March 22, 2013
Put March Madness On Hold And Pick Up That Broom
Researchers have uncovered a secret to a healthier relationship with your spouse revolving around housework.
A team from Brigham Young University says doing the housework alongside each other, rather than keeping score of who has done what, leads to a healthier relationship. Some spouses in a relationship may keep track of chores done in a relationship like it’s a tally of housework debt. However, this isn’t the way to go about things, researchers suggest.
“We found that it didn’t matter who did what, but how satisfied people were with the division of labor,” said Brigham Young University professor Erin Holmes. “We found that when wives are doing work together with their husbands, they are more satisfied with the division of labor.”
The team wrote in the Journal of Family Issues about how they studied 160 couples and how they handled housework and child-caring duties. The authors wanted to determine what contributed to the quality of a marriage relationship. Not only did they find sharing duties helps boost a relationship, but also how well a dad was at being a dad.
“For women, dad having a good relationship with the kids means that dad and mom are probably going to have a better relationship,” Holmes said.
The authors measured father involvement in different areas, including how he played with kids, engaged their interests, and provided teaching moments.
“Something as simple as reading a book with your children every night and talking with them about their day can really go a long way,” said Adam Galovan, a BYU grad who authored the study with Holmes.
The study found that both husbands and wives dramatically increased their household tasks during the transition to parenthood. Dads performed twice as much housework after the first baby arrived, and moms performed about five times more housework.
Holmes essentially concluded their findings with an old proverb which says: happy wife, happy life.
“When wives are satisfied with the division of labor, both spouses report higher marital quality,” Holmes said.
Some may think that taking one thing out of the equation in a marriage, children, could lead to a happier relationship. However, studies have shown that people with children are actually happier than people without. Researchers writing in the journal Psychological Science say that parenthood and childcare could bring feelings of happiness and meaning to life.
“If you went to a large dinner party, our findings suggest that the parents in the room would be as happy or happier than those guests without children,” said researcher Elizabeth Dunn.
Image Credit: Photos.com