Actress Busy Philipps said she was at one point "fully out the door" on her marriage to screenwriter Marc Silverstein.
The near-divorce moment came, she said, because of the unequal division of labor she felt in their marriage when it came to caring for their two daughters, 11-year-old Birdie and 6-year-old Cricket.
"My thinking was that if I leave, at least then maybe I'd get two days off a week," Philipps said in a new interview for Harper's Bazaar. "I understand that I'm in a place of privilege, and even if I left Marc and I'd been super down on my luck, there was a version of life that I could have made work for me and my daughters. This is not the reality for many women."
"Marc was like, 'I'll do anything.' And I was like, 'OK, then do everything. Because I have done it all, all by myself, and I'm done, dude,'" she recalled.
Philipps spoke candidly about her marriage and the extra work she, like many moms, felt she was doing to Eve Rodsky, the author of a new book, "Fair Play," which has been described as a how-to manual for couples in dividing domestic duties more fairly.
Rodsky has said that in her research for the book, she has found that women take care of the majority of household tasks, often causing resentment to build and fights to explode over seemingly insignificant details, something Philipps was aware of when she approached her own husband.
"Many women wait until it's too late," Philipps said "At that point their resentment is too high and their communication patterns are set."
In Philipps' case, Silverstein agreed to help, including staying home with the kids while she worked, preparing meals and taking over morning and bedtime routines, Philipps told Rodsky.
"I was fully out the door," she said. "I wasn't expecting anything from him, but what we ended up doing was creating our own system."
"He now loves his mornings with the girls," Philipps said of her husband. "He'll make my Bulletproof coffee and bring it into the bedroom while I'm still sleeping, and then leave to take the kids to school. He has conversations with them that I'm jealous of. The closeness he now has with these girls, it's really special."
Rodsky said Silverstein's experience follows a pattern she sees often in her own research, where men are more invested and happier in their relationship when they are "empowered by their partners to 'own' aspects of domestic life and raising children."
"I like being good at stuff," Silverstein told Rodsky. "And I didn't feel like I was good [in the home], so I stayed away."
"We've built a new house of cards," said Philipps. "One that stands."
"Today, Marc literally spends so much time with the girls that they accidentally call me 'Dad' sometimes," she added. "Like when did that ever happen?"