A young couple embraces on a beach
Taking On Too Much Emotional Labor In Your Relationship? Here's How To Fix It
Determining Emotional Imbalance
If you feel like you're always there for your partner but not getting the same sense of urgency in return, this may be a sign you are carrying the majority of the emotional labor.
You may want to keep quiet and push aside your feelings to avoid conflict, but as this lack of balance can build resentment, it's important to call attention to the issue.
Talk About You
To encourage both of you to keep your emotions in check, set aside a specific place for the conversation where you can approach a discussion with your partner about the imbalance.
Avoid statements like "you always do this," and focus on "I" statements, explicitly stating how the situation has made you feel and what you need to happen.
Biomedical engineer Chloe Goldbach suggested, "Asking how we could do better to balance this in our relationship makes it less of an attack and more of a joint effort."
Change Has A Ripple Effect
Making small changes for ourselves can have a ripple effect on our partners; as licensed psychologist Dr. Candice Hargons says, "if one person changes, the couple has changed."
That could mean going to therapy on your own, refusing to engage in situations that lead to fights between you, or coming up with coping strategies for your stress.
Once you alter your actions and way of thinking, your partner will have to decide whether or not they're willing to find a healthy way of adapting to meet your needs.
Consulting A Third Party
Sometimes it's necessary to turn to a third party for a clear perspective on what you can fix in a relationship and a pressure-free environment where each person can open up.
While this could be a family friend, to avoid messing with our other relationships, it may be wise to consult a professional who can provide you with a truly unbiased opinion.
Keeping Boundaries
There's nothing wrong with being there for your partner during a difficult time, but everyone has a limit, especially when there is an imbalance.
Setting emotional boundaries can help ensure that your needs aren't overlooked. Do this by asking for a safe space to share your thoughts and feelings or taking time for yourself.