Social Question

erichw1504's avatar

If you and your significant other live together, do you assign duties or take it one day at a time?

Asked by erichw1504 (26336 points ) January 28th, 2011

Living with a significant other (or roommate) can be wonderful, it can also be quite hectic.

I’ve noticed some couples take a more organized approach and set specific duties/chores and schedules to what each person in the relationship does during the day. For instance: the wife always cleans and cooks after work, while the husband does the dishes and makes the bed.

Other couples don’t worry about set duties and just go about it day-to-day. If one of them doesn’t feel like making dinner tonight, then the other one picks it up and so on.

Where does your relationship fall between the two? Which way do you think would result in less fighting? How well does it work for you?

If you don’t live with someone else right now, what would you prefer? How was it in past living situations?

- First state who you live with: girl/boyfriend, fiance, wife/husband, roommate or other.
– Then state how long you have been living together.
– And finally go into detail about your living arrangement.

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22 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

My wife and I take a hybrid approach in our household. We’ve been living together for about 6 years. Each of us have a few things that we always do, but then there are some tasks that we switch between depending upon how we feel that day. Like with making dinner, it’s usually half and half.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I live with my husband and 8 (soon to be 9)-year-old son.

My husband and I have been living together (and married) for 2 years now (though he was gone for a full year of that time if it matters any). We both work, but I’m only working a relief position right now due to our circumstance right now, so I tend to not work as many hours as he normally would. Though right now, he only has to go in to work a few hours a day about 2–3 days a week. Normally we both work full time.

We have set chores that we usually do, but either one of us will take over for the other if necessary. Whether it’s that one of us is sick, has extra things going on outside of the home (such as work or taking our son to his activities), or just needs a break. We are also in the process of giving our son more responsibility with household chores as well. We split all the shopping, parenting, and financial stuff

My husband cooks (because he enjoys it and is much better at it than I am) most of the time, does the laundry, and is responsible for cutting grass (when we live somewhere that we have to do it because I’m allergic to fresh cut grass).

I do the dishes, clean the majority of the house, always clean up after he cooks, and shovel snow (when not pregnant because I actually enjoy it). There are some things that I always am the one to cook when we have them (such as tacos, lasagna, and a few other dishes that have been deemed my specialties).

Right now, our son is responsible for taking the trash outside and helping get all the trash ready to go outside. He also helps with some laundry stuff (like getting all his dirty clothes together, bringing them downstairs, helping put stuff from the washer into the dryer, and putting his clothes away after we fold them). He also gets to help shovel the snow right now since I’m not suppose to do it. Once we live in an area where we have to cut grass again (since we don’t do it here), he’ll be learning how to help with that. He’s also in the process of learning how to cook. It’ll be a long time before he does any major cooking, but he’s enjoying learning.

zenvelo's avatar

my ex assigned the tasks. I got to do them.

jonsblond's avatar

I do all of the daily chores of cooking and cleaning since I’m a stay-at-home mom and my husband’s job is physically demanding. My husband will do all the major repairs that are needed. He is also in charge of cooking holiday meals since he’s such a great cook and enjoys doing this. I always get help when I don’t feel well.

We’ve been together for over 19 years now. When I worked I would do most of the cleaning and my husband made most of our meals. We usually took it day by day though. If I wasn’t in the mood to do laundry, he would take care of it. If he didn’t want to cook, I would.

@Seaofclouds I enjoy shoveling snow too. My husband used to get upset when I would rush out the door in the morning to take care of it because I would be the only wife out there with all the neighbor husbands. He was worried they were thinking he was being an ass by sending me out there to do the hard work. I had to reassure him that I love doing it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@jonsblond My husband worried about that too (what the neighbors would think). Especially earlier this week when I just went out and did it while being pregnant. Most of our neighbors know I’m pregnant and I heard a bit about how they must think he’s horrible for making me go out and shovel while being pregnant. I reassured him that I love doing it (I love being in the snow period), but promised not to do it anymore while pregnant. So now it’s on him and our son to get it done the rest of this winter.

janbb's avatar

I wouldn’t say we have assigned tasks but we each have gravitated to certain things. I usually clean the bathrooms and dust; he does the vacuuming and washes the kitchen floor. Whoever gets to it cleans the kitchen counters and sink. Laundry and cooking are pretty much done on a whomever feels like doing it basis. We celebrated thirty-seven years of marriage on Wednesday so I guess it’s working for us.

tedibear's avatar

I have lived with my husband for about 9 years. The chores typically break out like this:

Him: Take out trash, take out recycle bins, mow in the spring and summer, take care of the leaves in autumn, snowblow/shovel in the winter, wash cars, make sure the septic system is working, clean the goldfish pond filters, cut wood, deal with any tree branches that may have come down, keeping track of our few investments

Me: Cooking, laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, menu planning, grocery shopping, making phone calls & appointments regarding things within the house or other stuff like insurance, bill paying, clean the litter boxes, feed the cats

Both: Laundry (but that’s mostly me), straightening up the random crap laying around, cleaning bathrooms

I think that’s it…

Jude's avatar

We don’t live together, but, I am sure that when we do, I’d be doing most of the housework, and she would be doing all of the cooking.

I love to clean, and whispering “Swiffer Wetjet” in my ear is like foreplay.

YoBob's avatar

Yep, we lived together for about 3 years before tying the knot. Frankly, I think that living together first should be mandatory, or at least marriage laws should be modified to include a one year no fault annulment clause. Living together is a very different dynamic from dating.

