Are You Doing Your Fair Share In Your Marriage?
When couples start out in marriage, both partners work together to make the relationship work. As life gets busy, sometimes the burden falls on one person to take care of the household chores, meals, remember important dates, juggle to-do lists, while their partner tends to their own needs.
When a partner is not contributing enough to the relationship, as the years go by, it can lead to feelings of frustration, stress, and outright resentment. A partnership, by definition, means participating in an undertaking together. Here’s how to even things out.
- Ask for help. Neither partner should feel like they are doing all the work required to maintain your life and relationship. When things feel like too much to handle, open up about your feelings to your partner. Your partner may have no idea they are being unfair.
Use "I" statements. Don't say: "You don't do anything around here!" Do say: "This leaves me feeling overwhelmed and sometimes resentful and angry."
- Develop a plan. Have some ideas about how you’d like the responsibilities to be divided, but be open to your partner’s input.
It may be worth it to sit down and figure out how to distribute responsibilities more evenly, so your partner doesn't always expect you to get things done.
- Set a reasonable goal. "I'd like us to start talking about how we can both be aware of what needs to get done, so I don't feel like it's all falling on me." Explain what's in it for everyone. "My goal is to feel closer to you and more like a team. I love you, and I don't want to be angry and overwhelmed."
- Don’t Criticize. You may expect things to be done a certain way, but don’t criticize your partner when they start pitching in to help you. Your criticism will only cause things to go back to the way they were. Accept their help and don’t judge.
- Express appreciation. When your partner shows more initiative, let them know how much you appreciate it. Why thank someone for something they should be doing? By recognizing their effort, it can reinforce their cooperation and encourage them.
Changing a long ingrained habit takes time, so it will take persistence and patience on both of your parts to make a joint effort and work as a team.
Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises