The conversations of life

What’s the secret to a happy relationship? Do the dishes


It’s the scientific proof we’ve been waiting for – the way to your partner’s heart is through the dishwasher.

A new report from the Council of Contemporary Families (CCF) has found women who do most of the dishes report more relationship drama, less relationship satisfaction and worse sex than women whose partners shared the task.

Their study, which looked at a range of household tasks including shopping, laundry and cleaning, also showed women were happier about sharing dishwashing duties than any other household task.

Despite this, men weren’t exactly putting their hands up – in 2006, just 29 per cent of couples reported that they split dishwashing duties.


The battle of the dishes

Lead author Dan Carlson from the University of Utah really hit the nail on the head: “Doing dishes is gross. There is old, mouldy food sitting in the sink.”

And unlike other chores like cooking or gardening, doing dishes well does not always result in compliments: “What is there to say? ‘Oh, the silverware is so … sparkly’?” he adds.

But there was good news according to the researchers – dishwashing duties lend themselves well to cooperation (the old ‘you rinse, I’ll pack’).

In short, don’t leave your spouse to scrub the dishes alone.

Going out for a romantic dinner for two? $150.

Packing the dishwasher together? Priceless.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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