My name is Amy, and my husband acts like a child.
Ben and I met in high school, and we started dating in our sophomore year. Our high school years for fairly typical; we had friends, went to parties, that sort of thing.
We were both what you would call “popular kids”, but I think Ben may have taken more from that label than I did simply because he was also one of the star geniuses.
I wish I had the foresight to see how things were going to develop for us in the future, what with his parents always talking up his achievements and the school’s teachers and advisers telling him that he had his pick when it came to colleges.
But I wish I knew that this was going to turn the man I would eventually marry into a husband who acts like a child.
I should have seen it through our college years and tried to do something about it then, but it was enough work just staying together in those four years.
See, Ben and I went to schools on opposite coasts and couldn’t see each other as much as we wanted because neither of us had much money at the time.
Our families still live in the small town where we grew up, so we often saw each other on holidays but, even then, it could be a fight.
Ben always wanted me to come to his parents’ house, even though I didn’t have a car of my own.
When we tried to see each other outside of trips home, I always had to go west instead of him coming east. When I tried to explain how hard that was for me sometimes, he would act selfish and casually let it slip that he was talking to other girls.
We would fight, make up, fight, and make up again but it was a cycle that repeated until he proposed after we both graduated.
It seemed like, more than anything, Ben’s behavior became more irresponsible and immature as our marriage progressed.
He has a group of friends, mostly work buddies, that he hangs out with. That’s fine, I have my circle of friends too. What wasn’t fine was how Ben would stumble into the house at late hours without so much as a call.
I tried to talk to him about it and he dismissed it as “No big deal, because he eventually came home.”
When he would go out and I would ask where he was going, he would get combative. I eventually gave up and figured it might be one of those things I would have to live with. He wasn’t cheating on me, but his behavior hurt all the same.
I should have known that when I gave him an inch, he was going to take a mile.
It was becoming increasingly clear to me that my husband acts like a child in situations like:
My husband acts like a child and I’m letting it go on instead of doing something about it.
I had to fix this, and soon.
ButI knew that Ben wouldn’t take anything that a traditional marriage counselor had to say seriously, so I convinced him to try Marriage Fitness with Mort Fertel when I told him that the program wasn’t meant to simply tell him what to do.
I kind of figured out for myself that my husband acts like a child because he doesn’t like to be controlled, so I had to convince him to try something I found that emphasized us approaching the problems in our relationship together.
Through working on the problem together, I came to realize that not only did Ben have to work on taking on the responsibilities of a marriage, but I had to be more assertive in telling him what I wanted from our relationship.
Being an only child and someone who was used to praise throughout his life, Ben wasn’t used to having to cater to others. The program that we used help emphasize the importance of communication and, because of that, I was able to tell him exactly what I wanted to without seeming like I was trying to control him.
We’re still working on some issues, but I can feel like things are getting better and I finally have the kind of marriage that I can enjoy instead of stress over.
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