Tips for Sharing Household Chores With Husband

QUESTION: How do you get your husband to help with more household chores?

ANSWER: I do not know of anyone who loves doing household chores. However, mature people must face reality and be willing to sacrifice for the good of others.

Hopefully, you and your husband can see this as a team effort that will enhance your marriage. You will be happier and have more energy if you get his help. He will have more of your time and energy because he is helping. This can be a win-win situation.

If you have the right attitude, doing the household chores can be fun.

I hope you have asked him to help you and shared with him some specific things that need to be done.

Many times if a person is not the primary household manager they do not see what needs to be done. A "to do" list might be very helpful. Women are usually more detail-oriented and notice more of the little things that need to be done. Most men will help if they know exactly what is expected.

When my wife and I got married we sat down and made two lists of chores that needed to be done. She let me choose which list I wanted. Usually my list was outside issues, but not always. Through the years we had some professional household help when we both worked full-time and had children at home. Now my wife and I share most things as we are empty-nesters.

I do not know your whole situation as far as working outside the home. If you both work full-time outside the home, you may consider getting some additional help with the household chores. Most husbands want to please their wife. However, a husband may not know exactly how to please his wife. She has to tell him and not just speak in hints. You may have to sit down and explain that you are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by all the work that must be done and you are the only one doing it. You may have to expand on that and share with him that you could have more intimate time with him if you were not so tired from doing all the household chores. If he would be willing to participate in the work, you could have more leisure time together. You would have more energy and would not feel resentful or angry about the situation. You must be honest and kind in explaining your feelings. John Phillips is executive director of Community Marriage Builders. He can be reached at or (812) 477-2260.
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