Housework may be a key to improving your relationship
August 30, 2017 | 6:44 PM
by Courtesy of Brandpoint
Technology can help couples tackle cleaning and maintain their home together.

Cleaning the bathroom and emptying the dishwasher isn’t at the top of a couple’s “To Do Together” list, but it may be the true language of love. In fact, a recent survey from home appliance leader LG Electronics found most Americans (52 per cent) get impressed by their partner doing housework. In fact, those who do chores with their partner (60 per cent) are nearly twice as likely as those who don’t (37 per cent). So what’s the key to a better relationship? Communication and housework.

That couldn’t be truer for celebrity couple Rachel Zoe, renowned designer and editor-in-chief of The Zoe Report, and her husband Rodger Berman, president of Rachel Zoe Inc., who have been together for 26 years. Rachel and Rodger are proof that communication and managing housework together could lead to a happier relationship. “Rodger and I have young boys, so there is always something to clean or pick up around the house,” shared Zoe. “We work as a team to tackle the different housework, so we can spend more time together.” Over their decades-long relationship, Zoe and Berman have some advice for how to handle disagreements over housework:

Divide and conquer

Splitting up household responsibilities makes it quicker and easier to get housework done. While one person prepares dinner, the other can set the table and then clear it afterwards. This helps couples feel like they’re both doing their part and no one is putting in more effort than the other. “We love to entertain and there is always a lot of preparation before guests arrive,” Zoe said. “Rodger and I divide up the responsibilities, which makes it so much easier and faster. For example, I’ll cook and he’ll load the dishes so everything is clean and ready when people arrive.”

Find the right tools to make tasks easier

“When we have friends and family over, we want to spend time with them and not worry about running around doing a million things and cleaning up,” notes Zoe. “We make sure we have the right tools to help us.” Technology can help couples tackle cleaning and maintain their home together.

Specialise according to priorities and strengths

Specialising is one way to ensure everyone’s priorities are met and housework gets done. Some people would rather clean the bathroom than load a dishwasher, while others don’t mind a layer of dust on furniture but can’t abide a sink full of dirty dishes overnight. The party who hates bathroom cleaning can be responsible for all dishwasher duties, including making sure the sink is dish-free at the end of the day. Meanwhile, the other party can tackle bathroom duties.

Zoe and Berman prioritise housework based on the other’s preferences. “I love cooking and it’s important to me to always serve good meals, so I handle all the cooking,” she says. “Rodger actually likes doing the dishes, and he knows I can’t sleep if there are dirty dishes in the sink, so he always makes sure the dishes are loaded in the dishwasher before we go to bed.”

Never use housework as a tool for revenge

One in four people surveyed by LG said they have purposely messed up a partner’s laundry after a fight. Zoe admits when she’s angry with Berman she may not take the throw pillows off his side of the bed, or make his nightly frozen yoghurt. However, she also verbalises to him what she’s upset about. “Sharing responsibilities has always been an effortless part of our relationship,” Zoe says. “That’s the way we have always approached our lives. We have always thought of ourselves as a team.”

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