, but since john does laundry and dishes you guys are headed for divorce! these kinds of things to me seem to absolve some of the responsibility on people to maintain their marriage.

at the end of the day, marriage is about hard work, communication, support and LOVE. if you have those things, it won't matter who does the laundry or empties the dishwasher.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

No, it doesn't surprise me... as the alternate to this study, which says that men and women who assume 'gender roles' tend to stay married longer and report to be happier. My opinion? People like to have a place, a role in life in which they succeed and feel needed. They WANT to be able to put their all into their life. Instead of trying to treat each other as though we are exactly the same, we should embrace who we are and what we do best.

That being said, many women prefer to be the stay-at-home mom who cooks and clean. Many men prefer to bring home the bacon and mow the lawn... there is NOTHING wrong with that. The opposite may be true as well, and the wife may feel more fulfilled by working while the husband remains at home- if this is how they prefer to make their life work, awesome! Quit trying to tell society that is HAS to be one or the other, because you should be looking for a partner, to work together and fill the voids. We're not equal- that is why we need each other!

the4m... the4mutts

IMO- who gives a crap why so-and-so gets a divorce? Maybe we should focus more on what goes on in our own homes, instead of divorce rates, gay marriage, who's screwing the neighbor lady, etc. If we worried about our own relationships as much as we worried about how "fat" Jessica Simpson is, then we'd probably be much happier in our lives.

nonmember avatar MarriedMale

I told you so. LOL!

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