‘Equality in marriage is not exceptional’: Wife says her ‘doesband’ does the chores without asking

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Do husbands who step up and handle their fair share of the chores need special recognition? A woman on social media says her “doesband” keeps up with the daily chores without her having to ask for help — adding that an equal marriage shouldn’t be something people view as “exceptional.”

Abby Eckel is an equal parent and partner with her 37-year-old husband, who wants to remain anonymous — at least to the rest of the public. Eckel says a doesband is the term coined for men who actively share household responsibilities and child-rearing tasks, without needing to be asked.

For Abby, it means the pair split the chores by each cooking a meal three times a week and sharing the task of putting their two children (ages 5 and 7) to bed. The 34-year-old adds her husband will clean and complete the tasks without being asked, but insists it wasn’t always that way.

After welcoming their first, Abby says she felt she was taking on an unequal share of the parenting due to her husband’s work schedule. Since having their second child, however, her husband’s work schedule has changed to allow them to split everything equally.

Abby Eckel
Abby Eckel (Credit: SWNS)

“Equality in marriage is not exceptional behavior,” says Abby, who owns a social media consultancy business, in an online video.

“I never felt I need to make lunch for him or do his laundry. I’m not his mom. He’s always surprised me with trips and outfits. He gets me shoes and handbags because he knows me well enough to know the things I like. He pays attention to things I like and interest me. I do all of these things too – that is what a partnership is.”

However, the struggles started after their children arrived.

“When we had our youngest, my husband had a job with long hours. It started out as unequal. I took on more than is fair. I turned around when I went back to work and said ‘hey, you need start cooking dinner. You need to start putting him to bed.’ We started on like this from the get-go.”

Abby and her husband now share the household chores and parenting duties equally between them.

“Now we each make three meals a week – and switch who does the grocery shop. We switch who puts who to bed. We do our own laundry. I do the youngest’s laundry with him, and he does the eldest’s laundry with them. The communal stuff – we switch it up.”

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‘You deserve an equal partner in your relationship’

Abby says people often tell her she is “lucky” to have her husband take his fair share of the household work, with others asking her how she knew he would be an equal parent.

“When I first met my husband, his living space was clean. It was meticulous. He dressed well. I think seeing how someone treats and takes care of the current space they are in it’s probably the most telling thing. I’ve always been told how lucky I am,” the mom and entrepreneur continues.

“No one’s ever told me ‘your husband is blessed to have you’. People see men doing this as exceptional. They view equality is exceptional – this narrative needs to be changed. Neither of us does it to be praised.”

The couple also put their relationship first and make sure to make time for date nights – even if it is just quality time at home together without screen time.

“I’m not reminding him of the ways that I need to feel loved,” Abby says in her video. “Not reminding him of the things that should be important to him. These are the bare minimums of being in a committed relationship with someone. It should not be looked at as exceptional – for a man or woman. You deserve an equal partner in your relationship.”

South West News Service writer Emma Dunn contributed to this report.

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