The weight of emotional labor tends to fall squarely on the shoulders of women in a heterosexual relationship, though this can happen in a gay or nonbinary partnership as well. This can cause physical, and psychological long-term damage! It’s going to take some work to go against generations of tradition and be responsible for your own stuff. But, much as you once learned to pick up your own toys and underwear (You did, right? Go check), you can also practice to protect the partner you love. How?
Take Care of Your Own Health
You’d be surprised at how many individuals treat their partners like an extended secretary-appliance, expecting them to not only schedule checkups, dental visits, but also notice when they’re sick and beg them to go get treatment. Make your own visits a priority. Pick up your prescriptions or have them delivered. Go get your teeth cleaned. Go get that mole checked without them begging you, again. And, see if you can also take the dog to the vet, ok? And the kid to the pediatrician. It’s a lot.
Care for Senior Relatives
Senior relatives should be close to their doctors and specialists they need. Often this care is delegated to the women of the household, with the stipulation that women are “more caring.” This is, of course, generations of tradition, not magic of emotional capacity. Learning to take care of senior citizens can be difficult work! It’s no less overwhelming for them, than it is for you. The learning curve is high, but you can do it as a team much more effectively, and healthily.
Go To The Therapist
Many times men have been conditioned to use their wives, girlfriends, or partners as their therapists. Please, allow that burden to rest upon the shoulders of someone professionally trained. There’s no shame in being stressed! There are therapists and psychiatrists who can help. Then you and your partner can discuss solutions at home, in a less heated or frustrated manner.
You have so much capability for kindness and love. It can be terrifying in our society to show that, if you’ve been conditioned not to do so. Part of learning how to be a complete Man is having the masculinity necessary to take charge of all of your body-- physical, emotional, and psychological needs included. Being a full partner means a happier you AND happier spouse!
Read this next: 4 Common Habits That Might Be Lowering Your Testosterone