How to Help Your Partner Understand Emotional Labor

How Can I Get My Husband/Partner To Understand Emotional Labor And Carry Some Of The Burden?

If men are more competent, assertive and higher achieving than women in the workplace, than they can be at home, too. There is no reason why your partner can’t help out with taking care of life. He is literally your life partner. It is most important to help your spouse understand what emotional labor is and how it is affecting you. There are several things we can do to help show our partners what emotional labor is, and how they can shoulder some of it with us.

Learn more about Navigating Traditional Gender Roles.

Credit: Etienne Boulanger
Credit: Etienne Boulanger

1. Talk To Them About It

Tell them how you’ve been feeling. Enlist the help of a trusted counselor if necessary, but your partner can’t read your mind— you’re going to have to talk about it. Some of it may come as a surprise to your partner, especially if you’ve been doing something for so long. You may hear, “I thought you liked to cook?”  You may love to cook, but that doesn’t mean you want to take on all meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking too! Discuss everything, get everything out, and work together to decide how they are going to help you. Even just getting it off your chest will help you feel a lot better, and can go a long way in preventing resentment and contempt. Contempt is after all one of the four predictors of divorce and breakups.

2. Give Your Partner Credit

Realize that your partner may be doing more than you originally thought. They might do all of the yard work, make the bed every morning or always remember to feed the fur babies. Offer to pick up some of the things that they do in exchange for them doing some of the things you don’t always like having to do. Maybe you can take care of making the bed, if they’ll start buying groceries. Sure, you may only buy groceries once a week, but it feels like a bigger chore than just making the bed every morning.

Credit: Cathryn Lavery
Credit: Cathryn Lavery

3. Make a List of all you do

Make a listShow your partner every single thing on your agenda for the week. Let him see how much is truly on your plate. Ask him which he is going to take over from now on. Then, let him do it. You have to be sure to let him do it how he wants though, no nitpicking, complaining or uttering the dreaded, “I’ll just do it myself!”

Credit: Andrea Di
Credit: Andrea Di

4. Give Yourself a Break and Just Stop

If all else fails, just stop doing it. Do what you want, what you can get to without stressing too much, and only what benefits you. Letting his mom go without a card on Mother’s Day will be sad, but when was the last time he remembered your mom’s card? Hopefully, it won’t take long before your spouse realizes that you simply have too much on your plate, and he will rise to the challenge and work become an equal partner.

About the author: Amanda Young
I am passionate about empowering women through my experiences, stories, and writing. I'm happily married to my husband of six years, and enjoy spending time with him and our two dogs in my free time.

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