A marriage therapist revealed the top complaint she hears about men from their wives. Corrin Voeller is a marriage therapist, speaker and online educator from Minnesota. In her practice, she focuses on couples considering divorce.
“This is one of the top things I hear from women as a complaint — saying that their husbands are waiting for them to tell them what needs to be done,” Voeller shared in a viral TikTok video.
“Let’s talk about the difference between ‘active responsibility’ and ‘passive responsibility,'” she began in a post published in 2021, which resurfaced on the app this week.
“Active responsibility would be you looking around the house for things you could do and taking responsibility for the things that need to happen within the house,” she explained.
Alternatively, “passive responsibility would be being available to help, but waiting for somebody to tell you what needs to be done,” she continued.
Voeller challenges her viewers to question which term would best describe their own behavior.
What women really want is someone “who is actively responsible for the house and for the children and not waiting for their wife to tell them what to do,” she said.
The video, titled “Division of Household Duties,” has been watched more than 1.5 million times on TikTok, and prompted thousands of comments from viewers there to air their frustrations — proving that “passive responsibility” seems to be a major cause of irritation in relationships.
“Are all men the same?!?! my husband says ‘just ask, I’ll do anything’ I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO ASK, WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE PARTNERS,” one frustrated spouse replied.
“Passive responsibility people don’t carry the mental load active responsibility people do,” another added. The top responses garnered about 5,000 likes each.
In another clip with over 4.2 million views, Voeller offers a general rule of thumb to prevent arguments from escalating unnecessarily.
“Stop giving your partner more information, trying to get them to see things the way that you see things. It doesn’t work,” she directed. “Switch to talking about how you feel versus trying to give them more information.” In the caption, she explained, “If they aren’t understanding, they don’t need more information, they need DIFFERENT info (read: feelings).”
In a follow-up video, she elaborated that “they’re trying to illustrate how they feel” — with “reasoning” and “logic” — but “missing that crucial step of telling them how they feel.”
And there’s no need to “justify” your feelings, said Voeller, because it’s OK to “feel what you feel.”
“Enforcing that boundary helps both of you because instead of falling into that trap … you’re asking them to validate how you feel, and you set that as an expectation — versus going around and around,” she explained.