A recent study shows that women are more likely to initiate a divorce than men, but women and men initiate break-ups in non-marital relationships at about the same rate.
Huh? What’s up with that?
Aren’t women the ones who dream of fairytale weddings and happily ever after? Aren’t women longing for a family and security? Aren’t women traditionally the ones looking forward to marriage?
Why, then, would women be more eager to bail on marriage than they would be to leave a man they were just living with?
While social scientists and researchers debate the reasons for women’s apparent willingness to leave the marital nest, Columbia University Professor Heidi Grant Halvorson thinks she has an answer: Housework.[Read also: Seven Things Madly-in-love Couples Do to Stay That Way]
According to Professor Halvorson, “… the division of chores is a major source of happiness and unhappiness in marriages and those (chores) predominantly go to women even when women work as long as men do.”
Hah! There you have it! Scientific proof that housework is bad for your marriage! (I’ve actually been waiting for a study like this to come out for years!)
The logical next question, of course, is what to do about it? If hiring a full-time maid isn’t in your budget, how is a man supposed to keep his wife happy?
Here are five (admittedly un-scientific and not backed by any research) tips men can use to keep their wives from wanting a divorce:
1. Pick up your underwear!
Seriously! They’re on the floor, just two feet away from the clothes hamper. It’s called a clothes hamper because that’s where you put your dirty clothes.
It’s just as easy to put your dirty underwear in there as it is to throw them on the floor.
2. Help with the dishes.
… or the laundry, or anything else that keeps the house reasonably clean and in good order.
If you do, your wife will be that much less exhausted at the end of the evening and that much more interested in pursing some “extracurricular activities” in the bedroom later that night.
3. Go to the grocery store a few times.
Yes, your wife knows you hate it. She knows you’re tired and that you don’t feel like picking up milk and bread on your way home. But if you don’t get them, she will have to do it.
That means she will be more tired and have less time in the evening for you. (See tip #2 if you have any doubt about what that means).[Read also: If You Really Love Yourself, You Won’t Do These 7 Things]
4. Put your dirty dishes in the sink.
It’s ok if you want to chomp on something while you’re on the couch watching the baseball game.
It’s fine if you eat at your desk in the home office, or even if you want to snack while you are in the bathtub. (Just don’t drop stuff in the water and then leave it there when the tub drains. That’s gross).
Just put your dishes in the sink when you’re done so that your wife doesn’t have to find them all over the house.
5. Don’t stop when everything is “fine.”
When you can see your wife’s irritation, and when you ask her how she’s doing, and she says, “Fine,” DO NOT go back to watching TV! “Fine” does not mean “ok.”
It means she’s crabby and exhausted and desperately needs you to see that and to give a damn! Watch what she is doing and help her! Talk to her! Hold her! Do something!
Will helping with the housework automatically guarantee marital bliss? Probably not. But, if you’re willing to commission a study to find out for sure, I’d be willing to volunteer my house for that research!