Wedded Bliss

Somehow many years ago, the Wild Boar and I settled into our lives and developed a division of labor of the household chores.

We did not talk about it, make a list or try out this arrangement first.

At some point, probably after kids, we fell into certain household roles.

I do the laundry, grocery shop, make dinner (and all other meals), handle kids bedtime and shower duties.  I make the beds, help the kids with homework, dust and pay the bills.

The Wild Boar cleans up after all meals (when home), empties the dishwasher, takes out the garbage, does all yardwork, fixes everything the kids and I break, cleans the toilets, takes care of the pool, vacuums, keeps all four computers in running order and my favorite HE SEWS (he is a surgeon you know).

The best part? 

If the dishwasher is full, one of us is not sitting around waiting for the other one to empty it.  It’s his job.  I can pile dirty dishes in the sink and take clean ones out the dishwasher without having any guilt.  He will empty it when he feels like it or has time.

I can leave clothes in the dryer or let laundry pile up and he knows I am not waiting for him to do it.  I will get to it when I can. 

We never argue about household duties or let the trash fill up to see who will take it out.

It’s the perfect unspoken arrangement and I don’t even know how we got there.  We just did.

After dinner I am able to get up from the table and do things I want/need to do because he will take care of the dishes, just as I shopped for and cooked the meal.

I love this arrangement. 

It works.

Does this mean that I never do any of those chores?  No.  I fill in if need be and vice versa.

This works in our marriage.

Does anyone have a similar arrangement?  What works for you?

Post a Comment


  1. Diane 1

    We sort of have fell into a jobs split, but when I was not well recently my partner did everything including feeding the cats which he hates!

    Domestic harmony is wonderful!

  2. Alan 2

    It’s true! My wife and I have been married for 35 years and we’ve never discussed who does what. I do the shopping, cooking dishes and mow the lawns. I do any vacuuming I think is necessary. She does the laundry, housework and gardening and nowadays, most of the driving. Our children have now moved on but when they were with us we shared their needs too. No discussion, it just evolved. Funny, isn’t it?

  3. HoneyB 3

    Yup, it’s pretty much the same here – except the kids part…we didn’t have children together and my kids were basically grown up when Grumpy and I got together!

  4. We have a similar arrangement too. My husband does all the cleaning but never ever cooks.

  5. Lori 5

    We’ve got the important tasks divvied up: he cooks all the meals, I do all the baking. He does all the food shopping, I clean the kitchen. I do the laundry, he takes all the trash out. The rest we do as we wish without worry (too much) because the most important stuff is clearly divided.

  6. We do the same thing!

    Except a sink full of dishes makes me twitch and I can’t leave them…I’m so neurotic

  7. I do all of the above… and change the light bulbs, wash the windows, take care of the yard, etc.

    That said, my husband does cook when I ask him to, he teaches the kids to play guitar, ride horses, and cook! When I am gone at an evening market he usually enlists the kids help to cook..

    Everyone rinses their dishes and puts them on the counter…they all clear the table..and everyone has to get their dirty laundry to the right basket… I take it from there…

  8. As a stay at home mom with a husband who has a very physically demanding job, I do most of the things you listed. Dh fills in when needed. When we have Bible fellowship at our house or are expecting other guests, dh often helps out. Most of the time, though, I do most of the housework. Jobs which require tools or ladders are usually his.

    I also do a lot of the yardwork, but that’s because I want to. He does any work with the big equipment like digging the pond and sculpting the berm around it. Once the structure is in place, I take over a lot of the maintenance. I have a specific vision of what I want for plants and grasses which not everyone shares. I don’t trust anyone else with the weed whacker or mower at this point. This is what I’ve been busy doing for the past week. I need to blog about it, but I’ve been too tired to write. I just want to veg out on everyone else’s blogs when I come inside from working.

  9. My mother once asked my why I didn’t have Daddy-O do the dishes more often.

    My response was, “I like them washed on both sides.”

    We have a fairly unspoken division as well that works quite well for us. I do most of the household stuff while he does most of the fixin stuff. We’re equally split on kid duties. I love to mow the lawn and dig in the flower gardens. The veggie garden is his alone.

