When you’re in a relationship, it’s not just physical intimacy that matters. It’s also not just about working out your finances and figuring out who does what household chores. Keeping your partner happy in your relationship should involve providing them with emotional and mental support, and this applies to both parties.
According to Her World’s What Women Want Survey 2020, women spend disproportionately more time on household chores (59% overall) and caregiving duties (67% overall) than men, regardless of age group, education level, job position, and weekly work hours. Notably, the burden of household chores is most prevalent among women aged between 40 and 49.
You might think that dividing the chores more equally would be the most straightforward solution. But get this: The survey also found that what women want most is for their partners to provide emotional and mental support. Overall, 50% of women surveyed wanted this, compared with 43% for household chores, 31% for caregiving duties and 29% for finances. This underscores the importance of emotional and mental health in relationships.
The importance of emotional and mental support
Having emotional and mental support from your partner is beneficial for your relationship. Jean XM Chen, counsellor and director at Relationship Matters, explains that such support is a form of care: “It can be a comfort after a day of hard work, an affirmation for good work, an encouragement for down times and a shelter for difficult times.”
Cristina Gonzalez, psychologist at Alliance Counselling, describes emotional support as comprising many different aspects like empathy, validation, acceptance and care.
“In a good relationship, both partners feel that the other is a good source of support,” she adds. “When we show support to our partner in any of the above different ways, we build bonding; we are making the other feel that he or she is safe in the relationship. We build a space of togetherness where both are accepted and in this space of safety, we can be ourselves with our strengths and our flaws. Feeling emotionally supported decreases fears and brings an opportunity to grow as a person, becoming a better version of ourselves.”
Here are some ways your partner can show emotional and mental support.