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How Often Do Couples Fight? Marriage Tips for the Weary

Whether you have kids or not, in any household, what you DO have is an abundance of jobs that need to be done regularly. Someone’s got to be the janitor who sweeps up, the family banker, pet feeder, entertainment coordinator, grocery shopper.... the list goes on and on. And if you are parents, someone must spearhead the parenting division by planning daycare, school lunches, parent-teacher conferences, sporting events, and summer camps.

Wow, there's a TON to track and complete! Marriage conflict seems inevitable when you say it out loud.

Estimated reading: 4 minutes

Running a household requires a team

Dividing Household Chores in Marriage

Without teamwork and shared household chores, the responsibilities of running a household can be daunting.

Oh, and that other little thing called a career and working full-time—where's the work-life balance, and can it even exist!?

Whether you're a stay-at-home mom or dad or working in an office, we are all very busy people. It’s hard not to feel overloaded at times.

And our payment for all of our hard work?

Hopefully, we’re rewarded with a smile, a hug, or a “thank you,” and that’s usually enough. Unless, of course, you feel as if you’re doing it all.

One of the biggest struggles in relationship, and it's common for many couples, is the division of labor ... and impending arguments. There are those days when all of life’s duties seem to fall on top of each other.

Are you sometimes buried in a pile of chores and self-pity?

Who better to blame than the person you're around most—your partner!

One day, during a particularly busy week, I expressed to my husband just how overwhelmed I was feeling. He listened and responded with empathy, BUT when I got home the next evening, the house was a wreck. It looked like he’d just hosted a frat party.

My first reaction?

“He knows how busy I am, how could he be so unsupportive?" Aha, he must not care about me!

I cleaned up whilst grumbling some R-rated words underneath my breath, picturing the voodoo doll of him that I would make when I was done.

And then I called Jennifer, who has always helped me to see things through a different lens—one of unconditional love.

So, how often DO couples fight?

There's no clear answer. And the studies are skewed by the varying intensities of arguments and emotional maturity of each couple. However, check out these keys to NOT become a statistic!

Healthy relationships will have conflicts; they are inevitable.

One thing is for sure, there are four conflict styles that do hurt your relationship. The Gottman Institute calls these "The Four Horsemen."

Master these pitfalls and your relationship will get sweeter.

We're going to focus on one of the most common disagreements for couples: chore distribution. Learn keys to let love rule!

Get a New Perspective in Marriage and Relationship—RelationSHIFT 

Here’s what I learned and gained perspective about after meeting with Jennifer at Heartmanity:

My husband is busy, too.
I have to remember that he’s also been parenting and working full-time.

Love says: seek to understand.

Ask, don't assume. (I never asked my husband to help.)
I may have told him how busy and stressed I was, but never actually asked him. He can’t read my mind. Hmm... mind reading, that illusive challenge in relationships.

I could have set myself up for success instead by asking something like, “We’re both so busy this week, is there anything you can do around the house to help?”

This simple request is especially critical when we're both maxed out. When making a request, he has the opportunity to pick a couple of extra jobs, and I’ve asked for help.

Love says: don't assume—ask.

Get a new perspective before blamingMy partner's idea of a clean and orderly house is different than mine.
What looks to me like a tornado-stricken village, he sees as a comfortable, cozy, lived-in space.

Each person in a relationship often have different definitions and outlooks on cleanliness.

Today, I believe that we have come to a positive solution (not compromise). I’ve loosened up a bit on the tidiness, and he’s gotten a bit neater.

Love says: Create win-win in relationships.

The chores can wait.

When I come home exhausted after work, I don’t have to get it all done. I used to feel like I had to do his and my jobs right away. I can actually leave the dishes or laundry for tomorrow or another time when I have more energy, and he can do his stuff when he has time. It takes some self-control, but in some cases, I now opt for the couch over the cleaning.

Related reading: "Self-Care Is Foundational to a Healthy and Happy Life."

We can choose our roles.
I’ve chosen to be head chef; he’s usually the dishwasher. He’s the wood hauler; I’m the sweeper. We have naturally chosen the jobs we can do best and most efficiently to keep up the home, and although we may help each other, we can also count on each other to do our jobs when we can.

Love reminds us: The trick is to remember when you're feeling overwhelmed that you indeed chose the role!

Related reading: "How to Make Your Relationship Sweet."


The Power of Validation in Marriage

Validation and positive feedback work.

When he does help keep the house neat, I always make sure to tell him how much I appreciate it. When I put a nice meal in front of him, he always thanks me. That makes it worthwhile and motivates us to keep it up.

I’ve found that these tips have helped us create more balance in the division of labor debacle.

There are still days that the to-do list is overwhelming, but together we have found ways to divide and conquer—and support each other.

Love is a choice you make daily.

To get support for your marriage, have more fun, and cultivate more love in your relationships, contact us at Heartmanity support@heartmanity.com.

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Guest Blogger: Corinne GarciaGuest Blogger: Corinne Garcia
Corinne Garcia is a freelance writer for a wide range of websites and magazines, from Marie Claire and Country Living to Womenetics.com and Babble.com, covering anything from healthy food to parenting. She lives in Bozeman, Montana with her husband and two sons.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

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