Fear Not and Do the Dishes

Read this first.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/more-chores-husband-does-more-likely-marriage-will-end-divorce-242815

I read this article because I instantly knew it would be a steaming pile of shit and that it would be a good example of how people misconstrue research. I was partially correct.

I studied sociology in college and so I have a passing familiarity with research and statistics, though by no means am I an expert.

However, I knew the headline alone was crap. It read, “The more chores a husband does, the more likely the marriage will end in divorce.” That is categorically wrong as it implies that one led to the other. There are quite a few studies similar to this where couples who believe in non-traditional roles will have lives that often follow non-traditional paths. In this instance, if a hetero couple doesn’t believe that females should do all of the house work then they are also less likely to view marriage as a vow that can never be altered or revoked and so can be more likely to view divorce as an option.

To the article’s credit they do mention this. That doesn’t make up for the headline or the leap they take next.

The authors say that this research contradicts other studies which talk about how men are happier when they share more of the home chores. How does this contradict? Because divorce is supposed to be unhappy or undesirable? Let’s keep in mind that sometimes divorce is both a desirable and happy occasion. Happily ever after can include divorce.

Still, let’s assume that divorces are horrible and that no one has ever been happy at the conclusion of one. What do we really gain by this? We’ve all likely been in relationships that have failed, but does that mean that we were unhappy all the way through? Of course not.

I can vouch from experience that when I didn’t pull my weight around the house I would feel bad about myself and the role I was playing. When I did step up and shoulder my share of the responsibility I felt so much happier about what I contributed to the relationship and how it removed a burden from my partner. The fulfillment I felt when helping was independent of whether my relationship continued or ended.

So in the end this article is the steaming pile of shit I had imagined it to be, but at least the authors caught a whiff of it before then passing it off as something of quality. Men; doing the dishes won’t lead to a divorce, but acting as if both people have a determination over the path their life takes just may. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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