I often think about this when someone thinks I should do more housework:
When women see how little housework men do, they interpret it as “shirking” …Men, in turn, feel unfairly maligned…Who is right? …Usually, men.
The evidence: Look at the typical bachelor’s apartment. Even when a man pays the full cost of cleanliness and receives the full benefit, he doesn’t do much. Why not? Because the typical man doesn’t care very much about cleanliness. When the bachelor gets married, he almost certainly starts doing more housework than he did when he was single. How can you call that shirking?
To some extent it’s true, but in my experience a lot of conflict between clean and messy people seems indeed because the messy person ends up doing less than their fair share of work, but also much less than they are willing to do. This is because people often decide when to do a chore based on when it has reached a certain level of urgency. For instance when the floor becomes muddy enough it triggers cleaning. When two people have different standards, the cleanlier one is always the first to be triggered, so they clean again and again while the other is endlessly about to clean but beaten to it. This can be fixed by relying on another method to decide when to clean, or by the person with lower standards learning to be triggered at the same point as the other person, but if one person endlessly cleans while the other endlessly claims they were going to do it tomorrow, it’s easy for resentment to cloud assessment of this underlying problem.