Time magazine recently did an interesting article on the latest on married couples’ “chore wars.” The gist: for couples with and without children, there is more of a domestic chore balance than ever before. Why? Research from the Pew Research Center point to the reason that …
…domestic chore balance is important to a happy relationship. Numbers from a 2007 poll indicate that, “62% of married adults said ‘sharing household chores’ was the third most important ingredient (after faithfulness and sex) in successful marriage.”
If we just look at couples without children, the stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tell us that in 2010, if both partners worked full time, the “combined daily totals of paid and unpaid work,” meaning “work at the office and all the drudgery you have to do at home” were almost the same: 8 hours and 11 minutes for men, and 8 and hours and 3 minutes for women.
Now, looking at how couples without children do the domestics can include those that just don’t have children yet and couples who never plan to have children. In my interviews with childfree couples for Families of Two, I learned that domestic chore balance was very often in place for many couples. There certainly was a trend for couples to share the domestics, and not fall into the stereotype that women do most of this work. It was especially true when both partners worked outside the home.
Childfree couples also did not fall into gender role stereotypes in other areas. For example, unlike the common stereotype that he handles the finances, it was not uncommon for this to be her arena to handle in the relationship. She might also be the major breadwinner, and there was no issue with this. However their relationship looked or how they split the responsibilities, I observed a real trend of egalitarianism in the childfree marriage. The odds of “chore wars?” Low to nil.
What do you see out there on how childfree couples “do” their relationship, in terms of domestics, and other responsibilities that come along with a committed, co-habitating or married relationship?
To childfree couples, how do you “do” your relationship?