Should Husbands Help With Housework? (Yes And I’ll Tell You Why)


Traditionally, wives stay at home and look after the house while the husbands go to work.

But that can create a work imbalance. Housework is 24 hours a day whereas a job is 8 hours.

A husband may like to get home from work and sit in front of the TV for the rest of the day, but should they?

Here I look at what housework there is, if a husband should help, how to get them to help and how it feels when they do.

Should husbands help with housework?

Housework is often too much for one person alone, so a husband should help. Whoever goes to work for a living can still do something. Create a plan where you can both take on some responsibilities and your home will be a better place for it.

Husbands may have many excuses why not

You may have a very lazy husband who feels he’s exhausted after working all day. He feels he’s earned the right to relax when he gets home.

He may think you just sit down all day and put the vacuum cleaner round occasionally. He may not understand the work involved in doing the housework.

Perhaps his father used to do nothing around the house while his mother did all the housework. He may not know any better.

He may feel as a man it’s not his job to do the cleaning. He may see it as a woman’s work and feel embarrassment in doing it.

Perhaps he feels his job is entertaining the household while yours is taking care of it.

They may mean well, but these husbands need to know what’s acceptable and what isn’t. He needs to do his fair share of housework no matter how hard his day was.

Who works full time and who doesn’t?

We live in different times, and some husbands stay at home while the wife goes out to work. Maybe the wife earned more and it makes sense to do it that way.

Even in women who do go out to work, studies have shown that they still do more housework than men.

Work can account for a significant part of the day. That includes commuting so you shouldn’t expect the worker to do more than their fair share of chores.

However, that doesn’t mean they should do nothing at all while the other is slaving away all day and night at home.

A lot of thought needs to go into how to split the housework between each other.

There are certain household duties that can be easily divided and the husband can do. They don’t take long to learn.

The kind of housework we’re talking about

Husbands would be surprised about how much work regular housework involves. They don’t realize and they need it spelled out for them.

Perhaps on one day like a Saturday when he’s not working. He should do all the housework for that day and then he can see how much there really is.

Here is a list he may need to see of some of the work involved and time taken per day:


  • Preparing and cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner and doing the dishes (2.5 hours)
  • Doing the laundry, drying, folding and putting away clothes (1 hour)
  • Cleaning and dusting everything in the house (1 hour)
  • Vacuum cleaning the whole house (1 hour)
  • Cleaning the bathroom including the floor (1 hour)
  • Tidying up at the end of the day (0.5 hours)


  • Washing and drying bedding (2 hours)
  • Watering plants, weeding, mowing the lawn and other garden maintenance (3 hours)
  • Cleaning couches and other fabric seating (2 hours)
  • Scrubbing floors, blinds and other non daily cleaning (2 hours)
  • Washing the car and garage (2 hours)
  • Food and grocery shopping (2 hours)

The time spent could be longer or short, depending on a number of things like a big or small home. Whether you get in help for certain tasks.

Some of the weekly chores a husband may do already but there’s no reason why he can’t do more. Especially the daily ones.


What if there are children too?

If there are children involved, then all the chores and the time taken can all be greatly increased.

Just taking care of children is a full time job in itself without the home as well.

Children need round the clock attention and activities to keep them occupied. This is the case whatever their age.

Young children will need to be cleaned and clothed. Babies need to be fed and extra care taken to keep them safe and warm.

You need far more help from a husband if there are children to think of. This is why child care is essential for some parents.

How to divide up the housework

This really needs careful planning. The odd conversation saying that he’ll help or do certain things is not enough.

It’s best to get a proper commitment and you do that by sitting down and discussing it. Decide how long it takes you to do certain chores and which he can do instead.

You could even have a chart you could both tick when something is done or make it more informal. Either way, be firm and make sure he does his bit.

Let him know you only want him to help and how it makes you feel when he doesn’t seem to be doing his fair share.

If he loves you, he’ll be glad to help, especially if it’s getting you down. Any reasonable husband would want his wife to be happy.

What happens when husbands don’t help

If you seem to be doing everything and he does nothing, it’s going to start getting you down and you’ll get miserable.

You’ll start resenting him, and the relationship will suffer. We all believe in fairness and doing our fair share and he’s not doing his.

You’ll start falling out of love with your husband and friends may notice you’re not your usual self.

There may be a bad atmosphere in the home and if there are children. They would pick up on tension between their parents.

Don’t let it get this far by saying something to your other half about helping with housework. He may not realize the affect it’s having on you.

How it feels when the housework is shared

If it’s been getting you down, you’ll feel a whole uplift very quickly. You’ll feel less anxiety too. You’ll have a whole different outlook.

The man you married has probably come back and you’ll be happy to see him. When he comes back from work, you can relax knowing you’ll have some help around the house.

You’ll get on with each other again so your relationship will improve in every way. Your libido will come back if that was affected.

He’ll be happier too to come to a loving wife who’s happy to see him. Life is to be enjoyed and appreciated and that’s how you’ll feel.

If there are children involved, they’ll like having their mum back. They’ll grow up believing in men and women doing their fair share.

Your children would see an example of what a happy and balanced relationship is. This will help them in later life.

Final thoughts

Husbands should help with housework no matter how hard they work in their job. The house still needs looking after.

Hopefully, you just have a reluctant husband who just needs a little nudge to help around the house.

He may just need an incentive to be like Gordon Ramsey and do all the cooking, he may enjoy it after a while.

As long as you do get him to do his bit. Don’t let him sit and do nothing while you run around him.

Don’t let it get to the point where it’s getting you down and affecting how you feel about your husband.

No one really likes housework, but it has to be done. It’s better if you can share the responsibility for the benefit of you both.

Emma Taylor

I'm a relationship expert with years of experience who's given advice to hundreds of people. I hope you've found some good advice here too.

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