8 Strategies to not let housework ruin your marriage

Have you ever let a dirty house or any other type of housework get the better of you and led you to fight with your spouse?

Me too!

Today, I am going to share 8 strategies I use that keep me from ruining my marriage over housework.

 

a bouquet of flowers in the background. The picture has a white translucent overlay with a black border and words on top. The words say: 8 strategies to not let housework ruin your marriage.

My Weakness

I have a confession to make: I  hate housework.

I don’t enjoy cleaning and I wish I could leave it to someone else.

Since I have 3 kids, there is always a mess to clean up. They love to just up empty toy boxes for the sake of it and skater crumbs around the house.

I often feel like I am the only one in the house who cleans or who puts any effort into cleaning.

Since having kids, it has been harder to not let these issues become big barriers in my relationship with my husband.

When I am upset about the house and the mess, it is tempting to blame him for the mess and get upset.

What I am going to do to change

Getting mad at my husband has never solved the problem. If anything, it has made things worse. Because now, not only is my house still a mess but I have to mend fences with people in the house.

So, instead of letting housework get in the way of my marriage, I have tried to implement a few strategies.

8 Strategies to stop housework from ruining my marriage 

1. Work on your strengths

During the first month of our marriage, my husband and I bought a new dining room table and 8 chairs. We brought the furniture home and started putting things together.

Stereotypically, men are better at putting things together. We soon realized that in our case that was not true. We found that I was better at reading directions and knowing what parts fit together and my husband was better at doing the heavy lifting.

Since that discovery, we have never had an argument while trying to put together furniture.

We understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths and we work accordingly.

Workload should not be decided by the stereotypical gender lines. They should be decided on who is the best person on the team to do the job.

My husband has a hard time keeping track of our finances and paying bills, so I do that. But, my husband is the superior bathroom cleaner so he does that.

2. Let it be

When my husband did the dishes for the first time, I almost had a nervous breakdown.

In my eyes, he was doing it all wrong.

The way he was doing the dishes was so different than the way I would do them.

But, instead of making him change his ways or be frustrated over how he was doing the work, I let it go.

I chose to be thankful he was doing the dishes and let him do it his way.

Sometimes it’s best to just let it go instead of fighting or nagging or pestering.

Letting things go is better for your relationship and will build teamwork and respect between the two of you.

If you choose to nag and nitpick, his ego will be hurt and you will be creating distance between each other.

3. Communicate

My husband is not perfect and neither am I.

So when things don’t get done around the house I try not to get angry and I don’t seek to get even.

Over the years I have learned that the best thing to do is to calm down and talk about it.

So, when the time is right, I will look at my husband and ask: Hun, can you please wash the pots tonight?

When I speak gently, he is more likely to respond in a loving way than get angry himself.

4. Split up the work

Even though I am a stay-at-home mom, the household responsibilities don’t all fall to me.

As a couple, we decided early on what chores I would do and what he would do.

The split of work does not have to be 50/50, but it is important that you are both happy with the workload.

5. Be Flexible

Even though we did decide what we were each happy doing, our chores are not set in stone for the duration of our life.

If we are not happy with how things are being done then we talk about it and look to change our responsibilities and try something new.

6. Compromise

I have a long list of things that need to be done around the house.

I would love it if I could get all those things done in one day.

But I am the worst homemaker out there and I hate housework.

The chances of things getting done right away or all the time are slim.

So, I have to compromise with myself to change the list and make it smaller.

It’s easier for me to feel like I have achieved something if my list is broken up into manageable tasks.

Since I give myself a break, I think it’s best to also give my husband a break.

Sometimes he starts a task late at night and wants to finish, but I know he is tired and has had a long day.

Instead of expecting him to finish, I tell him he can finish the next day.

7. Choose love

There are so many ways to love your spouse in housework.

For me, coming home to a clean house is a recurring dream.

I would love to come home from a morning away and find the toys away and the floors clean.

When reality hits and I find the house in the worst state than I left, I choose love.

I thank my husband for taking care of the kids and for doing the best job that he could.

Another way I love my spouse is by doing his chores for him.

As I have said, his job is to clean the kitchen after dinner.

One of his least favourite tasks is cleaning the pots and pans.

Oftentimes, he leaves this task for last or does not do it at all.

Instead of getting mad, I love him by doing the pots and pans and expecting nothing in return.

He comes home and he sees the work I have done and knows that I have just done an act of love.

My actions is also a good way to tell my husband that I respect him for the work he does outside the home and that understand that he is tired from a long day.

8. Choose who your cleaning for

I often forget that I am not really doing this for my children or for my husband.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”

Colossians 3:23 NKJV

If I change my heart and work for The Lord, then chores become an opportunity to serve God, to worship Him and to thank Him for all that He has given us. It makes the chores *almost* enjoyable. 

Housework is never-ending but it does not need to be a battle or something that can ruin your relationships. Before you blow up at your kids or your husband for not doing something you want them to, go back and refer to these 8 strategies. I know they will help you. 

In the comments, share how you keep household duties from ruining your marriage. Please share this post with friends and family. Thank you. 

a couple cooking in the kitchen. the husband is lifting the spoon to his wife's mouth so she can have a taste. The image has an overlay on it with words that say: 8 strategies to not let housework ruin your marriage
A man holding a broom next to a women holding a cleaning supplies basket. They are both smiling. The words: Don't let housework ruin your marriage are above the picture

82 responses to “8 Strategies to not let housework ruin your marriage”

  1. Jennifer Avatar
    Jennifer

    Good tips. I definitely agree communication and dividing up the work is key. My husband sometimes need “gentle reminders” to do some house chores. Your point about “love” is a great way for me to ask for help in a loving way.

