Divvying up chores can lead to wedded bliss

Brian and Laurie Henderson have a simple rule when it comes to divvying up household chores: if one doesn’t like a certain task, the other will take care of it.

After 17 years of marriage, it’s worked so well that the parishioners of St. John in Westminster are convinced their commitment to domestic decorum has strengthened their marriage.

“My husband hated the feel of raw meat, so I took care of meat cutting,” Mrs. Henderson explained with a laugh.

“I don’t like taking out the garbage, so my husband and the boys take care of that – and they kill the bugs,” added the mother of seven. “We both have the attitude that if there’s a need, fill it.”

The Hendersons said they sit down and discuss who will do what, but they often find the other instinctively knows what needs to be done. When Mrs. Henderson makes breakfast, it’s her husband who picks up the dishes.

“To me, that’s like bringing me flowers,” said Mrs. Henderson, a full-time mom “It’s a beautiful way to show how much you love the other person.”
Involving the children in keeping things tidy is also a big help, according to Mrs. Henderson.

“Saturday mornings are our cleanup days,” she said. “We all clean together.”
Mr. Henderson, who tends to take care of the yard work, said many people look at a marriage as an equal giving of 50-50. But he believes the most successful husbands and wives give 100 percent each, he said.

“You have to be willing to give everything for your spouse,” he said. “If you both have that attitude, then things work out. It makes the whole relationship better.”

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.