how do you get a 30 year old man to grow up...and start acting like an adult ...
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Rachel - posted on 12/21/2009
This post made me smile. I've been married for 7 years and my husband still occasionally drives me nuts. But, I didn't want to be the nagging, controlling type who gets angry all the time. And I didn't want to be his mom either.
So, here's what worked for me in the area of taking care of things: boycotting. When he doesn't help, I boycott. He leaves his laundry all over the place? I don't wash it. He leaves orange juice or milk in his glass or food on his plate? He can wash the dishes - even if it takes three weeks (and believe me, sometimes it does - usually when we ran out of dishes to use). He wouldn't help clean up? I stopped cleaning.
I didn't mow the lawn. I didn't weed the garden. I didn't feed the dogs (he was quick to fix this one). I let him see how bad thing could get if he wasn't willing to meet me halfway.
It sucked. I hate a messy house. I hate a dirty bathroom. I HATE dirty dishes. But, it was worth it. Yes, we fought a bit early on. But that never helped. It took him understanding what went into keeping things picked up and cleaned - and to realize that I was NOT about to work full-time, take care of our children and clean up after him all my life - for him to realize that helping out around the house was in his best interests.
He's still really bad about the dishes. And he NEVER puts the laundry away (unless on top of the dresser counts... /sigh). But, every year he gets a little better. When he leaves messes, I leave it for him (most of the time). I might say something reminding him that his dishes need washed before company comes over, for example. But, I have a no nagging policy in general.
Having times and days where we clean together really helps too. He feels more motivated. We put on some of his favorite music (usually something upbeat and energetic for cleaning) and start in one room and move throughout the house. We talk and clean together, which is usually fun. And (don't tell him I said this!) I can make sure the cleaning is thorough (oh, honey, you missed this spot! /smile). hehe.
Beyond the household stuff, there are areas that our guys will always be "young" about. As long as it isn't harmful to himself or others and is taken in moderation, that's okay and probably a little healthy. Guys do need their own space, hobbies and interests. And sometimes giving them their space then gives them the freedom to be ready to meet our needs.
I've also found that participating in some of his interests and even learning about them has made him a lot more responsive to me. So, I'll play some video games, watch some action flicks, whatever. If it means he feels more connected to me, it is worth the sacrifice. When our guys are more connected to us, they are more responsive and responsible.
I know from my experience that, yes, my husband has his faults and they can upset me pretty bad sometimes. But, how I treat him, respond to him, and show him I love him (not just talking sex, but showing him unconditional love), makes a huge difference in his growth and responsibility. Now when I get upset about something, I try to take a step back and first ask "is this really all that important? or is it one of the 'little things' that I should just let go?" and if it isn't a little thing, then I consider the best way to approach him about it. Sometimes a direct approach works best (your tone of voice was really hurtful, for example). Sometimes a less direct approach is better, where you work it into a conversation. Since I don't flip out anymore (okay, less often) about things and start big arguments with him, he's more willing to listen and try. Now, he may try and then fail multiple times. But each time, we calmly talk about it again and he will usually keep trying until the new behavior becomes a habit.
Things that I know don't work: talking down, belittling, silent treatment, withholding normal affection (may not feel like sex if he's pissed me off, but i won't stop hugs and a peck on the cheek goodbye), doing everything but being angry about it, not talking about it/pretending nothing is wrong (guys don't have a clue unless we tell them), being subtle about something wrong (again, don't count on them getting the hint - when I boycott, I tell him I'm boycotting something).
What works is setting minimum standards that you both feel is reasonable (when I don't have to work full-time, I'll do all the interior cleaning - until then, we are both working and he can do his fair share! lol), respecting eachothers differences, respecting one another's space needs and personalities, seeking to understand what each other responds to and then how to work good methods of conflict resolution that your partner responds well to.
Since I don't know the particulars of your situation, this general advice is the best I can give! The only other thing I can recommend is seeing a marriage counselor - even if it is just by yourself. And/or read some books on marriage and how to deal with this kind of situation. His Needs, Her Needs is an excellent book that my dad made me read before getting married.
I hope things get better for you soon! I know how hard marriage can be, but if you two can work through things, marriage can also be incredibly rewarding and amazing.
