Ask Wendy

My Husband Acts Like A Child

Friday, December 22, 2017
Hey Wendy,

I'm in need of some guidance and your perspective. My husband is a great husband on the surface; he's respectful, unwaveringly faithful, a very active father, and steadily employed. My problem is he needs an incredible amount of micromanaging in order to keep the bills paid on time, appointments kept, or to get things done at home. If left to him, the bills go delinquent, obvious messes stay uncleaned, dishes pile up, and even sex is never had.

He has to be reminded of every little thing. If I didn't know better I'd think he had a fetish for being nagged (is that a thing?) Once told, he does things with very minimal to no complaints. It's like he never learned motivation or responsibility, but in our thirties, it's a bit ridiculous.

Am I asking for too much considering how nice of a guy he is? We have three kids and I feel like he's my fourth child. Because of this, I'm totally turned off by him despite him being a nice-looking man.

I've tried talking to him about this a hundred times and he always swears he'll turn a new leaf, but 10 years later here we are and nothing has changed. Thanks for being here, because marriage counseling is out of our price range. What am I missing?

Melissa L. – Los Angeles, California

Hey Melissa,

I’m sorry I don’t have a string of magic words that will make him pay attention to what’s needed in his environment. It sounds like you’ve tried, and how.

When one of us becomes the parent, sexual attraction tends to die down. It doesn’t surprise me that you’re turned off by your guy, handsome though he is. Part one of the problem is you’re having to use all your “mother” energy with him, which leaves absolutely no room for your juicy, sensual, “girlfriend” energy that’s so important to maintaining a healthy marriage. Part two of the problem is you’re losing respect for him, and those two things can kill all the romance and sweetness in a union stone-cold dead.

But here’s the thing: This problem isn’t yours to solve. He needs to step in and help you with it.

Take a time-out with him and say, “Love, I need you to help me solve a problem. You know I’ve been bugging you to get things done for ten years now. I have to micromanage you, and this just doesn’t work. Having to be the accountable one for every aspect of our lives has made me lose respect for you. As the man in this house, I need your accountability. Without it, I’m not even motivated to want to stay intimate with you. I don’t want this to be our life. Are you willing to sit down with me to solve this problem?”

It sounds like every area is a mess, so I suggest you two divide things into piles to avoid getting overwhelmed. 1) The things you might want to do yourself (like the bills), 2) the things you can delegate (how old are the children?) 3) the things he agrees to do, and 4) the things you can both let go of.

Good luck!

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