  10. julenajo 10

    Your division of chores is much like ours. In the beginning I used to do ALL of the cooking except for the occasional meal, as my husband likes to cook, too. However, once we both started working out of the home full time things changed slightly. At the time when we first married I wrote a food column for the local newspaper once a week. I was very into cooking. Then we had children. The first one, a son, was very accepting of new things and tried (and liked) most everything. Then I had two daughters. After they could talk I began receiving comments like, “May I have Spaghettios instead of this stuff you’re making for dinner?” and “Can’t we go to McDonalds for REAL food tonight?” or even worse, the teenage sneer and “No” followed by a firmly closed bedroom door. I all but quit cooking. I’m starting to again, now that it is mostly just my husband and myself at the dinner table on any given night. And I’m back to happy experimentation again, making all the recipes I gathered but did not use for over ten years. :)

  11. Karly 11

    What works for us? Well, Cleatus works 50 hours or so a week out of the house and I do EVERYTHING else, except for mowing the lawn. Does it work for us? Eh, I get pissy about doing the garbage (total man’s job) and picking up his crusty socks and wet towels and stray soda cans, but everything else works out.

  12. We are eerily similar. And peace rules the land. Until I find something to bother me. Usually the same time each month…

  13. AManda 13

    Pretty close to our routine, except Hubby does the kids night time routine, I do almost all the dishes (he sometimes helps with the pots and pans). I do the yard work (except for the pool). Also, although I am the primary cook, he has three BBQ’s in the back that he used quite a bit. YUM.

  14. Sandy 14

    How funny. We are the same way over here.
    Big daddy puts the laundry away, but I wash and fold…I hate putting it away. And with 4 kids our dishwasher runs twice a day, so that is one thing we both do, usually whoever gets up first in the am. Like you two it all developed unspoken, well most of it. Some of it may have come about during a hormonal pregnant rant!

  15. Harmony 15

    Nice set up you got there! Let’s see, our routine…I don’t think we have one. I pretty much do all the housework and bill paying…and Ant does the yard work. Sometimes he does a living room pick up, but other than that it’s my job. It works out, because he never complains about the house…he knows it will get done eventually. ;)

  16. You could be the next Oprah if you could teach others how to get your system to work for them. I’ve been trying for decades and always end up frustrated, usually because I’m the one doing everything! You are very fortunate.

  17. Hehehe! Our husbands must be twins separated at birth. We have almost the same exact arrangement, except for fixing the computer part. He is totally tech challenged. The trade-off there is that Mr. SGCC does all his own ironing, and most of mine too. My friends are all in awe over this, but it’s true. I hate to iron, so it was a deal braker in the marriage contract! ;)

  18. We have a similar arrangement that evolved as well, though I did have to say at first that I prefer not to take out trash or do dishes. I will do these things as needed, but I would much rather do almost any other chore! Dirty dishes and trash skeeve me out. I grocery shop, run all household errands, cook all meals, pay all bills, and dust. He takes out the trash, does the dishes, mows the lawn, and vacuums. Laundry gets done as needed by whomever feels like doing it as does sweeping/mopping. I love just sitting down after dinner and not worrying about the dishes!

  19. krysta 19

    i cook and my huband does the laundry everything else is either split up by the kids ( woo-hoo! they are old enough to do chores!)or we just either do it together (yard work) or like you, wordlessly, just get it done…

  20. Alisa 20

    It’s funny, because our roles have always been somewhat untraditional, I used to take care of the outside stuff, mow lawns, trash, etc., and he would do the cooking and the like. Now, we’re switching it around without really talking about it. We have a good partnership, we both just do what needs to get done. It’s more fun this way for us.

  21. Kristen 21

    My husband have a very similar, same arrangement. Its wonderful!

  22. Cheryl 22

    Our “system” is similar and unspoken, yet highly effective. Husband cooks, irons (his own shirts, I purchase nothing that requires ironing for my very hatred of it), helps with laundry. Oddly, I prefer the traditionally “male” take out the trash, recycling, dishwasher emptying and wine opening.

    (Must say again how very thrilled I am to have found your blog! Enjoy the rest of your weekend)

  23. SoCALMom 23

    Well, I admire your arrangement Cathy. Love your blog, too. My husband and I try to approach things as a team. Sadly, it does not always work. Generally we do things “as needed” together. I thought of this e-mail I received a while back when I read “wedded bliss”. I’ll paste it here- hope it works:

    Summer Classes for Men at

    by Friday, August 17th 2008

    Class 1
    How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays–Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
    Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

    Class 2
    The Toilet Paper Roll–Does It Change Itself?
    Round Table Discussion.
    Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

    Class 3
    Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?–Group Practice.
    Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

    Class 4
    Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor–Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
    Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

    Class 5
    Dinner Dishes–Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
    Examples on Video.
    Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
    at 7:00 PM

    Class 6
    Loss Of Identity–Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
    Help Line Support and Support Groups.
    Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

    Class 7
    Learning How To Find Things–Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
    Open Forum
    Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

    Class 8
    Health Watch–Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
    Graphics and Audio Tapes.
    Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

    Class 9
    Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost–Real Life Testimonials.
    Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined

    Class 10
    Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
    Driving Simulations.
    4 weeks, Saturday’s noon, 2 hours.

