Joanita Wibowo


The one household chore that could break your relationship

The one household chore that could break your relationship

Household chores can bring even the most harmonious couple on the brink – and one task has come out as the worst offender.

A study from the Council of Contemporary Families looked at how the division of labour of specific houseworks impact relationship quality. 

It discovered that various tasks affected men and women differently. Men reported greater sexual and relationship satisfaction when they split the task of household shopping with their partner, while women were more impacted by the duty of dishwashing.

“Women who found themselves doing the lion’s share of dishwashing reported significantly more relationship discord, lower relationship satisfaction, and less sexual satisfaction than women who split the dishes with their partner,” said Daniel Carlson, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of sociology at the University of Utah.

Carlson said, “Sharing responsibility for dishwashing was the single biggest source of satisfaction for women among all the household tasks, and lack of sharing of this task the single biggest source of discontent.”

Carlson offered some theories as to why the task was detested. The first is the fact that it involves cleaning up after someone. “There is old, moldy food sitting in the sink. If you have kids, there is curdled milk in sippy cups that smells disgusting,” he told The Atlantic.

Another explanation was clean dishes do not exactly call for compliments. “What is there to say? ‘Oh, the silverware is so … sparkly’?” he joked.

Dishwashing in itself can be quite a soothing exercise. According to a study published in the journal Mindfulness, those who took time to get in the zone – focusing on the smell of the soap, the warmth of the water and the feel of the dishes – reported a 27 per cent decrease in nervousness and a 25 per cent increase in mental inspiration.

But in the context of relationship, it seems best to make it a teamwork effort.