My husband and I are no longer intimate (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I have a demanding job, so there is no way I am also doing everything in the house. And my husband does pull his weight. But recently he’s started backing off, and we’re not as close and intimate as we used to be. What am I getting wrong?


Chris says, 

Hi, Chores!

Even when a husband is willing to help, his wife generally ends up doing most of the housework. That’s usually because she insists on setting the standards for housekeeping and childcare, and men find that hugely off-putting.


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Like when he washes up, he must stack the dishes her way. Or buy her choice of groceries. It is better to encourage your husband by complimenting his work, rather than criticise him.

Not finding fault might be hard at first, because wives tend to set very high standards. Let them go. Don’t expect your husband to agree with your priorities either, or assume that you’re a better housekeeper or parent than him. He may even become better than you at some things!

And that leads to your other problem.

When a husband does his wife’s chores, then their intimacy often goes flat. The one exception seems to be cooking! A man who’s a great cook is a real turn-on.

It’s as if males doing female tasks turns off something very primitive in our brains. While with a more traditional division of labour, both have a much better time together.

Because what makes for equal relationships doesn’t necessarily drive lust. We’re often turned on by the same things that we’d hate in any other situation. Like you probably love it if your husband takes charge at bedtime, but would complain that he was being controlled during the day.

This means that the sexes are not as interchangeable as they seem. And the traditional roles make us happier!

So it may go against your feminist principles, but you’ll have more fun together if you encourage your husband to stick to the more masculine chores. Especially the ones that show off his rippling muscles!

All the best,