It goes without saying that when you live with someone chaos, or at least a buildup of lots of dirty dishes and laundry will ensue without some sense of knowing how dividing housework will be organized.. When you live in a family of 4 adult GUYS, it’s an even bigger problem. Laundry and dishes multiply faster, grocery trips are either larger, more frequent, or both and the house gets dirtier in general faster. Actually figuring out who should be doing what, either primarily or as a backup is fairly important, and can be a bit of trial and error even in two person relationships and households.
In my family dividing housework isn’t as equal as most couples would like, nor is it my favorite aspect of our household, but there are just some things that wouldn’t make sense, nor would be comfortable for me to let anyone else do so it works. For Example, I am slightly OCD about certain aspects of how laundry gets put away. With all of us being jeans (or shorts) and t-shirt kinds of guys and 3 of us wearing compatible sizes, we own a LOT of t-shirts. Therefore, having them organized makes it much easier to manage. I can’t imagine any of the guys would go through that few extra moments to sort them by color, make sure they’re all right side out, and all facing the same way, but they seem to appreciate my efforts when looking for that orange t-shirt with the glow in the dark “splat” bear paw. Everyone helps to some extent with doing the actual washing, but I put clothes away, ALWAYS!
As for cooking, the bear wanted to be a chef, so he does a lot of the cooking around here, but I’m more than comfortable in a kitchen and enjoy cooking also so I do my share, and the cub has several things he makes very well, but he works the latest shift of the 3 of us, so he doesn’t cook all that often. The boy doesn’t make anything more complicated than boxed mac and cheese or pizza rolls, so unless he’s just fending for himself, he doesn’t really cook. When it comes down to it, the bear and I have the biggest interest in cooking, so we do most of it. We also like to do as much preparation in advance as possible, having things for lunches at work for all of us set up for a few days at a time. It just makes it easier and less time consuming. That leaves the cleaning part of things, and where we do our best to put the cub and the boy to work – Gathering laundry, taking out garbage, and general cleaning. Sometimes it works well, others it takes reminders. Either way it is what it is, and we make due with our tasks so that we succeed as much as possible in matters domestic.
Over the years I’ve heard many gripes along the lines of “he never does X”, or “I’m expected to be the one who always does Y”, and I have to wonder how much of the problem is a lack of communication between the partners? Does the partner of the guy who is always expected to do Y always doing A, B, C, and D? Would Partner Y enjoy doing one or more of the other tasks rather than Y? Obviously not in every situation – Some guys are just plain lazy, some are quite fastidious, and others are just plain undomesticated. Regardless, I think one key to any relationship surviving cohabitation is learning each other’s domestic habits, strengths, and weaknesses and dividing housework to best of everyone’s abilities.
Mike is a 40 something bear in the great Metropolis of Fort Wayne, IN. He lives with his 3 partners and works in the retail home improvement industry. He has been active in the gay community in Fort Wayne and online for 20+ years, having volunteered for a gay/lesbian helpline, been involved in multiple LGBT community groups, and worked as a DJ in multiple gay clubs. His Gay Open Poly Bear quad blog can be seen at http://gopbqfortwwayne.blogspot.com/.