Couples commonly fight about tasks and all the work that comes along with sharing a life together. The kids need picked up from school, the bills need paid, the house needs cleaned, and the list goes on. I often hear couples complain that one partner feels they do all the work while the other feels attacked and that the things they do are not appreciated. If you’re feeling this way, you’re frustrated, and maybe even feeling bulldozed. So here are a two simple suggestions of what you can do if you find yourself feeling like your partner is lazy and you are left picking up the slack.
What you Can Do If You Feel Like Your Spouse is Lazy
Suggestion 1: Double Check Your Perspective
It can be very easy to forget that there are different kinds of work and tasks. Couples will often fight when the dynamics of their relationship feel lop-sided in who does what. For instance, some couple’s schedules force one partner to work outside the home more and take on more financial responsibility. This means that the other partner has to take care of the more domestic work such as home upkeep, running errands, or parenting.
There is nothing wrong with this dynamic. However, you might find yourself fighting when you or your partner does not view the effort that each of you put in as equal. You might find yourself unappreciative of the partner who works mostly at home or vice versa. It is easy to forget that different kinds of work/tasks look different. Before approaching the subject with your partner, double check with yourself to see if you are fully appreciating your partner’s efforts.
Suggestion 2: Don’t Blame
Nothing kills connection quite like blaming. Let’s say that your partner really is lazy and you really do have to carry the weight of everything. If you use blaming language conversation will quickly escalate to conflict. From there, you can most likely expect to be deadlocked, and nothing will change.
Instead, open things up with questions. Ask your partner how they have been doing or if things have been on their mind lately. People sometimes “shut down” or become more inactive when they are struggling emotionally. Sometimes, inactivity and lack of motivation can be signs of situational or clinical depression. You might find that your partner has been struggling in ways that you did not know about.
If this is not the case, then focus on sharing how you have been feeling. Instead of blaming your partner for being lazy, tell them about how you have been feeling drained and tired. And do not forget to ask them for help! Issues like this bother us because we are disconnected. It might seem counter intuitive, but the solution is not in redistributing the work load. Instead, look for opportunities to share what is going on in your inner world.
If you are looking for help in dealing with life stressors in your relationship or to build a deeper connection, contact us at The Marriage & Family Clinic.
About the Author
Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado.