By Amrita Sharma
When you are floating on the cloud of love, breathing the air of romance and drowning in the sea of passion, the last thing that comes to mind is the unromantic, mundane and oh-so-boring issue of “division of labour”.
But believe it or not, that is one of the issues that can cause friction, sometimes to the extent that it threatens the very relationship itself.
Take the case of Puja and Rahul. When they got engaged, they talked about where they would take a house, what car they will book, where they will buy the furniture and upholstery from and even which club they would take the membership of. These were all important issues for them and they wanted to make sure that they were on the same page when it came to decisions about things that may affect their married lives.
“What we totally neglected to do was to also decide who would do what in the house. Somehow I never thought that would be an issue,” said Rahul, since he had grown up in a house where the roles between his parents were clearly defined and there was no over lapping.
But things today are far different – something that people often tend to overlook.
And Rahul learnt this the hard way when the couple had their first fight soon after they returned from their honeymoon.
“He got up in the morning, got ready and asked for breakfast, while I was busy getting ready for work too. I was amazed that he expected me to fix breakfast. Not just that, when I came back from office he requested to make him a cup of tea – almost as if I had been on a picnic while he had been slogging it out,” she fumes.
It led to an unpleasant argument, which ended in a lot of heartburn and trading of barbs, taking all romance out of the newly-married bliss.
Counsellors rightly point out that the topic of how to divide housework might feel irrelevant initially and even unromantic and commonplace in the starry-eyed scheme of things, but thrashing out of such issues almost works like a stitch in time that saves nine in marital life.
Deciding beforehand about who will do the dishes, who will wash the clothes, who will pay which bills and who will take care of what chores not only saves the marriage from turning sour, but also saves it from turning into a battlefield, where neither partner emerges winner.
Amrita Sharma is author of the book “What Did I Ever See in Him” published by Penguin.
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