There’s plenty of sociological data from other studies other than just this one that supports these same conclusions. This is not because men are crappy human beings. It’s because the society we live in has not caught up to all the ways that marriage and relationships have changed in the past 50 years. Continuing to operate as though Leave It To Beaver social dynamics are still in place really doesn’t mesh with current life and relationships.

The lead researcher on the study I cited concluded the same thing. The marriage counselor who wrote this OP is hearing from both parties, and his professional assessment was the same. You continuing to insist it’s not true or not proven or whatever does not change any of that.

Drawing on a sample of 23,088 mothers living with children under the age of 13, they found that married and cohabitating mothers racked up approximately 3 hours of housework per day, compared to 2.5 and 2 hours respectively undertaken by divorced and never-married mothers.

Married women also get the least sleep and the fewest hours of leisure-time. Interestingly women who live with a male partner but haven’t married him have more leisure time — an extra 35 minutes per day — compared with married women.

This suggests that it’s not just having a man around that’s the problem. Rather, the issue seems to lie with the expectations that come with being his “wife”.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Married women, even those without children, do the bulk of the housework even when they work outside the home. In fact, the more a woman earns, the higher the percentage of chores she will typically perform. “The more economically dependent men are on their wives, the less housework they do. Even women with unemployed husbands spend considerably more time on household chores than their spouses.” It’s a not-so-subtle way of asserting, “But, I’m still the man!”

The culturally enshrined idea of the male breadwinner and the female homemaker is still strong, even as more and more couples no longer live that way. Married women are still reluctant to refer to themselves as breadwinners, even when it’s technically true. Many couples operate as partners until it comes time to deal with things related to the home and their schedule, and then they seemingly revert back to traditional patterns.

One frustrated woman described her otherwise good marriage as that between a lackadaisical intern and an executive:

“Other than this, our relationship is pretty egalitarian — we have careers, we co-parent, we share responsibilities as much as possible — but when it comes to household management and scheduling, my husband, a considerate special-ed teacher, seems forgetful and even lazy, as if he’s the lackadaisical intern to my executive.

This leads to what I will call “The Cycle”: He asks me where stuff goes, I get frustrated at being assumed boss of domestic territory — and frustration builds. Like many mothers, I get tired of carrying the “mental load.” I resent the notion that it’s my job to not only know where the spatula goes but also to decide it goes in the drawer to the left of the stove.”

When I published that story, I heard from lots of women who live with this same dynamic in their homes and were pretty frustrated and pissed off about it — maybe not enough to get divorced, at least not yet, but they were angry none-the-less. Again, it’s not that men are crappy human beings; it’s that they have been raised in a society that teaches them to act this way, and it hasn’t kept up with changing social mores and expectations and it’s causing friction.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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