Jake - posted on 12/02/2012
Hello Moms... I happen to stumble upon your post and couldn't help but add to the conversation. I'm a 35 yr old man who, for the most part, has been independent since I was a young teen. I've always been adventurous, outgoing and seem to have a natural get-up-and-go spirit. However, reflecting back on my life at the ripe age of 35, I can't say that adulthood was something I made a goal or agenda as a man. Men, unlike women, in my opinion, don't think about "adulthood" and they require encouragement of a different kind. Men think about goals, and ambitions as if they were playing a football game. Most of my life I've been respected or I've made people respect me either through my actions or by force. Men need respect or they feel incomplete I must say. So when you approach your son or boyfriend or husband, do so with respect and he will respect you for being considerate. But also do it in a way that shows or informs him that, he's not being a man and he needs to step up or else our team is going to lose the game, and who like losers? You gotta be a coach if you wanna get through to a man.
I've had a charmed life, but now I kinda do wish someone had taught me or shown me how to "grow-up"; or I wish I had absorbed those life lessons when I was younger. Now I'm back in school and changing careers, my life (painfully one day at a time) and stray at home in my parent's guest house. Do I have regrets? Sure, who doesn't have some. Do I wish I my life was different. Mmmmm, let me think.... NOW WAY DUDE! Men need hardship sometime; it shapes and defines who we are. Without a little bump and tumble here and there we wouldn't develop as men. He'll grow up, or someone or something will come along and make him grow up. That's just how life is. There's no escaping it unfortunately. I would say, depending on your relations, be a cheerleader and coach your guy and watch how he transform into an ALL STAR player. Like they say, behind every good man is a GREAT woman. :-)
Brenda - posted on 01/02/2010
I'm dealing with a 31 yr old man who seems to believe that the world revolves around him. Truth is, you can't change another's behavior...but can change your own. If they haven't changed or aren't willing to compromise, maybe it's for the best if you part ways. *hug*
Sarah - posted on 12/21/2009
I wouldn't say it's hopeless but what i would say is they have to meet you part way and you have to set a limit in your mind on how far your gonna let it go and when that limit is passed then you gotta decide within yourself if it's really worth it or if you should do what is best for you or you and your kids. at the end of the day theres no point being anywhere when your unhappy more then your happy! I really hope that helps and take care good luck
This conversation has been closed to further comments
Janice - posted on 01/08/2010
He has to see for himself that he needs to change. You can only tell him how you feel and throw in some suggestions, but until he sees it in himself that he needs to grow up, nothing is gonna happen. My husband is 29 and he still likes comic books, kung fu, and 'shoot 'em up' video games. I like video games as well, so at least we are on the same level on that part. But, he doesn't act like a child when it comes to dealing with his family, the baby, work, or any other responsibility. So unless you other half can actually differentiate the two, and know when to be playful and serious; you'll have to just deal with it until he comes around, he will.
Janet - posted on 01/04/2010
Boiling it down:
It's not up to you whether he grows up or not.
The only part of this that's up to you is what you will do.
Pick your battles carefully and then talk with him about the changes you'd like to see and why. You'll have better success working things out if you ask for small specific changes and then appreciate his effort to change.
An example: Asking him to tell you when he expects to come back so that you can prepare a meal for him will be more likely to motivate a positive change than complaining that you never know where he is or when he'll be back. If he does return when he said he would, reward him with something nice that you made for him to eat.
Chani - posted on 01/02/2010
in the end you can only leave him. That might be what he needs to grow up a bit. In that case you'll be doing him a favour (as well as yourself and the kids.) Sometimes it only takes a little while.
Have you got somewhere you can go with the kids?
Tracy - posted on 01/02/2010
communication is the key to helping you express your feelings as far as your brake down, however you are with this person because they are them- to even try to have them change one part of them will cause them to be a totally different person, and probably one that you will like even less than the childlike one. It is not like changing your hair colour, it is an attempt to change the actual makeings of a person-there will always be a chain reaction even in the attempt.
It would be better to look at your own self and ask why you are not happy and how can you fix it. It may be as simple as accepting the 30 year old for who he is and realising that if he does or doesnt do something the sun will still rise in the morning. and the day will still go on.
as far as your break down goes, laugh more. laughter is the best medicine even if it is laughing at him. laugh and your stress will subside, and life will go on.
besides, 30 is not old- and if you even try to make him "an adult" he will probably become a grumpy old man very quickly.
take ownership of 'your' problem, I am sure he is not unhappy about his behaviour. Therefore, by changing the blame from him back to yourself you might find that you are expecting to much of others, or have become too serious with life yourself.
