When it comes to keeping a clean house, turns out, a happy wife really does mean a happy life (or a happy marriage, for that matter). A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois found that couples who divide household chores equally have the highest chance for marital bliss.
The study, which involved 220 heterosexual newlyweds, analyzed the beliefs, behavior, and overall marital quality of each pair. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprising at all, they discovered that an equal division of labor affected the marital satisfaction of the wives but not so much the husbands.
Brian G. Ogolsky, University of Illinois Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, explains why. "For husbands, sharing household tasks isn't as directly related to their satisfaction. Either they don't perceive that there is a discrepancy or they have bought into the idea that the second shift belongs to women."
This type of thinking could be particularly disastrous for newlyweds that truly are in it 'til death do them part. And what married couple is not? Old habits tend to die hard so getting on the same page during the first two years of marriage is critical for this reason alone.
Professor Ogolsky couldn't agree more. "Newlyweds need to thoughtfully plan how they can make their expectations about sharing chores work out in real life, especially if the new spouses strongly value gender equality in household labor," he says. "This issue will only matter more after children start arriving. The important thing is to enter a marriage with a clear understanding of where your partner stands on these issues. Such an understanding helps couples avoid becoming disillusioned as the marriage goes on."
So ladies, before you say, "I do", you might want to make sure your and your fiancé's expectations about who will take out the trash, wipe the bathroom floors, and do the laundry line up.