Ellyn Bader

“Chore Wars” are a common problem for couples: 1) sharing housework 2) negotiating the schedule for chores 3) agreeing on standards that are acceptable to both partners.

It’s a problem that won’t go away. Bathtubs get grimy, dust bunnies multiply in corners, clutter accumulates everywhere – as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.

It took us awhile to figure out a no hassle solution to our shared housework, and we’ve created a short video on it. Check it out – and then share your ideas for replacing the “Chore Wars” with peace on the homefront.


Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., is Co-Founder & Director of The Couples Institute and creator of The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy. Ellyn is widely recognized as an expert in couples therapy, and since 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists. Professionals from around the world connect with her through internet, conference calls and blog discussions to study couples therapy.

Ellyn’s first book, "In Quest of the Mythical Mate," won the Clark Vincent Award by the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists for its outstanding contribution to the field of marital therapy and is now in its 18th printing. She has been featured on over 50 radio and television programs including "The Today Show" and "CBS Early Morning News," and she has been quoted in many publications including "The New York Times," "The Oprah Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan."

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Wendy Merron
9 years ago

Great video. It’s wonderful to see couples working together as a team. After 15 years of marriage when I did everything, I learned that it wasn’t the kind of marriage and partnership I was happy with.

Once I changed my mindset and beliefs my life changed. Are there couples out there that are great partners? Absolutely! I’m lucky to be part of a great loving team 🙂

9 years ago

Excellent video on Couples working together.

9 years ago

thanks for a great video

Julia Zimmer
Julia Zimmer
9 years ago

Wow – talk about gender stereotyping! I find that offensive.

marian meade
9 years ago

Thanks Ellyn and Peter! My husband and I do not fit the stereotype at all. He is a type A personality and always cared more about being clean and tidy, and cleaning up after himself etc. I was the easygoing one who could function in chaos and really only saw a mess when I knew company was coming. I used to think he was just trying to boss me around when he got upset about the mess. I finally learned that it was a need of his to have things tidy. Once he realized that I wasn’t being messy on purpose, and that I was making an effort to improve, that power struggle ended! And now I like things really tidy-it doesn’t come naturally, but I continue to work on it!

7 years ago

Wow. If my husband had been that cooperative, we wouldn’t need couple’s sites. Or divorce courts. When I asked for help, my husband told me “I don’t like cleaning the house, so I won’t do it. If you want it clean, YOU clean it.” Same applied to mowing the lawn or any other work.

Lori Collins
7 years ago

Hi Ellyn and Pete, Great video! I love the takeaway message which is how important it is to team together and get things done.

Peter Pearson
Peter Pearson
6 years ago

Lynn – want to get out of prison? Sounds like you feel trapped. And if you are hobbled in your marriage so is your hubby. In a three legged race if one person has a problem, they both do.

So listen up. Here’s your key for the jail break.

Read the blog for couples on super negotiation. It’s about four pages. (Great negotiation is more than each person saying what they want and then compromising)

You and your honeybun read the article twice. Then diligently follow the steps.
if you are successful, it means you both followed the steps and are on your way out of prison and headed for freedom.

if your are successful email me at [email protected] and tell me. I want to hear about it.

If you are not successful, l don’t tell me as because I don’t want to get embroiled in all your stuff by email. I am a sucker for wanting to help the hopeless. So help me avoid my dysfunction of trying to be the patron saint of the hopless.
Good luck on using your new found keys to get out of jail