viernes, 24 de febrero de 2017

Are you grateful for your partner’s housework? | MercatorNet

Are you grateful for your partner’s housework?

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Are you grateful for your partner’s housework?

Are you grateful for your partner’s housework?

There are good reasons to be grateful...
Marcus Roberts | Feb 24 2017 | comment 

Stuff, one of New Zealand’s two local media amalgamations, recently republished a piece from the Conversation about recent research that all married men should take note of. According to a Swedish study, heterosexual couples were more likely to divorce if husbands discounted their wife’s housework contribution. Furthermore, women who did more housework than their partners were less satisfied with their relationship and more likely to consider breaking up. (This means there are many unsatisfied women out there since, on average, women do more housework than men in all countries!)
What the research shows is that it is not so much the having to do housework that leads to problems, but the way that men can discount their wives housework contribution. The study’s methodology was as follows:
“We took data from a sample of Swedish couples where we had reports of each partner’s housework contributions, relationship quality and plans to break up. We found that in couples where men discounted women’s housework contributions, both partners reported poorer relationship quality.
In these couples, the woman also thought about breaking up with her male partner, indicating that discounting her housework contribution is more damaging for women’s relationship plans than men’s.
By following these couples over time and linking them to the Swedish register data (collected by the government for births, deaths, marriage, divorce and so on), we found these couples are more likely to officially dissolve the relationship. So in Sweden, at least, housework inequality is cause for divorce.”
Conversely, if men credit their partners’ housework – or he thinks that she does more than she actually does – then women report better satisfaction in their relationship. Apparently this supports the ideas of Arlie Hocschild who, in her book The Second Shift, identified that expressing gratitude for your partner’s housework, created “an emotional surplus” that could be drawn upon by couples when they suffer from negative emotional outcomes. Failing to recognise what the other person has done around the house creates a void “in the interpersonal climate”.
Stripping off the psychology-jargon this study seems to confirm common-sense. Everyone likes to be expressly thanked for the work they do, and housework is often a thankless task which is neverending. Therefore, it makes sense that people feel more satisfied if the only person who can appreciate their housework gives voice to that appreciation. When we were preparing for marriage, one piece of advice we were given was the “80-20” rule. Always expect to do 80% of the work and get only 20% done by your partner. If you both do that, then you will never feel resentment at the amount of work that the other person is doing and both will be satisfied hopefully. It’s something to think about anyway. Perhaps if more (men in particular) had this approach to housework, then this might also have an effect on birth rates on some well as bringing other benefits.
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We have something of a marriage theme today. There's an introduction to New Zealand's first couple, Prime Minister Bill English and his wife Mary, still happily married after 30 years, 6 kids and two careers. And Harry Benson's great testimony about how his own marital history bears out new research findings -- that unhappiness in a marriage is usually temporary, hence his advice to stick with it. This British marriage advocate has a book out that sounds like a must read.

Then Marcus Roberts, who I am sure knows from personal experience anyway, passes on other research findings about the importance to domestic harmony of appreciating the work your spouse does around the house. Marcus has a good tip too: the 80-20 rule.

Just for balance we've got a Jane Austen article (yes, another one!) that argues her books are not all about how the heroine gets her man. Did any reader of Austen, as opposed to see movie versions of her novels, ever think they were? Still, it's an instructive essay.

Carolyn Moynihan

Deputy Editor,


New Zealand’s Prime Minister has some awesome family stats

By Carolyn Moynihan
Meet Bill and Mary English: 30 years married, 6 kids, 23 siblings between them.

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Are you grateful for your partner’s housework?

By Marcus Roberts
There are good reasons to be grateful...

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The revolutionary vision of Jane Austen

By Gillian Dooley
Is Austen’s popularity starting to undermine her stature?

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Abortion widens the gender gap and exploits women

By Brian Fisher
Men started it, men can help end it.

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Unhappily married right now? Stick with it; you can find a way through

By Harry Benson
A new study confirms that unhappiness is usually temporary.

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Lessons from indigenous wisdom in the euthanasia debate

By Margaret Somerville
How a person dies affects others, not just in the present but in the future.

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Hidden Figures takes us back to when computers were people, women, and black

By Jon Agar
The irony is that computers' speed made Johnson’s genius redundant.

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More misleading statistics about gay youth suicides

By Michael Cook
It always pays to take a closer look at the figures in the headlines

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One very good reason why Americans distrust scientists

By Michael Cook
Because they have opened a door to legalising eugenics

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