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. Lori | Choosing Wisdom Avatar

    Early in our marriage, we decided what we each liked to do. There were some things that neither of us preferred. We have learned to share the load and communicate. I loved when you said: 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.” I have found this to be so true! If we shift our perspective it can make all the difference.

  2. Megan Anne Avatar
    Megan Anne

    I’m not married or in a relationship, so I sent this off to a friend and asked her to give me s comment, she said “these tips are really true. Sometimes you feel like you have to do all the cleaning and organizing and everything else before you can spend time with your SO. But that’s just not true. You have to make time for them as well. My favorite tip is the let it be one. Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s not going anywhere. “

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Thanks for getting your friend to comment.

  3. Lindsay Avatar

    I had the same moment with my husband when we moved in together and I watched him do the dishes! I just tell myself it’s better than him not doing any at all.

  4. Julie Torres Avatar

    Thank you for sharing, this is a really helpful reminder. As a control freak, I often do it all on my own and forget to share- then I am tired and he feels he is not contributing.

  5. brittany Avatar
    brittany

    I agree with splitting up the work, its a win win you get help and for example the kids learn responsibility

  6. Marsha Avatar

    Good tips. Kinda makes me think…don’t sweat the small stuff. My guys aren’t overly messy or sloppy. I’ve always found that just doing a little something everyday keeps it more manageable.

  7. Nina Avatar

    With having less kids in the house to divide the chores, my husband and I struggled with this initially. I realized that we were like night and day when processing how to complete certain chores. Your steps hit the nail on the head.

  8. Diedre Avatar

    This is such a great post! It took me a few years to figure this out. It also took some time for me to not compare my marriage with what worked for my parents. You make some great points.

  9. Shannon Burlingame Avatar

    My husband and I are still working on some of these. Its definitely important to be flexible while you’re still learning each other’s strengths.

  10. Brittany Avatar
    Brittany

    I’m that traditional southern wife. Before opening a business and going back to school the house was my job. I took care of the kids, house, and everything that it took to keep the house going. Now that my kids are a little older and have chores it’s easier. My husband likes to help and where before I would tell him no and he should rest I accept him help now.

  11. Lindsey Avatar
    Lindsey

    Living on a farm the housework is never finished! I do all of it out of love of having what I always wanted!
    But! The poop never stops!!

  12. Michelle Allison Avatar

    I ran across your blog post on the Grow Your Blog linkup on Facebook. I admire your honesty in saying you hate housework (I do, too!) and I love the scripture at the end. I wondered if I should put scripture on my blog, but I finally decided that anything I have worth saying, needs to come from the Bible. So I have a sidebar text widget I change regularly to the Encouragement of the Day. I love that your verses are in every post. Great post, clear and well written.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Thanks for your encouragement and the comment. Great idea about the widget. Will have to look into that.

  13. Ballerina mum Avatar
    Ballerina mum

    This is so true. I know my husband is so much more relaxed when he comes home to a tidy house after a busy day at work. But I too hate house work ?

  14. Erica @ Coming Up Roses Avatar

    These are SO good. Being able to let things be – that’s so key. It’s so important to just embrace each other’s strengths and work with ’em.

    Coming Up Roses

  15. Brit Strawbridge Avatar

    This is such a great reminder! Although I do most of the housework & I don’t love doing it haha I always need to remind myself why I am doing it and who I am doing it for!

  16. Julie Hood Avatar

    Let it Be is such a hard one–I have a certain way of doing things too, but you’re right–we just have to let it go and appreciate they’re getting things done too 🙂

  17. Christine Avatar

    These points were perfect! Communication and also playing to your strengths are the two that stood out to me the most. We learnt very early on that I’m the one that should hang pictures….and I should do it alone. Ha!

  18. Melissa Chee Avatar

    I love that you are choosing love!

  19. Jo Avatar
    Jo

    Some good advice there, it’s hard to remember sometimes when you are on deadline and the kids are fighting that you need to be a team. I need to bookmark this for reminding myself of those times when I need to just ‘Let it go!’

  20. Rachel Avatar

    Splitting things up is definitely key! 100% a team effort!

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