As for chores, we just took things one day at a time. Then as now, our roles pretty much follow the traditional ones (whatever that is). However, this is not out of some outdated notion of gender norms, it’s just the way it naturally works out for us.

naomi29's avatar

My husband and I have lived together for about ten years (married for a little over 5). He does the stuff I really don’t want to do, I do the stuff he really doesn’t want to do and we split the rest.
he pays bills, takes out trash, deals with recycling. I do dishes and laundry. We split everything else

deni's avatar

I’ve lived with my boyfriend since August. I pretty much do everything except every once in a while on the weekends we’ll do a big cleaning together. But I have more free time. He also pays more rent than me and more of the utilities since he makes way more money than I do….and I don’t mind cleaning so I just do it. I don’t like dishes sitting there, so I do them. He would wait until there was a stack. And when he does do them and I’m home, he is so painfully slow at it that I can’t watch and end up doing them anyhow lol. But yeah, I consider it a favor to him since he helps me out money-wise.

glenjamin's avatar

I live with my wife of 5 years+ Nothing is officially assigned but we have an understanding of who gets what

She does all of the cooking, most of the laundry (putting in the machine)

I wash the dishes most of the time, put most of the laundry away

We split the cleaning, but often I will do the vaccuming, sweeping, mopping and she will clean the bathrooms.

Everything else we pretty much split.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

He always does the cooking unless it’s an emergency because he’s a good cook and I’m not. We try to clean based on who’s less tired and try to do it together. He does the laundry. He mostly does the food shopping but we try to do it together, as well. He does the dishes, though I pitch in but it’s by no means a 50/50 kind of thing. I like to get all the garbage together and throw it out. I like to figure out clothing for the kids and various new projects.

tinyfaery's avatar

The only assigned tasks we have is that she does the cooking and the laundry; I cannot cook and apparently do not do the laundry correctly. Other than that, we take turns doing whatever. Whomever gets tired of the mess first does the cleaning. That’s usually me.

downtide's avatar

We have never sat down and decided which of us does which chores. It’s just sort of evolved in a particular way over the years. My partner does most of the cooking because he’s really good at it, and I’m not. I do most of the washing up instead. I mostly clean upstairs, he mostly cleans downstairs. I do the trash, he does the garden, and so on. Chores that neither of us like (such as laundry and ironing) we share.

shego's avatar

My fiancée and I have lived together about 7 months now.

The only thing I constantly do is the cooking because he might burn the water.
But everything else we both do. There is no chore list, no set days.
We both like it that way. Our place is always clean and company ready.

nellybar's avatar

I live with my boyfriend, and have been living together for about 9 months.
We don’t really have assigned jobs – we try and take cooking in turn, and whoever doesnt cook tends to wash the dishes (although I loath washing dishes and probs dont do it every time he cooks!).
My boyfriend probs ends up doing most of the clothes washing, but only because I forget! I do the toilet cleaning, but aside from these we tend to take it as it comes. Don’t ever fight over stuff either, so it all works well.

Bellatrix's avatar

My husband and I don’t have set tasks. We both cook, we both clean and do laundry etc. We talk about and plan together other tasks that need doing around the place. We never fight about chores. Who does what is often determined by who has what else on in terms of work and family commitments. The thing we do fight out is my teenage son’s (17) apparent lack of ability to do ANYTHING around the house. That is frustrating for us both and we do have differing views on how to handle this situation.

cookieman's avatar

I’ve been with my wife fifteen years.

We mostly wing it. Generally speaking, she handles food (buying and cooking) and I handle housework (cleaning and laundry). She loves to cook, I love to clean – simple.

That being said, I’ve been known to cook here and there and she’ll pitch in to clean when needed “COMPANY’S COMING!!”

We both do things involving my daughter (helping with homework, school activities, activities).

She manages her elderly parent’s affairs mostly alone but I handle all our bills and finances mostly alone. These are two areas we purposely keep separate to avoid a double nervous breakdown ;^)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I live with my fiancee, in a house and we’ve been together a year and a half. We haven’t assigned duties aside from he takes out the garbage and I do the household budget and pay the bills. Pretty much all else we check in with each other and share or do together. Laundry day and big grocery shopping day we do together because it makes for quicker work and also keep us both informed as to how much foods cost or what clothes need mending, getting replaced, etc.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I have been living with my wife for almost seven years. Most of the chores are officially unassigned, though I tend to do the grocery shopping and she tends to keep gas in the car for schedule-related reasons. Our assigned chores mostly have to do with the fact that we have complementary preferences. We both don’t mind the cleaning-related chores that the other dislikes, for instance, so we had an easy time splitting them up and sticking to it.

We also have a “she cooks, I do the dishes” arrangement, though that one gets altered a lot since I make breakfast on the weekends and she will wash something she needs to make dinner if I haven’t gotten to it for some reason.

Aster's avatar

Him: Take out trash, mow in the spring and summer, take cars to car wash, deal with any tree branches that may have come down, clean furnace filters, fix everything, carry heavy objects, replace anything that needs replacing except lightbulbs, call satellite and phone people.

Me: Cooking, laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping inside and out, menu planning, grocery shopping, making phone calls & appointments regarding doctors’ appointments, feed the dogs, trim hedges with scissors.

Both: sometimes I take out the trash & we both wash the dogs.

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