Stop Parenting your Spouse

parenting spouse

Are you married to someone who you feel more like a parent to than a spouse? Even if they are incapable of picking out their own outfit or getting out of the house on time, parenting them kills the relationship. You are diminishing your spouse by parenting them and you are showing that your way is better. That is to say, you aren’t accepting them for who they are, but instead are ‘fixing’ them to be more like you. This may sound harsh, but parenting puts one spouse above another. When this is the case, there is no longer a partnership. The power dynamic should be even, not one above another. If your spouse is immature, remind yourself that you are their spouse, not their parent. Don’t pick up after them. If you continue unabated as their parent, the spouse will eventually resent you. A wedge will be driven between you two, and eventually it will be too much for the marriage to survive. Look for signs that you are parenting your spouse and see if you can’t reverse them. For instance how do you two converse?

Do you use baby talk, or is it more a commanding, parenting type of voice? Learn to discuss things like adults. Don’t wake your spouse up in the morning; purchase an alarm clock for them or show them how to use the alarm on their cell phone. Don’t pick up after them or carry their belongings around for them. Don’t cut their meat or get them to eat their vegetables. Don’t pick out their clothes or buy their clothes for them, unless of course it’s a gift. Avoid using the tone a parent would use on a child when talking to them. Don’t correct or criticize your spouse when they do chores or household tasks. Have a talk with your spouse; let them know that this behavior has to end. Discuss the heavy weight it is putting on your relationship. Let them know that you won’t be doing these things for them anymore. However, you are there for them and if they want any suggestions or help you can definitely provide it. Consider why you act like this. Is it because you feel compelled to, or do you just want to help? Accept them and love them for who they are and expect them to do the same for you.

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