Feelings of emptiness
Sometimes, house chores can become mind-numbingly boring and tedious. For some, these tasks become second nature and they feel like they are on autopilot at times. While domestic chores are important to keep a home running smoothly, they are not exactly fun. In addition, these take up time and effort away from hobbies or career work. For the partner that carries a heavier mental load, they can feel unfulfilled or hollow at some point.
At first, many couples go through a honeymoon phase. Everything is well and good for the first few months, but as the dust settles, troublesome habits may become tolerated and normalized. In the beginning, partners may have been more active sharing the mental burden, but as children are added to the equation and work becomes more important, the weight becomes imbalanced. More often than not, the woman is stuck with the short end of the stick in this situation.
As the other effects of mental load take their toll, the relationship will suffer. Husbands or partners may feel tired upon returning home and expect to relax. The last thing they want to hear is their partner “nagging” them to do more work. In addition, because women are often too busy with chores and their own jobs, they may not keep up their appearances as much as they used to. In some relationships, this lack of self-care may be unattractive or they have “let themselves go.”
These are points of friction in a relationship that can spark arguments and resentment. The partner carrying the heavier load may try to avoid more stress by keeping quiet about their feelings but this only leads to worsening of the previously mentioned effects of mental load. Additionally, arguing in front of children can affect their development and create additional problems.
Ways to Lighten Mental Load
Talk about it
Firstly, mental load doesn’t get any lighter if you keep holding onto it. However, it’s not really possible to just drop all of the responsibilities suddenly. Instead, try to unload by expressing your feelings and experience to your partner and family members. Keeping your feelings inside creates a pressure cooker of thoughts and emotions that may overflow or blow up later on, so it’s best to address it early on.
Involve the whole family
Another way to reduce the effects of mental load at home is to distribute it. Indeed, mental load would not be an issue if everyone could pitch in. Create a list of things that need to be done each day. There is no golden rule when it comes to dividing responsibilities, so it will depend on each person and household.