How to Get Your Partner to Help Around the House

couple housework 02 

Are you frustrated by constantly cleaning up after your partner? Would you like to stop feeling like the house keeper and start to get some help from your partner around the house?

Whether you find yourself constantly cleaning, cooking, ironing, washing and your partner rarely helps out, the following strategies will help you.

Take stock

Before you start to point the finger at your partner about what they are not doing to help you, look at how you are contributing to this situation. In any relationship, it takes at least two people to create a dynamic. Behaviour rarely occurs in isolation in a relationship.

Think about and ask yourself:
• are you bored and filling up your time with chores;
• is there something that you are too scared to confront with your partner so you are “hiding” behind the busyness of housework so that you avoid that conversation;
• do you take too much responsibility for others and this is just another way that you do that, by doing all the housework;
• do you use chores as an excuse from doing other things e.g. I am too busy cleaning the house to see my friends, to have hobbies, etc.
• are you obtaining approval or acceptance from family, friends or your partner by being the housekeeper they expect you to be?

Really think about the above and check if any of the above apply to you. If so, are there underlying limiting beliefs (e.g. need for approval, taking too much responsibility, etc.) that are driving your behaviour?

It is important to address those limiting beliefs so that they stop holding you back from having a more balanced approach to housework, and getting the help you desire in your relationship.

Motivate your partner to help out

Once you rebalance your priorities, it is also useful to understand how to motivate your partner to help you out with the housework. There are two main types of motivation: toward (focused on the reward) and away from (focused on punishment to avoid). You need to understand which type of motivation works best for your partner.

Next time you interact with your partner, listen to their language and notice whether they mainly focus on problems or solutions. This will tell you whether they are mainly toward (solution) or away from (problem) motivated, and the best way you can get them to help you around the house:

• If your partner is toward motivated, they will look for solutions, be goal oriented and enjoy rewards. To motivate them to help you, talk about the benefits to them of helping you with the housework, and the rewards at the end of the task.

• If your partner is away from motivated, they will consider risks, worst case scenarios and what could go wrong. To motivate them to help you with the housework, talk about the consequences of not helping you and of not keeping the home clean, and the problems they can avoid later by helping you now.

Imagine the difference to your happiness and relationship once you let of go of any of your limitations, and appropriately motivate your partner to help you to share the housework.


Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit

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