New York: If marriage is on the cards and you want to remain happy ever after, choose a partner who genuinely believes in dividing up the household chores and is likely to follow through, a study suggested.
Dividing household tasks affects the marital satisfaction of wives but not of husbands, the study noted.
“The important thing is to enter a marriage with a clear understanding of where your partner stands on these issues,” said Brian Ogolsky, a professor of human development and family studies at University of Illinois in the US.
The way that couples negotiate the division of household chores in the first two years of marriage is important because, once patterns are established, they persist over time.
"Newly-weds need to thoughtfully plan how they can make their expectations about sharing chores work out in real life, especially if the new spouses strongly value gender equality in household labour,” Ogolsky noted.
“This issue will only matter more after children start arriving," he added.
The study examined the beliefs, behaviours and marital quality of 220 heterosexual newlywed couples.
When wives valued equal sharing of housework, they were significantly happier if their husband shared those beliefs.
When couples divided household tasks in traditional ways, close matches in belief and behaviour did not seem to affect marital satisfaction as much.
"For husbands, sharing household tasks is not as directly related to their satisfaction,” Ogolsky maintained.
Either they do not perceive that there is a discrepancy or they have bought into the idea that the second shift belongs to women, he concluded.