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How to deal with a fully grown man-child

(34 Posts)
packetofcrisps Wed 20-Jan-16 12:10:59

Just as DH has started helping out a little more this week and thinking for himself, he does something a bit silly this morning.
I decided to set my alarm 15 minutes later than usual as I showered the night before, plus DD is up during the night a lot at the moment, so need extra sleep!
DH wakes me up at my normal time (before my alarm goes off) and tells me "it's time to get up" I sleepily said "not just yet" and dozed back off.
I generally get up 15 minutes before DH to shower, he then gets up and dresses DD whilst I dress myself (our usual routine.)
I awoke 15 minutes later and went to the next room to begin getting ready, assuming that DH would be getting DD up as normal only to find him still in bed playing on his phone meaning we're now 15 mins behind schedule! I asked him why he isn't up and he responded "I always get up 15 minutes after you."
I find this response so child-like, I was really unhappy. DH is difficult to motivate at the best of times and needs the routine of the morning to get our family, up, ready and out of the door. I just can't believe that through me staying in bed a while longer, he needs to do the same at the expense of getting out of the door on time!
As a result, I was late for work and had to get another teacher to cover my registration. So annoyed. How do I deal with this? My man needs constant instruction and motivation... it's frustrating!

ImperialBlether Wed 20-Jan-16 12:13:45

He's not really an adult, is he? It must be hard to be attracted to someone who acts like you're his mum.

CousCousDefinitely Wed 20-Jan-16 12:20:39

That would piss me off too. He's relying on you to run his day. How would he manage if you weren't there?would he get up at all. Sometimes I wonder how these men children get by in the workplace. The answer is probably fine.
They just switch off from having to think the minute they walk into the house. So are we creating them by treating them like children or are they acting child like so that they can give their brains a rest.
I got a new toothbrush holder. A man child's toothbrush rested beside it for the last few weeks since it was purchased. I bit my tongue until yesterday. Last night I explained how the child and I can put out toothbrushes in it to avoid messing up the top of the sink and how it's better not to sit it in water and I invited him to do the same. I really didn't think that conversation should have been needed. He would have seen the other brushes in it and his occasionally when I returned it but why not use it himself? I came away thinking how unsexy it is.

Cleensheetsandbedding Wed 20-Jan-16 12:23:42

Yeah I have one off these too but in every other way he is great.

No ones perfect. wine

pinkyredrose Wed 20-Jan-16 12:24:37

The way you describe him started helping out thinking for himself it's like you're talking about a 4 yr old. Was he like this before you married/became parents?

Offred Wed 20-Jan-16 13:09:53

Maybe don't?

I'm pretty confident he probably doesn't need to be micromanaged at work so why at home?

Cabrinha Wed 20-Jan-16 13:11:08

Well, it would drive me mad.

But it sounds a bit like you set him up to fail, really. Don't forget that he showed a bit of initiative thinking your alarm was wrong and waking you. You say yourself that you know he needs the morning routine. If you always get up at the same time, it's not that bad that he didn't get that there wasn't extra time today for the normal routine to start later. As a one off, I'd say you should (knowing his need for routine) have said "get x dressed" as you headed for the shower. I'd be a bit confused if I was your head and this is why you were late! Not much contingency in your morning plans.

But as an overall picture - I totally get your frustration.

I just think you may be looking for every example (I know I did) and it's very destructive if you do. I think if you varied a very set routine, it's not the best example of him not thinking for himself.

Not sure why I'm devil's advocate here though - I divorced mine for other reasons, but was very glad to shake off the dead weight too!

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 20-Jan-16 13:20:51

You expected him to know that you weren't having a 15-min later start to work but that you'd decided to get up later. He woke you and you effectively told him it wasn't time to get up yet as far as you were concerned. You expected him to know that that didn't apply to him and he had to carry on regardless.

He might be a man child in all else but I think you set him up to fail here, your actions were easy to misinterpret.

packetofcrisps Wed 20-Jan-16 13:35:13

But surely he shouldn't need to rely on me for his routine to fall into place! He knows his role in the morning, what time we leave the house and how long everything takes. Surely, I'm allowed a little extra time in bed without him basing everything he does around what I do and the times I do it. He can tell the time for himself and judge what time to get up, surely!
DH was awake long before me, but struggle to just 'get up' I am not a fan of micro-managing my DH, he knows what needs doing in the mornings... he can think for himself!
Can't he?!

packetofcrisps Wed 20-Jan-16 13:39:25

Couscous: I empathise with your toothbrush situation. I really don't think it's the role of the wife to spell everything out to DH. Like you say... unsexy.

If DD and I weren't there he would roll out of bed 5 minutes before leaving for work, maybe not have a wash and get to work a second before having to be there. DH is still learning that he can't live like this anymore.
It's draining.