  2. Kristen Avatar
    Kristen

    let it be is such a great tip. my husband always tries to help with dishes and im trying not to keep telling him he’s doing it wrong, because i want him to help! I appreciate his kindness. But, sometimes its hard!

  3. Sarah | Digital Motherhood Avatar

    Good tips – we always split the housework, gets it done so much quicker!

  4. Jessica Avatar
    Jessica

    This is a great post and great advice! I will definitely keep this in mind 🙂
    ~Jessica

  5. Danielle Avatar

    These are really good tips. We always say to each other, “let’s tag team this so we both can relax” or “You do this and I’ll do that and let’s try to be done in 15-20.” You have to remember you are in it together.

  6. Theresa Avatar

    What a great idea for a post! I am going to show this to my fiance 🙂
    We are quite organized but it can’t hurt to read it together.
    Thank you!
    Theresa
    http://www.primetimechaos.com

  7. Alex Avatar
    Alex

    I agree with you, doing housework requires internal work and working with your other half. One thing that my partner and I do is that we thank each other when we see the other doing something. So for example if my partner sees me doing the dishes they will come over and thank me for doing it, maybe even give me a kiss. Showing gratitude is not forced we didn’t plan on it, it was something that genuinely happened. I just noticed that they would thank me for doing something and I felt appreciated. I do the same if they are doing a house chore I thank them for doing it. I want my partner to know that I appreciate their support and I don’t expect them to do anything. <3

  8. Summer @ Coffee With Summer Avatar

    Communication and compromise are so key in general in marriage, but I’ve definitely grown to learn them both with the housework, too! thankfully, we’re both full of grace when we can’t get something done right away.

  9. Nicole Gore Avatar
    Nicole Gore

    Omg yes. I’m terrible at letting him just do it the way he’s happy doing it. Basically, I’m quicker at doing just about any task soI just get on with it but Iknow I know I need to let it go

  10. Shelby @Fitasamamabear Avatar

    Great, to the point tips! I think making a house work isn’t easy so you definitely need a system. But for me the hardest part is to let it be. My hubby may not load the dishwasher “the way I like it” but does it really matter? No- they’re still getting done. Nice post!

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      It took me a while to just let things b and be happy that things got done but it helped the work be done and our relationship

  11. Clarice | Pursuing the Simple Life Avatar

    These are all such great tips! I find the two things that work best for my husband and I seem to be communication and flexibility, as our schedules tend to change every couple months. And some times, if he’s got extra on his plate, I have to be ok with just letting it go.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      I find that as the seasons change so does our responsibilities around the house, it’s great to have a way to talk about it without getting mad.

  12. April K Avatar
    April K

    I don’t think anyone likes cleaning lol. I’m a SAHM, so I do all the cleaning, but even in our pre-child/sahm days, I did all the cleaning. I’d rather do it that be annoyed at how he does it lol. He does make sure that he empties the trash though, which I despise doing.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      I totally get that! Thanks for the comment

  13. Ariel Avatar
    Ariel

    Thanks for the tips! Pinned this post as well. Learning how to handle housework is so essential to stopping arguments in the house. I can’t tell you how many times Hubby and I have argued about the dishes or the bathroom, or the trash. We are finally getting the hang of it, though!

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      It can be hard to be on the page. I am glad that you are getting there.

  14. Jenna Urben Avatar

    WOW, I am so glad I came across this post! “If I change my heart and work for The Lord, then chores become an opportunity to serve God, to worship Him and to thank Him for all that He has given us.” THAT!!! I will remember this next time I become tired or frustrated with chores.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      I am so glad you were blessed. I don’t it easier said then done and something I am still working on– to change my heart but it sure helps to know that my work is for The Lord

  15. Divya - Gone With a Whim Avatar
    Divya – Gone With a Whim

    Love this post! I think it’s human nature that when things are not going alright, we get into this rut of blaming the other person for the problems around us and that only makes things worse. This is a nice reminder to not fall victim into the blame-game 🙂 Pinned it for later use. X Following your blog now.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Thanks for the comment and follow, glad you liked the post

  16. Melissa Avatar
    Melissa

    I feel your pain I have three daughter all under the age of 8. My how is a disaster 75% of the time. Thank you for your insights. I plan on using them if we have these issues in the future

  17. Jen Avatar

    I try to remind myself that his work happens outside of the home. Love your remind about who we are really doing this for!

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Yes, as a stay at home mom sometimes I fell like I am just doing nothing, but then I remember that I am serving God because I am loving my husband and children

  18. Vijee Djega Avatar
    Vijee Djega

    Nice tips. it took me years to figure out that asking nicely and not demanding my hubby got things done smoothly. 😀 Luckily I married a reasonable and patient man 🙂

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Lol! Yep, sometimes it does take trial and error

  19. Berklee Avatar

    THIS!! Wow. Was actually just talking to my husband about this a couple weeks ago, about how we clean like crazy and are SO stressed out, that to a degree we just need to LET IT GO!

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      It’s so hard to let it go, but sometimes better for all involved. I am slowly getting more and more out of the house so that there is less to clean

  20. Juli Avatar

    I needed this post especially the let it be part! Love the scripture at the end.

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