How household chores are divided could make or break a marriage for some couples in Arizona. According to a study by Harvard Business School that looked at 3,000 couples, of the ones who divorced, 25 percent named disagreements over housework as the main reason they split up.
Several studies support the idea that creating more leisure time by paying someone else to do certain chores ranging from laundry to grocery delivery may lead to a better sense of well-being for people. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found in a 2017 study that $100 to $200 per month spent on what it called “outsourcing” led to improved relationships. Paying for these services allows couples to avoid the argument over who will do the chores and also gives them more time to spend together.
However, $100 to $200 per month may represent a significant amount of money for many couples. This does not mean that lower-income couples are all headed for divorce. One key to success in a relationship is learning how to fight effectively. Couples must also learn how to state their needs. A study in 2017 found that even women who have full-time jobs still do most of the housework in heterosexual relationships. Their partners’ failure to acknowledge this inequality might drive many of these divorces.
When conflict over housework or other issues results in a decision to divorce, it might be difficult for couples to imagine they will be able to successfully negotiate an agreement over property division and child custody. However, this might be the best path to a solution that suits both people. It might also cost less and take less time than litigation. For parents, negotiating a parenting agreement may help them establish a functional co-parenting relationship.