-- Cooking, cleaning and yard work are the never-ending chores that keep a happy home in order, but how you divide the to-do list for those chores could also hold the secret to a happy marriage.
A paper presented this week to the Council on Contemporary Families found that when couples shared similar household tasks instead of adhering to traditional, gender-stereotyped roles, they had a deeper desire for each other.
“Contemporary couples who adhere to a more egalitarian division of labor are the only couples who have experienced an increase in sexual frequency compared to their counterparts of the past,” wrote the paper’s author, Cornell University professor Sharon Sassler.
Meredith Rollins, the editor-in-chief of Redbook magazine, seconded the idea that couples who change their chores up are happier.
“In relationships you tend to get stuck in a routine,” Rollins told ABC News. “You always do this. I always do that, so mixing things up just keeps things fresh.”
Rollins added, “The other person in the partnership is probably doing a lot more than you're giving them credit for so by trying it out and doing it yourself, you can maybe appreciate what they're doing a little bit more,”
“GMA” recruited a couple, Heather Whittenburg and Travis Linquist, to give the chore swap a try.
The couple, parents to a 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old and 2-year-old sons, changed up the “traditional” chores they each did on a daily basis. For Whittenburg, that meant doing yard work and getting their daughter ready for school, while Linquist packed their daughter's lunch, cooked breakfast, mopped and did laundry.
“It’s interesting to kind of get out of your comfort zone a little bit and go and do something completely different,” Linquist said after the chore swap.
“You really do see what they go through in order to get it done, even though it may look easy,” Whittenburg said.