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Study finds housework disputes can end marriages

17798078_S.jpgFighting over housework could be the trigger for a divorce for some Missouri couples. Harvard Business School did a study that found that a quarter of divorced couples said housework disagreements were the main reason they split up. The study also found that if couples hired a cleaning service, they were more likely to stay together.

In general, having more disposable income and time, referred to as "time affluence" in a 2008 study, increases people's general well-being. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found in a 2017 study that spending $100 to $200 monthly on what it called "outsourcing tasks," such as grocery delivery or laundry, also leads to happier marriages. Unfortunately, these are all luxuries that many couples cannot afford.

However, that does not mean those couples are doomed to divorce. Studies show that how a couple fights may be as or more significant than what they fight about. Couples need to be able to communicate their needs. Furthermore, even if housework is the topic of the fight, it might not just be about chores. A study that appeared in the journal "Sex Roles" found that women do the majority of housework in heterosexual relationships even when they work full time. It may be a woman's frustration over a partner's inability to understand this that drives the wedge between them.

Couples who are unable to resolve their differences might decide that divorce is the best solution. Unless they have a prenuptial agreement, they will need to decide how to divide their property. If couples have children, they will also need to reach an agreement regarding child custody. If they are struggling to reach an agreement, there are alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, that may be helpful. If couples are still unable to agree, they might have to go to court, where a judge will decide.

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