{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Couples who both work - how do you balance household duties? My SO works 50-60 hours, I work half. We both make the same. Given my lighter schedule, I do most of the household chores including cooking, cleaning, laundry, kids, etc. SO helps out if asked, but it requires me to stay on top of it and delegate. Am I the asshole for feeling frustrated? I know my hours are less but feels like my life’s workload is imbalanced to upkeep my SO’s. Does any other working couple have a system that works?", "post_id": "60ff8e374cc4ec00304c72d0", "reply_count": 27, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "Coronavirus Work-life" }

Couples who both work - how do you balance household duties? My SO works 50-60 hours, I work half. We both make the same. Given my lighter schedule, I do most of the household chores including cooking, cleaning, laundry, kids, etc. SO helps out if asked, but it requires me to stay on top of it and delegate. Am I the asshole for feeling frustrated? I know my hours are less but feels like my life’s workload is imbalanced to upkeep my SO’s. Does any other working couple have a system that works?

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I used to work a lot more than SO and made less. He always stepped up and did the chores I couldn’t get to and made sure I ate home cooked meals. Now, our hours are pretty balanced with him having the occasional tough week. I step up and do everything those weeks. To me a partnership doesn’t always mean 50-50- it’s recognizing sometimes you’ll do 80% and other times you do 20%.


Your SO sounds amazing. It sounds like you have a good system down. How do you communicate when one person needs to step up more? Does it come naturally or do you guys schedule in advance?

There is almost always going to be some friction. Unless both parties are incredibly self less, there’s bound to be some give and take. With me and my wife (neither of us being perfectly self less) we’ve found a balance where she does most of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. I get up early, feed the kids, take them out, and usually handle their showers and bedtime. She recently quit her job so she’s taking on a bit more of the childcare as well, but the balance is always being adjusted


Good point. I think I wish I was more selfless so I wouldn’t be struggling with these thoughts. @KPMG: that resentful is exactly what I’m afraid of. I feel like it’s always been 80/20 for years due to my SO’s work schedule. It’s hard to ask my SO to do the dishes when he’s stressed over a huge presentation to prepare for.

Fairness is rarely 50/50, especially in your situation. It’s an ebb and flow of balancing responsibilities, sometimes you’ll take on more and sometimes they will. Open communication is the only way to stop resenting one another here. I would lay out a list of all chores together and list the frequency of how often it’s needed. With your SO’s hours in mind, you can talk about fairly divvying them up and see what the comfortably volunteer for. At the end of the day, you need to express what would make you happier and I doubt it’s a 50/50 split of the chores. I bet it’s closer to appreciation and sacrifice, like if your partner volunteers to do all morning activities with the kids so you can sleep in, and that they thank you more. Of all these things, the part I would resent the most is job prioritization when you know it’s possible to achieve work/life balance at that salary. Should the conversation revolve around chores or should it be an honest look at why they choose a job that works that many hours and doesn’t pay well for it? Maybe the solution is reevaluating SO’s current job— if it’s not their dream company/ work, why is he/she prioritizing long hours at the job over family duties?


Yes yes yes. You hit the nail on the head of what I’m feeling. The source of my resentment is my SO’s job prioritization over our home life. My SO is innately a workaholic, perfectionist which is something I used to admire but is now making it very difficult to live with esp in this WFH solution where there is no set time to leave the office.

After a year of fighting (post baby and both back to full time jobs) we made the collaborative decision to cut back in certain areas in order to have enough money to hire a biweekly housekeeper and order carry out a couple nights per week. It seriously saved our marriage.


That’s amazing. I’m glad you found a solution that saved your marriage!

You don't have a system, I just help when I can and so does she. Can't expect more when we are both modern slaves.


Modern slaves 😂 yeah I wish roles were as clear at home as it was in work sometimes lol

How do you make the same but only work half the number of hours? I’d have an issue with that level of dependency. Just don’t do more than half the chores. Let them feel the full weight of their job that makes them work more hours at a lower hourly rate.


I’m pretty seasoned at my firm and SO jumped around which requires more hours to prove yourself at each company. Haha I think my SO is fully aware of the lower hourly rate but is a workaholic and would put in that time even if it meant a min wage pay.

Chores in marriage is give and take. Sometimes you do more chores sometimes you do less chores than your spouse. I had to be extreme on some rules to make my life easier. If I see toys left on floors, they get thrown out (I never seen kids clean up that fast once I upheld my threat 😂) . Same with laundry. I tell all if I’m doing everyone’s laundry from start to finish, I have a say in what stays and goes to donations. Sometimes I have to remind my husband if it’s too much to ask him to unload dishwasher and put away folded laundry, because honestly it’s not a lot but makes a huge difference for me. I give myself permission to take breaks and reward myself doing all this upkeep with work, kids, and household. Get a manicure, shopping, night out with girlfriends etc.


What if I do more chores…all the time 😅 still waiting for us to swap positions. I think I need to create some stricter rules too to hold each other accountable. I annoy myself with how much I repeatedly tell my SO to pick up after himself.

It’s hard. My spouse is more of the breadwinner, but obviously our jobs are still demanding. I think we both try to handle as much as we can manage and we outsource a lot.


I feel like managing a home is a job in itself. It’s cool you find ways to optimize what you do and outsource pieces of it. I enjoy a lot of the work too esp cooking and grocery shopping but find it impossible to find enough time to finish it all.


Pretty sound advice in this thread. If your company can pay for it or you have the resources, I’d encourage you to look at the Gottman Method. It’s a couples workshop that teaches you how to handle these situations effectively and is absolutely amazing.


With Microsoft, there is an employee benefit that pays for it upfront. I’ve seen other companies reimburse under other benefits. The Art and Science of Love is great and will require a time commitment (that is well worth it).

How do you only work 25-30 hours a week?

I’ve been at the company for a while so I know how to get things done quickly, and just got lucky with the team culture

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