March 26, 2023

A RELATIONSHIP coach has revealed her creative way to make sure her husband does his chores, and says it's made their sex life better.
Tara Blair Ball, 38, and Brian, 46, a marketing development manager, have a color-coded spreadsheet which itemizes each of their weekly household jobs.
It's a system they devised after the birth of their youngest daughter in October 2020 – to make sure they're both pulling their weight.
The detailed agreement lists who does which jobs, how often and even the standard it should be done to.
The couple have divvied up jobs such as food shopping, hoovering, taking the bins out, organizing plans with friends and picking up the kids.
They also have a weekly chore 'check-in' as a couple and make tweaks to the spreadsheet if necessary.
Tara, from Memphis, Tennessee, US, says: “The spreadsheet really helps us split up the chores and it’s left us each with more energy and improved our sex life.
“I’ve never liked the laundry, so Brian does that and I’m on dishwasher duty.
“We have a weekly check-in on a Sunday evening about our relationship.
“We share what’s bothering us, what’s gone well and what we’ve appreciated that week.
“It also gives us opportunity to tweak the spreadsheet for that list depending on what’s going on that week.”
The couple chose to organise their jobs around their house when their youngest daughter, Brienne, one, was born and Brian wasn’t happy with the state of the floors.
“I can live in a degree of filth,” Tara says. “But Brian hated having the floors cluttered and mucky.
“I was struggling with more of the mental tasks – like setting appointments.
“So we sat down and went through everything we each do and how we can split it up or make it more manageable between us.
“It made me so much more appreciative of the stuff he does.”
Together they made a list of all the jobs and assigned them to each other, colour-coding it by how often they needed to be done.
“It was important to lay out the standard we need each chore to be completed to, so everyone was satisfied," Tara says.
“For example, doing the dishwasher involves scrapping the plates, rinsing them and putting them in.
“If your partner isn’t doing a task to the right standard, I always advice consequences.
“After a couple of warnings of them not scrapping the plates before putting them in the dishwasher, I would then serve their dinner on one of those plates.”
Brian and Tara split their tasks quite evenly but she knows that this can’t always be the same for every couple.
“It’s what works for you in your relationship but it’s important to remember that you deserve a break if you are the one at home often doing all the housework,” she said.
“Sitting down and dividing up the tasks for what works for you helps a lot of couples I work with.
“It’s important to keep coming back to it each week and checking it’s still working for you both.
“A lot of my clients say it’s made their sex lives better as it gives them more energy as they are not so tired after being bogged down my tasks.
“Dividing labour between partners is crucial for a healthy relationship.”
Brian says: "This way we feel like equal partners and are accountable for completing our tasks, so neither of us feel undervalue or unappreciated.
"For me I work best off a list until something becomes a habit. It lets me know what is expected of me in our relationship.  
"I know every Thursday night the trash needs to be take out to the curb. I set a reminder but 95 per cent of the time I have the task completed before my reminder goes off.  
"This way Tara does not have to worry about them not getting finished and she does not feel like she has to manage me to do my part.  
"Every couple should be doing a weekly check in. Set a standing time for 30 to 60 minutes once a week to review a set of questions that are important to your relationship."
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