If you’ve just emerged from a time capsule in the ’60s, welcome to the future! In this world, the majority of women have jobs, which means housework doesn’t come with a gender anymore. To keep your relationship healthy, it’s probably best to share it equally.
While it might sound like common sense to some of our younger readers, the notion of sharing housework among both (all?) members of a relationship is a relatively new idea. As news site Vox points out, the rise of women working in the 1970s resulted in a change in how Western families viewed housework. This phenomenon was referred to as “the second shift” by demographer Frances Goldscheider. Research over time found that, in this new world where the working parent or spouse wasn’t determined by their gender, the more balanced the house work is, the more likely everyone is to be happy with their relationship:
Goldscheider has authored a roundup of the latest research that shows how changing attitudes about masculinity and greater involvement in housekeeping and child care among men actually helps strengthen marriages. Men doing more chores can help protect against divorce. The more time men spend with their children, the more satisfied both partners say they are with the relationship.
Again, for younger readers this might be obvious, but it hasn’t always been so. Even today, some view tasks like raising children, doing dishes, or cleaning as “women stuff”. Even if you don’t see it in such black-and-white-TV terms, ensuring both partners are pitching in around the house is a surefire way to improve a relationship.