While we’re on the subject of making sure your partner knows you appreciate him or her, you might want to make sure you’re divvying up the chores too. A new study found that women suffer the most emotional strain when the housework isn’t divided evenly, leading to stress in the relationship.
We’d also like to add: Duh. But seriously, the study of 723 individuals over 26 years (!) conducted by Umea University in Sweden, found that women’s discomfort with uneven amounts of chores increased as the study participants got older. The New York Daily News reports:
At age 21, both men and women reported roughly the same level of psychological distress, such as anxiety, restlessness, and concentration problems. Yet by age 42, that shifted, with women’s level of distress rising while the men’s stayed the same, according to the findings.
The key contributor for women’s distress was the unequal distribution of domestic chores. But the most distressed women not only performed more household work but felt a greater sense of gender inequality in the relationship. Researchers also noted that if a woman felt on equal ground with her partner, the distress dissipated, even if they pulled more weight around the house.
But, as with most things in life, the real problem is not, say, dirty socks or un-picked-up dry cleaning.
“It is not the work per se,” said American psychologist Jill Weber in an interview with WebMD. “It’s the feeling that the woman is not getting support from her partner. Inequality often translates as a lack of emotional support.”
The solution? Dr. Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First, says “the best foreplay for women is ‘choreplay,’ or when a man does household chores without being asked.”
So, guys, you have your marching orders. And that also explains the popularity of the humor book Porn for Women, which is nothing but pages and pages of hunks vacuuming, listening, making tea, etc.
However, we’d like to interject on behalf of women everywhere (if we may) that although a clean bathroom is great and all, we’re still turned on by plain old sexy stuff too. Like good porn, Ryan Gosling, and the thought of someone knowing exactly what we like, what we want, and how to do it right.
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