As much fun as the freedom of adulthood can be (like being able to decide that sugary cereal is a totally acceptable dinner food) there's also the unfortunate reality that at any given moment, there are about a zillion chores and household tasks that need completing — and if you're in a relationship and live with your partner, that means twice the chore load. Figuring out how to talk to your partner about helping around the house is easier said than done, but according to a new study by the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF), if you want your relationship to stay happy and healthy, it's an absolutely essential conversation to have.
For the study, researchers explored the connection between how heterosexual couples did (or did not) share the responsibility of routine household tasks, and their reported marital and sexual satisfaction. They found that, compared to previous generations, splitting chores in an egalitarian way is more important than ever for relationship satisfaction; couples who shared tasks equally demonstrated "clear advantages" over couples where one partner did the lion's share of the chore load. The researchers also found that, for women, the chore most likely to cause relationship dissatisfaction if it's not shared equally is everyone's favorite daily task: doing the dishes. But how does a task as simple as doing the dishes turn into such a big deal over time?
"If one partner is left to do all or most of the chores it can add an additional level of stress and exhaustion to an already stressful and exhausting day," Jonathan Bennett, Relationship/Dating Expert and Owner of Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "Consequently, it can lead to a feeling of resentment in the partner who does more and create a strain in the relationship."
Although doing chores might not be the most fun way to spend your leisure time, they *have* to get done, and if you live with your partner, one person shouldn't do all the work: you should both chip in and do your fair share (whatever you mutually agree that is). If you need help motivating your partner to help out around the house more, here are six expert tips for talking to them about the division of chores in a constructive way — hopefully, they'll help you find a good compromise.