I agree with the other women on here. Most men are simply incapable of seeing all that needs to be done around the house and must be reminded to do simple things like take out the garbage and pick their wet towel off the floor or bed. Most of them also never seem to grow up. All of this is manageable if your husband is pulling his weight otherwise in the marriage (i.e. has a full-time job that provides your family with income and health insurance). My soon-to-be-ex-husband, however, couldn't even manage that. I attend grad school full time, work 20 hours a week, take care of the house, and am responsible for 90% of the childcare. I got to the point where all I wanted from him was for him to hold down a full-time job. He couldn't even do that. That's when I put my foot down. I asked him to move out in August when our son was only 6 months old. I thought that he'd get a small place in town and realize that he needed to have a job to pay his rent and bills (since I had been paying them for the last 2+ years). Instead, he moved two states away to live in the back bedroom of his father's house. Five months later, he is still unemployed, still living with his father 500 miles away, and comes up to see his baby only once or twice a month because he can't even afford the gas. Our legal separation hearing is next week, and when I get enough money I'm filing for divorce. Our baby isn't even one year old yet and barely knows his father.
All I can say is that you can't force men (or anyone, for that matter) to change. They truly have to want to and at least meet you halfway. I thought I could make my husband change, but he called my bluff and now I'm a single mom who works and goes to school and still has to do everything on my own. But at least I have one less 31-year-old 'child' to take care of.
Talk, talk, talk!!! Try to respect one another. Respect is so important. Write things down before you say them. Let him know how you feel and listen to what he says to you.
My first husband was an eternal frat boy. I had to be true to myself and let him go, but we did not have children so the break was smoother than divorces with children, but it was still very painful. You do not want to go through divorce. Tell him how you feel "he is never there" and explain to him that you need him to be your partner, your best friend, your biggest fan, and that you want to be all that for him.
Marriage is tough. You both have to compromise. Ask him what you can do for him and let him know what it is you need back from him.
Show him these posts. That may let him know how serious you are about your concerns.
Good luck and stay positive.
Lorna - posted on 01/01/2010
men are human not aliens, my partner is 27 and he meets me half way, and i dont work at all I have a 2 year old and i study full time, and when he doesnt i just bring it up in conversation like when were cuddled up talkin about positive things, there is no need to fire a fryin pan at him or his vehicle, he could end up throwing it back at you, I know if someone did it to me id fire 2 of them back at them.
Just sit and talk to him about the things that you mostly need help with and once he starts doing a couple of thing it will soon grow to be 5 or 6 things and your relationship and friendship will work itself out, as long as you both show appreciation towards eachothers contribution to life! i hop things get better!x
Sandra - posted on 12/31/2009
Unfortunately, you cannot make anyone do anything they don't want to do. I know this doesn't help! Have you suggested couples therapy? Sometimes, the other person (male or female) may not realize the situation is dire to the other person. They may see it as simple nagging but the mention of therapy is very adult and indicates the other person is serious. If he laughs and says no way - you have your answer. I would never advocate divorce or separation but if he does not want to change and sees no value in your feelings, then he is likely to not change his ways. You need and deserve someone who listens to you and respects your feelings. Good luck!!
Erica - posted on 12/31/2009
My hubby is 30 also and he acts like a kid. He plays video games all day and plays w/ the kids, wrestlin and such. I'm 5 yr younger, so originally I dated him cuz I wanted a mature man and I've come to realize he's just a grown up kid. It kinda help when you have kids tho, he plays w/ them and they have fun. But, I do understand, I have to tell him pretty much everythin' I tell the kids. :S I really don't know what to do. I try to ignore it. Hope you don't break down tho. :(
Alison - posted on 12/31/2009
I've been married for 10 years my husband still drives me mad and I know my father still drives my mother mad and they've been married for 40 odd years. My dad recently bought a thomas and friends hornby train set he says it's for my eldest who is autistic but it makes me smile as i know it is partly for him as well. This evening I must said the same thing three times it doesn't bother me as much as it use to as I know that he switches off when he doesn't want to hear things. Doug still plays with lego and train sets with the kids.
