Why sharing the chores makes a marriage last: Couples are happier when men pull their weightU.S. survey quizzed 160 heterosexual couples
aged between 25 and 30
It found the more men were involved the better it was for both partners
Daily Mail Reporter
23:22 GMT, 24 April 2013
06:47 GMT, 25 April 2013
Couples are happier and marriages last longer when men pull their weight in housework and childcare, new research reveals.
A survey of 160 heterosexual couples aged between 25 and 30 revealed the more men were involved the better the relationship was for both partners.
All couples asked had been married for an average of five years and had at least one child aged five or under.
Pitching in: Marriages last longer when men pull their weight in housework and childcare, new research has revealed
Around 40 per cent of the women also had full or part time jobs.
The study monitored how the parents divided household responsibilities and how those chores affected the husbands’ and wives’ relationships.
Adam Galovan, an assistant professor at University of Missouri who carried out the study, said sharing responsibilities didn’t necessarily mean couples divided chores equally.
He explained: 'Sharing can mean something different to every couple.
'It could be taking turns changing nappies or one parent watching the children while the other prepares dinner.
'Doing things together and having mutual, agreed-upon divisions of labor benefitted both spouses.
'The more wives perceived that husbands were engaged in routine family work tasks, the better the relationships were for both partners.
'Wives in our study viewed father involvement and participation in household chores as related.
'Doing household chores and being engaged with the children seem to be important ways for husbands to connect with their wives, and that connection is related to better couple relationships.'
The bonds between fathers and their children also contributed to couples’ marital satisfaction, Prof Galovan said.
He added: 'When wives felt their husbands were close to their children, both spouses reported better marriages.
'The father-child bond was particularly important for wives.'
Prof Galovan said couples should realise that transitioning into parenthood requires an adjustment period, and it is normal for husbands and wives to feel stressed.
To counteract the stress he recommends that parents make each other a priority such as having date nights without the kids.
He said: 'Find ways to connect throughout the day, even if it’s just doing dishes together or watching a movie.
'These simple connections in daily life seem to enhance couples’ marital satisfaction and improve the quality of their relationships.'
The study was published in the Journal of Family Issues.