emotion labor


Many New Year resolutions constitute cutting toxic people out of our lives. Maybe it’s time for women to cut off those relationships in their lives which demand too much emotional labor, and is not reciprocated.

People are a product of their past, their circumstances, and how they deal with them. To say that everybody should see a therapist when they become an adult is a privileged statement. Not everyone has access to therapy, maybe because of their social status in the society or the general lack of resources. However, if we look at heterosexual relationships, it is clear that women are treated as therapists and it becomes their job to ‘fix’ the man in their life.

Women who stay with men during their troubled years are seen as loyal and are highly romanticized. One might have heard, men discover themselves while staying in relationship with women who do all the emotional labor to deal with their man’s trauma, and try to stick by their side throughout. Women are encouraged to stay through a man’s financial troubles, mental health issues, physical and verbal abuse, and violence so that she is there to help him to take control of his life. They are ‘broken’; they need help to keep it together. If these women choose to take an exit, they are often made to feel guilty for being selfish, and for choosing not to nurture the man. We need to stop blaming women for a man’s inability to take control of his life.

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. You know what they say in the popular culture, right? Take a broken man, fix him, and he will love you forever, but you know what is the actual truth? You take a broken man, try to fix him but instead you break yourself in the process. Men, women are not your emotional caretakers or rehabilitation centers. They can stay beside you and support you but it’s not their job to ‘fix’ you. You need to work on yourself. You should be willing to improve. She’s not meant to heal your wounds. The amount of emotional labor it takes to be a person’s entire support system and a therapist to deal with their trauma is too much, and women, historically have been doing so. When a man chooses his romantic partner, he ideally look for a mother in the woman. In 2019, we’re here for emotional vulnerability that is reciprocated in a healthy relationship, not men who use women to confront their trauma. It’s a patriarchal idea that needs to go away and the balance of power in romantic, heterosexual relationships needs to be restored.

Feature Image Credits: The Meaningful Life Centre


Disha Saxena

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