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Ladies, stop redoing your man's household chores

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Women profess to love guys who do dishes, vacuum and tidy up. But in homes where domestic duties are shared, women may be hiding a dirty little secret, .

A British survey of 2,000 women found that female partners spend three hours a week redoing their partners' chores.

Women in the survey said the men's efforts were not up to snuff:

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  • Nearly half of the women said their partners don’t wipe down the kitchen after washing up.
  • A third said their partners don’t arrange the sofa cushions or make the bed.
  • 28 per cent said their partners leave the kitchen in a mess when they cook.

The women also complained that men stash things in drawers instead of putting them in their proper places, fail to dry dishes after washing up and vacuum only the middle of the room, ignoring the dust bunnies in the corners.

Admittedly, the poll, conducted by British supermarket chain Sainsbury's, isn't scientific research. And men could argue that the "sloppy" housework was a case of "he said, she said" (or a generation of British neat freaks).

Still, the women's comments in the survey weren't all negative.

Two-thirds of the women reported being pleased when men share household duties, which may confirm showing that men who do housework are rewarded between the sheets.

Half of the women polled said they don't bother nagging men to do a better job. That may suggest that women believe requests for quality control would be futile. But it could also indicate that women are taking ownership of perfectionist tendencies.

In a by Real Simple magazine and the Families and Work Institute, two-thirds of women said household duties suck up their free time.

In response to the Real Simple findings, Ruth Davis Konigsberg, editor of TIME Ideas, that women won't escape the domestic shackles unless they learn to delegate – and let go of the results. "It might not get done the way you want it to," she said, but "don't get upset about it."

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Women: How much time do you spend redoing your partner's chores?

Men: Do you do a thorough job in domestic duties – or slack off because it just doesn't matter that much to you?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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