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Emotional Labor: The Invisible Work (Most) Women Do

Remembering the grocery list, coordinating with the babysitter, making food for the potluck, scheduling a get-together with the in-laws: These are some of the invisible tasks that (most) women exclusively do in their romantic relationships — and the list goes on and on.

Like a modern-day Greek chorus, women from across the country wrote in to the Dear Sugars inbox echoing identical inequalities in their relationships with their husbands and boyfriends. The Sugars commiserate with this aggrieved chorus along with Gemma Hartley, the writer who set off a national conversation about emotional labor with her viral article in Harper’s Bazaar, “Women Aren’t Nags — We’re Just Fed Up.”

Broaching the subject of emotional labor with a romantic partner can be tricky, especially if he feels as if he’s being blamed for the imbalance of labor. The imbalance in Ms. Hartley’s marriage began righting itself when she and her husband shifted their perspective: “This is not a problem with you and it’s not a problem with me. It’s a cultural problem. We have to unlearn a lot of things together in order to move forward.”

The Sugars Recommend

I Stand Here Ironing,” by Tillie Olsen
The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


New episodes of Dear Sugars are released weekly. Do you have a question for the Sugars? Email dearsugars@nytimes.com.

Amory Sivertson Twitter Co-Host and Producer for New Programming
Amory Sivertson is the co-host and producer of Endless Thread.

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