Advice on how to get SO to take more initiative with housework? He has a very flexible work schedule that allows him to work significantly less hours than me (roughly 1/2 the amount of my work schedule), however I still end up taking on the majority of the cleaning, errands, and handiwork around the house. Past conversations we’ve had where I try and express to him that I need more support have not been well received and just result with him getting defensive.

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Give him specific tasks to own entirely and walk away from them. When he does them is his own business, but he should do work around the house too.

If he’s resistant, have a serious conversation about who contributes what around the house. Express what you do, and then listen with an open mind for what he contributes. Maybe he feels he does a lot that you don’t notice?

After that, if you still feel there is an imbalance and he doesn’t agree, try to find the thing you care little about but that he will notice big time (like doing his laundry, if applicable). Stop doing it and tell him to figure it out if he complains.


Make a Kanban board for tasks


Oh, and as always, if you can afford to, outsource as much as you can. Cleaning especially pays dividends when someone else does it regularly for you.


Tried the conversation and got the glib “just hire a maid” reply. I’ve gotten a bit more direct and made him arrange and manage the maid service so it didn’t become another responsibility for me.


Write all the chores, tasks, etc on separate post its. Put them all on the table. Then take turns taking them one by one. Or, alt version, take turns giving them to each other one by one. Do this at the beginning of each month. If your SO doesn't want to play then just take half of them and don't do the other half.


No. You end up living in a half immaculate house with your free time and sanity intact.

Don't do any of it anymore



Frame things differently. If you sound like you’re whining or upset, it’s easy to get a negative response. When you’re working on things, try asking for help with the task in the moment. Try setting expectations by putting together a list for each of you where you can both clearly see what the other is working on. Don’t criticize the work they do when they complete a task either. Find the things they don’t mind doing, too. I hate doing dishes but love you cook so we split it that way. Same for laundry. I hate running up and down the stairs but I’ll fold 100 baskets of laundry no problem. So they wash and I fold. I hope this helps.


Is this your home or their home or did you move in as a couple? I’d recommend allocating a cost per chore and you each either pay into the fund to hire someone or you pay into the other doing a task. My husband and I each picked chores we’re comfortable doing, he does laundry, I cook and do grocery shopping. We, as a couple, pay for the housekeeper to come weekly.

Similar - I heard a great segment on an NPR podcast where one of the couple paid the other to do dishes. Worked for them!

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