    Class 11
    Learning to Live–Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
    Online Classes and role- playing
    Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

    Class 12
    How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
    Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
    Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

    Class 13
    How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy–Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You’re Going To Be Late.
    Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
    Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.
    Class 14
    The Stove/Oven–What It Is and How It Is Used.
    Live Demonstration.
    Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.
    Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

  24. Tipper 24

    We both share the chores-and like you we just came to it-with no debating. Love the Man/husband comment above!

  25. It all came so naturally for us. He likes to put away clean dishes and I don’t, but I love to tackle the dirty ones! It just sort of fell into place from there. We love being together, even when tidying up. We have enough bathrooms in this house for everyone to have the joy of cleaning their own toilet. (Yeah, the girls get a kick out of that job!) I guess the key is we all love living here in harmony. [Hint, if mamma ain’t happy … and mamma likes tidy.] We are a happy mix of tidy(3) and r-e-l-a-x-e-d (3) so it all evens out in the end.

    p.s. My husband can sew on an errant button, but I sure wouldn’t let him near my body. ; ) Happy Sunday to you!

  26. We have no system whatsoever…(sigh). And after a bajillion years of marriage, I just don’t think we’ll ever change (sigh again).

  27. Ruth 27

    the closest i ever had to this was with housemates at university. my favourite chore to do is the washing up (the old fashioned way- i’ve never had a dishwasher). i like to make a big thing of it, play the radio loud and sing along, and i dont stop until every item is washed, and all the surfaces are cleaned too.
    my housemates used to say i didnt have to do theirs, but i didnt like to leave them.
    in return i never had to hoover once the whole time i lived there (my least favourite chore).
    ok, im missing some chores out, but that little system worked quite well.

  28. rachel 28

    Not exactly the same, but we have a very similar arrangement and it works wonderfully for us and keeps our relationship on wonderful terms :-)

  29. leslie 29

    This too is how our house works!
    Sometimes when I am have a serious PMS moment..I will get pissed about having to put all the laundry away..and he will step in and do it for me..but for the most part, we each have our own set of chores.

  30. Marcy 30

    With me not working right now and being a SAHM, I expect myself to do the laundry, dishes and meals. the kiddo is here during the summer and will help when need be. On chris’ weekends, he will do at least one load of siehs ( we don’t have a dishwasher), and he will help me fold clothes. During the week if the gras needs to be mowed , I do it. Just because he’s gone usually up to 10-12 hrs a day and I’m home. I don’t expect him to come home and do that kind of stuff. Right now thats my job. Hes worked all day and is starving when he gets home. Right now that works for us:)) He doesn’t do toilets though, lol.
    I think I will keephim, because if for some reason I can’t do said chores, he does do them when he has time.

  31. It worked pretty much like that when I was well. I took care of the house and the yard. I helped with other things.Now we end up having to hire somebody to do what I did.

  32. We have a similar arrangement, after 10 years…

    There are certain things only I do-grocery shop, laundry, clean the kids rooms

    Him-Weedeat, mow the grass, trash, kids math homework

    Though if we need to we interchange some times, BUT he is NOT allowed to wash mine or the kids clothes! I’m a laundry Nazi! I inherited it from my mother, blame her!

    I do tend to do more around the house but that’s because I only work 40 hours a week, James works usually around 60 sometimes more…so when he’s working more I pick up more of the household stuff…but if he’s home then he’ll pick it right back up.

  33. When we were first married my husband did all the cooking since I couldn’t even boil pasta correctly (this is a true story) and I did the dishes. Over the years this has changed since I’ve learned how to cook pasta as well as many other things. He mostly does the dishes now which suits me fine. I take care of everything else in the house (as far as cleaning goes) because as much as I love my husband, he just clean as well as I do. ;)

  34. Cathy C 34

    Funny you should post about this as just today I was thinking about how nice it is that there the household chores per say are evenly split and it is unspoken – We each just naturally do certain things and help each other as needed. It is so nice not to argue about who is supposed to do what – we are a true team in all aspects of our relationship and this area is no exception. In fact as I am typing he is outside washing the cars – unprompted so wonderful!!!


