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Do You and Your Spouse Fight Over Housework?

Are You and Your Spouse in a Never-ending War Over Household Tasks?

Couples fight over housekeeping all the time. Take two people with different ideas about what “clean” means, different expectations about what is acceptable, throw in working from home, a couple of children, a dog and/or a cat or two, (or six-Ahem!) and you’ve got all the ingredients necessary for a trip to the marriage counselor. What to do?


1) Understand that your spouse is generally not trying to annoy you.

Everyone deals with their environment differently.

2) Understand that running a home takes a fair amount of time and energy.

Even though we have more “conveniences” than ever before, we also typically have bigger houses, more stuff to take care of in the house, more clothes, etc. At the same time, our expectations about what we want from our houses has increased, and our leisure time has decreased.


1) Try assuming more responsibility at home.

Rather than point out what your partner is NOT doing, go ahead and do what needs to be done. If your partner starts to contribute, resist the urge to tell him/her exactly how to do it perfectly. Accept the contribution and go from there.

2) Remember to enjoy your house (and your spouse!) once in awhile.

Yes, there is always work to be done, but don’t forget to relax in your comfy chair too, even if (especially if) you don’t have time.

3) Really look at your expectations in the clear light of your current reality.

Do both of you work? Are either one of you working from home? Do you have young children? Is one or both of you a naturally “sidetracked” person? Are you trying to do too much and simply don’t have enough time? Simplify as much as you can by letting go of activities and/or expectations and realize establishing and running a home is a process. It takes time. Love yourself and your spouse whether or not your home is up to snuff.