Deep questions of married life

Throughout my illustrious career as a husband, I’ve often pondered the deep questions of married life: Are we married to the same woman in the afterlife or do we have to start dating again? Why is marital bliss as elusive as Bigfoot? Is Bigfoot married? What happened to the good old days when husbands didn’t have to do housework?

So many questions, so few answers. However, I recently came upon some startling research about marriage and sex — despite a prevailing theory that the two are mutually exclusive.

One study conducted by 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair claimed the most common marital dispute is fighting over what to watch on television, which suggests that if you get rid of your TV, you could save your marriage and your sanity.

Because I don’t own a television, I never argue with my wife about whether we should watch Honey Boo Boo or Masterpiece Theatre even though I personally prefer Honey Boo Boo.

Of the 1,100 adults polled nationwide, 36 percent of the couples said bickering over the remote control was more common than arguing about household chores, sharing a bed, bedside reading and bathroom rights.

I have to wonder why sex and money, the two traditionally explosive topics in a marriage, weren’t mentioned. Perhaps our disposable income is shrinking so much that money isn’t worth arguing about, or perhaps everyone is so depressed about not having enough money that no one cares about sex. With that kind of creative thinking, I suppose I could replace Dr. Phil.

My parents never fought about what to watch because they had five televisions. I guess it worked. They were married 55 years, even though the TV repair bill almost bankrupted them.

Truth be told, the division of labor in my house is what really starts sparks flying, so I was surprised to come upon another study, published in the American Sociological Review, that said guys who do housework aren’t rewarded by more sex. They have less sex.

Now, I’m not offering any editorial comment on those findings, and I don’t want to talk about sex in a PG-rated column; however, I hope this study wasn’t paid for with taxpayer dollars because we could have put that money to more productive use, like giving larger bonuses to the executives at AIG or producing a PBS special with Honey Boo Boo at Downton Abbey.

For years, I’ve been told that women absolutely love men who vacuum and dust and wash dishes and pan sear salmon, but this study refuted those theories. Instead, women are more attracted to guys who do chores like mowing the lawn and shoveling snow.

Well, vacuuming isn’t my thing anyway, but neither is weed-whacking, so I’m not sure where that leaves me.

The research concluded that married guys who did traditional manly things had more sex than husbands who performed female-oriented household tasks, such as laundry, cooking, dusting and arranging flowers.

Sabino Kornrich, author of the study, said, “For couples in which men did no ‘core’ housework, sexual frequency was 4.8 times per month; for couples in which men did all the ‘core’ housework, sexual frequency was 3.2 times per month.”

Applying the keen mathematical skills I developed in fourth grade, I conclude that doesn’t seem like an awful lot of sex either way, so maybe it’s better to avoid chores altogether. On the other hand, a little exertion never hurt any husband. Where’s my weed whacker? Who hid my weed whacker?

 

Joe Pisani can be reached at [email protected]

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