Did you know men's life satisfaction tends to increase after marriage whereas women's tends to decrease? This has to do with this magical thing called the ✨5:1 ratio.✨ (resource for shifting this at the bottom of this post!)
We need 5 positives for every 1 negative to feel “fine” in our partnership. We need 20:1 to feel great. 😮💨.
If that sounds like a lot...it is. But take heart!
This isn’t about how many positive things our partner does for us or that we do for them compared to the negatives. It has to do with our own perception. We have to FIND five positives for every 1 negative interaction. Find the things we’re grateful for etc.
But the more negatives there are, the harder we have to work to find those positives.
This is where the split happens. Here’s the hard truth: women’s ratio decreases after marriage while men’s increases. And it has to do with the mental and emotional load.
Women often play a role I like to call the “pot stirrer”. When something is "off" in the partnership, she’s the one who brings it to the table.
And here's the invisible labor she puts it: She tells her partner they need to talk, 🗣️pushes to have that conversation by bringing it up and finding a time it works, does all the prep work to be able to show him WHAT the problem is, and then has to convince him that it is a real thing. 😮💨
Over and over I have heard a female partner say, “hey, this is a thing we need to address”, and their male partner respond with incredulity. Something like, “that’s not that big of a deal. Everything is fine! Look at all the ways our life together is great” 😣
Unfortunately, the implication is that she is making something out of nothing; she’s dramatic. 😒
And now she has to “prove” herself, for the sake of the relationship. Because her satisfaction is deeply important if the relationship is going to last. She is carrying the ✨weight and responsibility of her own happiness AS WELL AS the strength of the partnership,✨ while he tells her…it’s fine.
And it is to him, because his ratio is higher. Because he’s NOT doing the same labor she’s doing, so he has fewer negatives that need to be countered by finding positives.
So what do you do about it?
Find ways to start sharing the emotional load. My daily couples checklist is a great place to start. But it doesn't end there. I also have a weekly, monthly and annual checklist you can get (that she didn't make!) available in my couple's habit tracker and 5-minute-a-night journaling system designed to help you give and get the love you both deserve.
No therapy required. Get yours here:
Your relationship cheerleader,
p.s. Remember, relationship health IS mental health, and I believe deeply you deserve the resources to thrive! You deserve your time, and every penny you put into creating the life you want to live.