It's great how couples are working better as a team to accomplish all the tasks in their life, but understand it might get a little untidy at times. Like everything in marriage, you need to communicate openly and unclutter the areas that get muddled so there's a clear pathway to accomplish your goals.

When it comes to household chores, no longer is the woman in the relationship picking up more of the slack than their male counterpart.


More often nowadays, men are putting down the remote and picking up a broom. They are putting away the stereotypes along with the dishes. They are making beds and making their wives’ load a little lighter, and not just in the laundry room.


According to a study conducted in 2010 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, husbands are racking up nearly the same amount of time completing household chores as their spouse. This is especially true in cases where both spouses are working full time outside the home.


In another study by the Pew Research Center in 2007, 62 percent of couples surveyed said sharing household chores was the third most important ingredient in a successful marriage after faithfulness and sex ––  I'm glad sex rates higher than chores!


It used to be when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s that more women stayed home. Most of the household chores were accomplished by them because they didn't have to go out somewhere and work, too. Their job was the home.


Then, when women started entering the workforce, it seemed like they added the responsibility of working outside the home to their job description while still continuing to perform all their inside functions. Not all women experienced this, but many did because it was unknown territory. There were no roadmaps showing men what direction to take in the area of chores.


Slowly but surely, men have been willing to change, and women have spoken up. Now, together, couples are forging ahead and taking care of business both at work and home.


That doesn't mean, however, there won't be some roadblocks along the way. Not everyone will agree on who should empty the dishwasher and who should fill up the mower with gas, or who will wash the dishes and who is responsible for drying the clothes. Nor will they always agree on who will wipe down the furniture and who will wipe up the spills.


There's still plenty of room for misunderstandings and missed opportunities in this messy business of maintaining a home. Couples really need to make a plan for how this gets done, instead of making assumptions. It should be one of the first things a newly married couple discusses before patterns are established, not registered for in the china department.


Each person has to be honest about what they feel they can handle and what they like to do. That doesn't mean it's all going to work out where everybody just does what they like and no more, but there's no reason one person has to get all the dirty jobs. Come clean about what you are good at, and then establish standards of cleanliness.


I don't mean for anyone to incorporate inspections or a “white glove” test, but establish what is the definition of cleaning up after dinner. Does it mean washing and drying the dishes or loading them in the dishwasher? Or does it mean just clearing the table? Does doing the laundry mean washing and drying the clothes and then leaving them for someone else to fold?


It's great how couples are working better as a team to accomplish all the tasks in their life, but understand it might get a little untidy at times. Like everything in marriage, you need to communicate openly and unclutter the areas that get muddled so there's a clear pathway to accomplish your goals.


Dan Seaborn is a non-denominational Christian Evangelist and a published author of such books as "The Necessary Nine: How to Stay Happily Married for Life!" He is the founder of Winning at Home Inc., a ministry that focuses its attention on the relationships between a husband and wife and between parents and their children. He is a staple speaker for Promise Keepers, a Christian Evangelical ministry dedicated to uniting men to become positive influences in the world.