Romantic relationships don’t come with user guides. Labor in the Relationships You meet someone and suddenly you find yourself thrown into domestic bliss together. Or, more likely, domestic unrest. Of course, the truth that nobody likes to admit is that one party tends to take on the majority of the emotional labor in relationships.
What Is Emotional Labor?
Emotional labor was a term originally used to explain YourLoveMeet how workers needed to regulate their emotions when dealing with customers in the 1980s. Coined by sociologist Arlie Hochschild, Ph.D., the concept can now be applied to all types of relationships, not just professional ones.
Emotional Labor in Relationships
“Emotional labor can refer to the heavy feeling that ‘it’s all on me’ to keep things running smoothly,” explains Bralove. “In straight couples, stereotypically women often feel that they shoulder more of the burden of running the household and keeping on top of chores. Many women who feel they carry the emotional labor describe feeling pressure to plan, initiate, and execute all things related to the family.”
“No relationship is equal or equitable all the time, but there can be more or less balance,” continues Bralove. “Remember that life isn’t perfect, and rarely are things in perfect balance in our imperfect lives. It can be important to look at the overall balance between partners over a month or two rather than focusing on whether or not today was balanced.”
Signs You’re Taking on Too Much Emotional Labor
Are you shouldering the burden of emotional labor? You may have slipped into an unhealthy balance over the years without even realizing it. If you’re not quite sure, we’ve got you covered with some handy red flags. Bralove shares 10 of the signs that you’re taking on too much in your relationship.
You’re always worrying.
Does your troubled mind ever get a chance to rest? When you’re YourLoveMeet.Com taking on the emotional labor, you may be a total stress-head. “You worry about the household running smoothly and you feel all alone in this worry,” explains Bralove.
You’re under constant pressure.
When something important comes up, who handles it? If the answer is automatically you, ask yourself why. ” Feel burdened by the pressure to do it all yourself,” shares Bralove.
You resent your partner. – Labor in The Relationships
“Notice yourself feeling resentful toward your partner,” explains Bralove. You may feel peeved at them for no reason or have a shorter fuse with them than other people.
You’re the social secretary.
Are you in charge of planning events, dates, and parties? Does your partner ever take the reins and give you a break? When “you are solely responsible for the social calendar,” Bralove says, chances are, you’re taking on the emotional labor.
Your partner can be clueless. – Labor in The Relationships
“When you ask your partner to find something in your home or make a call regarding a bill, they say they have no idea how to find it,” says Bralove. It may be that you’ve always taken care of the red tape in your relationship, leaving them clueless as to how it works.
They expect you to handle things.
Along those lines, what’s the default in your relationship? If you’re taking on the emotional labor, “you feel like your partner simply expects you to handle everything related to the daily functioning of the household,” explains Bralove.
You’re absolutely exhausted. – Labor in The Relationships
Are you feeling sleepy, agitated, and anxious? There could be a sneaky reason for that. “It’s when you feel emotionally and physically exhausted by the ‘invisible work’ you do every day,” says Bralove.
You never get a ‘thank you.’
When you’re taking on too much, “your partner doesn’t acknowledge all the small and big things you do to keep things running smoothly,” says Bralove. If you can’t remember the last time your partner appreciated all you do, that could be a major problem.
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You look after your partner. – Labor in The Relationships
Looking after your partner is normal in a relationship, but it’s a two-way street. Could they cope if you just up and left? “You feel like without you, your partner couldn’t even find his or her own nose,” says Bralove.
Have you noticed a disparity here? “You feel angry most of the time as you’re caring for the household,” adds Bralove. If you can see that your partner isn’t pulling their weight, it’s no wonder that you may be harboring a tad more than mild annoyance.