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The Number 1 Argument Among Couples: Rest vs. Chores

 Why do many women resent men and feel frustration that borders on anger when they relax? And why do men choose to rest while their partners work hard around the house? We will soon explore the answers to these questions in depth, but first we must understand that although there are many other issues many couples argue about, such as sex, money, raising children and even minor things such as the position of the toilet seat, with resting vs. chores is the biggest "barrel of explosives” among them.


If a man really wants to get on his wife’s nerves, he should just lie in bed on a Friday or Saturday afternoon. These moments of rest are something that men love and most women loathe or rather become angry at the men who enjoy them. Therefore, a great deal of friction is created, but despite its relative insignificance, (I mean, what's a nap?) it still has a significant influence on the relationship.

Of course, we can’t generalize about all men and women, and there are always exceptions. If you‘ve read this far, you can probably relate to what you read and now want to understand why this is and how you can change it. For a start, we invite you to look at the topic from two different perspectives. Continue reading to find out why women feel frustrated and angry when men rest, and why men rest when women expect them to help: 

couple arguing

Men's and women’s different perspectives 

As we’ve already said, most men like to relax and most women respond with great frustration. This is a classic case where both genders have contradictory worldviews that can lead to many a shouting match. So what is this point of view?

For men, home is a refuge from work and the various pressures they face in all other environments. Home is where they come to relax after they’ve "earned" this right, and they feel it is their right to just chill out. But is this really true? When a man enters his home, he doesn’t see a system in chaos. He doesn’t see the dishes in the sink, the dishwasher that needs to be fixed, the faded color of the walls or the broken chair to be replaced. What he does see is a long, soft sofa or comfortable armchair in front of a TV - he seeks out the perfect spot to rest and recharge his batteries.

Women, on the other hand, see a basket filled with dirty laundry that promises a morning when the children will have nothing to wear, an empty refrigerator meaning another evening eating a quick and unhealthy dinner, unpaid bills that could turn into trouble, dust in the corners of the room mocking their cleaning efforts and other signs of things about to get out of hand. Even a woman who worked herself to the bone all day long will feel frustrated, stressed and disappointed in herself if she returns to a dirty house in the evening. For many women, this scenario represents a very realistic worldview, which some women are aware of and others are not.

messy bedroom

So who's right and who's wrong?

The answer to this question is no-one, but this doesn’t prevent women from becoming frustrated when there are things to do around the house and their partners have already made a beeline for the sofa. This leads to men from feeling they're being nagged all the time. Of course, there are always exceptions, but this is the case among many couples and unfortunately, it is impossible to ignore the differences in men's and women’s mentalities. The best way to solve such problems is to come to an understanding of each other's perspectives. So let's try to present this situation from a feminine perspective in a way that a man will understand, and vice versa.

Dear Men, imagine you have a deadline to complete a very important project in a year's time. Although the timeframe is relatively long, the project happens to be the most important one of your life, so you aren't willing to take any risks. You create a rigid and detailed schedule for you and all your team members because you know that any delay or negligence can jeopardize your entire future. Then a day comes when you plan to devote all of your resources to this project, and one of your partners suddenly stands up and says, "I think I'll go and get some rest."

It's clear that now you're probably thinking to yourself that this is just an exaggerated metaphor. "If it doesn't get done today, nothing bad will happen to my family" is a pretty normal thought for a man to have in such a scenario, but you have to understand that most women don’t think like this. For them, every little delay is damaging to their life project, and if you are responsible for it, then they feel that you simply don’t care about them and your life together.

man laying on a couch reading a magazine

Dear Ladies, imagine that you are entering a luxurious spa. You take off your clothes, take a shower, put on a soft bathrobe, and just as you plan to enter the water, the spa manager comes into the room and says, "Great! You got here just in time to clean the Jacuzzi."  If such a situation were to occur in reality, it is reasonable to assume that you would walk straight out of the place, but from a male perspective, this is a perfectly understandable response.

You might be asking yourself how this is related to your home life, because it's not realistic to rest and indulge all day - you need constant maintenance to "enjoy the spa," and you are right. Men simply have a different way of thinking about some of the tasks that you see as necessary for the household. They can completely ignore the "dirty tub in the spa" because they just enjoy relaxing in your shared home and sometimes your requests hurt their ability to do so.

angry woman pointing her finger

How do you combine these two points of view? 

If you've come this far, you probably already understand why men so love and perhaps need their rest. And guys, you now understand why it's hard to get your partner to accept the fact that you like to go home and sit in front of the TV or sleep in late and do nothing on Saturday. Both sides need to be clear that there are things that must be done: childcare, paying bills, preparing food, and the like. If there is no agreement on these essential tasks, it must be established as soon as possible in order to avoid unnecessary fights, and then one can find the balance between the man’s desire to rest and the woman’s desire for a clean and orderly home.


The process of balancing the male and female perspectives differs between each pair. I've heard of couples in which the man asks for a certain period of time from the moment he enters the homes where he is not expected to do anything or a strategy of planning a common monthly schedule for all tasks that are not defined as being high priority. The method that will suit you and your spouse probably won’t be exactly the same as that of any other couple, but you should at least follow these general recommendations:

  • You are a couple, but you are also separate people and each side has its own desires, respect them even if you do not understand them.
  • Throughout the article, general reference was made to men and women, but of course reality isn’t divided in such a way. It may be that in your relationship the situation is somewhat different and perhaps even reversed, and that's fine.
  • A relationship cannot exist without a willingness to compromise, but there are issues that cannot be compromised, and a way must be found to deal with them. It is possible to adopt a veto mechanism that each spouse can adopt once a week or a month in relation to a specific task or a certain day of rest.
  • Remember the love you feel for each other, it will help you find the strength to call the cable technician after a frustrating day or accept the fact that it will take a few more days for the overfilling trash can makes its way out.



image source:  lisaclarke

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