Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tip #1: Ideas for Building Successful Relationships

Most wedding talk revolves around the details: invitations, cake, shoes, hair, and even nails. There's significantly less talk around marriage (i.e., What makes a successful marriage? How do you work toward creating one?).

The wedding-planning process should also include figuring out the marriage piece. One of the things Matt and I had to figure out, for example, was what chores look like in an egalitarian partnership.

We started a great system when we first moved into together, but now that we've moved into a new house with a new set of chores, it's time to figure it out again. Basically, here's what we do to ensure partnership on the chore front:
  1. We make a list of everything that needs to get done on a weekly basis (i.e., cleaning the kitchen, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, wiping down tabletops, mowing the lawn, putting away the dishes, taking out the trash, taking out the compost, watering the plants and shaking out the rugs).
  2. We divide all of these tasks into four categories. The first two categories are for things that Matt always does (i.e., mowing the lawn and putting away the dishes) and things I always do (laundry and taking out the compost).
  3. We then divide the rest of the chores into two equal lists: Laborer #1 and Laborer #2. On a weekly basis, Matt and I then alternate who takes on which role. That way, we don't build up any resentment about what's fair or not; we're always switching back and forth. Plus, it helps liven up the chore routine (at least a minuscule amount).
  4. We then repeat steps #1 and #3 for our monthly chores (i.e., cleaning the duvet cover, sweeping the front porch, brushing away cobwebs, dusting, washing rugs, wiping off baseboards).
Voila! It works pretty well for ensuring that we split domestic responsibilities fairly (plus it helps us keep our living space clean!).

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