Angie - posted on 12/31/2009
Stop treating him like a child and he'll stop acting like one. Don't make excuses for him and don't pick up after him like a child. He'll have to grow up at some point, but it's only going to happen when it's to his benefit to grow up.
Phyllis - posted on 12/31/2009
Your post is a bit vague. What exactly does he do that is driving you nuts? People can change. That's the beauty of us. But we need something to help us change...something to help us want to change. What do you want him to do? What is his role in the marriage? Pay bills? Do the lawn? Take care of the cars? Change diapers? You know some of the ladies here are right when they say the men cannot see what you want. They were not given the gift of reading our minds. Ask for his help. Give him specifics on what you want done. And let him fail. How do we grow? We learn from our mistakes. What are your expectations? What do you expect him to do that he is not doing? I liked the writing notes thing mentioned. Sometimes it helps. Someone once said unmet expectations are preplanned resentments. Since I don't know what the specifics are, I am not sure what you need from him. Do you like this person? Do you like who he is? Do you want him to become someone he isn't? If you like him, what are his strengths? How can you play to his strengths? Men need respect like we need hugs. Right now, we are going through some major changes in our marriage and it is rough. Very rough sometimes. I am lucky. My husband helps around the house and does listen to what is important, but I listen to what is important to him too. No sex has a monopoly on being more grown or whatever. We are wired differently and sometimes that "difference" is misinterpreted as "better." Actually 30 is not that old for a guy. They don't start realizing they want to be married until 27 or 28!
Catherine - posted on 12/31/2009
I have learned that despite the fact that the laundry and dirty dishes (full diaper genie, full dishwasher, dirty bathroom....I could go on) are staring my husband in the face he just doesn't see them. What has worked best for me is to come right out and ask him to do what needs to be done. I've gone through too much frustration waiting for him to realize on his own that the house requires maintenance. He has sat and played video games while I'm sweating my butt off cleaning up around him and it doesn't phase him.
So I send him a text or leave him a note every day with one or two tasks that need to get done and they typically do get done.
One thing I can say is that reading all these posts has made me feel better in that I'm not the only one with a husband like this!
Amelia - posted on 12/30/2009
I was in the same situation and left him after realizing that his being a lazy,self-centered 30 year old child was the reason I was depressed. It wasn't a good situation for me to be in, so I left him when I was 14 weeks pregnant and never looked back.
Sometimes you have to do what is right for you and your child. I hope everything works out for you.
Jerina - posted on 12/30/2009
Most men are pretty hopeless in that way they either get it or they don't. Sometimes the right motivation can help them to act in a more responsible way but don't count on it. A lot of men are stuck loving their 'glory' days and there fore are constantly trying to relive them. I think if you tell him exactly what your expectations are and what you need from him clearly and without anger and he still fails to deliver you may want to consider that he just isn't the man for you. I am coming to the same crossroads in my marriage and wondering if he's ever going to be all that I need him to be.
Bonni - posted on 12/30/2009
My husband & I just celebrated our 17th year of marriage and honey, I hate to tell you but they don't grow up. I got the book "Have a New Husband by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman & it really has helped me to have different perspective on things & men. Get it & read it. I've tried going on strike, yelling, ignoring, and it doesn't work. So get the book. It's an easy read & even has funny stories in it! A lot of prayer helps, too!
Sativa - posted on 12/30/2009
You cant change others. If you can, sit with him quietly, away from the kids, and try to talk to him about how his behavior is affecting you. Remember to use "I" messages. If you start anything with "You do......" then he may feel as tho you are attacking him and the conversation wont be productive. If he refuses to change his behavior that is making u that unhappy, then u have a choice to make. Is his behavior making it difficult for u to be a patient, caring and effective mother? Is he doing something that is dangerous for the family? When you have thought of everything then you need to decided if you can live with him exactly the way he is or you need to move on. The choice is ultimately yours. You can't make him do anything, you can only make yourself do things. I wish you the best of luck in all that you do.
Karen - posted on 12/30/2009
Two words............. positive reinforcement .......its the only way you can get your way without fighting all the time. Catch him doing the right thing and compliment him also tell him how he makes you feel when he is acting up and start every sentence when doing this with 'I' as in I feel or I think that way you wonn't get his back up but he will be under no illusion as to how he affects others....I have been there and know how you feel...we are still together 16 years later :)
Jennifer - posted on 12/30/2009
Sadly i LOL...i'm married to a 44 year old man who is 10 yrs older then I and he is far from grown up...we have been married over 8 yrs and still no luck in changing his ways...there have been SMALL improvements over time, but no "significant" change...i wish you luck!
