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Personal Interests & Expectations

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Exercises

Important Things Partners Give One Another

Think of, then list a few things you currently do for your partner. Then, think of and list a few areas where you would like to play a more important role in your partner's life (e.g., things you can do for them to make their life easier/better).

Currently, I do these things for my partner ...
I would like to play a more important role in this areas ...

Deciding Who Does What

One of the best ways to fairly decide who does what in terms of the household tasks necessary to keep your home running smoothly is to begin by making some lists. You may want to use the Household Division of Labor Matrix and/or the Marital Role Expectation for Couples worksheets to help you in this process.

  1. List all of the household tasks that need to be done. It helps to put the tasks into categories such as indoor work, outdoor work, childcare, financial management, and wage earning.
  2. List how often the task needs to be done. Is it daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly?
  3. List how long the task takes to complete.
  4. List who will do or usually does the task. Will it primarily be the wife's job, the husband's job, or a shared job?
  5. Calculate the total time spent on each task by multiplying how often it needs to be done by how long it takes. This will give you a better idea of how much time you are each spending on various household tasks.

Once you are aware of how much time you are both putting in to making the household run, you will be able to better negotiate changes and compromises in your division of labor. Be honest with one another and don't let this be a negative process. The purpose here is not to start fights about who does what and how long it should take. The goal is to help you feel satisfied with how responsibilities are shared, and that does not necessarily mean that you each have to spend an equal amount of time contributing to the household. It is important to divide housework fairly, but avoid "keeping score" or constantly making sure your partner is "doing their part."

Remember, household responsibilities can be shared in a variety of ways. Some couples divide the housework by each doing the things they are best at or enjoy doing the most. Other couples make lists of all the chores that need to be done and rotate through them so one person does not always get stuck with the less desirable jobs. Some couples like to do all their chores together. They feel it is another way to spend quality time together.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 06). Personal Interests & Expectations. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/Family__Consumer____Human_Development/Marriage___Family_Relationships/Personal_Interests___Expectations_9.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License