Voice from the Middle

Emotional labor and divorce

171025-better-illustration-emotional-labor-ew-418p_398cd6d7572e803ca182ef4629cecc07.focal-760x380I’m an avid listener to the Dear Sugars podcast. Recently, they had a show on emotional labor and it got me all fired up. It brought back so many memories of my marriage and how this topic was so intertwined in my divorce.

Marriage emotional labor is the invisible tasks that are needed to run a household that aren’t defined and, more times than not, are one partner’s responsibility — in my case, the woman’s. So it includes remembering things such as kids birthdays, friends names, food likes and dislikes; and it is the delegation of tasks within the household. It is the second part of the description that was so entirely frustrating to me in a relationship where my ex-partner did not see what needed to be done and left all domestic chores plus the lawn (including scooping) to me.

His view was that he did not ask me to do these chores so therefore, I must want to do them. If I did stop doing the chores and waited for him to step up, it never happened. Frustrating.

Gemma Hartley was interviewed during the episode and has a book coming out on the subject this fall. I predict it’ll get a lot of of press.

— Namaste


By Debra Happe

Debra Happe is a writer and marketing professional based in Des Moines, Iowa. Debra does business, magazine, and freelance copywriting work. Specialties include science-based, environmental, and technological. Connect on LinkedIn for professional inquiries.

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