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Negotiation of Power: Who does what in the relationship?

Do you also not have a cleaning fairy? This exercise is designed to help partners negotiate their ideas about roles in the relationship. There is no right or wrong solution. The important thing is the perception of fairness. The issue is respect and being a team. This is a revealed difference exercise, in which people fill out the following questionnaire individually, and then again, through discussion, try to reach agreements.


For the following items, please describe, from your point of view, how things are currently handled and how you would like them to be handled. What is your philosophy about who should do what? Who generally does what (you, a partner, or fairly shared as you’d like)? Are things shared as you would like them to be, or could things be closer to ideal?


Running errands (to the cleaners)
Washing windows
Planning the food menu
Grocery shopping
Cooking dinner
Cleaning the kitchen
Cleaning the bathroom
Putting out clean towels
General tidying up
Getting the car serviced
Putting gas in the car
Sorting incoming mail
Paying the bills
Balancing finances
Writing letters
Taking phone messages
Returning calls or e-mail
Saving money
Taking out garbage and trash
Doing the laundry
Folding the laundry
Putting the clean clothes away
Sweeping kitchen and eating areas
Washing and waxing floors
Changing light bulbs
Repairing appliances
Making the beds
Defrosting and cleaning refrigerator
Shopping for clothing
Making home repair
Doing home maintenance
Buying furniture
Redecorating the home
Buying items for the home
Buying new appliances
Sewing and mending
Straightening kitchen cabinets
Doing yard and garden work
Maintaining lawn, tree, and shrubbery maintenance
Running errands to the bank
Caring for house plants
Straightening and rearranging closets
Getting house ready for guests
Preparing for a party
Buying children gifts
Taking children to school
Picking children up from school
Doing or arranging childcare after school
Preparing child meals and lunches
Spending time with kids
Taking family outings with kids
Taking children to doctor
Taking children to dentist, orthodontist
Supervising child homework
Supervising child baths
Meting out child discipline
Supervising bedtime with kids
Dealing with a sick child
Handling child crises
Dealing with a child’s emotions
Attending teacher conferences
Dealing with the schools
Attending special kid events
Arranging kid (birthday) parties
Arranging kid lessons
Arranging kid play dates
Shopping for kids’ stuff
Getting people presents
Keeping in touch with kin
Preparing for the holidays
Planning vacations
Planning getaways
Arranging romantic dates
Planning quiet evening at home
Planning weekends
Planning a special meal
Keeping up general conversation
Planning a romantic evening
Initiating lovemaking
Planning dinner out
Arranging family outings, drives, picnics
Handling financial planning
Making major purchases (cars, etc.)
Managing investments
Talking about the relationship
Arranging get togethers with friends
Keeping in touch with friends
Doing the taxes
Handling legal matters (e.g. will, insurance)
Overseeing family medicine
Overseeing drugs and other health areas
Overseeing exercise and fitness
Arranging recreational outings

Other tasks:

Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.