  35. tj 35

    …Hello and love your blog! I don’t have it as lucky as you unfortunately. I am home and all of the home duties fall on me including all the lawn and weed eating, gardening, tilling, even painting of the house and barn. I dunno how you and some of your readers arrived at this but I would like to know. My husband works a hard job manually and I try and do what needs to be done here but if I had my way I would def’ get more help from him… ;o)

    …Great post and it’s nice that your husband helps out…

    …Blessings… :o)

  36. We have a similat arrangement–the only thing that’s up for grabs is the dishwasher. We pretty much take turns unloading it–but neither of us likes to! I wish that one was totally my husband. Oh, and i do all the cooking–but he sometimes makes breakfast for the kids on weekends

  37. Generally speaking we each have our roles where mine is more focused on the laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, finances and he is more fix it, build it, implement it. But when it comes to the kitchen and dishes and figuring out what to eat, that is almost 50/50 split. I am lucky to have a husband that loves good food just as much as me and is willing to test things out. He does more of the savory slow cooking things where I am more focused on the practical day to day lunches, quick dinner and grocery shopping.

  38. Sassy 38

    The Hub and I have always had a very traditional way of doing things.

    I was a sahm so i did pretty much everything in the house, and with the kiddos, He did the garbage, fixing, and outside work.

    I`m still a sahm, but without the kids, and he is semi retired and things have stayed pretty much the same, except for a one month stint the hub embarked on, taking on the kitchen as HIS responsibility.

    Queen for a month is what i was. I reveled in it, bragged about it, praised his work, loved every moment of it, then he went to work for a few weeks, and it was over. gone, done, kaput. *sighs*

  39. I’m single and envious. Sounds like you two have a great arrangement. And better yet, a fabulously healthy relationship. The arguments I have seen amongst my friends and their spouses….OHHHH. Girl, you got it good!

  40. Hey a lot of similar division to yours. Except HE does the laundry. Seriously, my favorite thing about him!

  41. Debie 41

    We are of the inside/outside marriage – he does the outdoors and I do the indoors. It works for us.

  42. Paula 42

    *sigh* When it comes to chores, we are much less mature. We have fallen into our respective rolls as well, but, well, sometimes, it seems like there are more chores than bodies willing to do them. The bodies are able, just not willing! :-) I like to get things done asap, hubby man is much more laid back. He does help when asked, but feels no sense of urgency. I, of course, can’t sit still. We don’t argue about it, but I sure do wish I had a clone to help out with laundry, clutter control, and yard work. Oh, and bathrooms, too. Perhaps I should drink more wine and mellow out!!!

  43. Erinn 43

    My sig.other have similar and friendly roles when it comes to the division of chores. It’s nice to know the other person will do there share with none of that pesky “nagging” involved. You are a lucky woman, and come to think of it, I am too! A man who’ll empty the dishwasher is my idea of heaven! :)

  44. Laura 44

    We are similar–but we keep moving and some chores keep getting bounced around depending on the house. For example in our current house I need more help with the laundry. It is part of our kitchen/public area “half bath” and therefore cramped and crowded and so I need help getting stuff moved along, whereas previously I had been doing it all. He works on dishes every morning but I also work on them every afternoon before cooking or baking anything (I hate trying to cook when there are dirty dishes in the sink). We are building a house, so I bet if you asked me this question in 5 years or so our division of labour would be much more established, if that makes any sense.

    Nobody sewed in my family, growing up (my mom hated and sends it all to the cleaners, I think bc her mom sewed so much), but my dad, who is also a surgeon, went through a phase where he sewed me and my sister matching velvet dresses. Just to see if he could. :)

  45. We have a similar division – except my bf’s tasks are mainly based on chores that I don’t like: vaccuming, cleaning the bathtub, changing the sheets on the bed. Pretty much everything else is done by whoever gets tired of the mess first (usually me) or by my request that it be done.

  46. Flea 46

    After 16 years, we’re still working things out. And with three kids in the mix, they’re part of the chore equation. It’s constantly changing. I’m TOLD that change is good. Hmph.

  47. pam 47

    I do all the things you said also. My husband used to do the dishes, but then when my girls got big enough, they did the dishes. Now that they are away at college or married (gosh I’m old), he hasn’t picked up the slack. I think we need to have a talk!

  48. Lex the mom 48

    We are very nearly like you & the Boar. Only mine won’t do the dishes.

    We didn’t come to any of our agreements easily, though. It took some training of him on my part. He was raised in a very traditional, culturally in the past family. At the same time, his mom was also the breadwinner in the family. Makes for a shaky start – for me anyhow. I don’t know that I could live up to anything in the beginning.

    We do have harmony, now. Of course there are areas he could improve in (like handy stuff – never good, we usually end up paying someone else so much more to fix his mess ups). I don’t weigh my mind on stuff like that. It isn’t worth it.

