Everyone’s heard of marriages, divorces, separations and cohabitations, but what’s an empty-shell marriage?
A couple may have been married for 40 years, for example, but if they refuse to connect intimately or emotionally, they are in an empty-shell marriage. People living in such type of marriage are usually lonely and emotionally distant and even if they stay under the same roof, they have no attachment to each other. Simple greetings may be exchanged but there is no deep and intimate conversation between them. Despite being legally recognized as a “married couple”, they live separate lives. In other words, an empty-shell marriage refers to a marriage in name only; a loveless life with no life inside and where the outside shell remains.
You can sugarcoat it all you want, but if you stay married to someone you don’t love because of money, small children or because you have nowhere to go, it means you are living in an empty-shell marriage.
A couple in an empty-shell marriage may no longer share their time together or share their leisure activities, but when it comes to cleaning, the household workload should be divided equally.
Break Gender Stereotypes
All my life, I was taught that home was the proper domain of women and that men are meant to be breadwinners and protectors. As I got older, I realized it didn’t really hold up in real life. There is no reason why a woman can’t be the breadwinner and being a man doesn’t mean that you will the more successful one.
Whether it’s an empty-shell marriage or a regular one, there is always that typical expectation for most household chores to be allocated to women rather than men. Just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you’ll have to do all the repetitive, mundane chores. Therefore, you should make it clear that household chores should be divided equally.
Learn About Each Other’s Priorities
One of the keys to having a successful and happy married life is to learn and understand the priorities of your partner. However, when you are in an empty-shell marriage, there is no need for such understanding except when you’ll have to divide household chores.
Even if you are living together without any emotional attachment, it is important to understand each other’s priorities so that you can keep a clean and neat house. For instance, you can find out how your “partner” feels about cleaning the bathroom twice a week or cleaning the kitchen every four days.
This is a critical stage that most married couples go through. It’s a phase where you have to compromise and cooperate.
Basically, all you need to do is to make a list of all the tasks that each one of you hates to do. If one of you doesn’t like washing the dishes, for example, the other might be able to tolerate this task. And, if both of you have a hatred for a specific chore like cleaning the toilet, it is recommended to tackle the chore together.
Create a Timetable
It is wrong to assume on your own when the house should be cleaned. If you are a morning person, your partner could be a night owl and that means you’ll have to work on different time schedules. Instead of convincing and forcing each other to clean the house during the weekends, try to allocate different cleaning time slots.
There’ll be times when one of you forgets to take out the trash, wouldn’t have time to clean the kitchen counters or ask the other person to do it instead. It’ll be tempting to nag and blame each other but if you don’t want to end up fighting against each other, I suggest you keep calm and offer to do the chore.