I have a theory that says if I prove adequately incompetent at performing basic household chores my wife will eventually stop asking me to perform them. Despite my initial impressions of a very high level of intelligence when we first met, she appears for all ostensible purposes to be a very slow learner in this area.

It is with this in mind that I read with great interest the results of a recent study that showed modern couples who share the housework evenly are twice as likely to divorce than more traditional couples where the wife does the majority of those chores. Researchers say they believe this may be a result of greater differences, such as a modern couple’s views on traditional commitment and their economic situation versus those of a more traditional couple. A woman in this type of relationship is generally better educated and has a better paying job, and is more capable of supporting herself if the marriage fails. In the researchers view, the chore sharing is actually a reflection of the differences that lead to more frequency of divorce, rather than the cause of the divorce.

I respectfully disagree.

I believe the chore sharing is the direct cause of many divorces, simply because the woman in a relationship will eventually become extraordinarily frustrated that her husband is an apparent nimnal who is not capable of rinsing a dish before it goes into the dishwasher. She will eventually tire of her delicates taking on the hue and tone of his favorite golf towel. Or her amazement over his apparent inability to see laundry strewn about the bedroom floor will eventually turn into a seething resentment at his oblivion.

By the way, we have a term for this in our house. We call it “Boblivion”. It is a particularly virulent strain of the oblivious condition. My wife is very creative when creating new words with powerful meaning. Perhaps in a future blog I will explain to you the origins of the word “dumbecile”.

And now we learn that marriages are more likely to survive if the wife does all the household chores.

Gentlemen, as delightful as this sounds, it might not be the panacea we expect. Before you trot off to your humble abode to announce to the little woman that you have found the secret to perpetually wedded bliss, you need to do a few things. You must develop a fully defensible hypothesis and supporting arguments. You need to fine tune the nuances that highlight the very important benefits to your theory. You must be prepared to effectively counter initial objections. And you need to buy an athletic cup.

A very strong athletic cup.

Oh, and if you actually refer to her as the “little woman” as part of your normal vernacular, then I am assuming you already own an athletic cup. A very worn and battered cup. And by now you likely live by yourself over your mother's garage, so it doesn’t matter.

No, this idea needs to be presented in a more subdued, subtle manner. The secret to convincing her of the truth we now hold to be self evident is the indirect, rather than the direct route. You simply get her to eventually assume all chores by escalating your all too obvious incompetence. Once she has completely capitulated into doing the chores, lest she risk having you again clean the bathroom with a sand blaster, you will then be able to point out how strong your marriage has become as a result. Even better, when she realizes that this was an intentional and dedicated effort on your part, she will more than ever recognize how lucky she was to land you in the first place.

It is a beautiful plan that results in a win win; In that she gets competently completed chores, you get more time on the golf course, and your marriage will be better for it. Statistics don’t lie. When she discovers your brilliant plan, it will forever cement your loving relationship.

But I’d keep that cup handy, just in case.

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