What We Mean When We Say Marriage Is ‘Work’ by Ada Calhoun

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.

(Link): What We Mean When We Say Marriage Is ‘Work’

Excerpts:

…. 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.

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Why Women Are Tired: The Price of Unpaid Emotional Labor by C. Hutchison

Why Women Are Tired: The Price of Unpaid Emotional Labor by C. Hutchison 

(Link): Why Women Are Tired: The Price of Unpaid Emotional Labor by C. Hutchison

My comments about this subject, before copying some excerpts from the link above:

Another form of Male Entitlement: expecting the women around you to cheer you up, listen empathetically as you tell them about your problems. (Though other women can also be guilty of this at times, as I wrote of (Link): here).

In a (Link): much older post I wrote, where I linked to and excerpted an article from elsewhere, some guy in the article admitted that when he went to a local bar after a day at work, he enjoyed the female bartender more than the male ones, because any time he tried to talk about his problems (and receive empathy for his problems) from the males, the male bartenders would tell him to shut up and get over it.

However, when the lady bartender was on duty, she would listen to him and offer sympathy, he said. He relied on and appreciated her willingness to listen and respond with empathy.

My ex-fiance talked non-stop (as I wrote of (Link): here). He always wanted me to listen to him talk about his life, he never cared about mine, and he never asked about my views on anything. My ex expected me to stroke his ego and cheer him up in his ups and downs in life – but he was unwilling to do this for me.

My ex college friend made my mother’s death (Link): all about himself when I sent him notice of my mother’s passing. He talked about himself in his reply to me, instead of just doing what he should have and said, “I’m sorry for your loss.”. This ex friend making everything about himself was a pattern for him.

Even before my mother died, my ex college friend would e-mail me and talk about himself – he would ask me a question or two about me, but when I would write back commenting on HIS life – as well as responding to his questions about my life – he would never comment on my replies ABOUT ME.

I got the feeling he was asking about me only out of a sense of politeness. I don’t think he really cared about me or what I was up to or what I was thinking.

While some women can be very self absorbed and can be emotional vampires (I’ve been friends with a few and am related to one), I think at least most women are aware that they’re doing this to another women (and women tend to be aware of how it can be draining to be someone’s emotional support), but men seem to have a blind spot in this area.

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Emotional Labor and Female- On- Female Emotional Exploitation

Emotional Labor and Female- On- Female Emotional Exploitation

I was thinking about possibly writing a post or two more about the concept of Emotional Labor in the future.

First, here is a primer from another site explaining a little bit about what this issue is about, with a few comments by me farther (way farther) below it:

(Link):  50 Ways People Expect Constant Emotional Labor from Women and Femmes

Excerpt:

Emotional labor is the exertion of energy for the purpose of addressing people’s feelings, making people comfortable, or living up to social expectations. It’s called “emotional labor” because it ends up using – and often draining – our emotional resources.

Now, don’t get me wrong: Asking friends for advice, reaching out to people in your line of work, and other actions I’m about to mention can be part of a healthy relationship. The issue arises when it’s not reciprocal.

Many marginalized people can tell you that people frequently make demands of them that cross the line from participation in a mutual relationship to work – and unpaid work, at that.

Because we’re assumed to be naturally emotionally intelligent and nurturing, people don’t always understand that this is work for us. And because we’re expected to put others before ourselves, a lot of people don’t even care.

Here are just a few of the many ways that women and femmes, in particular, are expected to perform emotional labor without compensation or acknowledgement throughout their lives:

2. Friends offload their problems – sometimes serious problems that we’re not equipped to handle – onto us before we have agreed to talk about them, often expecting an immediate response.

3. Casual acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers do the same, often over the Internet and often sharing triggering details

6. When we have relatives or friends with physical or mental illnesses, they and their loved ones are more likely to reach out to us than men to take care of them.

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