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Making Marriage Work When It Feels Like a Chore

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When I was 11, I shaved one spot on one of my legs. I wasn’t allowed to shave yet, so when my mom noticed it, I lied and told her the razor fell on me. I’m sure she bought it. Well, the joke was on me. She let me start shaving and that was the beginning of my commitment to the personal hygiene chore I dread the most. Seriously, I don’t know a single woman who likes shaving her legs.

What does shaving have to do with marriage? Well, making marriage work can often feel like a chore. The work never ends and sometimes you just don’t want to do it. I know it’s a weird parallel, but the more I thought about the truths about shaving our legs, the more I realized these are actually good practices for marriage too. So next time you grab your razor, think of these 5 ways to handle marriage when it feels like a chore.

Don’t wait too long.

In the winter months, when your legs see nary a ray of sunlight, you might put off shaving for an extra day or two (or seven). Neglecting to shave is a surefire way to burn through razors and it’ll take longer when you finally get around to it.

Making marriage work requires discussing issues before they’ve had a long time to grow. If you do wait, they’ll be harder to resolve. Don’t avoid conflict. It rarely goes away on its own.

Don’t rush.

We’ve all been there—you realize you haven’t shaved two minutes before you have to walk out the door to go to a doctor’s appointment or get a pedicure. You run to the bathroom, hike your leg up on the counter, splash some water, and go at it. You’re left with razor burn, cuts, and missed spots.

When you have an issue that needs attention in your marriage, don’t try to fit it into a two-minute conversation before bed or when the kids are brushing their teeth. Covering important issues is worth your time.

Focus on one thing at a time.

I have a system for shaving. I always start with my right leg and do the whole thing before moving to the left. If you move from right ankle to left knee to left shin, chances are you’re going to miss something and feel super scattered by the time you’re done.

With marriage issues, if you jump from money, to disciplining the kids, to sex, to the way he doesn’t put his shoes away, you’re not going to get to the heart of any matter and things will be left unfinished.

Use the right tools for you.

I used to be bad about letting my razors get dull. Razors are expensive and I hated buying them. Then I found a mail-order club that is affordable and the razors work well. I found my system!

There are great tools for making marriage work, but they aren’t one-size-fits-all. For some, counseling is the way to go. Others find praying with their spouse helps them connect. For some others, date nights are a good opportunity for communication. Find your tool and use it.

Don’t neglect the tough spots.

Has this ever happened to you? You get in the car and look down at your knee and see five missed hairs! Gah! How? Sometimes we miss spots because they are harder to get to—the bumpy places on our knees or ankles, or the sensitive creases behind our knees.

Even though some topics are hard to discuss or are easier left as secrets, we can’t avoid them. They’re just going to get hairier and hairier until we can’t not see them anymore.

Next time you’re shaving your legs, think about what you can work on in your marriage. What other tips for getting chores done also apply to making marriage work?


What are your favorite and least favorite chores?

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