Saying “I do” when marrying the love of your life is a dream come true for many. Yet, as the years go by, the mental load of running a household, bringing up children and juggling careers at the same time can take its toll. It is important to realise that carrying this load should not fall on one person alone. In fact, studies have shown that sharing the mental load can lead to better marital outcomes and a higher happiness quotient among married couples.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and are silently screaming for your spouse to take notice and help out more, here are some pointers to help ease both your mental loads and demonstrate your love for each other without actually having to say “I Still do”.

Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate

Trying to remember doctor’s appointments, never-ending grocery lists, unfinished chores and kids’ academic milestones is a big ask. Most of the time, this mental load is invisible and until you raise awareness on just how overwhelmed you are, your clueless partner is not going to know what you are experiencing. Also, feeling guilty each time you ask for help or assuming that your partner is unwilling to help leaves you with too many things to do and a growing sense of resentment.

For a peace of mind, have an honest chat with your spouse and communicate your needs clearly before working out a fair list of tasks to be shared between the two of you. All healthy marriages are built on trust so delegating when you need the help lets your spouse know that you trust them with the task and is confident that it will get done.

Take Full Responsibility for a Chosen Task

Often, the problem is not just who gets the task done. It is keeping it in mind that causes a mental overload – usually for the one who has to keep remembering it. The solution? Own the chore you have chosen to undertake completely so that this frees your spouse from having to bear it in mind constantly. This also means being responsible for the chore from start to finish. For instance, if you are in charge of laundry, making sure a load of laundry is hung up to dry, then folded and kept away ensures that your spouse does not have to bother with any stage of laundry duty.

Resist the Urge to Micromanage

We have all been guilty of sabotaging ourselves by insisting that a chore be done a specific way and claiming that our way is right. Criticising your spouse for a task that has been completed or worse, re-doing the task to ‘fix’ it can be demoralising and your spouse may simply refuse to do it in future, pushing it back onto your already full plate. To avoid a situation like this, remind yourself that not everything has to be done perfectly so your best bet to a happier marriage would be to let any insignificant imperfections go.

Empathise and Show Initiative

While each partner has his or her own to-do list to get through, sometimes easing your spouse’s burden by taking on extra tasks can show how much you really care and the effort you are putting into your marriage. For instance, if your spouse has had a long and stressful day at work, try and anticipate his or her needs ahead of time and help with their share of the load. When we are able to catch our spouses’ needs before they can think to ask, a healthier and stronger bond is built resulting in a loving and everlasting marriage.