    There are no demands anymore, either. So, yeah, ours wasn’t easy to come by, even if we didn’t hash out who does what (cause I was to do everything). Heh.

  49. grace 49

    sounds like the perfect arrangement to me. the approval of an arrangement such as this will be a pre-requisite for my future husband. :)

  50. I take care of the inside and The Captain takes care of the outside. And we each pinch hit when necessary.

  51. Erin 51

    Our arrangement is perhaps not quite as perfect as yours, but it works for us. I think the best part is that neither of us stresses out when stuff isn’t perfectly done. We’re just not like that.

    Our personalities mesh. Love it.

  52. melissa 52

    Somehow ours developed into me doing dishes, cooking, making lunches, most of the laundry…

    And he does everything else – bathroom (which he is SO good at), trash, vacuuming, litter box and dusting.

    I think if you found an arrangement that works so comfortably, you’re lucky. I feel lucky too. :)

  53. Kate 53

    He cooks, I clean. He does his own laundry. I do mine. Unless I see his on the floor (it’s where he leaves it and why I don’t do it) and I need some to fill a load with mine. It works, but sometimes he doesn’t like it.

  54. We have a sort of division too, but it changes all the time depending on if my bricklayer husband is working or not. But rule #1 that seldom changes: he makes coffee in the morning.

    My rule that he often breaks: don’t wash my clothes! He can mess up more clothes than you can even imagine.

  55. Wendy 55

    Absolutely. I pay the bills and do all the grownup stuff (like shop for insurance, find us a house), and I do all the cooking and grocery shopping. He does the dishes, laundry and the cat litter tray/dog poop duty. :D Vaccuuming and tidying we do together or take turns. No kids – but that all changes in T minus 8 weeks :P

  56. Liz C. 56

    Yes, our deal is that if I want a half-assed job done, then hubby gets it. Otherwise, I have to do it over… the right way, lol. He pretty much does what he wants, when he wants, which is not very much and not very often. If I want a job done next week, he gets the job. If I want it done now, the right way, I simply do it myself.

  57. Lara 57

    Oh, how I wish we had a similar arrangement. Rob and I are in desperate need of finding a system that works, because we often argue over who is doing more chores. BLARGH.

  58. Egghead 58

    I have to say that in the beginning my husband was not helpful in the least. His job consisted mostly of coming home from work and reading the newspaper while I after work cooked, homework, cleaning, dishes laundry…pretty much all of it. Sometimes he would play with the kids if I asked him. I blame myself quite often though because instead of saying I needed help I would just stew in my own anger for him “not seeing that I needed help”. BUT following a couple of back surgeries where he had to do everything including Christmas shopping for a month, he changed his tune. He now does just about everything as I do equally. Where one leaves off the other picks up. Most often we will both be cooking, washing dishes etc. There does seem to be something to be said for speaking up for yourself and asking for help. He just was clueless he said. I don’t know if I buy that he was THAT clueless but he has made up for it ten fold. Good blog.

  59. Neen 59

    I like what you’re pointing at: the lack of guilt and the lack of snipping or whining that comes from having such an arrangement. Do and I are young enough that we’re still figuring out what is a routine division of labor (good) and what is an unfair or gendered split. Some routines are great: we cook equally; he clears the table, puts away leftovers and sharpens knives while I do the dishes; I do the banking and bill-paying but he keeps the records. On the other hand, how come he never has time to do the laundry? :)

    ps. I definitely want your kugel recipe.

  60. I need to get here consistently – read ANY blogs consistently… I am going to barrage you with comments…

    My husband and I have a similar relationship. It’s nice. Sometimes we need to chat, but my guy is so precious – it doesn’t take much :)

  61. Our division is exactly the same as yours! And it’s the one thing we never argue over. I love that I never have to worry about a dish, and that laundry always gets done my way.

    (except no one sews around here!! :) )

  62. Amber 62

    I tried to figure out where you live. I know Sebastapol is Nuclear Free. My parents are in Santa Rosa, one sister in Napa, one in Manchester near Point Arena on the North Coast, and one here with me in hell in the Central Valley. And my daughters, 21 & 22, are in Costa Mesa. Soooo…we have a little in common sort of. But I am not so good at picking men so if I meet one again I am going to let other women friends pick for me. Your arrangement with your husband is wonderful, mine was so lazy. So if he has any older friends, I am 51, you just keep me in mind. Okay? Okay. And yes I read you often but have missed a lot lately because I am so busy trying to learn my blog.


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