Why most of the household chores still lie with women


“The last straw was a bag of socks. My husband never bothered to put his clothes away after washing, they could stay on the dryer for weeks. I got so tired of asking him to put his things away that I collected all his clean socks in one bag and put this bag in his half of the bedroom, thinking that now he will have to take everything apart. Instead, he just started taking socks out of the bag. As a result, the package was in our bedroom for almost three months. It’s funny to remember now, but this package almost ruined our relationship, ”says 37-year-old Anna.

Anna realized that she and her husband had an equal relationship while they were living separately, but when they moved in, the situation began to change. Now only she changed sheets, washed and bought groceries.

“I began to think:“ Why am I the only one doing this? ” We both worked full time, earned about the same, why exactly did I have to rush home from work to have time to buy food or cook something? He didn’t even notice that, what could this say about our relationship? ” She says.

Be clear about your household responsibilities. For example: she washes the dishes, he washes the floors. It is important not to break the established rules

30 years ago, sociologists predicted that by 2015 household chores would be split equally between the sexes. Why didn’t this happen even today?

Sociologist Jenny Van Hoof from Manchester City University (UK), author of Modern Couples, is studying modern childless couples in which both partners work – in theory, it is in such couples that it is most logical to expect an even distribution of responsibilities at home.

In fact, it turned out that in virtually all couples she met, women still did most of the housework. “Even when the men did participate, they only acted as helpers for the women,” says Van Huff.

How to talk to a partner

Discussing such topics with your partner is always difficult, and such discussions often cause difficult feelings for both. Counseling psychologist Jacqui Marson advises approaching such conversations as follows:

1. Breathe calmly before speaking to relax. If your partner senses your tension during a conversation, he may perceive aggression on your part, and he will begin to defend himself.

2. First praise – sincerely – for something good, and then move on to criticism.

3. Be prepared for the fact that you might be wrong. Listen to your partner’s words.

4. Respect each other. Don’t say “You do …” or “You …”, instead use phrases like “It makes me sad when you …” or “I feel.” Don’t blame your partner.

Experts recommend clearly delineating the household responsibilities of partners. For example: she washes the dishes, he washes the floors. It is important not to break the established rules.

“My husband and I talked and decided that the cooking would be on it. Because of this, for the next couple of years, I had to constantly eat steaks and hamburgers – not my favorite food – but I firmly decided to stick to our agreement, ”says Jacqui Marson.

Hearing her story, I was horrified and thought: “I would definitely have to cook myself,” and I suddenly realized my hidden benefit: yes, I complain that I alone have to buy all the products and cook, but then I always eat what I myself I want to.

The one percent rule

You need to change the routine gradually. If you or your partner are worried about these changes, Marson advises using the One Percent Rule: “Ask yourself: what can I change in my behavior even just a little, by 1%? If everything goes well, then you can bring the changes to 5%, and then to 20%. “

For example, to begin with, you can vow to not clean up for anyone but yourself next weekend and see how you feel. At the same time, you will see if someone else takes it away.

I’m doing my own experiment with a 5% change – I stopped vacuuming. Given the fact that a shaggy dog ​​lives in the house, and our floors are made of dark wood, this experiment is more likely to pull 20% of the changes. I swear that the dog hair carpet is growing right before my eyes.

But I remember the words Marson – no one will die from the fact that I do not vacuum? Answer: really nobody. Why then does it bother me? The answer to this question sounds long and complicated, but in general it boils down to the fact that I am afraid that one “friend” will shame me. What have I got to lose? So far, absolutely nothing.

About the author: Rosie Eifold is a British journalist.

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