Q: My wife and I both work and she says I should help out more, but I’m just not a cooking/laundry kind of guy. What can I do?
A: When you both work, you both are exhausted at the end of the day no matter what your jobs. It’s tiring to have to be up and out somewhere every day. So both of you would probably prefer to come home and just crash. Yet things have to be done around the home. Meals have to be cooked, laundry done, the bathroom cleaned. Men, you’re just going to need to help share the load. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a cooking or laundry kind of guy. You can learn. You can heat up a can of soup for dinner. You can run a vacuum or sweep a floor. We bet you do some things a bit more intense than that at work—so we think you can handle it. You need to do what it takes to help out at home.
We can promise you this, when you ask your wife, “Honey, what can I do to lighten your load?” and you’re willing to do a task that is important to her, your wife will be thrilled. It shows your love, it shows commitment, it shows your heart for her, it shows honor. You’ll be amazed at how helping out in small ways will pay off in your marriage. Your wife is going to brag that you are the best husband on the planet.
Don’t try to be 50/50 on this. Don’t set yourselves up for fights and failure by trying to delineate all the responsibilities. Sure, a list of chores might help (if you’ve got kids—then you’ve got that much more help!), but everyone should be encouraged to see what needs to be done and do it.
Talk about realistic expectations. How clean is clean enough? Come up with some creative ways to be clean and healthy without driving each other crazy. What about dinnertime after those long days at work? Maybe your wife feels that she has to prepare a five-course meal every night. Tell her once a week is fine, and the rest of the nights plan for easier meals that you or the kids can make.
Be creative. Have fun. After all, you’ve been at work all day. Now you’re home with your wife and your family. This is the best part of your day!
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!