TooSassy Wed 20-Jan-16 13:56:50

I'm reminded of that episode from the US sitcom Raymond. Where he tells his brother he deliberately did the laundry really badly in the early days of his marriage just to get out of doing it for the rest of his life.

My STBXH was like this. He would wake up the day of us going on a family holiday, shower, pack his bag and then come downstairs saying 'ready?'. Totally acted like a guy without responsibility.

Muggins here enabled it by doing everything else that comes with taking two young kids on a beach holiday. I didn't make him step up and take on more responsibility.

It's not the end of the world if things don't get done
Or they don't get done a certain way
Or things get forgotten

If I could go back and redo it I would. I'd give him his list of responsibilities and let him crack on with getting it done without the bullshit excuses of 'you're so much better', 'I haven't had the time', 'I don't know where to start'

These men are able to function perfectly well in the rest of their lives. They can do so at home.
Don't make a rod for your own back OP.

packetofcrisps Wed 20-Jan-16 14:01:30

Haha... your story resonates. I'll bet he thought he was doing you a favour by packing his own bag too! ;)

DrMorbius Wed 20-Jan-16 14:43:19

Did DH and DC get to where they were supposed to be on time?

packetofcrisps Wed 20-Jan-16 15:14:17

They were both slightly later than usual, but not officially 'late' if you understand what I mean.

Twinklestein Wed 20-Jan-16 15:55:13

This is what my dad is like OP. I can absolutely guarantee that you will be having exactly the same conversations in 45 years that you are now.

When I was growing up I used to wonder why my mother didn't just allot my father tasks and let him muddle through in his own time. I thought she was bossy and controlling.

As an adult I worked with my father on a project myself, and then I totally understand*: if you do not stand over him, micromanaging everything *nothing gets done. In the end I just left him out of the loop and did everything myself because it wasn't worth the stress and hassle trying to make him step up.

I have no idea why you think DH is going to change. I've no idea why you think that anything that comes from you is going to make a difference. My mum had strategies back in the day and not one single one of them worked. This is who DH is. You either accept that this is how it will be for good or you get out.

Twinklestein Wed 20-Jan-16 15:57:01

Excuse me, that message was for another thread! cake

crazyhead Wed 20-Jan-16 18:53:27

My ex was like this - off the chain vague and man child, though very very brainy. He is now happily married to someone else with kids, but I think she quite enjoys the bossy role so it works. Actually I've got a few friends with husbands and or wives a bit like that. Some women/people seem to love the boss role and I guess the upside can be all the decision-making power - in one couple I know the wife has to nag my friend loads but then she enjoys making all the decisions, from paint colour to what country they live in! This is a long winded way of saying 'are there things you get from this dynamic'

packetofcrisps Wed 20-Jan-16 19:03:28

I often think about this... I'm definitely the decision maker, however DH is very stubborn and will almost always say 'no' to any new decision, room colour, idea etc. It's very frustrating as he doesn't make many decisions himself but vetos mine quite a lot! He admits he's very anti-change.

pocketsaviour Wed 20-Jan-16 20:09:50

You are a teacher
You have ended up with a man-child who wants you to organise his life

Do you think these things are connected?

packetofcrisps Wed 20-Jan-16 20:33:04

Although my man-child is a teacher too! Yep.

DespicableBee Thu 21-Jan-16 13:12:10

Why don't you just get up whenever you want to, ignore him, let him be late, let him get up five mins before he leaves for work,
.it's fine to have a shower the night before if you want more time asleep

packetofcrisps Thu 21-Jan-16 15:39:11

I would, but need him to help with getting DD ready in the morning... she's 18 months old and in to everything so can't get myself ready and chase her around. My only other option would be to wake at 5.30 to get myself ready prior to her waking up. However, I don't see why I should have to do all of that and let DH sleep until he feels like it... surely he should be helping so that we can BOTH get a bit more sleep!
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a bit of help with our daughter in the mornings, she's his responsibility too.

packetofcrisps Thu 21-Jan-16 15:40:28

And we all leave together in the mornings so him being late means me being late! I get to drop him off on my way to work.

OnceAMeerNotAlwaysAMeer Thu 21-Jan-16 16:26:09


the way he's going on, he sounds like he's very difficult to love as a partner, bluntly. Negative man who is that bloody childish? Real turn off.

Throwingshade Thu 21-Jan-16 16:44:01

Right listen to all us old birds - HE WILL NEVER CHANGE...


You give him an ultimatum. He changes - or you are off. And mean it.

He might be amazed that you'd feel so over little domestic things.

Tell him you can see the future - 5/10/20 years ahead and you know you can't carry him and still love him if he doesn't grow up.

Tell him it's eroding your feelings for him, your attraction for him, your respect for him. Tell him I'm not your mother, your mentor or your keeper.

Honestly unless he actually thinks he might lose his wife and/or family why would he bother to shape up?

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