Do you ever wonder whether you are doing more than your partner in the relationship? Do you in fact know that you are doing more in the relationship than your partner?
Thinking that relationships need to be split 50/50 may not always be realistic however, the other extreme is taking it all on you. Responsibilities usually fall upon the parent who is most available. Although it may be reasonable to expect participation in our relationships from the other, there are times that this may not be possible due to work schedules or travel.
However, doing too much and taking on all the aspects of the day to day activities without any help can lead to feeling depleted. Eventually we begin to experience resentment and anger towards the other. Our partner does not always know that we have these repressed feelings and in some way we believe we are just doing our job and have no other option.
The more we do without asking for help, the angrier we become. The less we communicate, the more resentful we become. In my practice, it is interesting for me to hear that couples are neither talking with one another nor expressing their anger and resentment.
The issue is twofold: 1) it was never communicated properly, and 2) you are now angry at a person who had no idea and was never informed and now blaming them. It is really important to discuss and communicate how you would like mutual involvement in the responsibilities and do not make assumptions that they should be able to read your mind and automatically jump in and help.
There are times that getting help on a daily basis is not possible due to schedules. Schedule a time to talk or set up a date night and discuss how you can really use their help and find a way to negotiate what works for you both. It may be that only evenings and weekends are possible. It is definitely better than not getting any assistance at all. You may also want to consider hiring a mother’s helper for those days that it is not possible to do it alone.
Working as a team and getting your needs met is important for you both in maintaining a healthy relationship for the present and for the future. When we build resentment, it never leads to a good outcome. Over functioning in the relationship reinforces dependency and enabling only disables. Examine the reason you are doing it all. Many have said: "It’s easier and faster and I avoid conflict.”
This may be true, however, you are teaching your partner that this arrangement is good for you and it only perpetuates the problem.
At The Hellenic Therapy Center (567 Park Ave., Scotch Plains), we have a team of licensed professionals available day, evening and weekend hours. Visit ww.hellenictherapy.com, FaceBook or call 908-322-0112.