A relationship coach has claimed that her system of splitting housework with her husband has improved their marriage.
Tara and Brian Ball, from Tennessee, USA, created a color-coded spreadsheet to help them manage tasks after the birth of their youngest daughter in October 2020.
Duties include grocery shopping, vacuuming, taking out the bins, picking up the children and making plans with friends.
The tasks are divided according to which jobs each individual prefers to do. The couple said they revisit the spreadsheet every week to make sure each party is happy with the arrangement.
The Sunday night check-in gives them the opportunity to “share what’s bothering us, what’s gone well and what we’ve appreciated that week,” Tara explained.
“It also allows us to adjust the spreadsheet for that list depending on what’s going on that week.”
The relationship expert said the byproduct of organizing their household this way is that both she and her husband have an improved sex life.
“Sharing labor between partners is essential to a healthy relationship,” Tara said, adding that seeing Brian’s tasks on the spreadsheet helped her appreciate more the things he does.
“Many of my clients say it has improved their sex life as it gives them more energy as they are not as tired after being stuck in my tasks.”
The couple also enforces strict standards to which each task must be completed. If the standards are not met, they can have consequences.
“For example, doing the dishes involves discarding the plates, rinsing them and putting them in,” Tara said.
“After a couple of warnings not to dispose of the plates before putting them in the dishwasher, I would serve their dinner on one of these plates.”
Tara is responsible for tasks such as communicating with the children’s school, organizing play dates and plans with friends, vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen. Meanwhile, Brian washes, looks after the car, cleans the bathroom and takes out the bins.
They both share grocery shopping, cooking and organizing date nights.
Brian commented: “We have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks that we are responsible for.
“This way we feel like equal partners and are responsible for completing our tasks, so none of us feel undervalued or unappreciated.”