Fine, I’ll Just Do It Myself: The Danger of Weaponized Incompetence

January 20,2022

Has your partner ever done a task so poorly or asked you so many questions that you finally just said “fine, I’ll do it myself!”? This is called weaponized incompetence, and while your partner may not mean for it to be, it can be harmful in a relationship. In this episode we’re going to talk about how to identify weaponized incompetence, how it shows up in OUR relationship, and what to do if you or your partner are doing this.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

Here’s a glance at this episode:

[01:42] A story from Instagram to really set the scene

[02:19] What the hell is weaponized incompetence and how do you identify it?

[09:28] Instagram polls and the number one answer for where our Instagram audience experiences weaponized incompetence

[13:17] Ketchup and blow jobs

[20:06] We get real on how weaponized incompetence shows up in our own relationship

[29:02] “These kids and their TikTaks!”

[33:10] The gender dynamics that feed into weaponized incompetence

[42:20] The bar is low for men when it comes to household/family chores and this story is a perfect example

[43:30] Weaponized incompetence and mental load

[45:42] What to do if your partner is feigning incompetence

[50:38] A tip on how to divide up tasks and lowering expectations

[58:04] How to renegotiate tasks — you may be surprised to find out what your partner does/doesn’t love doing

[01:00:12] How being intentional with your language can create a more equitable dynamic

[01:08:16] How to set boundaries for yourself!

[01:09:04] Listener Question: “How do I tell the difference between genuinely not knowing how to do something and weaponized incompetence?”

[01:12:50] Listener Question: “I wouldn’t do it if it was just me. You’re the only one who cares about this.”

Links & resources

Mental Load Workbook:

Mental Load YouTube Video:

Should Stay At Home Mothers/Parents Do It All YouTube Video:

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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!