Which Household Chores do Couples Fight over the Most (Mumsnet Reveals the Answer)

Home renovation experts at ConservatoryBlinds4Less have trawled through thousands of Mumsnet posts to find out exactly which household chores cause couples to fight the most. 

Our survey has revealed the 10 household chores couples are arguing over the most. We’ve measured these using the number of mentions of each task in threads under Mumsnet’s Relationships section, posted within the last 18 months. 

The Top 10 Most Argued Over Household Chores

ChoreNumber of MentionsPercentage
1Doing the washing up75432%
2Cleaning the bathroom50221%
3Vacuuming33814%
4Cooking2089%
5Taking out the bin1657%
6Doing laundry1316%
7Feeding a pet773%
8Redecorating743%
9Building furniture643%
10Ironing392%

“Mountains” of washing up 

The commenters on the huge forum for mums most often cited washing the dishes as a cause of tension between themselves and their significant other. Almost a third of housework-related complaints analysed mentioned washing up – with the most common complaint from mums being that their ‘DH’ (Dear Husband) never did it. “I have to ask him every time to do it” one commenter says, “and then when he does he just does a bad job.” 

Other threads discuss — at length — the methods their other halves use when it comes to washing dirty dishes. 

“He will pile […]everything in the sink and the mountain of items will be as high as the taps.” said one angry poster. “To access the plug, you must navigate this pile and sometimes he will have left a load “soaking” and the next day you have congealed grease/sauces/oil to wade into to pull the plug”.

 “My request is to use the side to pile dishes (a few in the sink is fine but if you have reached the point of dish Tetris to fit it in then it is time to do the load yourself or stack on the side). I have repeated this request, I have stressed how upsetting/heart-sinking it is for me to encounter the full sink.”

Toothpaste drool and filthy toilets

Shower, bath, sink and toilet-cleaning duties also appear to high up on the list of pressure points for couples, with cleaning the bathroom the second biggest chore cohabiting couples are fighting about. 

Most complaints from posters and commenters were that their DH simply didn’t see the importance of a clean bathroom, and was seemingly perfectly happy to use a dirtier bathroom (or, worse, didn’t even realise it was dirty in the first place). 

“DP (Dear Partner) somehow manages to get toothpaste drool on the outside of the sink. How is that even possible?!” one commentor asks

“March him in there and don’t let him out until he’s cleaned it, oh and take his phone off him! Treat him like the child he is behaving as!” replies another. 

“Not even a simple stir fry or omlette…”

Who cooks dinner every night was also high up on the list of issues causing couples to fight this year. 

Many of the commenters on the forum complained that their partner simply couldn’t cook and had no interest in learning, so the role always fell onto their heads. 

“[We’ve] been together over 25 years and I’ve cooked every day for 99% of the time,” one poster says. “ If i come in knackered I cannot expect any food ready for me- not even a simple stir fry or omlette. Ironically…his dad was a chef! shock

Black-hole bins

Next up was cleaning the bins – a task which also made its way onto a good number of posts. 

Many angry partners using the forum to vent their frustrations claimed that their other half simply didn’t seem to notice or care that the bin was full.

One OP writes:

“Oh I’ll just jam the stuff in the bin down until it has the density of a black hole and when it’s really too full I’ll balance a plastic bag on top and use that, until I can get around to being arsed to do it. angry angry angry” 

“He says I just need to remind him the bin is full. FFS YOU HAVE EYES!” 

“Husband broke my vacuum!”

Vacuuming was also high up on the list of household chores causing relationship issues on the platform, with one poster detailing an ongoing disagreement between her and her other half resulting from him breaking her vacuum and then making a bad suggestion about how to replace it.

“Husband broke my vacuum!” the OP says. “Not really a big problem but for some reason it’s reduced me to tears! It’s irreparable!”

“So DH suggests a Henry. Anyway, I’ve put Henry together and had a go and omg he will not lift the dog hair!! I’ve been trying to vacuum the living room for 25 minutes! AIBU in needing a vacuum that performs well at a price (my husband thinks it’s excessive to spend alot on a vacuum)?”

Methodology

To gather our results, we searched Mumsnet’s Talk section for all threads including key phrases relating to different household tasks. We filtered these results by all posts and threads under the Relationships section of the forum. To make these more relevant, we filtered all the results to include posts made between June 2020 and December 2021. 

Sources

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/4314091-AIBU-to-ask-my-working-husband-to-contribute-respect-the-work-around-the-house?msgid=109661712#109661712

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3907625-To-tell-him-to-clean-the-fucking-toilet?pg=2

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3951161-DH-doesnt-enjoy-get-satisfaction-out-of-any-household-tasks

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2058617-AAARRRGGH-so-fucked-off-about-DPs-housework-fail-AGAIN?pg=3

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1725777-AIBU-about-DH-and-his-cant-wont-cook-role?pg=2

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3648998-Husband-broke-my-vacuum