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Time to pick up the mop

Relationships

 Does your husband or wife idly sit back and watch TV while you slave away over mountains of ironing?

Then your relationship could be doomed, as a new study claims a 'mismatch' in household chores makes you more likely to split.

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House chores might cause a strain in your relationship. Picture: Supplied

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Researchers at Stockholm University's Demography Unit believe they've scientifically proved the long-held view that the division of household duties has a huge impact on 'marital satisfaction and stability'.

Unsurprisingly, they found that women in heterosexual couples who feel they do the bulk of the housework tend to be unhappy in their relationships, and more likely to consider dumping their partner.

Interestingly, men in these relationships tend to be unsatisfied too, with these unions more likely to 'dissolve'.

Whether male or female, relationship satisfaction was found to be lower in couples where one partner reports doing the bulk of the housework.

The most 'severe' cases are in couples where men believed they are sharing household duties 'equally' but the woman says she is carrying out more chores with both parties being less satisfied.

These 'mismatches' in reports could spell disaster, the study found.

Researchers used data from Sweden's 2009 Young Adult Panel Study (YAPS) which collected information from 3,500 individuals, which looked at the work and family situations in the first phases of young adult life over a period of 10 years.

'We looked at heterosexual couples and whether they agree on how they share the household and if that affects their relationship,' Maria Brandén, one of the authors of the study.

In line with other research we find that if couples divide the household tasks unequally, so if the woman does more than the man, it reflects badly on the relationship.

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'Those couples are more likely to dissolve and they have less relationship satisfaction.'

She added: 'If the woman reports they share the work unequally and the man reports they share equally, this has an even more negative effect.

'So, if the man doesn't acknowledge that the woman does more work, it also has a negative effect on the relationship.'

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