Nowhere in a marriage or relationship is there an opportunity to use the teamwork muscle more than with the practical life (household chores) part of a couple’s union. The division of labor between two mates, although maybe not 50/50, offers an opportunity to come together and figure it out.
Many couples make the major life decision to live together without fleshing out the division of labor thing. Somehow they think the chips will fall where they may and it will all work out. Well, the chips fall, but often one partner’s pile of chips outweighs the other, chronically – and resentment builds.
One of the best ways I know of to discuss and assign the division of labor in a relationship is to do what I call the “Division of Labor Exercise.” Here are the instructions:
- Use paper and pen to, as a team, make an exhaustive list of chores for inside and outside of the house.
- Go down the list and assign someone’s initial next to the chore that he or she doesn’t mind doing. If you and your mate detest the chore, one person picks one of your names out of a bowl and that person does the chore for 3 months and then alternates with the other person.
- Once initials are assigned to each chore, you and your mate go through the list and attach a timeline to each chore – will it be done daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, or as needed?
- Post your Division of Labor somewhere you and your mate will see it regularly.
This exercise will keep you and your partner accountable to do what you have agreed to do.
To learn more about how to manage the practical life side of your relationship, click here.