Rows over household chores 'speak to something deeper going on'

A UK law firm has drawn up a prenuptial agreement for household chores
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.46 31 Aug 2022

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Rows over household chores 'sp...

Rows over household chores 'speak to something deeper going on'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.46 31 Aug 2022

Share this article

A clinical psychotherapist has said rows in relationships over household chores are usually pointing to some deeper.

It comes after a British law firm drew up a prenuptial agreement, allowing couples to agree on which jobs they'll do around the house once they're married.

Clinical psychotherapist Stephanie Regan told The Pat Kenny Show the chores usually are easy in the beginning.


"At the beginning of a relationship, we can all kind of ignore a lot of things and we're all loved up.

"There's lots of time in play for everything - but what often happens is household chores and all of that really get going when children come into play.

"Time becomes more limited, energy becomes more limited and then I think the gripes really begin.

"But it's often... wrapped within it is 'Are you being fair to me? Is there equality here? Are you doing as much as me? Is this fair?

"So I think it does speak to something deeper going on in the relationship."

Stephanie says a "natural inequality" can already exist between the sexes.

"There's a fair bit of research out there, especially around COVID actually, when everybody was at home.

"It still became clear that even though women and men were at home together, with the same amount of time, that there was still an imbalance in what got done".

'Two worlds colliding'

She said there can also be friction as people look at things differently.

"Once you live with somebody, you essentially interface then with their whole family history - and their whole style of the home they came from.

"You now have these two worlds kind of meeting - colliding, or meeting and greeting.

"So it's one or the other... some people are hyper-clean, some are relaxed.

"The question is can you manage that, and can you manage it fairly?"

A couple having an argument. A couple having an argument. Picture by: Wavebreak Media ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Stephanie said there can also be personality clashes.

"It's also an encounter with that difference: some people like to hang up their clothes every night straight away.

"Other people like a chair - I'm a chair person - I like to put everything there and then I like to go back to it.

"You have to accept different things within each other... that we all have to relax at home, it is our home.

"So it's not fair that your way is the way, or that the other person's way is the way.

"But you have to find compromise within that".

And she said people should remember: "It's not the irritants, but rather what they represent but also how you manage them and how you deal with them.

"What I find, even in this, it's the irritants and the way that people think 'It's the other person who needs to change' all of the time.

"Your job in a relationship is to bring what you need and why things affect you in the way that they do... to bring that to the table of discussion.

"And see then if, together, we can agree a midpoint".

Main image: An angry couple arguing sitting on a couch. Picture by: Antonio Guillem Fernández / Alamy Stock Photo

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Clinical Psychotherapist Couples Family History Household Chores Natural Inequality Prenuptial Agreement Relationships Stephanie Regan The Pat Kenny Show

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