I work full-time and do everything around the house. How can I get my partner to help out more?

Don't bottle up your resentment - present him with a rota of shared tasks, says Jeremy Bullmore.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 28 Oct 2015

Q: A couple of years ago, my partner quit a comfortable corporate job to start his own business. I was part-time and looking after our two kids, but I upped my hours to help pay the bills. Two years in and I still have to work, organise all the childcare and do the household admin. I'm stressed out, while my partner, although he does work hard, really seems to enjoy himself. Can I ask him for more support, or am I just jealous?

A: You've probably been so supportive and so uncomplaining that your self-obsessed partner has chosen to believe that you're as content with life as he is. The worst thing you could do is continue to bottle up your resentment until it spills over into an over-the-top and incoherent rant - which would probably take him totally by surprise and for which you'd then have to apologise.

Instead, plan ahead. Identify some anniversary. Then say, amused rather than accusatory, 'It's now exactly xx months since you started your business - and I'm almost as pleased as you are that it's going so well. What you've probably not noticed - and I hope you haven't - is the effect it's had on me. So I've taken the liberty of drawing up a new roster of responsibilities, one that seems to me a bit more equitable. For discussion, obviously.'

If that doesn't work, I'm afraid your problem is a serious one.

Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. Email him your problems at editorial@managementtoday.com. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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