Couples who share household chores are more likely to break up.

If you want to increase the chance you and your partner will break up, help him/her with the dishes, carry out the trash, mow the lawn on alternating weeks.


Divorce rates are far higher among “modern” couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion’s share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found.

In what appears to be a slap in the face for gender equality, the report found the divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 per cent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.

“What we’ve seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn’t necessarily contribute to contentment,” said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Equality in the Home”.

The lack of correlation between equality at home and quality of life was surprising, the researcher said.

“One would think that break-ups would occur more often in families with less equality at home, but our statistics show the opposite,” he said.

The figures clearly show that “the more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” he went on. (source)

The conclusion wasn't that sharing duties around the home damages the marriage, but that "modern" couples who divide up the work also have different attitudes toward and a lower commitment to marriage than more traditional couples.

In the past there were studies showing that couples that live together before marriage—believing that doing so would help them better decide whether to tie the knot—actually divorced in considerably higher numbers than those who lived apart before marriage. The explanation then was similar: such couples are less committed to marriage to start with and, thus, are more likely to bail when it doesn't meet their perceived needs as well as they thought.

Are freethinkers bad bets if you want a marriage to last? What do YOU think?

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I am interested in hygiene, and my dish towels are washed separately from my clothes. But I don't separate the colors.

Are freethinkers bad bets if you want a marriage to last? What do YOU think?

Nope.. it appears to be the opposite

Sharing chores probably puts extra constraints on a relationship. Unnecessary ones. It reminds me of another study which found people who put specific targets on their weight-loss efforts tended to do worse than people who didn't. The moral: just go with the flow.

I wonder if this could be because shared housework often implies to one party or the other a precise 50-50 split and they get disgruntled if they perceive it has turned out to be 60-40.

I read somewhere that when Montana for a few months had no daytime interstate speed limit (the "reasonable and prudent" limit had been tossed out by a court for vagueness and a new statute (75 MPH) had not been passed), the phenomenon of left lane hogs almost entirely disappeared.  Apparently a lot of these folks occupy the left lane with the attitude that they should not get out of the way of someone who is speeding. 

Now if someone is willing to be a dick just to prevent other people from speeding on a wide open rural interstate--and their attitude actually changes when there suddenly is no such thing as "speeding" so clearly they are being legalistic, not concerned for safety--then I can certainly believe people will get upset if they think an agreement they made with someone isn't being followed fairly.  Here the person actually has a personal stake in the matter and is not just being a self-righteous dickweed.  Such a resentment will generally fester, especially if they bring it up and get no satisfaction.

I wonder if this could be because shared housework often implies to one party or the other a precise 50-50 split and they get disgruntled if they perceive it has turned out to be 60-40.

Yes I think you hit the nail on the head there. What are the chances the housework will always be split perfectly 50-50? Slim chance. Further, (and I'm speculating here) there is a lot of housework which in turn means lots of potential arguments, hence the high breakup rate. 

Also one party may be stuck with the chore they detest and not realize they could work a trade because the other party does not mind that particular chore.  My brother was extremely lucky--he hated doing the bathroom but his (first) wife hated doing the kitchen.

How about a situation where one person (sex left indeterminate) has a full-time day job and the other is basically a housewife/househusband. The one works at least 8 hours a day to put food on the table and the other basically averages about 2 or 3 hours during the day doing housework. Is it unreasonable for the person with the full-time job to sit back and let the other partner do the dishes, take out the trash, etc.? or to scoff when the other person complains that he/she has to do so?

Nobody has brought up the issue of differing standards - what IS "clean". I've know people who were anal about "cleanliness" and other people who were perfectly happy living ankle deep in rubbish. Two people at the extremes are unlikely to marry, but there will often be differing standards. Given that there is no such thing as a "sterile" home, whose standards are correct. The cleaner the better? I don't think so. Someone believing that would have to dedicate their life to cleaning while never actually getting there. At SOME point everyone has to say, "that's clean enough".

Why are one person's standards considered correct. Must the other person clean areas which they would otherwise consider clean enough already? Or should the first person "lighten up" and learn to say "clean enough already"? Or is it OK for person 2 to read the paper while person 1 cleans because it's only person 1 who thinks it needs cleaning?

My wife and I do not work together on any project, chore, cooking, and/or cleaning and we have been happily married 10 years today. I told her if I ever had to work with her in the same occupation/office setting… I would do anything in my power to get her fired. We are opposite in almost everything…. Key to our successful marriage is recognizing our boundaries and space and delegating our separate jobs. The only thing we are on the same page on is the upbringing of our children.

In every marriage, things have to be worked out. Give and take may mean doing things together for some couples, apart for others.

Don't forget many of the marriages where the woman is a Abrahamic faith slave wife to the kitchen, doesn't usually end up in divorces because women are brainwashed to believe that they are doing god's "work" and slaving to the kitchen is the absolute normal. Many god lovers will stay married despite the oppression they face because that is how religious indoctrination brings them up from childhood. 

It's not a free thinker issue, its a societal issue. Divorce has become socially acceptable as a way of taking the easy road to the solution of a problem. In today's busy world it takes a lot more work and energy to work towards a successful marriage than to just simply end it and move on without too much hassle. That's why divorce is a easy cop out.


It's very dangerous and presumptuous to assume that people whose beliefs and values differ from yours are brainwashed. It devalues their opinions through the fallacy of poisoning the well.

My mother was a traditional housewife and I don't believe it had anything to do with religion. She was being traditional, but that's a whole different ballgame from being brainwashed.


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