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Adulting: When “Your Man” Acts Like He’s Your Child

Men are rewarded for childlike inappropriate behavior.  Not all men act this way, but it’s obvious that the ones who do are humored by society.  “He’s just such a goofball,” “marches to his own tune,” you’ve heard it all. A marriage is supposed to be an equal partnership.

But what if the “equal” you married decades ago suddenly decides he is no longer a grownup? A husband who was once responsible now wants to go out and “play” and leave every adult life action up to The Adult?

What happens when your man starts acting like your child?  They decide they are not helping you do anything anymore. They will drink a beer and watch you rake the leaves.  Goofy smiles adorn their lazy faces as if to say, “See? I’m so adorable I no longer have to help you do anything Mommy!”

Behavior like this is so ruining we are confused into silence at first.  We keep raking, or rolling garbage cans back down the driveway or whatever Him-Chore that is now My-Chore.

We don’t know what he’s thinking.  One thing is certain: he is not getting away with this.  This is not the status quo around here.

This behavior sticks us, the mature women we all are, with two stinky choices.  Either we “scold” him and remind him we do enough around here, or we say nothing and do it because we like going to bed knowing the house is in order.  They are onto us.  Forcing us to make these choices does not seem to bother them, as they already have excuses in their now mostly empty heads.

There is no forcing someone to go back to being the man we referred to as our Husband.  But unlike children, we cannot ground them or take away privileges.  Stuck with our man-child, we feel like the ones sent to a corner to stare at a wall.  We try to “think about what we did,” and find no answers.

This was the beginning of the end.  As soon as I took it upon myself to “do everything” I became a scolding mother who he no longer wanted to be around.  Even though he was the one who made me that way.  Trying to not do anything, hoping he would get sick of it and lend a hand did not work either.

He was just, “done.” With the house, the chores, the life we shared together for twenty-five years. Yes, the man child moved out with basically the clothes on his back. He then requested I start mailing him the rest of his life.  Box by box.

Incredible, right? Even more incredible was that once again, I just started doing that.  Doing what “needed to be done.” Until friends pointed out the insanity of my having to be the one to move him out too!

I stopped that nonsense.  Then there was the long, seven-month wait for him to finally call the moving van.  Suddenly, the house was more than half empty.  Half the furniture.  His clothes… all of it.  And, I watched the sun go down in that half empty house.  I watched it in silence.  And then, for some reason, I turned on some music.  Music that I liked.  And I lit some candles.  And the empty house went from a house of memories to a house of dreams.  Dreams of my new tomorrows.

We all go through major life transitions when relationships end… Through this website, I will share my thoughts as I walk the path of “New-Self” discovery. It doesn’t matter which side of 50 you are on. The real question is, Are you ready to live life? To forge a Path of Your Own Making (For a change!)? Then stop dwelling over the What-Might-Have-Beens and join me. Share your thoughts here, comment on mine, and let’s do this together!

One Comment

  1. Donna Donna

    I swear this has been becoming my life. He’s stopped helping with the adult stuff. Cooking a meal for the family, remembering trash day, doing his share of any chores at all, and now he’s been “forgetting” to pay his share of the bills. All of this leaves me doing the adulting for our family of 4. I’m just stunned. This has been going on for almost 2 years now. He cites “stress” from his “responsibilities” as the culprit, although he has none. This isn’t a partnership. This is a joke. I’m at a loss as to what to do other than pushback.

    I can’t decide if some sort of mental illness is at play or if, at the height of our family life and responsibilities, he’s just decided that checking out and not participating is now his life’s goal. It’s sickening and very stressful. I’ve quit “nagging” and am just focused on keeping things together for my kids while I formulate my exit plan. I didn’t sign up for this at all.

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