As an example of this thesis, we're presented with RevElly going out of her way to make RetJohn avoid helping out.
Panel 1: We start out with RetConnie defending him. In her eyes, he's a great catch being honest, reliable, a good father to his kids, and so on and so forth. RevElly, who's busily putting the dishes away for what's probably the tenth time that day, says she knows.
Panel 2: She simply wishes she could get him to do more of his chores. RetConnie asks "Like what?"
Panel 3: RevElly replies dishes and laundry. RetConnie point out that she hates the way he does both.
Panel 4: That's true but she appreciates the gesture. RetConnie strips the gears in her brain trying to reconcile RevElly's yelling how he's doing it wrong with her being grateful he's trying.
Summary: RevElly doesn't actually want to get down off her cross. Nobody would pity her then and she can't hack that.