Eve Rodsky makes the bold assertion that she’s “changing society one marriage at a time.” Is she a renowned family therapist? A world-famous researcher into the dynamics of marriage? No. She’s a Harvard-educated lawyer and mom of three who got sick and tired of nagging her husband to pitch in around the house.
Rodsky talked to hundreds of couples to get to the heart of why, in 2019, women still bear the brunt of invisible work—things like scheduling teacher conferences and providing middle-of-the-night comfort to kids. And then some women fall into the trap of nagging and criticizing their partners for not doing things exactly as they would. It’s a no-win situation for everyone involved.
“We expect women to work like they don’t have children and raise children as if they don’t work,” Rodsky writes. She would know. After a stint at J.P. Morgan, Rodsky launched her own business advising charitable foundations, all while bringing three humans into the world. She writes lovingly of her husband, Seth, who “made efforts to extend a hand, but ultimately retreated because ‘I can’t do anything right.’ ” It was in an effort to preserve her own marriage that Rodsky did the research for and designed the Fair Play system.
It’s to Rodsky’s credit that Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) never devolves into a diatribe against men. (Although some of the quotations she gets from men in her interviews are astonishingly retro: “What does she have to complain about? I have the stress of putting the food on the table.”) She takes a solution-based approach to the issue, starting from the premise that men’s and women’s time are of equal worth, no matter who makes more money or stays home with the kids. From there, couples are given the tools to renegotiate the top 100 things required to make a household work—everything from managing pets to ensuring first aid and emergency supplies are in order.
Fair Play is lively and cathartic, and just plain fun to read. Rodsky acknowledges the issues that chip away at so many marriages and offers a completely achievable approach to solving them. Her message is clear: Stop nagging, start living.