How to Get Your Spouse to Do the Chores

How to Get Your Spouse to Do the ChoresLet’s be honest. Everyone has a favorite chore.

Maybe you love to call on your creativity by concocting lavish meals. Perhaps you enjoy categorizing things, so folding and organizing laundry is your shtick.

If you’re a do-it-yourself type, you might find yourself in love with yard work. Or maybe you like to do the dishes. . .but does your spouse?

But no matter what your favorite chore is, odds are that you have a least favorite one as well.

And so does your spouse.

So, what is a newly married couple to do with the list of chores that can’t go undone?

How to Get Your Spouse to Do the Chores

Some folks find that it works well to have “his and and hers tasks lists.” In this case chores are divvied up between spouses, and each spouse is responsible for doing the chores on his or her list.

Other couples find that it works better to keep a running list of chores on the refrigerator and then rely on each spouse to take the initiative to get a task or two done when he or she has time.

The other options?

  • leave the dishes dirty (Hey, that’s what paper plates are for, right?);
  • the clothes unlaundered (Febreeze, anyone?);
  • the bed un-made (You’re just going to get back in it 15 hours later anyway.);
  • and the meals unprepared (One word: Dominos.).

I can’t really tell you which method will work best for your marriage and family, but I can tell you what has worked for us.

What We Do

We decided against creating “his and hers chores lists” and opted into the communal approach in which we work together to take care of our home.

We employ the honor system by essentially assuming that each person is doing the best he or she can do to complete various household tasks.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s sometimes difficult to assume that my husband is well-intended and not merely lazy. We’ve found that if we can maintain the honor system when it comes to something relatively trivial like housework, then it’s much easier to trust one another when communication issues arise.

Whatever approach you take to getting things done around the home, be sure to express gratitude for your spouse and whatever effort he or she puts forth.

In this way, these chores are viewed as favors done out of love instead of tasks completed out of obligation.

The latter promotes a home of robotics in which each spouse answers to a system while the former encourages husband and wife to serve one another. And isn’t that the point of this whole marriage thing anyway?

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About Kristi McDonald

Kristi McDonald edits and acquires books for Ave Maria Press. She is especially interested in creating resources for Catholic women and families. In the past, she has worked with authors like Sarah Reinhard, Pat Gohn, Susie Lloyd, and Dawn Eden to help Catholics understand and implement their faith in everyday life. Kristi is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville and currently lives in South Bend, IN with her husband and daughter.

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