Relationship coach says spreadsheet dividing up chores improved her marriage
A relationship coach has claimed that her system for dividing up household chores with her husband has improved their marriage.
Tara and Brian Ball, from Tennessee, US, created a colour-coded spreadsheet to help them manage tasks following the birth of their youngest daughter in October 2020.
The tasks include food shopping, hoovering, taking the bins out, picking up the children and organising plans with friends.
The chores are divided according to which jobs each person prefers doing. The couple said they revisit the spreadsheet every week to ensure each party is happy with the arrangement.
The Sunday evening check-in allows them the opportunity to “share what’s bothering us, what’s gone well and what we’ve appreciated that week,” Tara explained.
“It also gives us opportunity to tweak the spreadsheet for that list depending on what’s going on that week.”
The relationship expert said the byproduct of organising their household in this way is that both she and her husband have an improved sex life.
“Dividing labour between partners is crucial for a healthy relationship,” Tara said, adding that seeing Brian’s tasks on the spreadsheet helped her be more appreciative of the things he does.
“A lot of my clients say it’s made their sex lives better as it gives them more energy as they are not so tired after being bogged down my tasks.”
The couple also enforces strict standards to which each task must be completed. If the standards aren’t met, they may face consequences.
“For example, doing the dishwasher involves scrapping the plates, rinsing them and putting them in,” Tara said.
“After a couple of warnings of them not scrapping the plates before putting them in the dishwasher, I would then serve their dinner on one of those plates.”
Tara is in charge of chores such as communicating with their children’s school, organising playdates and plans with friends, vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen. Meanwhile, Brian does the laundry, looks after the car, cleans the bathroom and takes out the bins.
They both share food shopping, cooking meals and organising date nights.
Brian commented: “We each have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks we are responsible for.
“This way we feel like equal partners and are accountable for completing our tasks so neither of us feel undervalued or unappreciated.”