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Forget About The Trash

Chores And Keeping Score Is A Recipe For Resentment

Thursday is the day the truck comes around and picks up the trash and recycling. Well, two trucks as one does the trash and one picks up the recycling. If I can, I like to get it out and to the curb on Wednesday evening.

As I was going about the house picking up things to put in the bins before I took them out of the house I had a thought.

How easy it is to become resentful about the chores of living.

Now I love my wife, but sometimes she says things that could sour my mood if I let them. One word that she often says is ‘Fair’. As in “It’s not fair that I have to cook dinner tonight”.

Now I feel that we do indeed have a pretty fair system. One time after a spat, I thought to myself “How much DO I do around here?” I figured that I must do hundreds of things to keep the household moving, both big and small.

But as I thought I realized that it was actually quite easy for me to think of all the things I do. However, I could only think of a dozen or so things that she does.

I know that she does so much, but I couldn’t bring but a small percentage of them to mind.

So if I could think of hundreds of things I do, but only a dozen or so of hers, then she must think the same of me! No wonder she lashed out.

My study of Stoicism and a happy contentment has led me to not keep track, but that isn’t so for her. I don’t keep score, but she was – and she was missing most of the points!

Keeping track of who does what and who is doing more is no way to nurture a loving relationship. Keeping track just leads to a warped view of what the other person is doing. While we might see the ‘big’ things, nobody can add up all the little things each of us do all day. I’ve always said that the little things add up.

I don’t keep track. I need to find a way to convince her that she needn’t do it too.

It doesn’t bring joy to judge your partner every day.

Life is much more joyful if you do what you can, when you can, so that your family has one less thing to be concerned about. Not increase resentment by worrying whose turn it is to put the dishes away.

Now someone might be thinking that this will only lead to you being taken advantage of. I don’t think that would be the case.

It’s not important if you take the trash out a few more times than your partner does. What matters is having a loving relationship.

So make garbage like this less important in your life and you will end up with much more time and energy for what is truly important.

10 comments

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  1. OthalaFehu

    I wish I could get past doing this. My wife and I both work and I always the need to defend the amount of chores I do. It feels petty, yet I do it anyway.

    1. MrDD

      It is something that can be changed, if you have the desire to pursue the change.

  2. fin$avvy panda

    My fiancé and I have been somewhat complaining at times at each other but not a lot. I think the only reason is because he’s so tired from work and he’s forced to stay later that he doesn’t have time to do some house chores. And of course, I’ll naturally feel unhappy because I’ll start thinking that work is consuming his life, and I’m starting to feel load of chores at home piling up. But I try to be understanding… it’s just at the moment that I’d feel a bit upset.

    In the end, we still compromise and think of what we do for each other instead of what we don’t do.

    Overall this article is a great reminder of that 😊
    fin$avvy panda recently posted…The Wacky Story of Why We Paid Off $20,000 Debt in One Shot — Life Lessons LearnedMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      I’m glad that you guys are compromising and not getting too snappy at each other. I bet you both are doing the best you can to make the best life together. There is no need for complaining about it, just do what you can.

  3. Mr Defined Sight

    How ironic, our trash gets picked up on Thursday as well and I totally forgot to set it out last night. I tried to scramble and get it out early this morning and missed it by about 30 seconds. Son of a!!!

    It is important to consider all sides when you are trying to figure out what is fair and what isn’t. I’ve been annoyed at times too but then remember all the things that my wife does for the family. I usually discover that I don’t have much of a leg to stand on haha!
    Mr Defined Sight recently posted…12/20 Hump Day Heat: Bloggers Sizzling Up The WeekMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      We are trash buddies! Best to get it out the night before, if you can.

  4. FIbythecommonguy

    Interesting, never really considered ownership over chores. We each kinda just did our own, sometime overlapping. That did change when we moved and I started working remote ever other week. My wife is taking on more and more chores during the week. When we talked about it (in a nice way), I realized how much she does on any given day. They can really add up. I will take this time to thank her :-). Mrs FI, if you are reading this, thank you!
    FIbythecommonguy recently posted…Moving, Packing and UnpackingMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      Good man. Make sure she gets that thank you in person though!

  5. Mike H

    I’m working on an invention where the trash takes itself out to the curb and back. If the Waste management company charges you another $30 a month for this service, are you interested?

    -Mike

    1. MrDD

      Mike! Not me personally, but in today’s society where everything is outsourced I see a large customer base.

      I need that $30/mo to build up my ‘stache!

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