One of the main reasons why people divorce is disagreements over household chores, according to a study from Harvard Business School. In fact, 25 percent of divorced people split because someone didn’t take out the trash or do the laundry (infidelity and “drifting apart” are the top two causes of divorce).
Researchers surveyed 3,000 couples and found those who spent more money on cleaning services were much more satisfied in their relationships. Often people get stressed when they have too many tasks to complete at home and not enough time to complete them.
“Conflicts over chores are one of the primary reasons that couples divorce: both men and women become frustrated working a ‘second shift’ at home,” the researchers noted. “Recent research offers a potential solution to this source of marital conflict: time-saving purchases, such as hiring a housecleaner, can improve personal happiness.”
Getting some help with chores is beneficial because it frees couples up and allows them to spend more quality time together.
A survey of 30,000 workers found 90 percent felt overloaded trying to balance their home and work lives. Many of these workers claimed they don’t get to spend enough time with their spouses.
One way to combat this issue is spending money to save time. In one experiment, individuals who spent $40 on a time-saving purchase such as housecleaning or grocery delivery were happier than those who spent $40 on themselves.
“The benefits of buying time emerged in part because time-saving purchases protected consumers from the negative impact of time-stress. These results
point to the idea that buying time can promote well-being,” the researchers noted.
Technology has made it increasingly possible for people to get help with household chores, and research shows that actions such as hiring a cleaner can improve happiness and reduce stress. “These findings point to the possibility that spending money in ways that will save time could be a profitable pathway from spending to happiness within romantic relationships,” the researchers explained.
Men typically do approximately 20 percent of household chores, including laundry and cleaning—a huge step up from the ‘70s when they only did between 2 and 5 percent of the work.
It’s worth getting involved. Men who do more housework reportedly have better sex and happier marriages, according to a study by John Gottman. “Women find a man’s willingness to do housework extremely erotic,” he explained.
If outsourcing housework is not an option, a solution is splitting up tasks so they’re fair to both partners. Items may include car care, child care, finances, grocery shopping, cooking, house cleaning, and house projects.