1. Pick and choose your battles (and chores).
Don’t expect Hubby to be enthusiastic about doing all chores, but there are surely some he prefers over others. If he finds washing dishes therapeutic, then make that his regular chore. In return, take him off his hated duties like washing the toilet.
2. Get him to love cooking.
“Most great chefs are guys.” “A man who can cook is soooo sexy.” “I LOVE your steak, it’s better than what we get at 3-Michelin starred restaurants!” Pile on the flattery and encourage Hubby to cook regularly, rather than on special occasions. If he takes over 2 nights a week, that is 2 nights off for you. If Hubby’s food is only fit for the bin, don’t give up. The important thing is to keep him enthusiastic. You can always sign him up for cooking lessons.
3. Delegate work.
Women often try to do everything ourselves, then get really upset and complain that Hubby refuses to help. Often, it’s not that Hubby didn’t want to lift a finger, but rather, he didn’t know you needed help. Open your mouth and delegate. Get him to take over regular tasks like giving your kids their weekly Spelling and checking their homework. Assign him macho tasks, like washing the car, cleaning up the yard or supervising the kids while they pack their rooms. If you feel overwhelmed and tired, sit Hubby down and tell him. Don’t expect him to magically know you are feeling swarmed even if it’s written all over your face. Let’s face it, most guys suck at reading their wives’ non-verbal cues. Just. Speak. Up.
4. Incorporate a reward system.
Treat Hubby as you would your kids – incentivize household chores and you will find him much more motivated. Show him research that doing housework helps burn calories, so that helps meet his fitness goals. Package your request in a more appealing manner and dangle a reward. Eg. “If you help me out with vacuuming the house, we can celebrate finishing up the housework by having your favourite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as a treat!” Make it seem like a collaborative effort instead of berating him for not volunteering to do the vacuuming.
5. Roll out the threats (sparingly).
If all fails, tell Hubby that doing all the housework yourself is making you too tired to have sex. Want to make whoopee? Please help me with the housework. Guaranteed to work every time.