Are Your Expectations of Your Spouse Totally Unreasonable?
Yes You Are Doing More Work and Yes There Is Something You Can Do About It
Up until the mid-20th century, marriages were, essentially, business arrangements, and in many cultures they still are. Families merged to increase power and land-holdings. If you ended up with an affinity for your spouse, that was a bonus, but it certainly wasn’t the impetus, and women had almost no choice in the matter whatsoever. Families had children, not because of a biological yearning, but because more hands were needed to support the family business, and indeed the family itself.
Single-family homes, while seen as early as the 15th and 16th centuries, really began to boom with the advent and proliferation of the automobile. With cars came greater freedom to commute, and housing spread into more rural areas, which led to greater and greater space between us. We left our family homes, found our partners, and moved into these new single-family dwellings, white picket fences and all.
A common complaint among working moms is that their husbands don’t carry their weight in the house and with the kids.
The good news/bad news is that scientific research has validated our feelings.
In an op-ed in the LA Times from Mother’s Day 2015, Amanda Marcotte, citing a study done by the Council on Contemporary Families, writes:
“The council collected a number of studies that, taken together, squelch the idea that modern marriage is a wonderland of equality. Among the findings: Married mothers do more than three times as much cooking, cleaning and laundry than married fathers. Men have more than an hour more leisure time a day than women. Men and women both — no doubt trying to feel good about their relationships — overestimate how much housework men actually do.”