• Ma'ayan Greenbaum

Feeling burdened or drained by responsibility in your relationship?

Tears of frustration streamed down *Anna’s cheeks as she shared:


“I feel like I’m talking to the walls. No matter how many times we argue about it, it feels like I’m the only parent in the house. It’s all on me to get everyone moving, clothed, fed and out the door to school or work in the mornings.”


My former client *Stuart expressed similar feelings:


“My partner doesn’t see how burdened I am by our finances or any of the sacrifices I make to provide for our family. I’ve begged him to sit down and create a budget together so many times but I fear I’ll always be alone with that responsibility.”


Can you relate to pleading with your partner to help you in some way that would truly mean the world to you?


Or maybe there’ve been moments as a parent when you’ve felt un-seen, un-recognized or all alone with the heaviness of responsibility that threatens to overwhelm or deplete you?


Over the past 15 years, I’ve been noticing several KEY patterns that frequently block well-meaning parents from having the help and relief they’re so desperately yearning for in their relationships.


If you want to cultivate and be deeply supported inside TRUE PARTNERSHIP, I suggest you begin by watching out for any of the following 5 patterns that may be operating in your relationship:

  1. Making requests of your partner during arguments, but not at other times.

  2. Distrust or difficulty relinquishing control (difficulty receiving).

  3. Appearing so self-sufficient that it’s impossible for your partner to appreciate the depth of your need.

  4. Making demands from a place of desperate helplessness or deep resentment.

  5. Or lastly, defaulting to self-sacrifice in the hopes of being recognized or rewarded eventually (which is a powerful wish, but leads to even more resentment!)

I think you’d probably agree that making requests from a place of frustration, judgment or utter helplessness is ineffective, at best.


In fact, if you’ve been COMING AT your partner with the energy of desperation, blame or disappointment you are actually more likely to push your partner away or elicit defensiveness than INVITE their empathy and cooperation.


I challenge you to notice these three things as you ask your partner for help this week:

  1. the ENERGY behind your words

  2. the TONE of your voice

  3. and your TIMING

And if you’re someone who tries to “do it all” I challenge you to start allowing yourself to need your partner and trust they have so much more to give….



*I always fiercely protect any identifying information when sharing client stories. Case examples are composites and do not correspond with a single person or couple.

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Dr. Ma’ayan Greenbaum is a NJ and NY licensed clinical psychologist. Her psychotherapy practice in Livingston, NJ is dedicated to working within the interfacing spheres of relationships, sexuality, fertility and parenthood.

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124 East Mt Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039