While every relationship takes work and compromise, there’s one type of relationship that may need a little bit more help. If you’ve found yourself dating or (gasp!) married to a Man-Child, first, know that you’re not alone. But, also know there is a lot of unlearning that will need to take place. There are also habits that will need to change (by you and your Man-Child) for the relationship to be sustainable.
Because, eventually, raising a Man-Child, (especially if you have children or other responsibilities) will lead to burn-out. And, with everyone being at the brink of burnout already, anything we can do to lessen our stress is integral.
So, What Is A Man-Child?
A Man-Child isn’t an ordinary man who might occasionally leave his socks on the bathroom floor. No, he’s a special type of man who no matter how often they’re asked or reminded to complete a task can’t seem to find the time. Honestly, they would never do it–even if they were reminded.
He may spend more time on his phone or playing computer games than he would like to admit. Weaponized incompetence is his go-to tactic when it’s his turn to make dinner, do laundry, or start the kids’ nighttime routine. “But you do it so much better,” is his common phrase when he doesn’t want to engage in a task.
He never takes responsibility, always passes the blame, and is unreliable. He may be stuck in a perpetual routine that was comfortable for him in his early 20s or teens. While he may be charming, he’s also impulsive, horrible with money, and ultimately selfish. And, hygiene? He doesn’t know her.
What To Do If You’ve Married A Man-Child
According to Dr. Jenn Mann, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, there are a few things you can do to help an under-functioning partner. Dr. Mann told InStyle that one way to encourage behavior change is to stop enabling.
She stated that when you end up doing his work for him it just rewards the bad behavior. As hard as it is to ignore the mess, eventually, he will have to do something about it. He will run out of clean clothes, at some point. So, grin, bear it, and don’t give in.
Another way to help make sure your relationship will last is to set clear boundaries, according to Dr. Mann. Setting clear boundaries and expectations for both you and your partner will help ensure no one is confused about their chores and tasks.
Lastly, make sure to acknowledge when he helps out around the house or does something without being asked. A simple “thank you” may help encourage him to continue to be helpful.
If all of that sounds exhausting or too much, that’s okay. There’s always the option to leave. Dr. Mann cautioned against using the threat of leaving as a manipulation device though. “Do not threaten divorce or separation as a way of manipulating him if you’re not prepared to do it. However, if you have genuinely reached your breaking point, divorce or separation may be the only viable option,” Dr. Mann advised.