What We Mean When We Say Marriage Is ‘Work’ by A. Calhoun
From (Link): the studies I’ve seen, it’s actually women who bear the brunt of the “emotional labor” that this author who is interviewed for this is talking about.
What these studies and articles say is that many men often expect emotional support from women but refuse to provide it in return. That has certainly been true for me with men I’ve known, including male friends and my ex.
The author interviewed in this actually has the audacity to say that marriage makes people more mature and so on – the same view a lot of Christians put forth in their podcasts, sermons, articles and so on about marriage. No, marriage is not necessary to make people better, more mature, etc – see my list here of (Link): married people who are immature or unethical.
…. Marriage, by this popular analogy, is a job. You work at it. If you succeed, you reap rewards. If you fail, you are fired or quit. This model makes sense to our capitalist brains. We like to be set a chore and to be paid for its completion. But de Marneffe argues that this is a terrible way to think about the actual work required by marriage.
“The work isn’t drudgery,” she says. “The work is staying vulnerable.” A key challenge of any long-term relationship is finding the strength to engage emotionally while getting through the day:
I have to go to work, and then I have to cook, and then I have to care about you too? Ugh. Who among us has not had a grueling 3 a.m. conversation with a partner that they would gladly trade for 40 hours of manual labor? I would rather clean the bathroom. I would rather paint a house.
And yet, de Marneffe says, if you want to be a good partner you really should listen when your husband objects to your booby-trapping the freezer.