I love my husband with wild abandon. I think he is the bee’s knees, the bomb diggity, and the sexiest thing since sliced bread. But I will never thank my husband for doing chores around our house.
An essay is currently circulating in which writer Heather Neal says she thanks her husband for doing his part around the house. It’s a lovely piece and is really about gratitude more than “thanking” a man for doing what he should be doing anyway. But the concept still bothers me.
Because husbands and wives should be doing equal work in the house. “Should” is the operative word, of course. In most households, women still do more housework. Even when they work outside the home. Think: about 17 hours a week next to their husband’s six. It’s maddening, but it’s also a reality.
In my house, we are probably about equal. I know I am lucky. I am grateful. Even though I work a lot less with my part time, from home job and much of the childcare falls to me, the household chores are always a shared venture. I cook, he cleans. He picks up the living room, I do the laundry. He empties the garbage, I clean out the car. And so on and so on. I think the divide in our house is roughly 60/40 with me doing just a bit more, though I am guessing he’d say the opposite.
And I will never thank him.
Don’t get me wrong. I love him. I give him many cuddles and kisses and date nights galore. We have an incredibly happy marriage with oodles of laughter and physical affection. And the reason our marriage is so strong is exactly because we don’t thank each other. We knew when we got married that we were entering into an equal union in which both us would do our parts. This means we thank each other, but not always in words. When I am grateful to him for doing something that bothers me, I will give him a kiss of hug while he is doing the dishes. He does the same to me.
I don’t expect him to thank me for doing the things that are required to keep our daily lives running. We are out of paper towels? I can grab some. Or he can. One of us will. Need to change the roll of toilet paper? Whoever last used it can get that done. In an equal household, two adults need not be constantly thanking one another. At least not in ours.
I am grateful. He is grateful. And I know it through actions. Not words. I will not thank my husband for doing his part. And I don’t expect him to thank me either. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t terribly, ridiculously, insanely grateful for this beautiful life we share. In full equality.