Carol - posted on 12/30/2009
You don't. You be the adult. Think and act like the adult you want to be and perhaps you won't tolerate childish behavior in a man. If this 30 year old is your hubby, good luck. Set an example for how you wish to be treated, do it all with a loving attitude. Spite, nagging, name calling, silence...do not work.
Angel - posted on 12/30/2009
I think we all expect initiative from the men when it comes to the house, the kids and us; but I realise, sometimes they are willing to help, but if we don't ask, they assume we don't need it. Somehow women are entrusted with the 'leadership' around the household stuff; so to them, that's our arena. If you have told him about sharing the chores and he still does nothing, you have to be specific and assign tasks to him. If he still doesn't do anything, the strike thing probably will work. If he persists, despite knowing that you are dying under all that chores and that his help will make it better, and you are the only one upholding the household, lose the guy. That will be your greatest relief.
Mary Ann - posted on 12/30/2009
First, you can't change him, so get that thought out of your head for good. The only thing you can change is your reaction to him. You don't say how you think he needs to grow up. If he is irresponsible, forgetful, doesn't pay bills on time, can't keep a job, etc. maybe he has ADHD! See if he'll go to the doctor. My 45 year old husband takes Ritalin! If he is spontaneous, fun loving and silly, that may just be his personality. Think back to what attracted you to him in the first place. Are those qualities still there? You have to decide what you can live with!
Nancy - posted on 12/30/2009
you don't. stay strong. it will happen eventually. my husband was 46 before he grew up and it was because he started his own business. the only thing i have ever seen to grow a man up was the army.by the way, my husband is 48 now. i'm 53.
Marie - posted on 12/29/2009
how do you get a 30 year old man to grow up...and start acting like an adult ...
just want to know what to do befor i brake down....
80% of woman succeed when the get this - read "fascinating womanhood" - it will give you insight as to the male mind and the absolute power woman possess as a god given gift. use this power with love and not force and you will reep bountifully!
Donna - posted on 12/26/2009
Don't break down, take a deep breath. The more you yell the more he will tune you out. I know that it sounds to simple but respond to him with LOVE. Who want to come home where you are gong to constantly be under attack...not me! He will then see the change in you and will then be more willing to listen and help out. Don't enable, example: Have a loving conversation with this person and the both of you make a list of your likes and dislikes. No eating in front of the TV, dirty laundry goes in the basket, laundry not put away get put in storage...."can't find it can't wear it." There are a lot of little things that get on our nerves..pick your battles, seek harmony this will make for a more loving enviroment. And always pray for God to change his heart to be more loving, caring, understanding. We have been created to be nurturers so use that talent to encourage him and focus on the things he is doing and comment on that.
Good Luck to you.
Tammy - posted on 12/24/2009
wow, I have been asking this question myself. funny thing is, mine has no problem doing something for someone else as long as it has nothing to do with me or our kids, our dog, our house, our car you get the picture. He sleeps all weekend until football comes on and then gets mad that before he goes to work monday he has to run around and do crap. when its his stuff he put off. while I am doing things I am not supose to do, due to health problems.
Sarah - posted on 12/22/2009
This might sound weird, but it will make him stop in his tracks. Thank him for working so hard for the family. Show him respect for what he DOES do. Respect is a key emotional need for a man. If he feels respected, he's going to be a ton more willing to show you love by helping you with what you need or want.
Kate CP - posted on 12/21/2009
Going on strike worked for me :) My husband still has his days, but he does help out now. He still doesn't get the whole concept of "don't play bounce the baby over your head after she just ate", but now he understands when I laugh my ass off when she pukes on him after he does it.
LOL! My husband did that! I had just nursed my daughter (way back when) and he started playing with her. I said "Careful, she just nursed," and I walked out of the room. The next thing I hear is "Honey, can you bring me a towel and a shot of scotch?" Apparently she had puked in his mouth. GOD that was hilarious!! X D
Monique - posted on 12/21/2009
I agree some men never grow up. Sometimes when something good or bad happens they finally realize that they are idiots. lol. Sorry I can't really help. If I knew I would help myself! They need to take a step back and look at themselves from someone elses point of view.
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