ONE-SIDED: Is the housework causing tension in your relationship?
ONE-SIDED: Is the housework causing tension in your relationship? Oktay Ortakcioglu

Lose the stress but keep the partner (if you want to)

JUST as we slip uncomfortably into February with none of those new year resolutions ticked, couples counsellor and relationship expert Melissa Ferrari has issued some advice for those of us tired of the other half.

One of the reoccurring arguments Melissa says she often hears about is household chores.

"It may sound trivial, but years of damaging resentment can build up in a relationship if you are the only one to have ever cleaned the bathroom or vacuumed the floor,” she says.

Well, actually, it doesn't sound so trivial. If you are the only one who seems to know how to use the toilet brush or the Dyson, sooner or later you may be tempted to stick it somewhere that's not back in the cupboard.

And what about the bed-making, the washing, the cooking, walking the dog, window cleaning, putting out - and bringing in - the rubbish bins.... I'm feeling exhausted just thinking about it.

Now you could always sit down with your partner and try to negotiate household chores with the end result being a chart on the fridge ... or you could get help. That's right, help.

I'm not suggesting an on-demand, 24-hour personal chef or gardener like Oprah has, but maybe someone who comes and cleans once a fortnight, or even someone who walks the dog. You spend money on wine, beer and restaurant meals, don't you? How much more sensible to spend it on labour and argument-saving home help, especially when you are putting money back into the local economy.

Could you get someone to do battle in the supermarket aisles for you - or why not order online?

Just a warning though: once you've grown accustomed to the idea of paying someone else to help shoulder the load, your imagination might start to run wild. What about paying someone to listen to your partner's endless gripes about the people at the office?

Helen Hawkes is a UNIFAM-qualified counsellor and a life coach. Go to

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